Today was the day on which my lovely friend Stu finished his Wainwright journey, leaving Yewbarrow as his final one. I had not really been fell walking since completing my Wainwrights back in January. I did have a walk up Birkhouse Moor over February half term (first ticked off round 2!) with my nieces. I learnt that doing marathon training and doing lots of fell walking doesn’t mix very well.
Plus if I am honest my walking mojo disappeared after completing them, the weather has not been great when I did have the opportunity to walk. Been there, got the soggy t shirt. There was nothing to chase, no planning where next to walk, which book we are going to finish next. It was all done and it left me feeling a bit bereft. I know that Stu will agree with me, when I say the last few Wainwrights feel like a task. You’ve set a date and invited people and it does put you under pressure to get them done whatever the weather.
I love Yewbarrow it’s in my top 10 fells I have climbed. The views down to Wastwater are one of my favourite views in the Lakes. The rest of the hills looking over it majestically. I try to block out memories of Kirkfell, the hill which nearly broke me when we climbed it for Gary’s last one.
We all met at the car park at 11, it was nice to meet Stu’s friends Ryan, Anna and Gareth as had heard lots about them. The weather was looking good and prayed that the circling rain held off. 17 of us and 4 dogs set off to climb the final one. Rather than go straight up the front of the mountain, we walked up the valley to ascend it in a zig zag form to the top.
It felt good to be back in the hills, the craic with our friends and just being outdoors soaking it in. It made me realise how much I had missed it. The groups spilt up naturally when you start climbing. Re grouping and then setting off again.
A short walk and we were on the top waiting for Stu to touch his final summit. We did a guard of honour with our walking poles as we had done on ours. I felt so pleased for him and it was also his collies Sam and Teya’s final Wainwright too.
Paula his wife, this was her 100th. She is fighting Bladder cancer and she proves that you can do stuff whilst ill. What people don’t see is the morphine she has to take to get through doing it and the time it takes her to recover. She truly is an inspirational lady and hopefully soon we will be doing her last Wainwright too.
Bubbles and speech and this was the moment when we realised that Dave had forgot to pack the brownies!! He didn’t live this down, but it was an incentive to get back to the car. Jim got his stove out to make a fried egg butty. He had also bought along some boy balloons to celebrate the safe arrival of our friend Tanya’s baby boy. The youngest member of the Twitteratti.
This is our very own “214” club!
The descent was a tricky one, a real knee burner. The saving grace was the amazing views. The summit was very windy and luckily as we descended so did the wind. Soon we could see the trees of the car park. A quick Brownie stop before heading down to The Strands in Nether Wasdale for our walkers reward.
Couldn’t resist a bit of photobombing hehe