Having had time to absorb some of the information in the guides, I needed to decide where to start my "bagging".
This has been harder than it seems.
People who know me, and my mild OCD, will know that I need things to have an order. A reason. Rules... I mean, think of the chaos if you listen to your stereo with the volume on an odd number (multiples of 5 obviously the exception). Why would you not drink your beers in ascending percentage order? You have instructions inside Kinder Eggs for a reason! Etc, etc, etc.
So, after leafing through the 7 pictorial guides I considered several options of what should be the 1st fell I bag? There's Blencathra, the mountain that first sparked my interest. Helvellyn, a mountain that I missed walking up when I was younger (with a walking group) because I was away on a family holiday. Or Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England.
But I found myself looking at the very first fell in Wainwright's first pictorial guide, The Eastern Fells. The fell in question is Arnison Crag, "A low hill with a summit worthy of a mountain." as described by AW. The crag overlooks Patterdale, and the village shop that was the first place to ever sell AW's pictorial guides. Arnison also starts with an "A", which is the first letter in the alphabet (tenuous I know).
With all of these "firsts" it seemed like a logical place to begin. So out came my pen and paper and I began to plot a route that would take me up past Arnison Crag, Birks and onto St Sunday Crag. A ridge walk and climb to Fairfield will then be followed by a descent taking in Hart Crag and Hartsop Above How before returning to Patterdale.
With the first potential 6 fells neatly wrapped up into a walk, I continued to plan several other walks in and around the Patterdale area. I then checked my diary and Katie's diary before booking time off work. All that remains is to cross our fingers and hope for moderately decent weather (you can always hope?!) and look forward to the walking.
--- Once the walks have been completed I will aim to post the maps and .gpx files of the routes ---