Monday, 20 February 2012

In the beginning...

So this is where it all begins, a newbie to blogging and the start of my “Wainwright Bagging” adventure.

It’s Monday evening in late February. The collection of Wainwright pictorial guides arrived through the post just before the weekend, but due to a trip away with the lads in Wales quad biking, go-karting and the partaking of maybe a little too much of the local ales, I’m only just settling down to read the books now.

I began walking/ hiking when I was in the cub scouts and I’ve been doing it on and off ever since. The walks I’ve done in the past have been mainly in The Yorkshire Dales or The Pennines. I’ve done 1 or 2 walks in the Lake District but nothing too serious. And I was content for this to continue to be the case were it not for a series of occurrences that started to fan the flames of what has now become my new challenge…

  • The first occurrence happened a few years ago when I briefly stumbled across the TV show “Wainwright Walks”. Although I found the show interesting and the aerial views of the hills & mountains stunning, it was nothing more than a mental note of – ‘I must do some of them someday’.
  • The 2nd occurrence was when I was doing some training in Scotland for part of the apprenticeship that I’ve recently finished (probably the oldest apprentice ever). The 4 weeks I spent training up there meant that I had 4 return trips from Leeds to Falkirk to drive. I decided to mix journeys up and take different routes and detours on different weekends, and one of those routes happened to take me along the A66 and past the magnificent Blencathra. The sight of her looming over the landscape with a dramatic backdrop of storm-clouds approaching in the late October dusk was awe inspiring. I couldn’t shake the image from my head and it was at that point that I knew for certain that I was going to climb her. On arriving home I vaguely remembered a TV show about that mountain and by racking my terrible memory I finally found myself online buying series 1 & 2 of Wainwright Walks with the idea that it would give me a few tips and ideas when I finally get round to doing the walk.
  • The 3rd occurrence came soon after when I was chatting to a contractor at work who I have semi-regular dealings with. We were talking about walking and he was telling me in particular about his recent trip to Scotland with work and the walks he’d done whilst there. He mentioned the term ‘Munro Bagging’ which he explained to me was climbing all of the listed Munros. He also mentioned that there is a similar challenge in the Lake District (a little closer to home, so a touch more appealing). I was time for me to go home and finish watching those DVD’s…

The final piece of the jigsaw came after doing a few walks in the Dales with my lovely other half, Katie (check out her blog - ), I suggested doing the “Wainwright Bagging” challenge, and she said that she’d like to, so here we are!

My aim is to walk and achieve all 214 of Wainwright’s fells. There’s no time limit. No order. No rules about ascending/ descending the fells beyond that I have to do it on foot and I cannot claim to have “bagged” the summit until I have stood there.

I’ll write about the walks, campsites, cafes, beers drunk, pies eaten, and any things that may or may not be of any use to anyone beyond the fact that it will kick start my beer-soaked memory into remembering what I’ve actually been up to. And you never know, it may just be the spark needed to get you up there too?

See you on the hills!