The one that converted me!

I had an absolutely amazing day walking in the lakes yesterday. The best I’ve had so far….but something was missing?

I’ll come back to that shortly.

I started blogging as a bit of fun, I don’t profess to be an expert on the outdoors, and I often get lost out there, which can be fun sometimes 😉
The purpose of these blogs is to share my experiences with friends(and anyone else reading them). I’m not Shakespeare or Wordsworth, I often say what I see, so please bear with me!
I want to start today’s blog talking about equipment…….
A friend of mine recently said they’d like to come along with me on a walk….”but the gear is so expensive”
Stop right there!!

I’m a firm believer that you don’t have to spend a fortune on expensive equipment to enjoy the outdoors. The photo above is me kitted out for my walk yesterday. I’ve probably got on around £150 to £200 worth of equipment on me? Most of this was bought on separate occasions to keep the cost down!
Alfred Wainwright(who’s tv programme inspired me to visit the lakes) wrote guide books on 214 mountains, and he wore an old tweet jacket and hobnail boots!!
Yes you can go to the outdoor retailers and buy expensive kit….. I have nothing against people who do that. I just believe that you don’t need that much to enjoy the English Lake District.
I was in a shop the other day looking for thermal trousers and vest for yesterday’s walk. It was forecast at -5• on the tops.
They were selling at around £30 to £40. Gore-tex, maintained body temperature blah blah blah!!
I went to Matalan and got a pair for a tenner!
Granted, they’ll do nothing for my love life,but boy was I toasty 😄
Anyway, back to yesterday’s walk

I had planned to do a walk known as the Coledale round which overlooks Keswick.
See map attached.

Taking in the following peaks…
Braithwaite – Grisedale Pike – Hopegill Head – Grasmoor – Eel Crags – Sail – Scar Crags – Causey Pike – Barrow Door – Braithwaite (Grid ref. NY 227238)
Total Distance 10.9 miles, Total Ascent 4400 feet, Equivalent Distance 20.3 miles

At over 10 miles I envisaged it taking around 5/6 hours to complete.
The plan was to leave at 7am and start the walk at 8.30am, however I had been out for a curry and cocktails the night before, so the timings went out of the window a little.
Also, thank god for Alka Seltzers 😉

I parked in Braithwaite and took my first pic of the day of Skiddaw behind me….

I’ve never been a fan of Skiddaw, it bores me to be honest. However it did look inviting yesterday so it’s now on my to do radar!
The walk alongside Whinlatter forest was pleasant and I got to take some great pics.
It was a gradual ascent up well marked paths, and the weather was just perfect.

I quickened my pace as the summit of Grisedale Pike came into view…

The pace quickly slowed though as my newly purchased thermals reminded me of their role in today’s walk!!!

There wasn’t many people on the ascent up Grisedale, but when I got up top it was like a playground!!
This is where I want to go back to the start of this blog, when I mentioned something missing…..

I stopped for a coffee and a banana and peanut butter sandwich(great for energy boost) on the summit to take in the views.
Like I said it was like a playground up there. Groups, couples, families,you name it they were there. Children were having snowball fights and sledging down little slopes as their parents took in the views.
That’s when it hit me!!
The epiphany I mean, not the snowball!!

I’d been doing it wrong for so long…..

These walks aren’t meant to be done alone! How can they be? How can you not want to turn to a loved one, or a friend and just share that moment of euphoria. The “we did it”moment
I suddenly felt quite sad that I was sat alone taking this in.
I needed to engage in conversation with someone, anyone!!
I offered to take a photo of a family that were taking it in turns to snap each other.
We got talking and they were from Liverpool, and both the son and daughter had been deep in university studies, so their parents had brought them up the mountain to take their minds off the studies for just one day….

And what a day!!






And that’s exactly what it’s all about… blow away your worries and forget everything for that brief moment
I hope they will take a moment to stop their studies and remember their day up there? It will have done them the world of good!

I only managed a couple more summits before turning back and retracing my steps as the daylight was rapidly depleting.
Back in my car it was time to warm up and look at the route I’d done..

The sun was setting beautifully, and I’d planned to drive west and climb another little mountain to watch it setting. However I took a wrong turn and ended up in Cockermouth….but that’s another story!!
I did come across these little gems though so not all bad…





I could write forever about yesterday it was that good, however I’m aware I’ve waffled on a bit.

So to summarise…… Yes this was the walk that converted me(as the title suggests).
My days of walking alone are surely over(mummy will be pleased). I want to experience these kind of views with friends, I’m looking forward to joining some work colleagues on tackling Sharp Edge on Blencathra next month(blog to follow), and I hope that becomes a regular thing?
However I hope to get out at least once a month next year, if anyone is interested in joining me please feel free to get in touch. The more the merrier.
Like I’ve mentioned above it doesn’t have to be an expensive hobby and I highly recommend Matalan for thermal underwear 😉

Ciao for now, Scotty out. X


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