Ok let me start with this…..
The weatherman got it wrong today!!
Not quite Michael Fish 1987 wrong..but wrong all the same!
It was forecast sunny spells from 9am-12pm, then it was to get a bit overcast, with a 40% chance of precipitation.
With this in mind I was en route to the lakes at 7am this morning to catch the morning light..
My plan was to do circular route across the top of Place fell(657m) and a walk along the shores of Ullswater to finish off. A total ok around 10km.
I was there on time. The mountain was there on time….Unfortunately the sun didn’t bring it’s hat!!
Not to be perturbed I set off on the planned route anyway.
As soon as I started climbing the path I could feel my back tightening again!!
It was cold, it was wet, it was cloudy, and my back was hurting… Not a great start, I was feeling very uninspired by it all to be honest.
Every now and then the sun decided to peek out from behind the clouds, and I tried to raise my spirits when this phenomenon occurred.
The track leading to Side House Farm
After passing the farmhouse I heading up a gradual incline towards Boredale Hause. The evidence of the floods of 2015 are still there as a reminder of nature’s force.
Scree build up washed down by the floodwaters.
30 mins later I was having my first coffee at the crossroads of Boredale Hause…..I obviously hadn’t rinsed my flask out properly as there was a distinct taste of Asda’s own brand washing up liquid.
This did nothing to lift my mood, but probably helped lift the grime from my flask!!
The view back to Ullswater from the ascent to Boredale Hause.
A quick check of the map to get my bearings and I was off again.
As i gained height so the views became non existent. The temperature dropped, the wind speed increased….my mood didn’t!
Looking back down from the top of the inclined path on to Place fell summit.
The hill fog was like pea soup now, and I began to question my own sanity for being up there.
Thankfully it is a clearly defined path over some rocky crags that leads to the summit trig point so navigation wasn’t too bad.
I repeated the procedure that I’ve done so many times in the Lake District. …Touched the summit point/cairn, took in the amazing foggy view, turned around and walked down.
I was feeling pretty sorry for myself.
So here is where it all changed….
On my descent I could see a lone figure heading towards me. As we crossed each others path and exchanged pleasantries, I took a second glance and recognised the lady from Facebook of all places!
Ladies and Gentlemen….meet Ann Wheeler
Now here is where it gets inspirational…
Ann is a bit of a celebrity in these parts (hence me recognising her), and rightly so…
Four years ago Ann was left paralysed by a condition called Caudia Eqinia.
Doctors told Ann she may never walk again!!
Since receiving this devastating news Ann has not only defied them and walked again. But completed all 214 of the Wainwright fells, and swam the full length of most of the lakes there too!!
When we met today, Ann was undergoing all of the Wainwright’s yet again. An amazing woman, and an even more amazing fete.
After briefly chatting and taking a couple of pics (as you do) we said our goodbyes and went separate ways.
Ann was heading up to the summit and I was heading down(now back in my grumpy mood)
As I was heading down I couldn’t stop thinking of Ann, and her determination. It was blowing a Hoolie up there with almost zero visibility. Yet there she was, determined to push on through and get to the top…alone!
I carried on heading down……thinking.
As I’d set off from the car that morning in the cold mist I was in two minds whether to carry on or not?
I was cold, aching, and tired from the previous days late shift at work….Uninspired as I said!!
I kept thinking……..
Then I did something I’ve never done before……..
I turned around and headed back up to the summit.
I wanted to share Ann’s moment on the summit. I wanted to hear more of this amazing woman’s story.
As i reached the top I could see Ann alone on the summit trig…
Ann on the summit cutting a lone figure
When I got there we sat and spoke for quite some time.
Ann offered me a smoked salmon sandwich, but I politely declined as I only eat salmon with lemon and dill sauce haha.
After a few selfies on the top we headed down together.
Summit selfie trying not to show the wind effect…..not that wind!!!
As we descended we talked about our children( teenage boys really are the same the world over), life, work, health, the lakes, you name it.
We even had a play in the snow…
Eventually we came to a split in the path, said our goodbyes, and Ann went one way and I went tother.
As i walked back to my car, I felt so much more positive about the day. Thank you Ann ☺
After a quick cup of washing up liquid I dried off and drove the short trip to Glenridding.
Then…..finally the sun donned it’s hat and briefly poked it’s head from the clouds. It was 2pm and I knew there was still a couple of hours light.
Still inspired by Ann’s story, and with new zest in my legs I decided to climb one more fell(Glenridding Dodd) before heading home.
And it’s here where I got the best pics of the day….
So all in all a good day in the fells.
What started as a damp squib affair turned into a pleasant day in which I made a new friend too ☺
I’m sure I’ll bump into Ann again some day up there high in the mountains.
Scotty out 👍