At the weekend I attempted to hike Grisedale Pike. Sadly winds became so dangerous that they lifted my companion off the ground. Clearly it was time to abandon the climb! We will get here in the summer.
Even though we didn’t reach the summit it was still a great day o climbing and hiking.
And… we’re off! Having gotten smashed into the ground thanks to my customary winter (non-covid related) respiratory illness – something I have avoided for the last two years by upping my vitamin D and taking shilajit and ashwagandha – I have deliberately hit the road early in order to get a good start this year. My head is bursting at the seams with adventures I plan to have throughout spring and summer especially so I have resolved to be as ready as I will ever likely be.
To achieve my goals this year I have taken several productive steps. Firstly I bought a selfie stick for better video capture as you will hopefully see in my next video on YouTube, uploading as I write. Secondly I have started to actually use Komoot in conjunction with my Garmin Quatix watch. For those interested the Quatix is the same guts as the Fenix but with marine features added and a much more pleasing – to my eye – navy strap with brushed chrome bezel. Me being me I am already looking to upgrade and I am eyeballing the Garmin Enduro and its ridiculous battery life but that will be a purchase for next Christmas at the earliest, unless I am the lucky recipient of a windfall.
I have also bought a Garmin eTrex Touch 25 handheld GPS receiver. This may seem pointless as my watch does the same thing, however I have bought this because my bulbs are not what they used to be. During my most recent adventures I have caught myself pressing the screen right up to my nose just to be able to see it. The extra inch of screen space is very helpful.
I have also bought a ton of outdoor kit from the much-underrated Aldi. Seriously folks, their fitness clothing and thermals are remarkably well-priced and effective. If you want to buy it you need to get their app. It tells you what special buys are coming and when, and thus it all sells out rapidly.
I can now partake in many more winter hikes and some wild camps. In regard to the latter I am also now kitted out and ready to go this year. Last summer I was looking to do it but the only chance I got was during my aborted attempt to climb Helvellyn. This year I hope to get a night at Red Tarn in the shadow of Cumbria’s angriest fell.
On Christmas Day I dragged my sprogs over Pendle Hill. It is hardly a tough one to do but I had done it the day before as well without them. Additionally I climbed the Old Man of Coniston last week and a couple of days ago ascended most of Grisedale Pike, only abandoning after my companion was actually being lifted off the ground by the high winds.
I have commenced running too. In between the two gruelling winter hikes above I have done a couple of short two milers. Small steps, and I am hoping that the cold weather exposure will give me an advantage with endurance this summer.
Then There’s Barkley!
Hopefully my new hound, Barkley, a border collie, will pester me to get out too!
So things are afoot and what a summer of adventures is coming. In the meantime whilst you wait, check out my photographs from The Old Man of Coniston, all below.
Yesterday was not so much a hike as a gentle stroll over to Bolton Abbey and it’s infamously dangerous water course, the Strid. For some reason there was a long conversation about the eighties. The outdoors not only takes you to new places, it also takes you mentally to new places.
As today is International Dog Day I decided to share Barkley’s first hike. Barkley is my four month old border collie puppy who will be travelling with me over fells, mountains and wherever else he can go. Yesterday it was a gentle start over on Thieveley Pike in Lancashire and he had a whale of a time. The vlog is below. Please like and subscribe.
Skiddaw in Cumbria is known as a gentle giant. Unlike Helvellyn there are no tough edges or treacherous passes, but it is a huge Lakeland fell nonetheless. I aimed to camp there yesterday. Check out the vlog to see how I got on.
The eponymous Bronte Way is where the famous sisters used to live and hang out. If you have read Wuthering Heights then hiking this moor allows you to see easily where Emily found inspiration for the opening scenes with Lockwood trapped in the snowstorm and lost on the Moors.
Yesterday I intended to go all of the way to the large waterfall but time got the better of things, however it is was a good hike with great scenery and plenty to appreciate.
Hiking Catbells, one of the smaller but steeper fells in the Lake District. Despite high winds and showers as well as getting pelted by a ten minute torrential downpour at the summit I managed, against all the odds, to get some pretty fantastic drone footage and time lapses. I am learning as I go along to make better videos and I think that this one stands up well.
I am dreaming of and working at building a YouTube presence and hopefully over the next few years I can start producing genuinely great content for people. I’ve got the gear and the eye, I just need to work at turning what I see in my head into real videos, which is harder than you think. Luckily I have a pretty creative mindset and I’m a decent photographer so it’s all about learning the techniques. I have always believed that it’s better to have a natural eye for things like this and develop as you go, but that is just me. As an autodidact that’s how I learn and figure it all out. Please like and subscribe on YouTube, and feedback is always welcome.
I have my watch set not to auto pause when I stop walking because it is buggy when it does, so the time here includes all of my stops for eating and filming and so forth.
Roughly a year after it became my first YouTube video I once again hiked the Yorkshire Three Peaks. This time I did not get sunburnt. Instead it was a storm that, at the top of the mountings, often resembled a hurricane.