About this blog

Just having a bit of fun here, posting about walks and other stuff. I need to get out more.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Wainwright Bagging.The First 100.

I have been walking in the English Lake District for about 20 years now. Initially I would travel up there on my own for the occasional weekend or even drive there and back from South Yorkshire in one day.
Back then I was blissfully oblivious of the existance hill lists such as "Wainwrights", "Birketts, "Marilyns" etc, etc. I would simply pick a route from the maps and walk it.
Early walks I recall included Coniston Old Man , The Fairfield Horseshoe, Helvellyn via Striding Edge, Bowfell and Crinckle Crags.
Gradually, my trips to the Lakes became less frequent, I had instead started venturing further north up to the Scottish Highlands.
 My walking would be confined to an annual trip to Scotland and occasional walks closer to home in the Peak District... I was neglecting the Lake District.
A few years passed by, then, a conversation with a chap I knew from the local cricket club (Mark Limb), touched on the topic of hill walking. It turned out that Mark also enjoyed walking in the hills and he was in fact "bagging" Wainwrights and he had ticked off  60 odd of them. I was aware of Alfred Wainwright's (AW's) work by this time and when I got home I looked up the list of Wainwrights and discovered I had inadvertently done about 30 of them.

For the benefit of the uninitiated The Wainwrights are a list of hills taken from the 7 books written and beautifully illustrated by AW between 1954 and 1966. His books are a testament of his dedication to the task, bordering on obsessiveness, and they are still a best seller today.
Much has been written about the great man and I don't intend to cover his life story here.
You can find more info here....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Wainwright ...if so inclined.
Cover of the first of the 7 Pictorial guides
Over the last 3 or 4 years Mark and I have made regular trips up to Cumbria, sometimes for a weekend but more often taking turns to drive there and back in the day.
Last weekend, we did a lovely circuit of the hills which surround Boredale in the Far Eastern Fells. Wainwrights were "bagged" and the last one of the day, Place Fell was my 100th hill from the Pictorial Guides of the Lakeland Fells by A Wainwright..
In terms of shear beauty, the English Lake District has no rival in the British Isles. For such a relatively small area the region has it all in terms of mountain sceenery, stunningly beautiful valleys, rivers and grand lakes. I am not sure if I will ever complete all 214 of the fells in AW's books but they will give me a reason to keep going back there on a regular basis, and that will do for me.
Alfred Wainwright has another dedicated follower.
A few photo's from some memorable days.  
Skiddaw Panorama

"Peep around the corner"

Tarn on Seathwaite Fell

Pavey Ark

Pike O' Stickle

The majestic Scafells from Grey Friar

On Place Fell last week


  1. You have to pick a "last Wainwright" and avoid doing it till the end. This is where you'll have a little party. It has to be easy to climb and have a pub at the bottom.
    Start looking now...!

  2. Was thinking of saving Blencathra via sharp edge but not sure I'll get up there with a Zimmer frame.
    Which one was your last Mike?

  3. My final AW was Barf - April 1982. It had a pub at the bottom at the time but this closed and became an old folks home.
    Choosing the last one can be a tricky decision!

  4. I would chose Harter fell then you have choices of pubs in Eskdale or Duddon Valley. The view is also spectacular on a good day.
    Thanks for this post. Interesting and good pics.

  5. Mike...Barf..Thats a steep bugger. almost vertical from the roadside, not had the pleasure yet. Wasn't aware the pub had shut, AW's books are a little outdated.

    Alan. Cheers, glad you liked it...still learning with this blogging lark, hopefully I will improve.
    Harter Fell is a good call. It's a nice looking hill and I imagine the views will be excellent.
    Still a lot of fells to go at yet though. 114 to be precise!

  6. Stick at it Dave, my last one was Ullock Pike. They are all special, and just like Munro's, Marilyn's, 2000's, they encourage you to explore areas you might otherwise give a miss. I'm also quite newish to this blogging lark, you're looking good!

  7. I'm not so far off finishing them now and I keep picking a "last one" but then I go and climb it! I guess Place Fell is the current fave. Nice photos by the way.