Thursday, 25 March 2004


(Nearly) Blencathra

You're gonna find this hard to take in, so I'll say it straight: I went for a walk today, but didn't clock off any of the coastline.

I'm heading south again, to arrive at the other end of the Lake District tomorrow morning for three days' walking with Jon and Matt. And since even here my coastwalking has been mainly on the flat, I thought it best to have a warm-up day in the hills.


Distance: 3.95 miles
Ascent: 815 metres
Duration: 3 hours 2 minutes

I say nearly because I didn't make it to Blencathra's summit. I stopped a kilometre away, and seventeen metres below. The last kilometre had been hard work, in a biting cold wind with a near-constant hill fog obliterating the view. There seemed little point carrying on.

[Ice on the summit cairn]

It was a good walk though. I spent an hour and three quarters ascending, and an hour and a quarter descending. Once my legs got over the initial shock of going uphill continuously, they began to co-operate and even enjoy the experience.

Of course the views walking down made up for any disappointment at the summit. The Cumbrian Mountains stretched out before me to the south. I tried to identify them, but I don't really know the shapes of any British mountains.

Tonight is my last evening alone this week. I'd brought loads of activities to fill my time but started none of them. I've not even read. This - I think - is how holidays should be. I've had no great epiphanies, and my mind's been on idle. Annoying for someone who likes to keep his mind occupied most of the time, but again: perhaps how holidays should be.

Posted by pab at 16:53