Every winter my brother and I, accompanied by a varied selection of family and friends, take ourselves off for a week of mountain walking in winter conditions. In previous years this has been to North Wales, but, as my son has just started a degree in Outdoor Studies with Cumbria University based in Ambleside, this year we headed for the Lakes. While Thomas is at university I have set myself the challenge of walking all of the Wainwrights (fells included in the famous guides written by Alfred Wainwright) using a book written by Stuart Marshall which covers the hills in 36 walks. Walk one was completed in December and this week the target was walks 2, 3 and 4. I travelled up a day early in order to take Thomas to the fracture clinic in Barrow Hospital to have the cast for a foot, broken in an accident on the local climbing wall, removed. The forecast for the week was grim to say the least. The Kirkstone pass was already closed and there had been an accident on Swirral edge and the hills had a good covering of snow. I left home at 2.00 pm and travelled north up the A1 in steadily worsening conditions. Crossing the Pennines on the A66, I ran into high winds and snow, but arrived safely at 5.30. As both of us were hungry we quickly repaired to Dodds, a local Italian Restaurant for an excellent pizza, before adjourning to The Golden Rule for a couple of pints with Thomas’s friends. Tired, it was soon time to repair to Thomas’s flat and my bed on his floor; as he said, he had a broken foot!!!
Next morning we were up early and off to Barrow driving through the delightful South Lakes in order to have the cast removed. This was a very quick business and we were soon back in Ambleside. After leaving Thomas to prepare for his afternoon lectures I went off to take some moody winter landscapes before booking in at the Youth Hostel and waiting for Peter, Amy and Sam to arrive. We had an excellent room in the hostel with stunning views over Lake Windermere across to Wetherlam, Lingmoor, Bowfell and The Crinkles.To view large, please click on an image.