Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Lakes, Lakes, Lakes!

Just back from a few days in the Lakes. We drove up on Monday, Albertless for once, shouting The Wick, The Wick, as we always do when approaching Keswick. The weather forecast was good with slight winds on Monday afternoon so time for me to do some serious manning up and tackle Halls Fell Ridge. I used to climb a bit (seconding VS's which isn't brilliant but ok for someone who hates heights) till a dog tried to bite off my index finger and generally having a good old chew on my right hand, a few years ago, leaving me with poor grip strength and lots of scars that were painful to touch for a couple of years. Don't know why but descending exposed drops just scares the bejesus out of me, although I'm ok going up. Just get very dizzy and seem to lose all sense of where my hands and feet are.
So the plan was to go up Halls Fell first and then see if I could get down it. Off we trotted, me sporting my new, fab Montane jacket which was part of my prize from L100. It looked a bit misty, but all ok. Very quickly the weather got worse the higher we went, which is one of the reasons I love the Lakes; all the weather in one day. The rocks were as slippy as hell, 60mph cross winds, Dave laughing, me hanging on for dear life, praying for mountain rescue and quietly screaming.
Came down VERY slowly, terrified and trying to keep my left foot straight which was still swollen and sore. Glad to be alive I ate not only my bodyweight but probably Fatima Whitbread's bodyweight in curry that night.

The next day was Dave's birthday, hurrah! We headed up Spooney Green Lane to Latrigg car park planning on having a look at leg one of the BG, bumping into a group of folk with the same plans. Gerry, who was 4th Lady at the L100 and one of the girls on my list of possible winners, was leading a group round leg one. Gerry is a friend of George and Dale's, and she completed the BG with George, so she's quite a brilliant fell runner.

We tagged along with them, up Skidpaw (bit odd without Albert but Gerry had her lovely, bonkers fell running Staffie with her, Lily) and watched in awe as Gerry flew down towards Great Calva. I am particularly bad at descending hills and my foot was playing up. That's my excuse anyhoo. Quick flapjack break at the summit. Simon, one of the group who's going for a BG next year was feeling a bit off but carried on. 
Gerry and Lily cannoned down through the bracken to the river with us laughing, she's mental. Dave had lost his very special and expensive 'Birthday Boy' badge by now, courtesy of Asda. Trudged up to Blencathra with Simon starting to fall back, not well. Gerry, Andrea and I went off to the summit, Dave declaring us the three witches of Keswick.
We talked Andrea and Simon into trying Halls Fell (or Hells Bells as Gerry calls it), if I can do it, anyone can, I declared with false bravado. Gerry and I went down Doddick as I wanted to have a look at it. Quick meet and greet at the bottom then Dave and I ran into The Wick for more birthday beer, this time accompanied by pie and lamb shank. Happy days.


  1. great stuff, glad to see that you're thinking about a bg again. you're tough enough!!! ....i think with hells bells you can pretty much run down either side of the ridge on the 'chicken' lines. but you probably know that.

  2. Even the chicken lines scare me! Send me your new address, I found something in Ambleside which reminded me of you! I chuckled, Dave shook his head and sighed...I'll post it.

  3. Lovely!
    Good to see another fell running Bull Terrier.

    I used to think I was the only person who ran the hills with a Bull Terrier/Staffie.

  4. Nice post. Gerry and Lily helped out on leg three of my BG. Great company both of 'em!