Our Wainwright walk over Martindale was planned for Saturday, but the forecast was not that good; in fact it was awful. A persistent low cloud base meant that we would have been walking around all day with our head in the clouds, and really I prefer to see where I am going. The base was about 1200ft, descending sometimes with bands of rain and drizzle. Not good prospects. What point would there be in going out in that – without being able to see anything, or enjoy the walk? It would just have been for the purpose of peak-bagging, and that has never been our objective with these walks. As I recollect the fell-top assessor retreated from the top of Helvellyn because of the conditions that day.
Sure, optimistically, we plan to do them in a year – it can be done. Yet, we plan to enjoy them, to see the beauty of God’s creation, to experience the surroundings, and if they take more than a year then all well and good. Peak-bagging, to me, is not the purpose for going onto the hills. What does it achieve? The object of walking is for the enjoyment of the mountains; to write about them, photograph them, enjoy fellowship with others and have something to show afterwards. At times the walking can be tough, and if I am already up there then I make the most of it, and still enjoy them. Ironically, some of my most memorable days have been the ones in terrible conditions, and I have experienced many, but I was already up there or, during my impetuous youth, was determined to conquer them during the holiday.
So, Saturday’s walk was cancelled at the last minute, on Saturday evening, at about 10pm to be exact. Again I have relied on the forecasts and fell conditions from Weatherline, and each time they have proven accurate. Their forecast for Sunday was early cloud and rain until about mid-morning, and then clearing with broken clouds and sunshine – now there was a chance. Once again, they were correct. Sunday was a fantastic day, not only because of the weather, but also the wildlife, the scenery, and the history of the valleys we walked by the side of. We would have missed all that if we had gone on Saturday.
You can read the story of this fantastic walk here.