Facebook is responsible for this walk. I recently had a contact from an ex-work colleague and hillwalking pal from about twenty years ago and this week he’s up from Cornwall for a few days in Keswick with his son, intent on walking up a mountain or two.
And so, I met Mark and his son Henry up a street full of B&Bs in Keswick and orf we jolly well went up Newlands for a climb up the front end of Rowling..er…End. This is Very Steep. And a bit slippery due to the rain which had just stopped.
Henry, being but a mere whipper-snapper and not carrying huge amounts of wobbly fat, fair hurtled up the hill and was there long before me and Mark and, without any apparent ill-effects such as wheezing, coughing, whingeing or having a cardiac incident. Bruno also made it in good shape.
We continued – Henry bounding off in front, me and Mark stumbling and cursing behind – on up the also steep nobble of Causey Pike. This has fine views, so we lunched. Mark told me what he’d been up to for the last 20 years, and I gave him the roll-call of early mortality of the staff of South-West Durham Health Authority HQ who were no longer with us and who had shaken off their mortal coils and gone to meet their makers and so on.. This was to confirm just how lucky we were to be alive, specially after all those brutal contours we’d just crossed.
We concluded with a short traverse of the very fine and shapely ridge over Scar Crags but were turned away by the new zig-zags which go up to Sail in favour of a poddle down the mine track back to Newlands and the public bar at Braithwaite. We had a bit of a late start and it was murky and dark and Mark’s bursting thighs had to have some reserve left for the punishment of more contours tomorrow…
But we did five and a bit miles and 2000 and a bit feet and caught up a bit after a twenty year gap.