On the 8th of May 1975 I bagged my first Wainwright Outlying Fell, not knowing that it was a Wainwright Outlying Fell. I’m not sure that I was much aware of the Wainwrights generally although I did have a copy of Alf’s guide to the Pennine Way which I got after a lunchtime boozing session in the Ship Inn in Skipton following a week booking casualties in and playing monopoly with nurses in the A&E department at Airedale General Hospital. Monday lunchtimes were the new Saturday nights after such a shift.
Hennyway, Whatshaw Common was bagged on a walk from Skipton to Ambleside with the bro. This was a remarkable walk in that we stayed in pubs and B&Bs and I managed to put half a stone in weight on during the week.
On 30 April 2014, in company with my stickocidal pal Bruno, I bagged Irton Pike. The final Wainwright Outlying Fell. That’s a record time of 38.98 years (Lets just say 39, eh?)
The main Wainwright Fells took me from 24 September 1972 (Helvellyn) till 13 April 1991 (Barf) – some 18.54 years. Quite speedy in comparison.
Irton Pike was bagged after setting up the akto on the Old Post Office campsite (nice campsite by the way…) at Santon Bridge and following a couple of beers and a beef sandwich with a bowl of chips at The Bridge Inn. So it was mid afternoon when we set off and half two when we got to the top and had no company and no view apart from the fog. We had a little strollette along the ridge for a bit, Bruno bounced around a bit (I’ve not told him that he’s ill) and chased some sticks and destroyed some other sticks but we didn’t really stetch ourselves much.
We returned to the tent for a cuppa and a snooze (theme developing here…) and, later, made the enormously short journey to The Bridge for more jinkies in celebration.
And that was that. It was raining Thursday morning, so we came home.
Bruno likes snoozing in tents, so we’re off again Friday afternoon for more jollies. My daughter’s comments on facebook, refering to the trouble Bruno is in, suggests a Bruno Bucket List. I think this is a crackin’ idea and I’m planning a beach day including avoiding cold, salty waves, completely destroying a cheapo plastic football, and running around in circles barking.
You have to make the most of things but then, in the immortal words of William (Billy) Malkinson who shuffled off his mortal coil and went to meet his Maker nearly at the top of the road up Irton Pike in February 1886 - “Be Ye Also Ready”. Wise words, if a bit miserable.