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Sunday, 10 January 2016

Following in the steps of the master

NOTE: Blogger will only let me type in Full Screen Mode, otherwise the cursor is not evident.

Blogger will not let me attach captions to photos - when I try the photo just disappears, so I have had to add numbered notes below on the second post here.

In the Preview (at least) Blogger is chopping off the last letter of some lines of text.

Anybody else having these problems?

List ticking is taking over. A couple of years ago I discovered that the BBC sold the whole of Shakespeare in a box set made from their comprehensive productions with the best actors of the day back in the  Seventies and Eighties, but I had baulked at a cost in excess of £100.  A few weeks ago I came across this lot reduced to £50 and snapped it up - it is too late in life to miss such opportunities.

I have now watched Winter's Tale, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and The Taming of the Shrew, and last night, halfway through King Henry 6, Part 1.

Although there are 34 plays in all I am reminded of reading the Arthur Ransome books, and later in life, O'Brian's Maturin novels, and Anthony Powell's saga, Dance to the Music of Time, and of course  Proust's A la Recherche du temps perdu - you just don't want them to end.

Back to the title of this post - I have been lured away recently from my only on-going hill walking tick list, being completion of the English Marilyns, of which I have 35 remaining. The luring has come from my friend Bowland Climber who has embarked on Wainwright's Outlying Fells, and I live geographically between him and their location, so it is turning into a sort of joint effort, but, I have not yet admitted to myself that I am ambitious to  complete the list, or just to tag along when invited.

However, there are signs!

BC has already climbed some of the OFs on his own, and as my post for Staveley Fell indicates I have been playing catch-up, and herewith is another one in that category I climbed yesterday (Saturday 9th Jan.):

I am currently reading Voss, a somewhat depressing, but richly written novel by the Australian novelist Patrick White, and yesterday I was getting towards the denouement anticipating all ending in tears, so I had a quick look at the Met Office forecast and identified a weather window between 12:00am and 3:00pm, and within ten minutes I was in the car and off to catch up on Bowland Climber's recent solo ascent of Newton Fell which is only about twenty minutes drive from home. "Newton Fell" covers a large plateau on the map - Wainwright identifies Dixon Heights to the south which I have done before, and the summits marked Saskills and  Whitestones to the north, the latter two being my targets on this trip.


This engineered, satisfying balcony path leads up from the caravan site at the foot of Newton Fell

From the summit - My 1:25 OS shows a trig point but it was not there. Research mentions an obscure stud set into one of these summit rocks but I didn't see it, probably under the cairn?

South down the A590 from Saskills summit - communications tackle evident

A 590 from Whitestones summit. The crag is a minor rock-climbing

Main crag of Whitestones


Three days earlier:

 Wednesday 6th January - Woodland Fell etc.

Outlying Fells, Chapter 24 (Woodland Fell) and Chapter 25 (Blawith Knott). 

Doing a joint walk with a friend and fellow blogger presents the problem of producing two almost identical posts with the likelihood that readers will be common to both. Bowland Climber, my companion on this trip has already written a good account of the trip:


The title of this post is a tribute to BC's walking achievements. He has walked more long distance paths in more countries than anybody else I have come across.

This was a nostalgic round for me because it was one of my favourite runs when I was a little more sprightly. Wainwright is eloquent:

"...a connoisseur's piece, every step an uninhibited joy, every corner a delight. No footmarks, no litter - this is a miniature wilderness where every explorer treads virgin ground, none too easily when the heather is thick or the bracken high."


Referring to  "present-day man":

"Perhaps it is asking too much of him to tarry here while yet he is strong and energetic but he would do well to bear Woodland Fell in mind for the time when he is neither. That time will come".

W's book has been revised by Chris Jesty keeping all the original text etc, but just making corrections and highlighting, thankfully, the routes on the maps in red, and also adding an alphabetical list to improve navigation around the book which in W's eccentric format was never easy.

This route includes one of my favourite Lakeland hills, Beacon Fell, and Jesty includes it in his own list of seven favourites in Outlying Fells .

1. Log pile
2. Our first summit - Yew Bank - obvious footpath to col
3. Duddon estuary from Yew Bank
4. Dow Crag and The Old Man of Coniston
5.         ..            ..           ..         ..         ..
6. Coniston Lake and Beacon Fell summit  - see BC's account re lady sat on cairn

Back to my Shakespeare:

why did they all want to be king of England, or any other country?

It was almost guaranteed that they would come to an unpleasant demise. 



Anonymous said...

Surely the 'Master' is Alfred Wainwright.In any case I was walking in your running footsteps. Good day out.

afootinthehills said...

"...turning into a sort of joint effort, but, I have not yet admitted to myself that I am ambitious to complete the list.." Oh go on Conrad. Give in. Surrender. Embrace 'the list". Have fun. Think of the blogging opportunities.

Blogger is working fine for me Conrad - although you wouldn't think given the dearth of posts.

Sir Hugh said...

BC - I bet you've walked more miles than he did.

Afoot - Ok, I know. I'm just kidding myself. I know I'm hooked. The next post will show me doing the next-to-last catch-up on BC (for the moment), that is walking the ones he has done that I haven't. We are also booked for Wednesday to do some more. There are 56 chapters in the book, each containing one or more of these hills to make a reasonable walk in each case. I have so far done 19 chapters, that is about a third. Some chapters can be combined to create longer, but still comfortable walks. Like doing Marilyns these minor hills take you to fascinating places you would be unlikely to visit otherwise, and in some casews places which have little to recommend them.

gimmer said...

choose well whom you follow , oh once solo tramper . . . wither it may lead . . .

We are the Pilgrims , Master . . .
We shall go
Always a little further; it may be . . .
Beyond that last blue mountain barred with snow
Across that angry or that glimmering sea . . .
For lust of knowing what we should not know
We take the Golden Road to Samarkand

hard to see the shining towers
amidst the dark and gloomy pines . . .

Roderick Robinson said...

Why expose yourself to any kind of risk or danger when one can stay at home placidly making oneself tea, surrounded by the appurtenances of intellectualism. But not, of course, reaching out and touching them; stimulating the intellect has its risks also.

"Demise" (vs. death) was ill advised. As if you'd been overtaken by a desire to become a solicitor.

Sir Hugh said...

RR - We have addressed your initial question (no question mark used) many times and I am not being drawn back into that one again, except to say: that if evolving humans had followed your advice evolution may have taken a different turn - we may all be amorphous blobs crawling around in primeval sludge.

*Demise". I used the word with consideration. I felt, perhaps wrongly, that it covered a slightly wider meaning than just death. After all those kings and senior figures suffered many other torments.