Wansfell Pike and Troutbeck

My wife Clare works on the trains and last week she happened to meet Sir Chris Bennington, the mountaineer – if you don’t know who he is, google him, NOW!

Anyway, Sir Chris is in his eighties now and has had a hip replacement, so he told Clare that he had been forced to limit his expeditions to the smaller Himalayan mountains from now on. So, are you feeling old? Feeling like time is running out? Well take Sir Chris’s example and relax a bit, limit yourself to just the smaller, unclimbed mountains of the world’s greatest mountain range – but only if you’re over eighty and have had a hip replacement. If not then get off your arse and stop complaining.

I’m inspired to get out more, so I dusted off my old walking boots and drove Lady Hughes and, myself up to the Lake District for a mini-adventure.

Parking in Ambleside, we walked past the waterfalls an up to the the top of Wansfell Pike. Not a huge hill to be sure, but the approach was steep and my lack of fitness made it seem much bigger. – I think the technical term is knackered!

The weather was perfect, warm with almost no wind at all, so we did most of it in short sleeves – in March. On the top, the views were wonderful, the low cloud was burning off revealing the snowy mountain tops of Coniston, Langdale and many more more.

Down the other side into Troutbeck. This beautiful village was very idyllic – even the ramshackle sheds were tidy and looked like they’d been designed specially. We stopped for a brew in the local tea shop and then pressed onward back into Ambleside.

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It may not have been a Himalayan mountain, but I do have nearly forty years to catch up to Sir Chris, so it’s a start I suppose.