Today I climbed a mountain.. :o)
I was on the river Tyne at 8am Saturday morning training with Rachael for our rowing marathon. As soon as I finished at 11am I headed off on my journey to the Lake District to get to my last minute B&B booking in Nether Wasdale. The journey took just over 2 hours and I was very happy with my booking :o) When I arrived I went for a little walk around the village on my own and was completely alone with my thoughts and without phone signal.. it was absolute bliss! Later in the afternoon David arrived who drove up from London to join me in my challenge of hiking up Scafell Pike (the highest mountain in England!).
The weather was absolutely beautiful and just before sunset we took a walk to Wasdale Lake which was unbeleivably beautiful. There was nobody around but us and I was certainly in my new happy place! I learnt to skim stones (badly), I really need to work on my throwing technique.. it’s pretty embarrassing!!
We then visited the local pubs in Nether Wasdale and retired to bed so that we were as fresh as daisy’s for our morning hike! And that we were…
We filled our belly’s with a good english breakfast and then took a 20 minute journey to Wasdale Head where we abandoned our cars and met a bunch of people from the Pituitary Foundation at 9am.
Once everybody arrived we headed off on our journey up the mountain, there was a mixed bunch of people, from children as young as 12 through to ladies and gents in their 50s, and we all had one thing in common; we are all either a member of the Pituitary Foundation or we’ve been affected by Pituitary diseases in some way or other! On our way up the mountain there was a clear mix of abilities from overall fitness to general determination to get to the top! My guest walker David is the Head of Human Performance Coaching at Red Bull F1 Racing so I had a coach by my side, not forgetting my own ego and trying to impress him with my impressive fitness ;o) So, we headed off with a couple of other walkers ahead of the pack. We headed through a gate and followed the path up the northern side of Lingmell Gill where I met the cutest cow EVER and even managed to get a selfie with it (i mean who wouldn’t!?)..
The path got steeper and we crossed Lingmell Gill and made our way up the much steeper Brown Tongue. At times we all went incredibly quiet but in all honestly it was because we were out of breath! ;o)
Finally we reached the section above Brown Tongue where the path finally flattened out for a while as we crossed the tricky boulders at Hollow Stones. The path disappeared a few times over Hollow Stones which is probably why a few inexperienced people get caught out here on the steep climb up to Mickledore.
About 10 minutes before we made it to the summit I lost count of how many times I said “I wonder how many people fall and die here!” and that’s because it’s bloody dangerous! You are walking over nothing but rocks.
Anyways we made it to the top, did the tourist thing of taking a photo, ate a sandwich and decided to head back to safety at the bottom!
Who knew going down a mountain would be harder than going up!? Well I certainly didn’t!
Scafell Pike is 3,209 feet high and bloody steep. You have to be incredibly careful heading down as it’s so easy to slip or go over on your ankle. This is where good footwear is a MUST!
Thinking of trying this challenge for yourself? These are my tips for you…
1. Take layers. It might be hot at the bottom but it gets VERY cold towards the top.
2. Hydrate. You are going to sweat ALOT
3. Take snacks. You burn a shit load of calories doing this challenge so make sure you’re re-fuelling.
4. BUY COMFORTABLE, WATERPROOF FOOTWEAR.
I took a MASSIVE risk and purchased some Berghaus Women’s Expeditor Active AQ Tech Shoes, Multicolor (Grey/Wine Ah8), 4 UK walking boots just days before the challenge; I didn’t even have time to wear them in to prevent blisters.
Anyways, if you’re female and reading this with a walk in mind I really recommend these shoes. They feel like trainers, (super comfortable) they prevent you from skidding and they’re waterproof (perfect for crossing the stream as you begin your journey up Scafell!)
Time to rest and wrap this blog up.. I can’t put my finger on it but I haven’t stopped smiling since taking on this challenge with an amazing bunch of people and a special someone :o)
Today I hiked Scafell Pike and I LOVED it.