Saturday, 18 February 2017

Skiddaw, a Valentine's Day walk

For a couple that don't do Valentine's Day, we chose a pretty brilliant way to not celebrate it. On our recent visit to Keswick in the Lake District we decided to walk up Skiddaw, which was almost on the doorstep of our Airbnb house we were staying at.

The highest thing I've walked up is Pen y Fan in South Wales, which at 886 metres above sea level is shorter and much less steep than Skiddaw which stands at 931 metres. I kitted myself out in proper walking trousers and a new pair of hiking boots thanks to having lost mine in my house move and off we went. Apart from looking up the mountain the day before and being terrified at how windy it was up there (50mph winds...) I hadn't really done any research as this was very much a Jon thing. This meant that as we stood at the start of the pathway up the mountain I may not have been too thrilled by how steep it was, there is photographic proof of my lack of enthusiasm but that doesn't need to be shared here. 

All I'll say is that jelly babies and the promise of a lunch break near the top got me through it but it was definitely worth the tiredness and aching limbs. After a slightly bit of dicey scrambling up an ice and snow covered rough path we got some amazing views over Keswick and onto the peak of Skiddaw. Unfortunately to get to the peak we had more walking over snow and ice but this time going down, with lots of slate hidden underneath waiting for one of us to fall over onto it. At the bottom of the final climb up to the peak of Skiddaw we stopped for lunch, this seemed to be where everyone stopped as the hillside was dotted with walkers tucking into their lunch looking out over stunning views.

The final part of the walk to the peak was the most brutal in terms of weather, and it was the only part where I felt a tad unsafe and cold. There were thankfully no 50mph winds but it certainly wasn't a calm day up there despite the blue sky. We didn't stop too long up there as it really was cold and as soon as I stopped moving cold started setting in on my legs, but we stopped long enough to chat to two other couples who had walked up with their dogs (further cementing the fact that a dog is definitely in our future when we're more settled) but then headed back down to get warm and to find a pub for dinner.

I really can't think of a better way to spend Valentine's Day.


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