My 214th Wainwright

29th October 2011

Its never normal for me to be stuck for words, but I as I sit here looking at a blank screen, I am lost for words, not in awe in my achievements, not writers block, just lost for words…

In my pursuit of my goals, my achievements, my passion for Lakeland-in all the haze I never thought that just under four years my dream might come to an abrupt stop, it feels like someone has just whipped Lakeland from beneath my feet. Of course this is just the start of new things to come for me, new doors open after old ones close.

I can’t but help but feel a sense of loss right now, & its making me sad.

The fact that I can now look at every Wainwright’s summit & say ‘I’ve done that’ is something that pulls right at my heart strings, up until now I have never said it, not until the fat lady sings as it goes.

Now I can say it…

I guess I’ve been so determined to reach my goal-I never once thought of how I would feel after I achieved it, after all, four years is a long time to concentrate on anything, this is not the 100 metre hurdle, this is, & was an epic adventure through Lakeland.

Place Fell & Angletarn Pikes:

You may often wonder why I chose Angletarn Pikes & Place Fell to end my landmark trial, my Lakeland adventure-& this goes back to the picture above taken in March 2007, its my own personal reasons, nothing else & nothing more.

You see Angle Tarn was my first time on a Lakeland Fell, & the first time I had laid my eyes on any Lakeland Tarn, me & a good friend who in actual fact should of been with us today but sadly could not get out of work commitments made the trip to Patterdale in search of something different, Ste my friend is a fisherman & he heard that Angle Tarn was full of fish, this, & no other reason least of all, a days walking on the fells-was solely the reason for the small hike up to Angle Tarn.

I say small, back then it nearly killed the pair of us, this was the first time walking up anything steep other than the stairs at home, I really can’t explain what happened to me & how I felt that day, but what I do know is we returned with un-recorded visits & there was even talk of a wild camp at the tarn, all the while I never made it to the summit. Back then I knew Angle Tarn as of a place & not as a summit, back then, I’d never heard of Alfred Wainwright.

About halfway through my Wainwright’s during a climb on the UK’s highest mountain Ben Nevis, one of my friends asked me? what is going to be your last fell Paul? I’d often thought about this, yet seeing as my goal at this point seemed so far away I had never spoke out loud about it until that day, Angletarn Pikes I replied, my first visit to a Lakeland fell & Tarn.

Ever since that day Angle Tarn Pikes, gave me ambition, gave me something to reach for & most important, gave me my goal.

Place Fell:

Place Fell however, is no-where near as dramatic a reason as was Angletarn Pikes, Place Fell, simply has always been my Plan B Fell, If I should need a plan B for what ever reason-be it bad weather or road block, Place Fell & Boredale Hause back in those early days was a Mountain I was more than familiar with, I cut my teeth in this area & it felt a good enough reason as a fall back Wainwright. The fact that both Place Fell & Angletarn Pikes lay so closely together never crossed my mind, that I would use both together as my route on my 213th & 214th Wainwright’s.

I always thought that one day I would need my plan B, it turns out I never once thought of using it, which I guess shows the testament & some determination  I started to carry the more & more I visited Lakeland.

Today is a special day for me, and for this event I asked would some close friends that have been with me since the beginning to join me.

Stephen Harrison, (sadly could not make it)

That Lakeland wanderer that now-a days is more at home on the Golf Course or at the side of some lake rod in hand, this guy, although not as frequent as visitor to Lakeland as he used to be, knows the Lakes like the back of his hand, the only guy I know with a stash of Ordnance Survey maps at the side of his Loo.

Stuart Greig,

 Administrator of Walking Places, Author, & Long Distance Walker, a man I hold a lot of respect for. Stuart or (Lonewalker) helped me set up & maintain Sharkey’s Dream right from the beginning when I first realised I wanted to record my visits to Lakeland. The man has a wicked sense of humour for someone who frequently walks alone, he has not only inspired me but at times, has also got me out of at least one scrape whilst in low cloud on Red Scree’s, this I am for ever in his debt for because that day, in my infancy as a Fell Walker, it could of all gone so badly wrong & today as always when in Stuarts company he never fails to remind me of that day, & we all have good laugh about it.

Tim Oxburgh,

I don’t think I have ever met a man as passionate about Lakeland as Tim Oxburgh, they are my opening words about a man who lives & breathes the Fells. I first met Tim back in October 2009 whist descending Kidsty Pike after one of my first lone ‘Rounds’ of Lakeland, Harter Fell to Kidsty Pike on a glorious big blue sky day. I set off a little after Tim ascending the Gatescarth Pass (Mardale) on route to Harter Fell, my walking pace is at times quite quick, & yet no matter how far I thought I got to Tim he always had the edge on me, this guy I thought, is not going to be taken over today. Cutting a long story short I finally caught up with Tim on the descent of Kidsty Pike, we chatted & compared fells as you do all the way back to Mardale Head, where we swapped email address & the rest is history.

For over 80% of my walks I have endured alone, this I prefer at times as it gives me that freedom & sometimes solitude I  crave & work best at, however, these people above, more than deserve to be with me today & I thank them from the bottom of my heart for the longest walk to the pub ever

Wainwright Guidebook
The Far Eastern Fells

The distinctive double summit of Angle Tarn Pikes  is a familiar feature high above the Patterdale valley; the two sharp peaks arrest attention from a distance and are no less imposing as an close acquaintance, being attainable only by rock-scrambling , easy or difficult according to choice of route.

The crowning glory of the Pikes, however, is the tarn from which they are named, cradled in a hollow just below the summit. It’s indented shore and islets are features unusual in mountain tarns, and it has for long, and deservedly been a special attraction for visitors to Patterdale. The charms of Angle Tarn, at all seasons of the year, are manifold: in scenic values it ranks amounts the best of Lakeland tarns.



Ascent: 2,300 Feet, 701 Meters
Wainwrights: 2, Place Fell & Angletarn Pikes
Weather: Dry & Overcast To Start, Turning To Wide Spread Rain & Strong Gust. Highs Of 11° Lows Of 10°
Parking: Parking Spaces, Red Lion Hotel, Patterdale
Area: Far Eastern
Miles: 6.5
Walking With: Stuart Greig & Tim Oxburgh
Ordnance Survey: OL5
Time Taken:  
Route: Patterdale Place Fell Cottage PlaceFell Boredale Hause Angletarn Pikes Angle Tarn (Patterdale) Boredale Hause Patterdale

Map and Photo Gallery


Angle Tarn, 17th March 2007

Angle Tarn, 29th October 2011


8:20am, 10° The White Lion, Patterdale.

As we approached the White Lion I spot Stuart’s car in the lay-by, I am an unusually late on account of a toilet break at Tebay Services, I expected a ‘what time do’ya call this’ from Stuart but he is pleased to see both me & Tim.

Stuart is more or less ready for his assault on the fells, he already has his waterproofs on, he just needs to saddle up, so, as me & Tim get ready, we chat on just right about  now, all three of us, expected to be getting ready in the rain.


Taking in this quiet lane as we get acquainted & head for Rooking.


A very nostalgic sign for me if there ever was one…


Place Fell Cottage.

The chat is boisterous to say the least, Tim & Stuart are getting on really well considering they have only just met, this takes the edge off things, so I lay off at the back for a while & take it all in.


An unusual prospective of Birks, Birkhouse Moor & Side Farm taken from the path.


Tim, inspecting some old workings from once was part of the Grey Crag Slate Quarry.


Holding back a while…


Looking towards Ullswater Head, Keldas, Birkhouse Moor, White Side, Glenridding Dodd & finally Sheffield Pike.


Me & Stu from a little higher up the path.

Tim took off at his own speed only to wait for us to catch up at times, this is what not being in Lakeland can do to a man!


Pretty much on the steepest part of the path when we felt something in the air…


The inevitable happened, and it started to rain.

Well, we had gotten away with it with what felt for too long already, the forecasters had predicted rain from the start so I guess in some ways we were lucky, these views towards the top of Hare Shaw were the last we’d see until we descended down to Boredale Hause a little time later, I’m not going to say I wasn’t disappointed with the rain & lack of views because at one point I thought we may escape a drowning until latter on in the walk, but as you are about to see, this wasn’t the case.


Stuart Heading for Hare Shaw.

Tim, in his eagerness has gone ahead & is now out of sight. If at any one time you could freeze time, this for me would  be it… just pause a while, take in what you are about to do & just hover over that play button…


With Tim locating the summit & back in our sights, we press for our first summit of the day, Place Fell.


And I make Wainwright summit 213, Place Fell.

The guys were fantastic, here, as you could see I  held back a while, only joining back up at the bottom of the summit crags, It was here both Tim & Stuart let me pass in silence to take the summit first.


Stuart & Tim taking the summit.


It was at this point quite difficult to concentrate on anything else other than to hang on to dear life as the wind howled around Place Fell’s summit Trig Point, gone are the quiet thoughts of why I was actually here today, as the freezing gales & pelting rain took us all by surprise, we then took shelter behind some crags a little lower down & take a five minute break.


After a quick break we were soon on our way again, this time with gloves & hats, winter Lakeland is here, & here to stay.


Taking full force of the wind as we descend this wind trap gully.


There’s times few & far between & I’m sure the guys would agree, the wind at this point was almost enough to knock a man over.


I guess from this point on in, this was the nature for the rest of the walk, as I explained earlier, the walk had now turned into what felt like a proper winters walk, while being lashed from pillow to post from all the elements, dropping out of the cloud and the col at Bordale Hause came with earnest.


Enjoying the brief respite while we could as we crossed Boredale Hause.

We’d just encountered our first meets with two walkers on an ascent on Place Fell, coming out with the obvious ‘is it wild up there?’ we all gave our thoughts noting that one of the walkers seemed to be wearing tracksuit bottoms.

I tend not to let it get to me these days.


Boredale Hause.

All three camera’s by now were taking the brunt from the weather, only taking them out precariously was becoming a fast waste of time, My lens had a film of water covering it & by now everything on me was wet-so I had nothing to dry it with, not even my lens adaptor was keeping the lens dry, Stuart’s camera suffered much the same, with the shutter only deciding to work when it wanted, while Tim’s camera suffered much the same as mine, all to be expected really, so apologies in advance for the poor quality photos. (mine at least!)


Looking back on a cloud topped, wind swept  Place Fell.


Brief views looking east looking towards Hallin Fell & Beda Head.


Cold & wet as we near the path for the north summit.

After leaving Boredale Hause behind I try to gain some distance between me & the others only for Stuart to catch me up a short distance later, I felt quite compelled despite the conditions & things seemed to be slotting into place.

It was here for this short solitary walk I try to remember past events while on the fells, its almost impossible to remember every summit I have gained just under the four years I have been walking these fells, but some fells & some emotional times in my life where the fells have helped me at times creep up & I feel myself start to well up a little.

In ways this walk & especially this trip report would be full of such events & that is one thing I didn’t want the reader to read, one because I know sometimes I can detach myself from human level to a personal level & be away with the fairies then before I know it I’ve written paragraph upon paragraph on so many personal inner depths, this I would struggle with not in a sense of how I feel because for a bloke I tend to find it easier to write than to say things.

There’s no doubt about it, today & I guess for the forth coming weeks, completing the Wainwright’s & the enormity of it all will slowly release & I’ at one point will show this in my walk reports, but for now I guess, I have Stu & Tim to thank that this report hasn’t gone off on some deep tangent & petered way off target.


Approaching the north and main summit of Angletarn Pikes.

It is here we re-group & again, Tim & Stu let me take the lead.


It all comes down to these next few moments…


I take time for a few personal words…


Wainwright Summit number 214, Angletarn Pikes.

Kneeling over & kissing a frozen wet rock whilst being blasted by wind & rain, it is here my journey of four years ends & a new my journey starts.


It’s Champagne time!!!!!

We take shelter a little further down the summit, drinking Champagne in those conditions just wasn’t containable, I open my pack for the Taittinger already chilled by the elements.

Its time to pop that cork!!!




Cheers lads

But before the celebrations end, I have one more thing I want to do…


An idea gave to me by a good friend.

I personalise the cork from the Champagne bottle, I mark the top with 214, I then write with a permanent marker:

Paul Sharkey-Angletarn Pikes-29.10.11


And bury the Champagne cork within the summit cairn.

On that wind & rain swept Pike, I can leave my all but small mark at the summit, and maybe next time I visit Angletarn Pike I wont pass her by anymore.


I am asked by Stu & Tim do I want to pay a visit to the south cairn, a walk of about 200 yards yet brutishly cold in the conditions as we had today, I guess it just wouldn’t of been right not to visit the south cairn, but I got the idea from the guys they were only doing this for me. The wind & rain was fierce as it was cold, as soon as I heard Tim shout ‘Paul I need to get down I cant feel my hands’  we were out of there.


Heading down with Angle Tarn in our sights.

It was here we re-grouped & took off our packs again, with red raw hands & fingers, we all struggled with our packs as we searched for something dry, nothing escaped the rain, I struggled on a spare pair of Berghaus Gloves that really weren’t altogether waterproof, but they were dryer than the ones I had on, In doing this I let slip my camera as it lay in the grass taking lashing upon lashings of rain until we were ready to leave, I finally noticed my camera just laying there. My attitude, indeed all of ours had changed within the last twenty minutes, although we was only at a low altitude of around 540 meters we might as well of been on the top of Skidda.

In the back of all our minds, we just needed to get down out of that wind, but I asked Tim & Stu would they join me in search of a spot where I first got my picture took back in 2007, they of course obliged.


One last picture of the Angle Tarn before we start heading down.


Now back at Boredale Hause where we encounter streams of walkers coming down from Place Fell.



Views looking down over Rooking & Patterdale.


Think warm thoughts Paul.

With the White Lion no less than a ten minute walk away the thought of warm food in our bellies spurred us on, we were wet to the core, & changed out of our wet clothes at the back of our cars at the roadside, I don’t think, never in my life have I seen three blokes strip to their boxers with the rain lashing down upon them, there torsos red raw waiting for just something warm to get the feeling back into our bodies, it sure was a spectacle with the passing traffic but right there & then we just needed something dry on.

I again struggled with my raw hands to slip my Berghaus fleece over my head, inching it down over my red raw body, boy it felt good.

We all entered The white Lion looking like nobody owned us, well I did anyway, to this day I can still recall the shivers running through my body, holding a £10 note at the bar & being told by the barmaid  ‘you look wet’ even with a deep sense of coldness encircling my frozen bones, I take two to three sips of Lager & hold my pint aloft & chink Tim’s & Stu’s pint glasses.

We walk over to a quiet corner of the pub, Tim & Stuart chit chat about the day in general as I watch on, teeth chattering muscles on the brink of convulsing, Stu tells me to put my hands beneath my armpits, I do this & yet I still shiver, I try to sit on my hands listening to the conversation Tim & Stu are having, slowly but surely the warmth of my body creeps back.

My meal arrives, the biggest gammon steak I have seen in a very long time, with a healthy heaped portion of chips, I waste no time at all.

My Completion Of All 214 Wainwright Summits, The White Lion, that Gammon Steak, Two great friends & some great memories to last.

What more could I ask for?

Some Facts & Figures:

These figures are of course my own recordings & bare no match to previous or foreseeable completions of all 214 Wainwright summits.


The figures & numbers you are about to read are as I quoted my own, they may be a huge quantity but this only occurs once they have all been added together, so please do not let the figures be by no way of means a ‘this is what I can do’ they are simply a calculation of figures spanning just under four years.

I had great fun putting together the facts so I hope you enjoy them as much as I did putting them together.

My Total Ascent: 253,300 Feet, 73,853 Meters.

My Total Miles: 683 Miles, 1,099 Kilometres.

How Long did it take me?  3 Years-10 Months-17 Days.

My 1st Wainwright Summit Was? Helm Crag on, 17th March 2007.

My 214th Wainwright Summit Was? Angletarn Pikes, 29th October 2011.

My Favourite Walk Was? The Coledale Horseshoe, 17th June 2010.

My Most Memorable Walk Was? Longlands & Binsey. Scafell To Slight Side Via Lords Rake.

The One That Got Away Was? Cold Pike, 7th October 2010.

The Ones That Nearly Beat Me Was?   Great Gable 28th December 2009, Dollwagon Pike, 9th January 2011.

My Favourite Ridge Walk Was?  The High Stile Ridge, 30th January 2011

My Favourite Horseshoe Was? The Kentmere Horseshoe 6th March 2011

My Most Memorable Weather Was On: Green Gable, 28th December 2009, Mellbreak & Hen comb, 4th May 2011

Total Wainwright Summits During 2007: 2

Total Wainwright Summits During 2008: 7

Total Wainwright Summits During 2009: 31

Total Wainwright Summits During 2010: 107

Total Wainwright Summits During 2011: 134 (And Still Counting)

Last but not least I would like to say a big big heart felt thank you to my Wife & children of which without there understanding of my dream would not of been completed. XXXX

Paul Sharkey,

29th October 2011.


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