The Harry Griffin 2,000 footers Walk 27 -The Roof of England

13th September 2015

This walk marks the end of my campaign collecting all the Lakeland 2,000 footers in the footsteps of Lakeland legend A.H Griffin. Despite today being somewhat special I can't but help feel sad in that my campaign has come to an end, one of which that has taken me the best part of summer starting when there was still snow on the ground my aim was to complete before the end of August falling short of my target by just a few weeks which I am more than pleased with. The reason to end my campaign of the two thousander footers on the The Roof of England needs no explanation, it just seemed the right thing to do.

After a week of glorious weather which ended abruptly on the Friday evening I had to cancel the walk which was set to go ahead on the Saturday where I would be accompanied by friends David Hall, Rod Hepplewhite and Ian Sharples, however due to the poor weather forecast Saturdays walk could not go ahead and with this I lost Ian who couldn't make it the following day, without hesitation Ian gave me the go ahead to walk without him which I thank him from the bottom of my heart knowing how much he wanted to join us here today, also in Ians absence is Tim Oxburgh who was competing in the Lakeland Ultra Marathon yesterday and I'm guessing is still very sore this morning.

So, here it is, my last walk of the campaign, the route is easy to define starting at Wasdale Head before heading towards the old climbing hut at Brackenclose from where we abruptly start the steep ascent on Lingmell east ridge. After summiting Lingmell we descend onto Lingmell Col before taking on Scafell Pike and Scafell via Foxs Tarn leaving just two summits to collect in Cam Spout Crag and finally, my last two thousand footer of the campaign with Slight Side.

This is, The Roof of England.

 
Freeman of the Hills
'The Roof of England'
Our last two summits were Cam Spout Crag and Slight Side, both of them on the long, south ridge of Scafell. The way was easy and straight forward, with no need to consult the compass. Halfway along the ridge the clouds lifted for a moment and we had a magnificent view, as through a gap in a curtain, at the curves of the River Esk far below and the black cliffs of East Buttress and Cam Spout Crag.
Harry Griffin
 

Overview
Ascent: 5,061 Feet - 1,543 Meters
Summits Over 2,000Ft: 5, Lingmell - Scafell Pike - Sca Fell - Cam Spout Crag - Slight Side
Weather: A wet start turning overcast. Dry and sunny towards the end of the day. Highs of 17°C Lows of 8°C
Parking: Car Park, Wasdale Head
Area: Western
Miles: 11
Walking With: David Hall and Rod Hepplewhite
Ordnance Survey: OL6
Time Taken: 9 Hours 15 Minutes
Route: Wasdale Head - Down in the Dale - Brackenclose - Lingmell - Lingmell Col - Scafell Pike - Mickledore - Foxes Tarn gully - Mickledore - Lord's Rake - Scafell - Long Green - Slight Side - Long Gill - Hardrigg Gill - Hard Rigg - Corpse Road - Brackenclose - Down in the Dale - Wasdale Head
 

Map and Photo Gallery

 
 

Yewbarrow, Great Gable and Lingmell from Wast Water 07:46 8°C

David and Rod had arranged to meet in Gosforth while I arranged to meet them both at Wasdale Head at 07:45 a little later. My drive through to Wasdale, this my second visit in as many months was dreary with the exception of a wonderful peak of sunrise seen spliting through the clouds as I drove through Grizebeck setting the morning sky alight in a deep orange afterglow, so much so I nearly stopped the car to photograph but resisted as I wanted to keep on schedule.

By the time I reached Muncaster Castle the skies had turned to dark grey and it had started to rain, quite heavy at times but this wasn't enough to but a dampener on the day, certainly not this one anyway.

Wasdale Head was soon reached, not before a cheeky stop off at the lake road to take this photo, it had stopped raining but the low cloud remained clinging to the summits of Yewbarrow, Great Gable and our respective Lingmell. The forecast told us to expect rain early on which would clear early to mid morning leaving bright spells so with this in mind, I kind of never gave my lackless views any thought. David and Rod had already reached Wasdale Head and were kitting up inside Rod's car, the reason for this was it had started to rain again leaving my own kitting up done trying to shelter beneath the tailgate of the car. David emerged first waterproofed up to the nines closey followed by Rod, it just didn't seem right to be fully waterproofed but I guess it was best to take precaution, I mean after all, we would all be taking them off if the forecast was correct...right?

This morning as I had previously done we would be following in Harrys exact footsteps with the exception of a slight change which I'll get to later, so, on we plodded through the puddles towards the the old Climbing Hut at Bracken Close, why Harry hadn't met the path on the flank of Lingmell was the topic of conversation for the best part of the last three days, and there we left it. Having crossed an over flowing Lingmell Beck at the stepping stones these, not being of much use this morning such the expanse of water we waded through the beck each discussing afterwards how wet our socks had got in the process, not the best start two minutes from the car park.

Once past the climbing hut our eyes and ears are filled to the sound of Lingmell Gill as it flowed furiously between Hollow Stones and Brown Tongue, the sight of white water hadn't been seen for a while and was a eye opener so early into September, above us the great stone wall that straddles Lingmell's East Ridge, a half way point along the tough ascent.


Lingmell East Ridge as we leave Brackenclose behind.

Once again it had started to rain which kind of set the scene for what we would experience over the next few hours, it seems the forecasters got the words 'light' mixed up with 'heavy' and spells mixed up with prolonged. Every now and again one of us would remark that the cloud was lifting such the sudden change in how the clouds would react, however, the one thing we couldn't ignore was just how strong the wind was getting, even lower down the slopes, something of which caused us to wonder the obvious, if it's like this down here, what's it going to be like across the summits,

I guess there's only one way to find out.


Hollow Stones seen with Lingmell Gill.
Despite it being just out of summer here in Lakeland the becks are technically in Autumn which provided us with the sound of a distant white water which constantly filled the ears, over the wind that is.

Cloud breaks away from Great Gable and The Napes.

There's no denying that Lingmell East RIdge is a tough old slog and this mornings ascent was no different, despite us only leaving the cars half an hour earlier conversation dipped in and out then mostly died to almost nothing as we dug deep before breaking out on Lingmell shoulder where we stood a while to watch the cloud lift over Great Gable and Napes, which was atmospheric to say the least.

Ahead, Lingmell summit was just about to be succumbed by cloud.


Lingmell summit is just ahead.

I'm not quite sure why we didn't stick to the summit path but we didn't - and, ended up flanking the summit (right) I blame the navigator who was...oh scrap that... I was leading.

I blame us all chatting, anyway, we flank the summit to the right leaving us the only option to gain the summit by a short but steep heave over grass and boulder from where we pick up the main summit approach path, here I lead too and thankfully got us there in one piece. However, we didn't have to wait long until that low cloud finally caught up with us just below the summit, at first the summit crags came and went, even the sun would appear through gaps in the cloud giving us all a hint of false hope, after all, right above us at this exact moment the blue sky was starting to show through, but, all this was all to no avail...


Lingmell Summit.

The low cloud had well and truly caught up with us by the time we reached the summit cairn leaving Lingmell summit looking very eerie and not to mention, very menacing indeed knowing that the clef of Piers Gill dropped just yards away from our position, where it stayed. David looked up at me and said "one down Paul, four to go.

I didn't know what to say, is my campaign really down to this? I guess nothing has sunk in yet.

From the summit of Lingmell we tramp on towards Lingmell Col where we take a bearing check, after which our position was confirmed we headed out over the Col before I stopped to take a photo kneeling down in the process if only so my camera lens could pick out a bit of colour in the grass, such the density of the clag...it didn't work. We trudged on before the large stone cairns bound for Scafell Pike started to appear through the mist.


Tramping on to Scafell Pike.
I guess our visibility was at times down to ten meters or so, which meant even though our path was scarce of visitors we still could hear their voices travelling well before we spotted them, this only added to the dramatisation of the walk.

Scafell Pike summit.
The cloud clung to the mountain heavily as if it was suffocating it, I have been here many times and I don't recall the cloud being as dense as it was here today, so much so it seemed to be keeping the visitors away as on arrival, we had the whole summit to ourselves, it was just three guys, the thick cloud and the wind.

A few layers are added.

Scafell Pike for me is a grand mountain but its summit isn't a place I've always wanted to overstay my welcome and todays visit although nostalgic for many reasons, sadly was no different, I guess this can be put down to the ton of litter that lay over the summit area, the uneaten fruit and cigarette butts that were strewn in every direction your eyes could see.

We picked a good corner, close to the War Memorial which was out of the wind to collect ourselves, here David and Rod would add more layers as the mist gathered over clothing, me, I decided not to add gloves or hat, but to sit this one out.


Reflection time.
To stare a while into the bleakness.

Mickledore.

Summit time was kept brief once layers were added and I was on my feet again we trudged off in the direction of Mickledore where we pass a group of walkers coming in the opposite direction "excuse me, how far" I give them the directions and they thank me, I guess any help in this cloud can only be a bonus.

We pick our way down onto the Mickledore Ridge only recognising it by the Stretcher Box as it reveals itself through the mist, below to the left our route off the Mickledore Ridge in order to gain Foxs Tarn Gully by means of a 600ft descent.

Up to now, not having any views never really bothered me, but here within the mist of the Scafells we all commented on how much rock scenery we were missing out on.

Here on the Mickledore Ridge is where ours, and Harry's route would diifer as Harry gained Scafell by means of a rock climb via Broad Stand, on the same subject we joked about doing the same, only realisng just how ambitious Harry's route would of been through gaps in the mist, I guess in the end, we were thankful for our descent of Foxs Tarn Gully right at this time.


Descending towards Foxs Tarn Gully.
 

Looking back through the clag at Mickledore.
Our descent is steep and eerie and once again the mountain and ourselves fall silent, without a breath of wind we descend towards Foxs Tarn Gully only stopping to check our position from time to time but soon, the sound of cascading water soon confirmed that we were at the base of Foxs Tarn Gully, what we saw next caught us all by surprise.

Foxs Tarn Gully.

After crossing rough and precarious boulder we bottomed out at the base of the gully, the lack of voices here confirmed what we were looking at, the gully which had turned into a waterfall. Rod broke the silence followed by David "this does not look good" Despite the water flowing freely around the base of the Gully, up higher where the Gully was much steeper the water literally fell through the Gully, and the reason I don't have a picture to confirm this was that we deemed it dangerous to get any higher, yes from the base of the Gully you can worm your way up around the first forty feet, but after that, it just wasn't worth the risk.

Our decision was unanimous, it had been made for us. We have no choice other than to head back up to Mickledore, despite this coming straight out of the blue, and not what we expected, it was the safest thing to do.


Ascending back to Mickledore.
Despite our sudden change in route, and our steep ascent back to join the Mickledore Ridge morale was high, even though we may never have spoke of it, making group decisions works wonders when working as a team.

Looking down on Rakes Progress from the top of the Mickledore Ridge.
It's fair to say that the lungs had a fair work out in re-ascending the Mickledore Ridge where we were treated once again, to grand views! We all agreed however that above all else in todays walk, it was while descending the Mickledore Ridge was the most care taken.

Still, spirits were high...

"It doesn't matter if you fall 30ft in the Himalayas or 30ft in the Lake District, its still going to hurt!"

Alan Hinks.


Rakes Progess.

Once the tricky descent had been negotiated via arse and hand we found ourselves emerge into a clearing revealing Rakes Progress, by following the narrow path we soon find ourselves at the foot of Lords Rake, but first it was time to de-layer.

Since leaving Wasdale Head we had walked all morning head to toe in waterproofs, it was now late morning and the skies all-be-it through the mist showed promise causing us to completely delayer back to summer attire along Rakes Progress which, when I look back must have looked rather odd as we all did this about 30ft apart.

Everything was either muddy or soaked through, either way essentials stayed on the outside of the pack and non, were rolled up and stuffed inside, I can vividly remember how light and free my legs felt once I had ditched the waterproofs.


Scafell Pinnacle.
Finally we were able to feast our eyes on the rock scenery such as Scafell Pinnacle looking menacing through the mist.

Pulpit Rock from Rakes Progress.
 

The 1903 Memorial Cross found at the base of Lords Rake.

It is not known exactly what happened to the four experienced climbers, they were found roped together in a scree run far below Lord’s Rake three of whom were all ready deceased, the fourth member of the group died during the descent back to Wasdale Hotel.

Main Crag, Lords Rake and Subsidary Buttress over on the right.
Once layers were duly packed back into laden packs we grouped back together at the foot of Lords Rake, behind us more walkers are starting their own ascents on the Mickledore Ridge some even finding their way up Mickledore Buttress which from our vantage point, looked rather precarious to say the least.

Lords Rake.
From the base of Lords Rake we assess the situation and confirm that we would all climb the Rake from the right of the Gully, here the scree is as "sound" as to be expected with the larger boulders finding their way to the bottom of the Gully making easy purchase from the start. We head right along Subsidiary Buttress where we climb the Gully sticking as close to the wall as possible leaving the unstable, and smaller boulders contained towards the centre of the Gully, any larger boulders would usually lodge at the base of the wall leaving ample and trust worthy footings.

The Chock Stone at the top of Lords Rake.
Continuing our ascent we soon found our way to the top of the Rake where we found ourselves beneath the Chock Stone where Rod opts to go over followed by David and myself who went under taking care not to snag our packs and walking poles at the same time.

Surveying.
 

Distant views over Lingmell, Kirk Fell, Great Gable and Pillar.
We all agreed that the views from the third section of Lords Rake offer some of the best Lakeland has to offer, sadly not for the dead sheep we passed between the second and third section of the path where we found the poor thing straddled over a rock, at first it looked as though it had fallen from the top of Symonds Knott possibly in mist, but, this may not be the case as it lay too close to the base of the crag, we agreed in the end that it must of died naturally, possibly within the last twelve hours or so.

Here, looking back over Green How towards Illgill Head, Wast Water, Buckbarrow, Middle Fell, Seatallan,Haycock and Yewbarrow.
 

Scafell summit appears as the mist once again descends.

Shortly before arriving at the summit of Scafell we all agreed it was time to feed our bellies, this was done in the stone shelter perfectly situated below the summit and out of the wind. We hadn't realised that midday had come and gone which I put down to our view at reaching the summit of Scafell at all cost, now that we were almost upon it, it was time to relax.

Out of the wind we sat down to enjoy lunch where we are passed by numerous walkers heading to and from the summit, this was also a time where I could test my new flask which apparently, would store hot of cold fluid for up to twenty four hours, well, for now it sure was living up to its reputation as I enjoyed hot & spicy soup in an otherwise brisk and cold wind.

Having already packed our jackets into our packs it was now time to get them out again, not before giving them a good shake first if only to rid them of the dampness. With fed bellies we pack up and head the last few yards towards the third summit of the day.


Scafell summit.
If there was any one moment when I realised that my two thousand footers was coming to an end, it was here at Scafell summit as I stood there and silently spoke, three down two to go.

Long Green and Slight Side.
With the summit of Scafell behind we descend over the top of Greencove Wyke and take on the ascent of Long Green, from where views over my fourth two thousander of the day will await me in Cam Spout Crag, here I give the guys the option in did they want to join me in collecting Cam Spout Crag from Long Green as this involves a rather steep descent, followed by an equal steep re-ascent.

Views over Great Moss towards High Gait Crags, Bowfell, Three Tarns and Crinkle Crags.
 

Looking down on Cam Spout Crag from Long Green.

Nerves followed by stamina had pre-built and I was ready for the task ahead in collecting Cam Spout Crag as my fourth summit of the day, David had opted to sit this one out from the top of the ridge and who could blame him, Rod however was up for the challenge as I asked him again "you sure mate" aye lets go for it.

Our descent was narrow and rocky to start making use of our walking poles in the palms of our hands in order to stop us 'tumbling' we followed a good line of the ridge and at times we were stopped by vertical crags which meant a slight turn around to find a better way around, with this we lost time but stayed safe in the process.


The views were certainly worth the effort, with Scafell Pike, Dow Crag/Pen, III Crag and Esk Pike.
 

Half way down the ridge, Cam Spout Crag is now more apparent off to the right.
Having negotiated the ridge Cam Spout Crag loomed closer, however the constant thought of 'I've got to do this all again' was never far from mind.

Scafell Pike, Pen, Broad Crag Col, Broad Crag and Bowfell from Cam Spout Crag.

The last hundred meters were testing underfoot having to find our way over boulder and a steep grass ridge we soon found ourselves on Cam Spout Crag summit where we found no cairn, instead, opting to make our own from a old wall that ran across the summit. Behind us David now looked like a dot back on the ridge and once again the dreaded thought of having to reclimb the ridge was never far away, but, for those few moments I was celebrating whilst building a cairn.

Over my shoulder the summit of Slight Side stood out like a silhouette now that we were starting to lose light, I knew that I was close to completion but I simply didn't want to think about it, the only thing that dominated my mind right now was, getting back onto that ridge.


Looking back on Cam Spout Crag.

Finding our way back onto the ridge was much easier than first thought, this isn't to say that the ascent wasn't as brutal as it looked but because in re-ascent, we were now able to scramble and pick our way over the crags that threw us off course during descent, time taken from leaving Cam Spout Crag to the ridge was twenty three minutes.

Now, we had to find David who's gone walk about.


Slight Side from Long Green.

Having collected the fourth summit there was only Slight Side left to collect, but this wasn't any ordinary summit this was my last of the campaign and inside, emotions are running high.

David was nowhere to be seen, that was until we spotted him taking shelter behind a large boulder half way across the ridge, having regained our breath David's first words to Rod and I was "how was it" doddle we replied.

No seriously, that was one heck of an out and back and possibly one of the toughest in the series.


Slight Side summit.
 

Slight Side summit.

David and Rod said I must have my photo taken which I'm not very good at all, hence the awkwardness! but I had no reason to look awkward but every reason to look tired, as did the three of us.

I insisted before this photo was taken we all summit Slight Side together as we did both David and Rod then went onto Congratulate me with handshakes and smiles, below the summit a small crowd had gathered and I guess they thought they were looking at someone who had just completed their Wainwrights, it couldn't have been more further from the truth.

"Hows it feel" it's going to take a while to sink in guys, like you I'm bloody knackered and I was looking forward to walking back to Wasdale Head over soft grass if only to ease my aching feet.

It's quite difficult to put into words what I felt whilst sat on Slight Side summit, I could only wonder if Harry had known what I had done in honour of him, that, would have made it feel all worth while.


Here, looking back on Scafell during our descent to Long Gill.
As Harry did, we continue in his footsteps by taking a hardline over the shoulder of Scafell towards the top of Long Gill, this was perfect reflection time.

Views over Burnmoor Tarn, Illgill Head and Whin Rigg.

We were descending towards the dark bit in the photo centre right, here, we drift, spread out each finding our own 'best line' sometimes within ear shot and sometimes not, it was only when Rod found a pound coin did we all regroup.

The next half hour was then spent wondering whose pound coin it was and why they would bring it along to Scafell with them.

Crossing the top of Long Gill.
 

Looking back with views over Hard Rigg and Hardrigg Gill.
 

Yewbarrow, Pillar and Kirk Fell.
Who would have guessed that just a few hours ago we couldn't see twenty feet in front of our faces, the afternoon is turning into a fitting end to an equally brilliant walk.

A close up of Yewbarrow over Wast Water.
 

Wasdale Head, Kirk Fell. Great Gable and Lingmell.
 

Wast Water.

I guess you could say I let David and Rod do the talking most of the way back, me, I just wanted some reflection time as we descend our way back to Wasdale Head under a now, scorching afternoon sun. We had planned a small celebratory pint at the Inn at Wasdale Head but before hand we would first retrace our steps through Brackenclose, passed the old Climbing Hut before once again, wading through Lingmell Beck.

After a quick brush down we head out to the Inn as we round ourselves through wooden tables outside and into Ritsons Bar, inside we make our way to the bar and order our respective pints, finding a table soon later we plonk our tired bones at a wooden table while Rod orders food and I gaze around the bar reflecting on a summer which saw me claim all but one of Lakelands 2,000ft summits. Rod arrives back and we strike into conversation as I ask one of the barmen would he mind he take a photo of the three of us from my mobile phone "I'll take a few shall I" In that photo sits three blokes, but I can see four.

Until we meet again Harry, this pint is for you.

 
 

 
Comments

Please feel free to leave any comments at the email below and I will include them at the bottom of this page.

Sharkeysdream@gmail.com


 
 

Hi Paul,

Having twice enjoyed David’s photos and report of our epic walk yesterday I’ve just enjoyed yours twice over as well this lunchtime. Boy I wish I was back there now, as Alan Hinkes once famously said “for me a bad day on the hill is always better that a good day in the office”, never a truer word spoken say I.
Your photos and your in depth reporting of our walk brought great memories flooding back. Scafell Pike summit to ourselves, never before experienced! Seeing the photos of Foxes Tarn Gully just reinforced my thoughts at the time, “not today, that would be asking for trouble, I don’t want to the cause of a Mountain Rescue call-out”. It all turned out for the best as well since we had a real fun time in/on Lord’s Rake. That was just another of the highlights of the day for me, as was the climb down to and the climb back up from Cam Spout Crag as well as the views from the summit. If I hadn’t joined you and David for ‘The Roof of England’ walk I don’t suppose I would ever had ventured there and now I can say I’m jolly well pleased I did.
All-in-all, it really was an epic walk, a great day in excellent company and to top it all I found a pound coin somewhere between Slight Side and Long Gill!! And then that poor sheep on Lord’s Rake? As you will recall the pound coin was put to good use in going towards paying for that superb baked potato topped with beef chilli I enjoyed in Ritson’s Bar at the Wasdale Head Inn, you missed out on a cracking light bite there mate. (I wonder if those fine words will get me a free baked potato next time I’m in Ritson’s Bar? LOL) Thanks again for that pint of Loweswater Gold by the way, we should have bought you that celebratory pint, not you paying for ours though. To put things right, I’ll buy you a pint at the end of our next walk together, I owe you one.
All the Best
Rod

Hi Rod,

I think this walk will be remembered for so many things but most of all besides the occasion of course, the unpredictably of the day only added to how well it turned out, like David said "if someone would of told me Id be climbing Lords Rake today I wouldn't of believed you" Had it not been for swollen conditions at Foxs Tarn Gully we may not of had the laughs we shared whilst ascending Lords Rake.

Once again I thank you for joining me in my final out and back while collecting Cam Spout Crag, with tired legs I wouldn't of blamed you for not accompanying me, the views as you were full aware, were more than worth the pain.

Don't worry about the pint at Ritsons Bar, I never thought nothing of it (but you do owe me one lol!) You cant beat a pint of Loweswater Gold, probably the best pint in Lakeland in my eyes.

Thank again and take care mate,

Paul

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Dear Paul,

What a fantastic achievement! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the accounts of the walks. Heres to the next project.

Regards,

Ann Baxter

Hi Anne,

Thank you so much for your comment! Im really pleased you have been keeping up my with accounts of the walks, I hope you enjoyed reading them as much as I did walking them.

Regards,

Paul

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Hi Paul,

Congratulations on completing your Harry Griffin walks, what a brilliant challenge and achievement. We have looked forward to and enjoyed reading your regular
updates as one by one you have completed the walks and achieved your goal. And what a range of walks they were whether solo, with David and even getting
your son along on Place Fell. Well done!
We did have the pleasure of meeting you in Sadgill back in March. You might remember Sue and I admiring the waterfalls having walked Grey Crag and Tarn
Crag on a day up from Birmingham. You gave us a really nice mention in your report :-). Mind you she is my good friend, not my wife. Like you we both share a
love of the Lake District and especially the fells as we slowly work our way round the Wainwrights.
So once again, congratulations and we look forward to reading all about your future walks and challenges.
Please would you also pass on our thanks to David for his regular walk updates. I spend many a night looking through his and your websites and learn so much
from both of you. Thank you.

Kind regards


Gary & Sue

Hi Gary and Sue,

Thank you very much for your email, yes I do remember you both as I passed you besides the River Sprint on the second walk of my campaign, back then there was still snow on the ground if I recall, so sorry about the misunderstanding. Its been a fantastic spring and summer walking the Harry Griffin 2,000 footers, a tough challenge but one that had to be achieved, one of the main attractions were how Harry had put the summits together which really weren't that close in the end, I called them the out and backs which, were challenges just on their own.

One of the highlights of the campaign was taking my son up to Place Fell, its not often I spend over half an hour at a summit but we did just that which as the wind blew a hooly over our heads, great memories from a special day. Thank you for your comments, Ill be sure to pass them on to David too,

Take care,

Paul

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Hi Paul,

A massive congratulations for completing your campaign Paul! I am amazed at your dedication and your commitment in reaching each summit. Those there-and-back trips are a sure sign of your passion for the Lake District and Harry Griffin himself. It's also a sign of your fitness! It's been a great read on your website and I'm looking forward to your usual updates, and possibly a new ambition or target??
See you in the hills,

Andy Bennett.

HI Andy,

Thank you for your email Ive had a great summer collecting all the two thousanders although I will admit, after reading Harrys routes they were a little daunting at first as I had to test my fitness with those first half dozen walks, once I got used to the 'out and backs' I soon adapted with each walk.

Im really pleased to hear you have been following my Harry Griffin walks, although right now I need to slip myself back into mainstream walking again, Ive no projects planned as yet but theres a few waiting in the wings for next yeat, until then Ill just enjoy my walking.

All the best and thanks again,

Paul

 

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Hi Paul,


I’ll start off with a little housekeeping and get that out the way with…
Firstly, I apologise for not contacting you sooner, but with Sarah’s Grandfather passing away earlier this week has been very turbulent.
I am so sorry I couldn’t join you on the Saturday or Sunday. I have been planning and training for this event since January and as it turns out I am not having the best of weather with these ultras! In some ways it was an achievement to get onto the start line (with our relocation and job change this year, not to mention my very swollen, bruised and painful toe (following a muck around with my 8yr old daughter 6 weeks ago)). I was undone pretty early on with horrendous wind, rain and hail cooling my core very quickly as my toe kept my progress slow. I can assure you that Swirral and Striding Edge were extremely uncomfortable (and not far from lethal) and as you know I dropped out 2/3 through and I am glad that I could get back to my family in one piece.
Right, having said all that….you did exactly the right thing changing your plans and whilst I know you were disappointed to put your plans back by a day, Saturday was not the day to be on England’s highest fells…and your flexibility and mountain sense paid dividends as you were rewarded with a magnificent walk and very special views. I really enjoyed this TR and it really was a day of 2 halves with the weather, (similar to your first HG Sca Fell adventure). The photos were spectacular and it was lovely to see a shot of yourself both on Slight Side and then in the pub…both looking happy and relaxed with friends and amongst your beloved fells. Foxes Tarn Gully looked a place to avoid given the visibility and the conditions at hand.
I am delighted that this was your last walk of this campaign as it really is a fitting climax to the whole journey that Harry has taken you on. I am sure Harry would be very pleased and proud that his routes are inspiring walkers today: I am sure his relatives and walking associates would also be very pleased that his legacy lives on and the routes are as alive now as when he first constructed them all those years ago.
I have been engrossed by your adventures following Harry’s routes. I am so grateful for sharing your adventures as you bring the fells that nearer to those who for various reasons just can’t get there. Like with the AW’s, Harry has taken you to places that you may never have gone and given you the opportunity to revisit old friends. I guess there is a ‘what next’ feeling, but knowing you I reckon you have many plans especially as we are on the cusp of Winter and you will getting ready to take your ice axe and crampons out of their resting place….
MANY Congratulations Paul on this wonderful achievement Paul. I hope you feel as proud of yourself as Paula and your family will be of you. There really are very few people who have accomplished what you have in their entire walking careers. It really is quite staggering when you examine your walking catalogue and over such a relatively short timeline. I am extremely lucky to be able to count you as one of my closet allies both on and off the fells.
As always, the very best and warmest of wishes to you and your family…many congratulations.


Tim

Hi Tim,

I was so sorry to hear about Sarahs Grandfather Passing away, if I know you like the way I do I know Sarah and the kids are in the best of hands at this difficult time. Well, it was this time last week we were all tracking you on your Ultra, to be honest I was surprised it still went ahead only realising the organisers had pulled out on Pinnacle Ridge which was of course the safest thing to do, the fells as previously spoken were no place for such weathers, it was just so disappointing that the worst of the weather should fall on our respective events, but that's Lakeland for you and all is forgiven.

I've had a fantastic summer and one to remember for many years to come, in fact, I'm still a little sad that my project has come to an end, its going to take some time for me to slip back into regular walking which I know may sound stupid, but when all you've been used too is long distant, and arduous walks you adapt and it finally becomes all your legs know, how I'm going to tell them that walking around Tarn Hows is normal is going to take some time!

In a way I though my project and not personally by any means, but I do feel I've got to know Harry over the last eight months, certainly his style of walking and his fitness, which is phenomenal for a sixty six year old, I only wish my legs would carry me as far when I'm his age.

One of the first things that attracted me to the project was exactly what you have touched on, yes I've previously visited all the summits before but not the way Harry had put them together, that at first, was the main attraction coming a close second was sticking to his original routes that I personally got attached too.

Tim thank you for your kind words as always, Ill look forward to our next walk together, hopefully now I have freed up some time, it will be a much more regular occurrence.

Take care buddy,

Paul

 

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Hi Paul,

Congratulations on reaching the end of your Harry Griffin 'challenge' - just read your account of your Roof or England walk and what a final walk it was! I'd already seen David Hall's photos of the day (along with his account of his 'Tarns' walk on the 11th, when I realised the person I stopped to chat with between Standing Crag and Ullscarf had been him!), and was looking forward to reading your write up - it was obviously a bit of an emotional moment coming to the end. Thanks so much for sharing the challenge with everyone with some great photos and honest accounts of the days.

Sue Bunyard,

Hi Sue,

Thank you very much for your kind words and thank you for your email, yes, the Roof of England walk came as a fitting walk to bring my project to an end, and yes I'm still trying to get over that 'what am I going to do next stage' as all I've known this year is the Harry Griffin walks, its going to take some getting used to before I fall back in to mainstream walking which is why I'm joining David on another of his Tarn walks next weekend!

Its great to hear that you bumped into David but a pity you didn't realise him on the day, chances are we will all inevitably bump into one another some day, I know I for one is terrible remembering peoples faces!

Thanks again Sue, Ill let David know it was you he'd bumped into,

All the best,

Paul

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Good evening chaps,

I've just finished reading the accounts of your (David's and Paul's') accounts of the 'Roof of England' walk and how enjoyable they both were, especially with two different styles of presentation, which is so refreshing. Also, Tim, I think you did a great job of the Ultra in the conditions. I admire you for entering it in the first place, as it's nowt to take lightly. Rod, I hope you don't mind me saying, your always smiling face makes me think you are a great companion on the fells. There, I think I've complimented you all!

I'm glad the three of you enjoyed it so much; you deserved it. I was glad the weather improved through the day to a glorious finish. Wasdale in the sunshine is very hard to beat. By the way, a climber called Harry Kelly was instrumental in the building of Brackenclose. A lovely legend regarding him was that when he stayed at Wasdale his climbing boots (nailed of course) had to be locked in a cupboard overnight, otherwise they'd be off to Pillar Rock without him in the morning. It was his favourite crag, which he spent so many days on.

As for you, Paul me lad, every credit to you for your imagination for days out on the fells, especially this, the Harry Griffin one and the way you kept his memory alive by your mentioning of him throughout. What struck me most through the whole of your campaign was the sheer joy of being on the fells and the company you keep.

David, Rod and Tim, I'm sure your company has inspired Paul as well, because, as Harry said in one of his books, I can't remember which one of his many: "I decided long ago that mountain friends are the best friends of all."

All the best to you all and congratulations Paul,

Ian Sharples

Hi Ian,

I know both yours and Tims emails must of been difficult to write and I thank you for your kind words above. I'm not going to start by saying you would of loved this walk because put simple, you would of and it would of been great to meet back up with you, both you and Tim where sorely missed that, I can guarantee.

This walk rather reminded me of a similar walk in the project with 'The Scafells Ridge' then too I was succumbed by cloud as if the mountains were trying to re-enact Harrys same route, I know this isn't the case but still, all the same eh. During the summer I have been asked what I was doing during my many 'out and backs' and when I explained this most of the people who had asked had never heard of Harry Griffin, let alone the legend of Lakeland that he is, this, is such a shame that his name isn't around as much as Wainwright or Naylor, now I hope besides everything Harry has contributed to Lakeland people who visit my site may get a taste of what he was about.

I don't think there will ever come a day when I wont be able to express how I feel when fell walking wont be put into my own words, I guess they just go together which I hope, can only be a good thing! As for what I will do next, well, I'm not quite sure, whatever it is it will be on the Lakeland Fells.

Harry Kelly's legacy seems to still live on in Wasdale, as does Harry Griffins, two formidable mountaineers.

All the best Ian, I'll be in touch soon.

Paul

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Hi Paul,


Well done for completing your goal! What an amazing achievement in walking 294 miles and over 98000ft in ascent over 27 walks. It must have been quite an emotive event on Slight Side for you.


I have really enjoyed reading your personal accounts of your time on my beloved fells and as I'm in the process of completing The Wainwrights I have also found your accounts instructive and informative and I have always looked forward to reading them. I guess it will also be nice for you to relax a bit now and just go walking for the pure pleasure of just being there amongst the hills. Roll on High Street!!!
I sincerely hope you will still keep a record of your time on the fells touched with your enthusiasm and enjoyment of your walks.
You never know , maybe we'll meet again by the gate at Hartsop lol :) Next time I will recognise you!
Once again, WELL DONE!


Tracey

Hi Tracey,

Thank you so much for your email and your kind words. It felt weird on Slight Side looking back, kinda like when like when you know something good is coming to an end, but you don't want it to, the goal had been reached and that made me proud, but sad at the same time too, its only a couple of weeks later (as I had predicted) that it has finally hit me and its now I can look back on the achievement.

I know we have spoken before about your Wainwrights, I cant believe how well you are doing, I'm not the only one who should feel proud at the moment, your in a very special place right now, don't look at the summits as numbers but, as a great event and a personal achievement, I only wished I listened to my own advise back when I was collecting them all!

Thank you again for keeping up to date with my walks, and yes, hopefully we will meet again :)

Take care,

Paul

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Dear Paul

Just a few lines to say how I enjoy your site only recently discovered it I especially enjoyed the walk below Pillar Rock from Ennerdale valley you did a few weeks ago, one which I have never done., normally doing the High Level Traverse to the rock and mountain. The shots of Pillar Rock are rarely seen from these angles. They were a rare treat.

I see you have been walking or at least recording your walks for the past ten years. I fell in love with the Lakes 56 years ago having found a book entitled 'a Lakeland Scrapbook' by W.A. Poucher in the school library. I devoured the book and it set me on a lifetime of walking the fells. I also became a fan of H.A Griffin, his first book 'Inside The Real Lakeland 'published around 1961 was a birthday present which I treasure. I once wrote to him and still retain a lengthy type written reply with advice.. Keep a diary and record all your walks he said having regretted not doing so in his youth. This I have done only today just completing my diary/recordings of a grand day up Skiddaw and co two days ago. Although a slower walker now and less adventurous these days, the days on the fells are just as good so you have many years to look forward to , which I wish was the case for me.

Keep up the good work. Much appreciated. When the fells are beyond my abilities I will still have Sharkeys Dream to take me there!!

Regards

Robert Hardcastle

Hi Robert,

I'm really pleased to hear you have been following my recent walks. The route you are referring to is unique and like you say, is a rare treat to gaze upon Pillar from Pillarcove Beck, its a special place because not many people climb it from the Ennerdale side, at only my second ascent I was still in awe of the route, it feels, and looks so Jurassic, its hard to put into words I guess, in fact, looking back, I think I have gained Pillar more time this way than I have via the High Level Traverse such its lure.

It must of been such an honour to receive the penned words from A.H Griffin himself, no wonder you hold onto them, written by a true Lakeland legend I only wish we were of the same era, and not a young boy of just three years of age when he completed the two thousanders.

I've been in work all week missing out on the fine weather, I a little jealous you managed to get up Skiddaw, I sincerely hope you had the mountain to yourself Robert.

All the best and take care,

Paul

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