Buttermere Edge

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I'm home, I'm finally warm again and my belly is full to the brim with roast lamb and roast potatoes. It's been the best day and I think this has to be my favourite walk, so far. Buttermere is beautiful and I love how tucked away it is from all the tourists and crowds, although we did arrive late morning and struggled to park because it was so busy. I guess everyone else had the same idea as us! A friend from work recommended Buttermere Edge and after completing Hay Stacks last winter, I knew I wanted to return and conquer another mountain. Buttermere is breathtaking and the views are pretty spectacular so with the weather supposedly meant to be fabulous this weekend we planned a hike! The weather wasn't the best (although I am warming to moodier days because they always come out better on camera than bright blue skies) but it was perfect hiking weather with a wind chill of -3, which felt so much colder! The ascent at the beginning is a bit of a struggle but once we reached High Stile it was a true breeze (literally). There are amazing views of Pillar, Pillar rock, Haystacks, Ennerdale water, Crummock water and Buttermere, the whole walk is just a perfect picture, which is why I took so many! Once we reached the descent from Red Pike my legs felt as though they were going to snap in half, going down hill is the worst! I hope you've enjoyed your weekend, whatever it is you've been doing. I now plan on eating as much lemon layer pudding drenched in single cream before I jump into bed. I swapped my summer duvet for my winter one yesterday too, so bed is even more desirable right now! L.

Weekend Update – Climbing Blencathra

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Evening you lovely lot! I hope your weekend has been full of whatever it is you enjoy most.. for me it involved good food, good weather and a yomp out in the hills before chilling in front of my Mum and Dad's fire with a glass of red wine. I spent my Saturday afternoon cleaning, baking and oh I accidentally on purpose booked 3 weeks in Thailand for 6 months time! We were so unsure whether we should go or not as we wanted to save and perhaps do a holiday later in the year but we want to do our open water diving in Koh Tao and thought if anytime is a good time, then we would join my Mum and Dad in April, why the hell not! I'm probably going to be skint for the next 6 months to pay for it but I'm so bloody excited to go back and visit some places I've never been to before. We booked through Dial a Flight who we use every single year and we use the same agent, Oliver, who is by the way one of the most amazing, helpful people I have come across. This guy deserves an award for his customer service skills! We pre booked an amazing traditional Thai hotel in Chiang Mai, a 20 minute walk from the city centre, set next to the river with beautiful grounds but I'm not going to witter on about it because you will no doubt see all the wonderful photographs and videos to come!

Today we climbed Blencathra in just short of 3 hours which was a record achievement for me because my little legs did just not stop walking, woo go me! The gym must be doing something right, haha! It was pretty windy and slightly unsettling being stood on sharp edge when the wind was that brutal. Thankfully we managed to get over it and eat our lunch before the rain came. Mum invited us for dinner and we had gammon, egg and chips which was well needed after being out in the wind and cold all afternoon. Now, I'm sat with the cat whilst Josh plays Fifa.. we're going to pop a film on the tele and fall asleep before a new week begins in the morning! Speak soon, L.

How To Survive In The Mountains As A Novice

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Pillar Rock with Ennerdale water just peaking around the corner.

I've wanted to write a mini guide on how to conquer the mountains for quite some time now but being a novice at hiking I thought, 'who the bloody hell would listen anyway?'. I decided I couldn't care less so here we are and if you're reading, well thanks, I'm guessing you trust my judgment when it comes to tackling the fells! Anyway, here we are fast approaching my favourite time of year for walking on the fells. There is nothing quite like climbing a mountain in the snow, eating your sandwiches with your fingers feeling as though they are about to drop off and then reaching the summit and laying your eyes on an incredible view. You really do feel on top of the world. So, when the forecast for the weekend was looking good, I couldn't wait to dust the cobwebs off my walking boots and get out there.

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From the cairn at Pillar Rock looking down to Ennerdale Valley.

The Do's

 

Always pack more than you think you'll need. Waterproof coat, windproof trousers, another pair of socks, an extra chocolate bar, your duvet, hot water bottle, toothbrush, you name it, throw it in your rucksack! You never know when you're going to need it. (I'm totally kidding by the way, think logically when it comes to packing but always expect the unexpected). Trust me, I know.. I ended up losing my footing and getting one of my feet completely soaked in ice cold water and quickly realised I had forgotten my second pair of socks. Thankfully, Josh had one I could borrow, my hero!

On a side note from the paragraph above, you have to be prepared for any quick changes in the weather. Suitable clothing, compass, map, foil blanket etc. Being up in the mountains can be pretty scary when you experience a quick cloud emersion that is so thick that you lose your sense of direction and what's worse (but also quite exciting) is when the heavens open and you end up being pelted by hailstones, you will struggle to find anywhere to shelter so make sure you have enough layers to keep you warm and obviously dry!

Take enough water because after a lot of scrambling, panting and sweating your body needs to rehydrate itself! I use a camel back which has been great but lately it's tasted vile and I daren't drink it anymore so I'm going to find a metal water bottle to keep my mouth from feeling like the Sahara. (I also take a flask of hot chocolate to keep me warm when we stop for food).

Tell somebody where you are going and how long you are expecting to be because if you're ever caught out in a storm and lose your way or you fall and have no phone signal to call for help or if you get struck by lightning, attacked by wild animals, at least somebody can notify mountain rescue that you're missing. Obviously it's better to go out hiking with others but if you all get lost in fog, basically you're screwed, unless you can navigate yourself using a map and a compass. Which admittedly I can't!

Lastly, just enjoy it! Get off your phone (unless of course you use them for taking lots of photos, like me) and just take in the tranquility of being outdoors and away from all the bullshit everyday life throws at you. Talk to someone, appreciate mother nature at it's finest, listen to the wind as it blows and feel the cold air on your cheeks. You really should try it, it's great for the soul, trust me! Plus, looking forward to sitting by a roaring fire in a cosy little country pub, ordering a strong g&t and bowl of cheesy chips is what keeps me going when I think I ain't tough enough to handle it.

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A very unflattering photo of myself but I was so happy when we reached Pillar Rock where my late Grandfather had fallen in 1965. 

& The Don'ts

 

I've heard of and witnessed people hiking in totally the wrong gear, jeans are a no go especially when it begins to get cold and snow, or just anytime of year for that matter. They are not going to keep you warm, plus if they get wet which is very likely up in the hills, your legs will chafe and won't dry out until you're home and in front of the fire. Please, save yourself now and just don't do it. I recommend a breathable pair of sports leggings, comfy and super stretchy! And the same goes for trainers, they do not have enough grip to stop you from slipping like a proper pair of walking boots do. Invest in a good pair and get fitted for them, this way you shouldn't experience any nasty blisters, they will prevent you from twisting your ankle and you'll soon realise it was the best expensive purchase you ever made, especially if you're well into your 20's because your feet should've stopped growing by then!

Do not kick start your journey wearing every single item of clothing you have hanging in your wardrobe, even if it's the middle of Winter. I used to do this all the bloody time and within 10 minutes of walking (if that) I'd have to stop and strip and re-pack my bag. Of course the cold will hit you, especially if you leave the comfort of your car heated seat but once you get going you will be fine. I start with a base layer and a jumper usually and normally add my down jacket and another layer at the top or when we stop for lunch.

Don't litter. Take your crap home with you. You brought it, you take it back! So bloody sick of coming across cans of pop and crisp packets littering these beautiful places, does anybody care about anything nowadays? Seriously though, just have a little thought for the next people or even the effect it has on the wildlife.

Don't expect it to be easy because most likely it will be tough, especially if you haven't done a long hike before. You'll learn a lot about yourself and the people around you when times get tough, so just remember to stick it out - that feeling of doubt is all in your head.

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Looking down to Wasdale head from Pillar summit.

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From Pillar Rock over to Buttermere, Red Pike and Haystacks.

Bob Graham Second Leg

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Dan, Meg and Josh on our first break in the sunshine.

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The first peak we reached, 1 out of 13.

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The rain closing in on us.

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Helvellyn summit, always brings back the best memories. This was where Josh and took me on my first 'proper' walk on the 1st June, 2014. 4 whole years ago - almost to the day but not quite.

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Finally back out on the hills! What started off as a beautiful, warm day ended up turning into the most horrendous weather, with cold rain lashing down for almost an hour half way in to our hike. It really did suck! I was thankful Josh made me pack my waterproof and I had a fleece with me to stay warm because the rain was so cold, Josh's hands went white because of poor circulation 🙁 So for those of you who don't know what the hell a Bob Graham round is, it features 5 different legs and is a running route for those who are very keen runners. It can take 24 hours plus and much much longer if you're not a runner or haven't trained. We did the second leg which wasn't even the hardest part and consisted of 13 peaks in 20km. We didn't even complete it fully as Meg's leg was very sore from a fall the day before and to be quite honest I could not be arsed after having walked in a thunderstorm with soggy feet! We did manage most of it and only cut out 3km which would've taken us up Farifield Horseshoe and back down the way we came so I guess we completed it pretty much 😉 I'm not sure I want to give it another go, it was very tough going and was up-hill for most of the way, it wasn't pleasant, especially in the muggy weather. I much prefer to walk in the Winter, your water stays cold, you can wrap up warm and the views are much clearer on a sunny day. Plus, you don't get a snotty nose and itchy eyes from hay fever either! For those interested in a bit of hiking and would like to see the route we did I'll share the link here. Now, time for dinner, a cuppa tea and I might catch up with Love Island as I've not bothered with it for a week. Not sure I'm into it this time around... We'll see. Love, L. x

Transfagarasan

And from the heat, the pretty little houses and old cobbled streets.. we ventured in to the mountains. Wow! You've probably heard of the Transfagarasan and you might have even seen it on an episode of Top Gear a few years back. Unfortunately for us the most famous part of the road was closed due to avalanches which is a shame because we would've loved to see it but I guess that means we can go again in the summertime, maybe in the Golf?! European road trip is calling! 😉

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This was the view from our balcony at the cabana. So beautiful! The fog kept drifting in and out but I managed to get a few photos when it cleared. It was so peaceful.

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When we arrived, we were greeted by this little fella/girl and her friend who reminded me a little of Gandalf.. (he was white, besides from that nothing else reminded me of Gandalf haha). Anyway, she was the sweetest dog and followed us around all morning before we jumped back in the car. I sooooo could've brought her back home with me so she could've made friends with Theo.

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Josh captured this photo of me and it's my absolute fav! It's always the ones you don't expect that turn out the best 🙂 

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What a view from Dracula's castle after a tough slog up some steps and through the woods that had recently been set on fire earlier in the month due to someone dropping a cigarette! Everything was black! I hate humans. Anyway, Dracula's real name was Vlad Tepes and he wasn't actually a vampire and no he didn't drink people's blood. I can't remember the exact story but he impaled a load of people from one particular town and fought off a Russian army from this castle, you can read all about it online though and it is very interesting, although I'm pretty miffed that Dracula wasn't a real thing.

I was going to post the rest of the photos from that day but I'm literally about to fall asleep and we have a busy day tomorrow, work and then Glasgow with Hannah and Tucker! Probably won't get to speak until after the weekend now. Have a good bank holiday! Lots of love, L.

Helvellyn

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Hey loves! Happy Saturday 🙂 What a morning we have had! This morning we woke up at 4am to tackle Hellvelyn and watch the sunrise from striding edge.. however that's not exactly what happened. The journey over to Glennridding was terrible, we came across deer, a hare, sheep and badger's all on the road so ended up arriving later than scheduled. I was still hopeful that the fog would clear and the clouds would disperse as soon as we reached the scary bit.. striding edge. It didn't clear so we enjoyed a hot chocolate and a sandwich in the fog and even had a performance from a little stoat, so cute! I had read about a few fatal accidents that have recently happened on striding edge due to fog so we decided not to take any risks and carry on to Red Tarn and venture back down to the car. Eventually the sun came out and we passed several groups of walkers making their way up the mountain. I was a little envious as I really wanted to make it to the top today but never mind, we can always try again soon. The plan for the rest of the day is to chill, watch a movie and maybe have a nap seeing as though we've been up for almost 12 hours already! So I shall speak to you again tomorrow, love L.

Kirk Fell

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Very unhappy we misread the map and walked straight up Kirk Fell, my legs were on fire!

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"Did we really just come down the face of that?", yep we did!

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Ennerdale Forest

Hey loves! Today has been the most beautiful day and I've been stuck indoor's working all day. How's your weekend going? I've just eaten my dinner and now I'm about ready for a shower and bed. I've just watched the new 'Take Me Out', with girls coming down the lift instead of the men, I think I like it this way around better. Here are a few more photos I have to share with you from last week 🙂 On Tuesday we tried to hike to Pillar Rock, a place I've wanted to go for some years but never had the chance or the gear until now. It's a sentimental place to me and my family as it was where my Grandad, Mick fell and sadly lost his life back in June 1965. Josh and I unfortunately took a wrong turn so ended up getting to a point nearby a little late in the day and as there was still quite a lot of snow and ice and no real path along the mountain side towards Pillar Rock, we decided to head back down Black Sail Pass and call it a day. I felt a little emotional, mainly because it was something I had wanted to do for so long but Josh reassured me we would return in the Summer and we would do it again without risking our own lives, so I'm looking forward to returning to Wasdale when there is less snow 🙂

Haystacks Part 2

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Our first real summit of 2018!

Here are the last lot... actually that's a big fat lie, I have a whole load more but I'll keep those for another time! I'm thinking of doing a little check list for climbing your first mountain or a novice's guide to climbing a mountain, what do you think? Would that be helpful? I still class myself as a novice but I think I'm pretty good when it comes down to what to pack in your bag! I guess any woman is though, right? We know what to cram in to our handbags when we have to, haha! Buttermere has to be up there on one of my favourite places in the Lake District. Wastwater will always be number one but Buttermere and Langdale are a joint 2nd at the moment. I much prefer the untouched, less populated places. Like I've mentioned before, I don't like seeing other people when I'm out walking and I often find these places a lot quieter! Anyway, hope you've enjoyed my walking pics. There will be lots more coming over the year! Love, L. 

Haystacks Part 1

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Buttermere, Sunday 4th February

This walk was so needed today and what a day it was with that gorgeous blue sky! It was a fair trek over to Buttermere but we took the scenic route, as always and it was just beautiful. We were out of the house early which meant we avoided the typical Sunday Lakes traffic and were able to drive along the country lanes listening to the birds tweeting, I loved it! It felt as though Spring was on it's way, until we reached the summit of Haystacks and I soon realised that in fact we are still in Winter, as I could barely feel my fingertips or my bum cheeks after a brief lunch stop. It's so beautiful at this end of the Lakes and although it's a bit out of the way, it is so worth it on day's like today! I now understand why Wainwright wanted his ashes scattered up here, it's really breathtaking. I have over 100+ photos to go through so here are some of my favourites for today and I'll post the rest tomorrow. Hope it urges you to get outdoors more and away from phones, computers and just general day to day life. The best way to start the week ahead, with a clear head and a well rested body (after a good sleep tonight) 🙂 Speak tomorrow, L. 

Sunday

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Me, Izzy and Oscar!

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I love Sunday's! Especially when they involve a little lie in, bacon butties with HP sauce and a stroll on the hills. They say it's the simple things in life that you remember and enjoy the most and truth is, it really is! This year, the two of us have decided to cut back on unnecessary spending. We used to eat out a lot (and we still will on special occassions, just not all the time) and waste money on just general shit so instead on our weekends off work we will be packing a lunch box and making the most of what we have around us, rain or shine! Today we climbed Catbell's in Keswick, a short walk that I've been wanting to do since forever! It took around 45 minutes to reach the cairn that marks the summit of Catbells so it's fairly easy and perfect for a Sunday stroll! The views are incredible and I can only imagine they are so much better on a clearer day! I'd recommend getting there early as there's limited parking on the road side, we also spotted a ticket man fining people for parking on double yellow lines so don't do it! We nearly did but thankfully found a parking space further on. I hope you've enjoyed your weekend, I'm looking forward to relaxing and watching SAS Who Dares Win's tonight. Love, L. 

Bowfell

 

Can you tell I got the Wacom Intuos for Christmas? I’ve been trying it out on some of these photos to try and get the hang of things. It’s actually so much harder than it looks, haha! If you follow my Instagram, you’ll see that we went out walking again! This time we did Bowfell in the Langdales and what a whopper of a day it was! Perfect hiking weather in my opinion! We had planned on doing Bowfell, Eskpike, Great End, over Broad Cragg onto Scafell Pike, totally kidding! That’s maybe one for summer when we have lighter nights then we could even stop in my favourite place in the Lakes, Wasdale! We started our hike at Stool End Farm again, the same way we went for Crinkle Crags but instead of veering off to the left, we went to the right up Bowfell via Great Slab and down past Angle Tarn. It took us 5 and a half hours and in total we walked 9.71 miles! I think this could be one of the furthest ones we have done?! I’m surprised I’m not aching today! Maybe I’m getting fitter? Haha! I had my camera cleaned on Christmas Eve so no more annoying smudges like last time. I thought I was going to have to buy a new lens, the smudges had gotten so bad but thankfully it just needed a deep clean. I’m working all weekend so I’m not sure I’ll get chance to post much before the New Year. I’m looking forward to spending New Years day with my family and a few friends in Kirkby Lonsdale 🙂 L.

The Langdale Pikes Part 2

Seeing as I had so many photos from our hike the other I thought I would do a part 2 and show you guys the rest! It was such an incredible day, I wish I was out exploring the mountains now because the weather is so beautiful today! We have had a lot of messages from friends asking if they can join us on our next walk, so our next one now will be the weekend before Christmas as I work every other weekend and we are going to London next weekend, yay! So if anyone else wants to come and walk slow with me then please do 🙂 haha! I’m thinking of perhaps putting together a bit of a check list for walking with all the essentials. What do you think? Are you interested in that sort of thing? Let me know in the comments below!

Today has been good. I woke up early, did a few jobs, had my second Thai lesson with Angela which was so so difficult for me to grasp! I’m going to go over and over it again before my next lesson! I learnt greetings and how to ask someone’s name/nickname. The only thing I know is numbers which I learnt over the years visiting Thailand and dealing with money at the markets etc. but learning how to pronounce things is so hard! Now, I am going to make pizza dough and make a big homemade pizza again for later when Josh gets in from football training because it was soooooo delicious last time! Oh, and I am up for the UK blog awards this year. The voting starts on the 4th December so I will link it on here then if you guys could vote for me, I’d appreciate it so much!

Love, L.