This is the account of my lone and somewhat disastrous first attempt to climb Scafell Pike in November 2007. It was quite an adventure and I’ve retold the story numerous times over the years, but here it is written down for the first time, proudly presented in the knowledge that most regular Lake District hikers will consider this tale sheer idiocy 😀
That day I was alone, nobody knew where I was or where I was going, as I hadn’t told anyone. The mountains were quite empty too, being November 2007. The day before I may have told my Dad I was heading to the Lake District, but that was about it. My provisions included some chocolate, some biscuits, some bread “sandwiches”, some Kendal Mint Cake and some water. The weather was quite pleasant to start with and I set out reasonably early for once. Having not hiked a proper mountain for a quite a while, I thought it would only take a few hours to climb England’s highest mountain and using the official Scafell Pike Ordnance Survey map, assumed the trek to be fairly straight-forward. How wrong I was!
This is my account of hiking in the Knoydart Penisula from Inverie to the Sourlies Bothy and the slight disaster hike it became. There was obviously lots more arguing, more yelped worries and genuine panic (from me at least anyways) than mentioned, but just use your imagination. I’ve had several disastrous hikes, been lost in wilderness-type areas many times before, but this is probably the best one so far, seeing as I was accompanied by my wife, Bronwyn.
The Knoydart Penisula is on the North-East coast of Scotland, not far from the Isle of Skye and is considered the last wilderness in Britain – nowhere else in the UK can you hike for 2 or 3 days and not see anyone else nor be disturbed by any roads or cars. There’s no mobile signal either, no phone boxes, nothing 😀
Access to the Knoydart is from a small village called Inverie, which you can only get to by hiking 27 miles cross-country or by taking a 45min ferry from the port of Mallaig. So why go to this place? Well, the original reason was the same as most visitors there – to see what is claimed to be Britain’s most remote pub “The Old Forge“. Having visited “The Nutshell“, the smallest pub in Britain, in Bury-St-Edmonds and various other unusual pubs, Bronwyn thought I’d like to see this one too.
This is a long blog write up of my trip to the Lake District in Feb 2017, it’s purely for amusement and to (erm) write something. Back in 2007 I attempted to climb Scafell Pike and got lost on the mountains(another long story), so I decided to re-visit the place this year with my friend Paul. He’s lived in the USA the past 17 years, so was well up for this trip to arguably the finest of English countryside.
Tues 14th Feb 2017
The plan for the morning: up at 8am, breakfast, pack car, 9am head to Wimbledon, go for 10km run, back by 10:30am, pick up Paul and head to Lancaster!