Saturday 25 June 2016. It was a rainy morning yesterday so, rather than walking, I took myself off to Rheged to watch a film, “The life of a mountain – Blencathra”. As the title implies, it was all about the mountain and the people who use it for work or pleasure. I sat in a huge cinema with just 6 others to watch this film which ran for 2 hours. It could have been condensed into half of that time and an hour long version will be shown by the BBC later this year. After the film I went to GO Outdoors in Penrith to buy a new rucksack with a 20% off discount voucher from the Camping and Caravanning Club. My spending spree didn’t end there as I later stopped off in Keswick to buy some new Aku boots.
Back to the walking on Saturday when John and I tackled the 5in5 charity walk in aid of MS. John’s wife, Linda, kindly drove us to Buttermere where the 5in5 started. This was also the half-way point for the 400 or so participants who were doing the much harder 10in10. The 5in5 title relates to doing 5 mountains in 5 hours but as this entails walking 9.8 miles and climbing 3,850ft the target is tough and John and I managed to complete if 6hrs 8mins.
After registration at Buttermere we set off to join the chain of walkers/runners making their way to the top of the first mountain, High Snockrigg at 1,726ft. As we were soon to discover, having climbed one mountain there was a downhill section to follow and more uphill to the next one. The second peak was Robinson at 2,418ft which was a new Wainwright for me. By now we had been walking for 2 hours but had only covered 3 miles and it was time for lunch.
More down and up followed as we made our way to our third mountain, Dale Head, which at 2,470ft was the highest point of our walk. We’d now been going for 3 hours covering the grand total of 4 miles and it was time for our second and final refreshment stop. There was a steep descent from Dale Head to the tarn at the bottom before climbing again to our fourth mountain, High Spy 2,142ft. By now we’d been going for 4 hours and had still only covered 5¼ miles. The good news was that it was downhill to our fifth and final mountain checkpoint on Bull Crag at 1,890ft.
We desended further to the hause on Cat Bells before dropping into the Newlands Valley to make our way to the end of walk checkpoint at the Swinside Inn where we were greeted with clapping and chearing from marshalls and early finishers. Although this was a charity walk, it was the equivalent in distance and height of a walk up Scafell Pike and is no small undertaking. Those who did the much harder 16 mile 10in10 route have my greatest respect. At the end we were given our completion certificate and a 10in10 monogrammed baselayer which is valued at £25 and almost offset the entry fee. I’ll have to make a separate donation to MS to ensure that they get some much needed funds.