December came with its usual chaos of organising Christmas but in our family there was an added complication as Mark contracted Pneumonia, so most of December remained “Wainwrightless”. Finally my first outing with Mountain Bagging, came about on the 27th December. Mountain Bagging is the walking group I have been looking for all my life. It is friendly inclusive and very enthusiastic for climbing the fells, but up until today I have not found a weekend that fitted in with my plans to join them on a walk. With Mark out of action and Bheinn in action on the “Switch” enjoying his Christmas presents I took an opportunity to meet and walk with these “facebook walking friends” I already seemed to know so much about who might start to think I was a phantom walker if I did not put in an appearance.
Typically I was always at the back preceded by many children excited by their Christmas holidays. I tried my first every geocaching experience and love the idea of always having something in your pocket to leave for somebody to discover on every walk. I met people from all over the north of England who love the fells, and want to share their experiences.
The climb up Aira Force was reminiscent of being in the Alps and the falls were stunning in their winter spate.
One of the children celebrated their 100th Wainwright at the top, but I was a bit puffed out and wrestling the wheel out of the bag to enjoy the celebration. With frozen fingers the pace around to the viewpoint above Ullswater was a chance to warm up and test my downhill speed.
And the best reason to out with Mountain Bagging, Cider in the Royal Hotel Dockwray afterwards of course!