79 80 Walla Crag and Bleaberry Fell
The views from the top of Bleaberry Fell were spectacular. It is always a surprise when you are treated to a 360 panorama from a small and insignificant mountain.
I had spent the first part of the day with friends at the Spinning and Weaving Guild, sharing the work we had spun woven knitted and felted for the annual “challenge” entitled Seaside. A wonderful summery feel for a cold wintery day. As well as sharing handicraft skills, we share life stories, tragedies, joys and a lot of stories about grandchildren. The guild is made up, mostly of women, and mostly of a certain age. At the moment and for a rare time in my life my hobby has not rendered me the youngest in the group, but only just (by age and dint of years I have been attending), consequently I am surrounded by a warm group of life experience and incomparable spinning weaving and dyeing experience. I came away inspired and energised and certainly did not “need” a walk to get away from life. Meeting with a group of homely, creative types comes also with delights such as great baking and left over Christmas Ferror Rocher to eat up.
This is probably why I bounded up Walla Crag with the good luck fairy on my shoulder to discover my pack had been open and my phone and purse were hanging out by a thread. I had started out at 14:15 quite an early start for a guild day but pushed up the day’s agenda due to it still being January and very much in winter.
As I found the top of Walla Crag I was reminded that it was one of the first mountains in the Lake District my husband had taken me up. After which he bought me a book of how to use a map and compass (along the the Essex Girl Joke Book)
I had found the top and the couple who came and talked to me commented that they could never tire of the view. The opposite side of the classic chocolate box scene I had enjoyed from Barrow. We chatted about loving living here and as an employee of George Fisher in Keswick a large outdoor gear retailer they suggested their marketing department may be interested in hearing about my challenge.
On departing the top I discovered the good fairy had not reminded me to check my compass was in the map case but alas I was without it. Despite my previous assertion that one should never venture into the mountains without map AND COMPASS visibility was good to the point I could see a motorway sized footpath to the top so decided I was sage to proceed.
Looking back I could not believe the height gained, at power walking speed. I was pushing hard for light was fading. I had reached the top at the same time as sun-down last week, so despite time being tight I spun long enough for my hands to feel cold but also to enjoy the burning sky as the sun set behind the Buttermere fells covered in snow. My phone camera was useless. Truly and totally, no camera could do justice to the 20 minutes of sun-down splendour I witnessed.
Racing against the twighlight I made a beeline for the wall surrounding the top of Walla crag, phoned Mark to confirm I had not walked off a cliff, and made it to the car just as my night sight failed. 3 hrs – the time of a good marathon (or half for me).