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wainwrights swimming

I began swimming outdoors in June 2020. To put this in context, summer began well and the water temperatures in the North Tyne were around 15 degrees. But, when your goggles steam up after less than 30 seconds, it does put rather a dampener on your swim!

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This route on 9th July 2015 made for a longish day-walk, from Catstycam looping around to Sheffield Pike. The distance is 20km (with 1.6km of ascent) and it takes in the summit of 9 Wainwrights.

A 20km circular route, starting from Glenridding. (Wainwright Book 1: The Eastern Fells)

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This was to be a short warm-up on the afternoon of 8th July 2015, prior to a night's camping at Glenridding, and Catstycam the following day.

A short 7.5km circular route, starting at the Brunt Crag car park. (Wainwright Book 1: The Eastern Fells)

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I believe this route follows the classic Newlands Horseshoe, from Robinson to Catbells, via Hindscarth, Dale Head, High Spy and Maiden Moor; car parked at Little Town. I chose this direction (starting at Robinson) preferring to begin at the higher end of the route. Taken in the other direction there's a bit of a hard slog up from Dalehead Tarn to the summit of Dale Head, and I was happy to meet it in descent, rather than ascent! Choosing to finish at Catbells also means a very gentle finish, being very easy going from Dalehead Tarn back to the car-park. Either way, I think you really can't go wrong with this route - it's a good one!

Newlands Horseshoe, 19km, and around 6 hours. (Wainwright Book 6: The North Western Fells)

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My plan was to start at Mardale Head, climbing High Street via the classic Riggindale route, then making a circuit around Mardale Ill Bell, Harter Fell, Branstree and Selside Pike. I think it would have been a really nice route, had it not been for an unexpected road closure conspiring against me; but more of that later! It was the 21st March, 2012, and a very pleasant spring day.

A 26km circuit of Mardale Head. (Wainwright Book 2: The Far Eastern Fells)

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February 8th 2012 was undoubtedly a perfect Lakeland winter day. Beautiful sunshine, but plenty of snow and ice above about 400m, and the forecast for a temperature inversion at around 750m. I wanted to be high, and so I headed for Scafell Pike, setting off from Seathwaite Farm. I emerged onto the plateau above Sprinkling Tarn, in the shadow of Great End, into a winter wonderland, and the beginning of what I am confidently declaring to be my favourite walk so far!

A 16km winter circular route, starting at Seathwaite Farm. (Wainwright Book 4: The Southern Fells)

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It was Thursday 29th September 2011, unseasonably warm, and happily I was able to swap a day off from the following week to get out in the fresh air, instead of boiling to death in a Middlesbrough office-block with broken air conditioning units! I had a route planned, but had to make some last minute modifications due to a late start. The original route, which was still fairly short, would have descended Great Gable to the north-west, climbing Kirk Fell, and returning to Seathwaite via Brandreth and Grey Knotts. Sadly, me and early starts are not natural bedfellows! So instead, I came off Great Gable to Styhead Tarn, and followed the path down Styhead Gill, back to Seathwaite Farm.

A 12km route to Great Gable via Base Brown. (Wainwright Book 7: The Western Fells)

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