Sunday, August 7, 2016

Day 38 -- Braithwaite to Buttermere, 8 miles

I had a delightful dinner last evening with John and Maggie, both retired educators, from Cheshire. More relevant to yesterday’s posting, John is a Wainwright bagger. His goal is to summit all of them before he turns 70. He’s already bagged about a hundred, so he’s just about halfway there.


Here’s the rub. John and Maggie are celebrating his birthday today, so he’s now down to a handful of years with which to achieve his goal. I think he’ll make it, though. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JOHN!!

I received word that my friend, Professor Ron, suffered minor injuries in a bicycle accident resulting from skidding on a wet roadway. Ron, you should consider hiring a guide like I did yesterday, and be sure to tell him to keep your tyres dry.
A weather alert was issued yesterday for strong winds across Scotland and northern England, with expected gusts of 45 – 50 mph and isolated 60 mph. Warnings included avoiding high ridges expected to receive the most severe winds, creating risks of difficult movement and being blown away. I had originally planned my walk to Buttermere to be along a high ridge, but modified it to follow a mid-level footpath, assuming that the adjacent hillside would protect me from the wind. The plan worked well for about a mile, but as I moved deeper into the valley, the crosswind became a headwind and the valley narrowed, creating a Venturi effect. The headwind became ferocious, making it almost impossible to walk farther into the valley. Surrendering the mile I had already gained, I turned around and rejoined the road in a parallel, but wider, valley where there was no Venturi effect. The wind continued to blow in my face, but headway was possible. The 6½ mile distance became 8, and no more Wainwrights were bagged by me today.

Mid-level footpath
Facing Venturi Effect in narrowing valley

Exit from the valley not taken
Moss Force
A surprise awaited me at my hotel – a swan swimming in my washbasin. Fortunately, his feet were dry.