Monday, August 8, 2016

Day 39 -- Buttermere Fell, 6 miles

With my extra day in Buttermere, I hired a guide, Graham Niven, to take to me the best places in this part of the Lake District.  “Niv,” as he is called, is an affable Scot, who (among other things) has worked in Antarctica as a guide for the British Antarctica Survey. Although we weren’t hiking to Antarctica today, we shared common interests in polar exploration history.

Guide Graham Niven

While I could have chatted over coffee the entire day about Shackleton and Scott, Niv really wanted to show me Buttermere Fell, so I duly followed along. Our route took us up a steep trail to High Stile (one of the Wainwrights), over High Crag (another one), and across Hay Stacks (my third Wainwright today!!). Actually we may not have quite reached the top of High Stile because the summit was off-route and I didn’t think it important at the time, but we were within 50 lateral feet and 2 vertical feet, so I’m counting it now that I’ve become a peak bagger.

Hay Stacks was Wainwright’s favorite place, and his ashes were scattered at the summit near a small tarn. My attaining the three peaks today involved so much climbing and scrambling, that I was beginning to think that Niv may have to scatter my ashes there as well. But he’s a good guide and safely brought me down.

I’m going to go back to my maps and see how many Wainwrights Ian and Lee guided me to last week, as well as any others I may have unknowingly bagged on my own. Who knows, perhaps I can finish the rest of them before I leave. Then maybe I can become a guide.

While I’m looking at my maps, you can look at my pictures.
Tarn near Hay Stacks summit
Hay Stacks (distant) and HIgh Crag (near) viewed from High Stile
High Crag and Buttermere (lake) viewed from Hay Stacks
High Crag viewed from Hay Stacks