I am lucky that The Cumbrian Fells are my working environment and whilst I never fail to appreciate them, I am delighted when I find a new vista. A different perspective to appreciate them from.
Whilst many seek to achieve the Wainwrights, I have never felt the need to do that. Actually those that know me are aware that time and illness hasn't allowed that in the past.
The reality is that my back condition harnessed my ambitions for far too many years. 'Cutting my cloth' and still being able to get out there became my way of loving them. The ways and means act ha ha!
I think becoming a member of the 214 club is a great feat for people and I applaud them soundly. Their dedication is awesome. Maybe one day I will set out on that trail.
Oh to have a new back.....
Anyway, for me, it is the slow troll on the fell, stopping to witness, observe and regularly photograph. Thats what I enjoy.
Many that I know who have set out to undertake the 'W's, have all relayed a similar story after they are completed. They tell me that they literally missed out on many a great view due to time and the elements. Their schedule dictated as to which order they were achieved and only the most inclement weather would derail them. Very, very admirable but at a cost.
I know that many set out afterwards to obtain the views from the peaks that were shrouded in 'clag' and yours truly would do the same.
Whichever way you choose to look at it, they are achievers and I take my hat off to them.
I was fortunate early on this year to ascend Mellbreak in January with friends as we were invited onto Dave and Gina Pennington's final Wainwright.
One of the loveliest walks and climbs (trust me going up the North ascent is a steep scramble at times) with great folk and we warmly applauded and clapped them both as they stood atop the summit. It was the epitome of two years worth of planning and walking for Dave and Gina. For me, it was great to be able to stand there and smile at what they had done.
As they were warmly congratulated by their friends, munching on Ginas famous brownies and sipping the obligatory Proseco, I slipped away for a few minutes to look over Crummock and Buttermere and take myself off the beaten track to view all before me from different viewpoints.
I wasn't being disrespectful, it is just that I wanted to go and look at the views all around to see them in a different perspective.
It is something I do all the time. I don't stray too far from the footpath but variation in view is worth it for me. It isn't just standing and looking. I 'bob' around at different heights, seeing if a rock adds to the foreground or some natural shape that lends itself to a photograph. I can't get away from it, I always seem to be on the lookout for a photograph but it is amazing how different the same view can be from so many positions. People who have been good enough to book me on my workshops know exactly what I mean by that!
Just last week I was walking alone in the Duddon Valley. I am currently undertaking a year long project for The Great Outdoors Magazine on that location and whilst I have enjoyed many a good wander over there in the past, I found a few new views that simply had me purring!
Enroute to the positions I found, I started recording this audioboom and I hope you enjoy it. The breathlessness you here at the beginning isn't me being too unfit either ha ha. I am walking uphill, carrying a rather full camera bag with my full frame kit onboard. Well thats my excuse....
I have no problem with walking the same fells from time to time. The weather, the seasons all combine to make it different on each occasion but just taking a diversion away from the norm adds to it.
Try it some time.
You might see something in a different way that you had passed on many occasions.
Whats the old phrase? 'New light, through old windows'......