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Archive for May, 2011

Helvellyn, yeah!

Despite my borderline Royalist rant below, I must have been one of the few sober people in the Commonwealth last Friday, as we drove back – four adults crammed into a Toyota Starlet called Janice – from the Lake District. And it was there that I climbed a mountain.

I use the word ‘mountain’ with some trepidation, because in actual fact, Helvellyn was described to me as the second highest ‘peak’ in England. Whatever the terminology, it was bloody hard work. But then what did I expect from a climb about which a famous poem was written, inspired by a man’s death en route? But as is always the way with these things, once the achy muscles have eased and the memories of burning lungs and near-death slips have faded, I have become somewhat complacent; it wasn’t actually that difficult at all and I overtook loads of unsuitably-clad amateurs along the way. Ha! In fact, I practically ran across Striding Edge (above), as nimble as a mountain goat from my native Switzerland, and when I got to the top I could see all the way to Liverpool*.

Of course I know these ‘memories’ are colourful versions of the truth, but it beats the feeble reality, that the only thing that saved me on the way up was regular Jaffa Cake stops, and that the slow, scraggy descent almost killed me. Hardcore.

*not strictly true, but the views were awesome (as you can see right, waving to my colleague as he sat in a Basingstoke office)

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