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Sounds very dramatic doesn't it? Because to me, it really was.

Blencathra in The Lake District (above), doesn't have the altitude of some of its bigger brothers and sisters, but at 867m it's still a cheeky climb and comes in at the 9th highest.

Why then, you ask, should this mountain be my Everest?

As with most mountains, there are various different routes and my attention had been drawn to the magnificent Halls Fell Ridge several years ago. It's best compared to a huge dragon's back snaking all the way from the lower slopes adjacent to the quaint lakeland village of Threkeld, right up to the summit stone.

However, such an attempt became a distant pipe dream literally overnight after sustaining an injury back in March 2020. I was on crutches and couldn't walk much further than the kitchen on some days. Fortunately we were locked down anyway!

I had various online physio appointments, tried my own rehab and all the while, I kept seeing images of Blencathra in various walking magazines, I was chomping at the bit to say the least. It would have to wait. After all, the mountains weren't going anywhere.

Fast forward 14 months to May 2021 and I was treated to a long weekend in the Lake District by my better half Tammie. My brother and his partner joined us too, it was exactly what we all needed and I disciplined myself to the lower, but equally as breathtaking fells such as Cat Bells and Silver How.

My rehab was going well and I was upping the milage. It was time for the real test: Halls Fell Ridge!

September 2021:

After negotiating several rivers, farms and a steep zig zag path we were soon at the foot of the ridge. I was absolutely buzzing and couldn't believe how lucky I was to be looking up at the summit on a glorious day and pretty much injury free too. It felt like I was in a dream, I know very dramatic!

It was proper hands on scrambling for a good hour. There were areas to bail out and use a side path which are definitely needed if you have a dog in tow!

Getting my hands on that rock, millions of years old, really gave me a sense of belonging to the mountain, it is quite surreal and spine tingling. We were making good progress and if the views up were impressive, looking back down was equally ridiculous.

The mountain was quiet, the hoards of weekend warriors had gone home and we'd only seen a handful of other walkers.

Getting to the summit was a bit emotional, I hid it well as usual, but writing this brings back the tingles and the desire to head back there, which I will but not yet because as you know, the mountains aren't going anywhere.

I can confirm that the local beer tasted exceptionally good that evening!


Keep it achievable, train for it and go for it!

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