Guest post by Chris Jesty
During one of Chris Butterfield’s visits at my home this summer, he suggested going for a walk to Castle Crag. It had been about 14 years since my last visit there when I was revising The North Western Fells guidebook. I thought it would be a good opportunity to see how much had changed in the intervening years.
1984 was the year my first book was published. In the concluding part of my book, I wrote that the best time to be in the countryside is between 5am – 8am. Preferably in May, June or July. This is when the early morning mist hangs in the meadows. Also, your senses are more alert to the sights and sounds of wildlife.
So, when Chris asked me what time I wanted to be picked up, I chose 5am. As a result, we had a traffic-free run from Kendal to Grange-in-Borrowdale, where we started our ascent of Castle Crag. From the summit, we looked down on the upper part of Borrowdale. It was enveloped in a blanket of beautiful white mist. This was our reward for the early start, as the mist cleared long before we set off down.
I have also noticed that people have started to call Borrowdale ‘the Borrowdale valley’. This is incorrect because ‘dale’ means valley. However, I don’t mind when people incorrectly call Windermere ‘Lake Windermere’. This helps to distinguish it from the town of the same name. It rolls off the tongue better than ‘Windermere (the lake)’.
We found that all the changes taken place since 2007, had been faithfully recorded by Clive Hutchby in his Walkers Edition of the same guide. It occurred to me that he might have mentioned in the descent notes that walkers should follow the zigzags carefully to avoid taking the short cut to the gate. There is plenty of unimportant text that could be removed to make room.
Before we got home Chris told me that he had posted photographs from our walk on his Facebook group, and that people had already commented on them. I often used to wish that I could see into the future, and now I am living in it. When I was young, I would not have believed that things like this would ever become possible.
A few days later Chris asked me if I would like to write about our walk. I said that I couldn’t do this because I had nothing to say except for the one comment I had already posted on his Facebook group. Then I remembered page 6 of A Coast to Coast Walk and page 84 of Pennine Way Companion, when I thought that I would never be able to fill the page with text. In both cases I thought and thought about the problem until I succeeded. So, this is what I have done now, and here is the result.Back to top of page