The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Weekend In Keswick - Friday

The first task of the day was to part with wads of cash in exchange for walking boots.

Husband was under strong advice from the podiatrist to get some supportive footwear to assist with his strange-feet problem and although I’m still persisting with my lightweight shoe experiments, my cold-footed problem means that I definitely need a nice warm and dry boot for some applications. With my last pair unsuitable for winter, a new pair was in order.

Over an hour of the fitters time was taken up, at the end of which we both walked away happy, although the bit of my spec that referred to lightweight seemed to go entirely out of the window when I found that the comfiest pair in the shop (and really, I tried on most of them) were far from the lightest. Some people reading this would be horrified at how much they weigh (in fact, if I think about it too much, I’m horrified – but comfort rules!)

The plan, with boots bought, was to take them for a short valley walk in the afternoon. However, we found ourselves with the best part of the day to play with so it seemed rude not to take in a hill or two.

With a need to pop over to Rosthwaite on Sunday, we’d vaguely thought that we might go and have a look at what all the fuss about Haystacks was about whilst we were in that direction. However, forgetting that that was Sunday’s plan, we found ourselves there on Friday afternoon instead.

Out we set from a lay-by just below the YHA on Honister Pass, and up the main track from the mines. The initial quietness of the path soon gave way to a veritable convoy of people further on. I don’t mind busy areas – provided that I’m in them at quiet times of day!
Innominate Tarn looking a bit blurry (equipment operator error!)
The top of Haystacks would have been better for having a dozen less people and million less flying beasties on it, but still we lingered a while having lunch and enjoying the views of the valleys, even if the tops were obscured and the forecast wall to wall sunshine seemed far from showing itself.

Glancing at the map, a route via Brandreth and Grey Knotts looked like the obvious route back to the car and thus we soon left the busy path – being followed by the two people behind us until they realised their error and returned to it at the first opportunity. We found ourselves blissfully by ourselves for the next half an hour or so, and saw very few people for the rest of the day.
How did that boulder get there?
Brandreth turned out to be horribly uninspiring. If we ever find ourselves with 213 Wainwrights under our belts, we will have to go back to go to the summit proper, as we couldn’t quite find the enthusiasm in the bleak greyness of that top to detour over to the summit.

However, this did mark the point where the sun finally won against the cloud. Wow! What a fantastic afternoon to be out!

From Grey Knotts, a rather precipitous route was taken directly back down to the mines. Certainly a good test of Husband’s knee, and one that it coped with admirably.

Not a long day in terms of mileage, but we took our time over it and had a splendid time was had in what turned out to be a glorious afternoon.

And the boots? Very comfy indeed.


  1. Isn't that the point that you enjoy the walk? I know some only enjoy a walk if they clock up huge milage. Not everyone enjoys that.

    Same for the shoes, comfort and fit first, lightweight/heavyweight second.

  2. I am still using my nice comfy if slightly heavy boots - they have now done over 1900 miles.

    If I had taken 'trail shoes' there is no way they would have lasted the distance and I would have had cold wet feet for long stretches of the walk and that was a walk completed over generally excellent weather!

    When people consider whether or not to go with these lightweight shoes I believe they often forget that despite great weather, the ground can still be heavily waterlogged - especially so in the Highlands of Scotland.

    Go well in your comfy boots, M&G.