Lucie Loves... Travel The Lakes // Climbing Bowfell: First Wainwright with my parents
For ages now my parents have been hammering on at me to spend a weekend with them in the Lake District. It’s their favourite part of the world and it’s not hard to see why when you look at the sublime landscape on offer.
Over the years my parents have been ticking off all 214 of Wainwright’s walks and after about 3-years they succeeded in completing them all. A very proud moment!
I studied Visual Communication at university and chose to specialise in photography. It was during my three years at BIAD that I was learnt about incredible photographers like Ansel Adams - famous for his collection of work devoted to Yosemite National Park (one of my all-time favourite places).
As a thank you for everything they did for JMG and I during the run up to our wedding, we finally accepted their offer to go and spend a weekend in The Lakes. My mum urged me to bring along my cameras and JMG his road bike to tackle some pretty hench climbs - check out JMG’s instagram for pics of his ride.
Having never done a Wainwright before I asked my parents what walking gear I needed to stock up on. I didn’t want to ruin my first walk by being underprepared. There are all different grades of walks in The Lakes, for beginners and experts - find out which one would suit your party best before venturing outside of your comfort zone.
What I wore…
Top tip: do not attempt to walk up a mountain in skinny jeans - you’ll do yourself an injury! Choose outdoor trousers that are stretchy, hard-wearing and comfortable.
Top tip: The Lake District sees some of the wettest weather in the country. Make sure you’re prepared for a downpour, pack some decent waterproofs and check the MWIS weather forecast before you set off!
Top tip: choose a walking coat which is both windproof, waterproof and has a hood. The Regatta trademark ISOTEX 5,000 technology means that this rain blocks wind and rain. It’s also lightweight enough to fold away in your backpack when the sun bursts through the clouds and you need to cool down. I’m a dress size 8-10 and the size 10 Evitts was roomy enough to go over a couple of mid-layers and a base-layer. I opted for lime green colour as it’s best to wear bright colours when walking so that search and mountain rescue teams can find you, if you get stranded somewhere or need assistance in an emergency.
My mum collects heart-shaped rocks for the garden at home. She tries to find one on every walk they do.
My step-dad always brings alongs a map of the area. It’s useful for identifying paths and peaks.
Top tip:Download the PeakFinder app for a 360° panoramic display of all of the surrounding peaks and mountains. It even gives you their names – in offline mode too! There is little to no phone signal in the Lake District.
We stopped after a couple of hours and ate our packed lunch. However, we were careful to not sit directly on the grass, instead choosing to sit on our waterproofs, as there’s a high population of ticks in rural areas, and some ticks carry Lyme Disease. Be careful! Go and seek medical advice if you think you’ve been bitten by a tick.
We made our way along the Climber’s Traverse. In terms of grade, it’s classed as hard. Eek! We scuttled along the narrow path, making sure not to slip on any loose rocks. There is a rather sheer drop to the right of you as you climb this way up Bowfell. Despite the terror on my mum’s face, we made it along the little path safely and proceeded to climb up towards the cloud-covered summit.
We met this cute little dog at the top of Bowfell. It couldn’t stop sniffing at my step-dad’s backpack. It was after our emergency meat pie! What every northern climber needs…
A scraggy sheep lunching on the luscious green grass on the side of Bowfell - photo taken on Sony Xperia Z3.
My parents scrabbling up the scree-covered slope towards the summit of Bowfell, this was actually scarier than walking along the Climber’s Traverse - photo taken on Sony Xperia Z3.
The Great Slab, Bowfell - photo taken on Sony Xperia Z3.
The lichen-covered summit of Bowfell - photo taken on Sony Xperia Z3.
Me, my mum and step-dad at the summit of Bowfell - photo taken on Sony Xperia Z3.
It was a pretty intense but rewarding climb up to the summit of Bowfell!
Disclaimer: Thank you to the amazing team at Regatta for sorting me out with everything that I needed to make the most of our 14km walk, which lasted just under 5-hours. We thoroughly deserved the pint of cider waiting for us at the pub when we got back.
Photography © Lucie Kerley - images taken using my Canon 5D MK III and Sony Xperia Z3 - thanks to its excellent battery life!