Stretch challenges are nothing new to Christeen from our Keswick Store – whether it is making sure there is enough nibbles to cover a customer event in store, to checking off a list of those imposing Wainwright Walks. Here she takes us through her adventurous challenge this season – ever an inspiration!
My name is Christeen and I've worked at the Rohan Keswick store for 16 years. I started my days there as a sales assistant and gradually working my way up to store manager. As our store is a franchise, the management is split between myself and Ben Evans, who has worked for business for over 35 years.
A few days into the beginning of the new year, I realised that I should probably give myself a little target/challenge to keep myself motivated.
I go out for a walk every day, even if it’s only for 30 minutes but I decided that for the month of January, I would aim to summit as many different Wainwrights* as there are days in the month.
I documented my mileage and the different hills as I went on. From 1st to 31st January, I was able to complete 37 Wainwrights and I covered a distance of 138 miles.
There were a couple of separate days where I summited 3 Wainwrights in one walk. Mell Fell, Great Sca Fell and Brae Fell were done together and another walk was Outerside, Scar Crags and Causey Pike.
I find the motivation side of things generally quite easy as I'm very stubborn once I've decided to do something however, if I felt slightly tired or the weather was going to be bad, I made sure I kept back a couple of 'easier' fells such as Sale fell (Dubwath), Binsey or Latrigg. I also made sure that I wouldn't mind having done these fells on their own as some fells don't make logical sense to go out for them their own. A good example of this is the day I walked from Lanthwaite Green up onto Whiteside. If you look at the layout of the hills on a map, it makes perfect sense to summit Hopegill Head at the same time and also creates a circular walk rather than an out and back.
I think my highlight walk from January was the day I climbed Bannerdale Crags and Bowscale Fell. It was a fantastic snow day and I captured an amazing photo up the valley as soon as I got out for the car (photo attached). I climbed Bannerdale via the Crags which was fun and slightly challenging due to the fresh, soft snow. It was one of those days where you felt 'alive' on the fells, the views were awesome and the weather was wild and wonderful!
On the days I take a rucksack out with me at this time of year, I tend to carry a spare Microgrid fleece jacket, overtrousers, spare gloves and hat, some first aid, chocolate bars, bananas, water and my Katoolah Microspikes.
I tend to wear the same outdoor kit depending on the time of year. At the moment I wear the Vertex Jacket, Microgrid jacket, Merino Union T and Velocity Leggings, Merino Union Necktube and Polar Mitts. I dress accordingly to the speed I'm planning to go, so having some spare layers for if you are colder than expected (i.e. if I had an accident and couldn't move as fast or at all) is a must.
I think the advice I would give for Wainwright bagging is to plan your walk according to the weather and fitness levels. If there is more than just yourself then you have to cater for the slowest in the group. If you feel as if the weather isn't going to be good enough to navigate an area you don't know at all/very well then save it for a better day. You will enjoy it more and most importantly, you will be safe!
It’s safe to say that I thoroughly enjoyed myself, come rain, snow, wind and even a little sunshine!
I hope everyone has managed to survive the latest lockdown via whatever coping mechanism you use!
If you would like to keep to date with my walks, pop over to Rohan Keswick on Facebook. I'm always happy to answer any questions or give pointers for a good walk!