The Old Man of Coniston, my 214th Wainwright

Wainwrights: Coniston Old Man
Hewitts: The Old Man of Coniston

Date walked: 09/04/2016

Time taken: 4 hours

Distance: 11.5km

Ascent: 750m

I, Patricia Woofings, Earl of Blanchland and Lord of Munros, have completed my final Wainwright. And what a fine day's poodling it was.
Failing to find goats.

My pack leader has oft informed me that Wainwrights should ideally be ascended on days with close to zero visibility, strong winds and, ideally, some form of precipitation. In securing these conditions for our completion of the full 214 fells, she has been remarkably successful and on many occasions I have spent happy hours leaping across the hills to the sound of icicles tinkling on my fur. Naturally, these harsh conditions have been achieved by selecting winter as the season for most of my summit bids.

Not for this last one though. Barely a breeze stirred the grass and the blue sky was .... well, pretty odd really; I'm simply not used to it. All the way up and down I could see things; this is not normal but was most welcome. Not only that, but our route up, starting in Coniston and taking the southerly path up past Goat Crag, Goat's Water and Goat's Hause, was clear and obvious, with not the merest hint of route-finding difficulty (nor, for that matter, any goats, which was a little disappointing given the multiple references to them in my well-pawed 'Big Poodle Book of Wainwrights').

Being such an auspicious day for me, almost my entire pack accompanied me in my triumphal procession up the hill, even some from far-flung points of the compass. I was also provided with what I was assured was a suitably triumphal balloon and, later on, a neckerchief summarising my accomplishment and a certificate of completion which I have since had mounted above my bed.

A final dash for my 214th summit.

Once I and the rest of the pack had reached the summit I celebrated in my normal manner with pork pie, not wishing to break with tradition. I also posed for rather more summit photos than usual and did my best to look 'hard as nails', as I believe is appropriate. My speech of thanks for the splendid support I've received over the years of my campaign, written by me and delivered by my pack leader, was, I believe, suitably modest and dignified. I didn't even mention the approximately three million miniature-poodle steps I have taken in my Wainwright round; not once. Dignity and restraint are my watch-words.

My one concern from the day was an overheard conversation as I looked across to the snow atop Scafell Pike, my very first summit back in 2009, in which the words 'go round again' seemed to feature. I'm not saying that I can't do it - of course I could - but I did rather have my eye on the Donalds as there are, not to put too fine a point on it, only 89 of them.

Whatever I decide to do next, I'm thoroughly delighted with being the only miniature poodle I know to have stood on the summit of every Wainwright and I don't mind at all that I could barely see the cairn on about three quarters of them. I can also recommend the southerly, goat-themed route up the Old Man; far less busy than the normal route through the quarry, which we used in descent.

And now, I can tick the final box on my Walkhighlands Wainwright map.

My official summit and completion photo.

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Comments: 5

Patricia Woofings

User avatar
Location: NE
Occupation: Dwarf-standard hill poodle.
Interests: Poodling up hill and down dale.
Activity: Mountain Walker

Munros: 101
Corbetts: 5
Wainwrights: 214
Hewitts: 107

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Trips: 1
Distance: 11.5 km
Ascent: 750m
Hewitts: 1
Wainwrights 1

Joined: Dec 08, 2014
Last visited: Nov 24, 2020
Total posts: 3 | Search posts