You can take a boat trip around Derwentwater. It’s fun but I don’t like the noise and vibration of the engines nor the experience of floating. I like having my feet on the ground. I like to walk. Many years ago I was walking around Derwentwater as part of a longer trek. I think I’d been up to Maiden Moor. I was tired and wanted the walk to end. There was a long way to go, an hour or two, and I realised if I waited at a landing stage I could take the boat back to Keswick. As with a bus, I didn’t know if it would arrive and if it would be on time. It was. You can do the same at Ullswater using the boat for both pleasure and convenience. Some years ago I met a girl who was working on the Ullswater Steamer. I realised I’d seen her before, early in the morning, at a nearby farmhouse. She was staying there for the summer, I was staying there for a night or two. It was her second season in the Lake District. As I recall she was from the Czech Republic. I asked about her impressions of the Lake District. It wasn’t boring she told me, because there were lots of visiting young people and lots of parties. You’d be surprised, she said. She loved the modest hills, more than higher mountains back home and near to home. She’d spent the night wild camping in the hills above Hartsop. I call it extreme camping, she said, referring to a rain and wind experience which meant holding her tent so it wasn’t blown away.

There was an occasional icy breeze along the slopes of Maiden Moor coming from the direction of Honistor. I was otherwise warm. The air temperature was zero but I could have climbed in my base layer or even a tee shirt. When I started fell walking I used thick army socks and Scarpa boots. After driving once to Lanthwaite Green, for a summer walk up Grassmoor, I changed from sandals to the latter. I now walk in sandals for much of the year and have used them for six backpacking trips in the Pyrenees. This occasion required boots and gaiters.


Maiden Moor Slopes

Sunday February 15, 2015