This guest post comes from Andy Grigg. If you are wanting to get your family out walking more, get inspired by the Grigg family…
All journeys have a beginning, and I suppose the logical beginning of any family journey is two becoming one. Tania and I first visited the Lake District not long after we met. I remember climbing Helvellyn via Striding Edge, although in a spirit of true gallantry I also remember abandoning Tania and summiting the mountain on my own.
Our family grew – Will arrived in 1997 and Tom in 1999. After the birth of our children we didn’t visit the Lakes for a fairly long period. I didn’t want to visit and not be able to walk anywhere, money was tight and options were limited.
We returned with the boys and climbed our first fell in autumn 2004. Somewhat inauspiciously, after deciding to climb Wansfell, we checked our guide book carefully and then promptly planned a route to the top of Wansfell Pike. We all enjoyed the walk, but directional decision making would prove to be a reoccurring theme!
climbed our first fell in autumn 2004
We had to wait another three years before we climbed our first Wainwright. In 2007, we decided to tackle one of our favourite areas – the Langdale Pikes. We decided on two objectives, Pavey Ark and Harrison Stickle. The summit of Pavey Ark provided a special moment for all of us.
Returning to The Lakes with an ever increasing frequency, the walks got longer, higher and more adventurous. The boys managed to climb Scafell Pike and the Old Man of Coniston at a fairly tender age.
The boys managed to climb Scafell Pike and the Old Man of Coniston at a fairly tender age
Energised and emboldened by our experience of standing tall on some of the highest mountain in England, we got to thinking about what our next challenge would be. Now I love the Lake District, but when I thought about it, I hadn’t really covered much of the area. I think you tend to fall back on places you are familiar with and concentrate on well-known and famous summits.
Tania and I put our heads together, what should we do next? What could be our next challenge as a family? It seemed all too obvious; we should try and climb all the Wainwrights – all 214 summits featured in Wainwrights pictorial guides. It would make us explore the whole of the Lake District, it would allow us to see and experience old, new and hidden places that we would otherwise not visit, and it would be a great achievement that we could complete as a family.
we should try and climb all the Wainwrights – all 214 summits featured in Wainwrights pictorial guides
Decision made, our challenge saw us heading up to the Lakes as often as time and money would allow. We didn’t have an agenda in terms of timescale, but we had been bitten by the walking bug and our infectious enthusiasm drove us forward.
Over the years our Wainwright odyssey has seen us share unique, wonderful and never to be forgotten moments; we have walked, talked and laughed, we have experienced highs and lows, successes and failures, and we have worked and acted as a team. You can read about our adventures in Nowhere Fast – Walking the Wainwrights, and then you can go out and have some of your own.
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