176 Not Out


I’ve recently completed my 176th Wainwright fell with only 38 left to complete. This photo was taken in February 2018 on my way up to High Raise and Sergeant Man from Stonethwaite. The Solway Firth, Bassenthwaite Lake, Skiddaw and Keswick can be seen in the distance.

I had a successful winter walking from both Stonethwaite and Seathwaite which are great jumping-off points for a number of superb fells. Only had one mishap when falling off the side of Glaramara during a steep decent in wet weather. Luckily I did not fall far but had a sore back for a few days.

All going well, I should complete the Wainwrights this year. I’m then hoping to trek in the foothills of the Himalaya. The trek that really appeals to me is a two week hike which includes spectacular views of Everest in the distance along with visits and accommodation at a number of the monasteries. The tranquility and photographic opportunities will be incredible.

I’ve been thinking about taking a medium format film camera with me but I’m now considering taking a digital SLR. I just hope I can find a socket for the battery charger!!

© Simon Howlett 2018. All rights reserved

35 thoughts on “176 Not Out

    • Thank you Jane. The fall shook me up a bit so will try and ensure the fells are a no-fall zone in the future! I’m pleased to say the camera survived and I’m still in one piece, so no harm done 🙂

    • Googled it and fortunately the monasteries have been powered up with solar panels for the last couple of years. Good news for my camera batteries! Might pack the film camera as a back up though – 1950s/60s technology so no batteries required 🙂

    • Thanks Katherine. No lasting damage done, just a few aching joints from time to time now that I have a few miles on the clock! Hoping I’ll be OK with the altitude in the Himalaya.

      • Yes, a slow ascent would be perfect. The trek is done at a relaxed pace and there are a few rest days to acclimatise and explore locally. I like a nice cup of tea so coca tea would give me a real boost but I think it’s not allowed here in the UK!

      • Definitely not allowed, though I brought a box of coca tea-bags into Heathrow in the early 1990s and despite my luggage being inspected they didn’t take them from me. I guess they thought a supermarket box of tea wasn’t worthy of a closer look.

  1. Richard’s just got 2 left – Branstree and Selside Pike – if you haven’t done those, perhaps you should both pair up. I was going to go with him but not sure my leg would cope nowadays 😦

    I’d find it very frustrating to go and see Everest but not be capable of doing it I think – probably why I haven’t gone on any of those kind of treks. To me, mountains just have to be summitted!

    • Yes, would be good to visit Branstree and Selside Pike with Richard. I’ll not be able to meet up until the latter half of July though, will get in touch with you nearer the time. I hope your leg improves and you will be able to come along too.

      I agree, mountains have to be summitted, every time I see one I just want to get to the top. Would love to summit Everest but it’s way beyond my capabilities. I’d end up a solid block of ice, frozen for all eternity. Best if I stick to the 3000 footers here in the Lakes!

  2. An awesome view in winter – it’s a while since I was last up in the Lakes. I’ve trekked up into the Everest region a couple of times, the first time way back in 1969 when I shot 25 rolls of Kodachrome. Last time was in 2004, I was still using a film SLR then but there were internet cafes in the larger villages so charging a battery shouldn’t be a problerm, but I would certainly take at least one spare battery. Hope you make it out there, it is an amazing country.

    • I love the Lakes in the winter, there’s some great light and the fell-walking is challenging and exhilarating. Hope you get to pay a return visit one day Andy.

      Must have been quite a contrast trekking in the 1960s and then in the 2000s. Wonderful adventures never to be forgotten I would imagine. Great to hear you were shooting Kodachrome, you must have come back with some superb shots of the region.

      • Our trek was led by Eric Shipton (famous Himalayan explorer) and was reckoned to be the first organised trek up into Solo Khumbu and Kala Pattar and Base Camp. I felt very privileged to have that opportunity. Completely unspoilt in those days. Very different now. I was shooting on a manual SLR (Pentax S1A) and amazingly 90% of them – shot in very testing conditions – were perfectly exposed by the clip-on light meter.

  3. Good for you … congratulations! I admire your ‘lofty’ goals! Here in Colorado’s San Juans there are several 14,000 footers for serious hikers to add to their bucket lists. I’ve made it up to about 12,000 on a few occasions but it was not at all easy … one hike climbed 2,000 feet in the first 2 miles. About 6-8 miles round-trip is my limit in this elevation.

    • Thank you Denise. The 14,000 footers sound a long way up. In fact 12,000 sounds a long way up! Hiking to that elevation is an amazing achievement. 3,208 is the highest we have here in the Lakes. I walk the fells regularly so hopefully I will be fit enough for the big stuff in the Himalaya 🙂

  4. Keep going Simon. Climbing all the Wainrights will be a great acheivement and the prospects of exploring the foothills of the Himilaya will I am sure be a wonderful experience. Good luck.

    • Thanks Alan. I’d like to try some portraiture photography while visiting the Himalaya. Something I’ve not really done before so looking forward to it very much. If I’ve still got some energy left I’ll carry on with the Outlying Fells and the Howgills after the Wainwrights!

  5. Congratulations with the 176th fell. And what a gorgeous landscape, beautifully captured. I totally subscribe to Andy’s (LensScaper) description of Himalaya. Like him I shot Kodachromes on my first trekking there. It’s going to be an amazing experience.

      • I have been to Nepal twice. First time I went to Mount Everest base-camp, next time around the Annapurna massif. Both recommendable. Also the valley of Mustang is worth considering, but harder to access. And, yes, all went well with the Kodachromes, thank you.

      • Would like to see the Annapurna massif along with Everest. The valley of Mustang sounds interesting, the remoteness really appeals to me. Thanks for the information.

  6. Replying on here and there there isn’t so much of a trail as to when we’re not in! Yes, we can make the 31st (assuming the weather isn’t dire – I think it should be okay). In case you need it, my mobile numbers are 07765 946791 (takes messages) or 07538 768959 (doesn’t). I’ll endeavour to switch them both on in the morning. What time do you want to meet up and is it going to be at the carpark at the lake head?

      • We had a great day – thanks for coming with us. I, of course, stopped at the Mr Whippy on the return journey and we both had lovely, creamy ice creams! 🙂

      • Thank you Carol and Richard, I had a great day too. Nice to see Richard completing the Wainwrights. I was very tempted when passing the Mr Whippy but resisted the urge to stop! Did you have more than one ice cream Carol? I bought some Almond Magnums the next day, they’re so nice I had to have two in one sitting 🙂

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