Friday 10 February 2012

A Night Walk

Periodically, I meet a few fellow consultants for a day's walking and talking.  We call it cpd to feel good about it: and in truth, I often learn a lot by comparing experiences, sharing dilemmas, and stealing ideas...

Alan Sides suggested a while back that we should try a night walk, so we did that.  Everyone was very keen on the  idea, but as the February night approached, one by one they dropped out.

So it was only four of us, Alan, Mike Cockburn, Stephen Merckx and myself who undertook the walk.  We left my house at about 10.45pm and drove to the bottom of Haweswater.  Thence we climbed up an extremely icy path to Small Water.

The moon was a few days short of full, and very bright, the stars clear and twinkling, and the air crisp and very cold (-5 when we started).

From Small Water - beautiful and atmospheric in the moonlight - we climbed up to Nan Bield Pass, where we got the full force of the wind.  Thence onwards and upwards, right onto High Street Summit at Racecourse Hill.  The ice was slippery, and the snow was deep: it was all much harder work than we had foreseen.  Fortunately we were all pretty fit, and had all kitted ourselves out appropriately.

From Racecourse Hill we walked over successively lower hills, one after the other, until Loadpot, the last summit of the walk.  In my memory (and it was a bit dark for maps, as the moon had set at about 5.00 and it was now nearly 5.30) it was a fairly short walk down from Loadpot Hill onto Askham Fell and so home.

Not so, but far otherwise: it was another 2 hours before we got back to Helton (via a small detour, due to the paths being completely hidden by the snow).

Breakfast has rarely tasted so good.

I enjoyed the experience greatly, as I think the others did too.

We did talk a fair bit, but much of the walk was in silence: so in terms of cpd it didn't quite live up to expectations.  But if the others are still talking to me after I led them on such a tough expedition, I'm sure I'll learn plenty more from them next time.