I’m back from my holiday- and I thought
I’d share it with you. This channel has strayed away from my personal life, mostly
because I have none. But also because the more I do Youtube, the less I like to hear
me talking about myself. I like for my videos to be about things that either help or to
educate other people. But having stalked other Youtubers online from time to time, I do understand
the appeal of looking behind the scenes and trying to imagine what their life is like.
So I present to you: MY LAKE DISTRICT HOLIDAY I went with my girlfriend, who I’ll respect
the privacy of by not showing in this video. We went last year and I think it’s worth
talking about how that one went before starting on this year’s holiday. Last year, we started
with the Fairfield Horseshoe, being told that it was a nice easy one to begin with.
It wasn’t! It’s over 10 miles long and although the mountain itself is only 873 metres
tall, you go up and down several bits so in total you actually climb further than you
would with Scafell Pike- England’s tallest mountain! Also, we didn’t stop for a break
because I worried that the weather was getting worse. And sure enough, arriving back at the
car, I looked back at Fairfield and it was shrouded in thick cloud. It wasn’t a fun
walk. Plus, despite it being a cloudy day, we got horribly sunburnt since that happens
more easily up mountains. And it crippled my girlfriend for the rest of the holiday
and it kind of ruined all of the other walks we did.
Fun fact: in my Skyrim video I measured the Throat of the World and concluded that it
was 766 metres tall… which was the same height as Great Rigg. Which happens to be
a part of Fairfield, but I didn’t realise that at the time. I can certainly say that
although it looks like an obese hill, climbing it has given me a new respect for it and it
certainly FEELS taller than it does to climb a mountain in Skyrim.
Anyway, that was last year. This year we warmed up with easy stuff. Started with an 8 mile
walk around a lake at the foot of Helvellyn- England’s second tallest mountain. It’s
the one with a famous section known as Striding Edge where you have to walk along the top
of it, thousand-foot drops either side. Pictures and video fail to show scale or how steep
things are- and while it’s a popular route that many people attempt… I personally don’t
like that kind of thing. We also climbed Catbells, which is under half
the height of Helvellyn at just 451 metres tall. As a child I was obsessed with mountains,
ranking them on their height, believing bigger to be better. But size isn’t everything!
In fact, beyond a certain level it gets cold, rocky and miserable and you get so far away
from everything else that you stop appreciating how high up you are. Catbells is a great example
of a NICE mountain. It’s not that big but it’s in an excellent location. You get good
views, you have a bit of a scramble as you approach the summit, and it only takes about
half an hour in total to climb. Even a basement dweller could conquer this one! It’s one
of our favourites, but being the way it is you have a long boring walk along the road
to get back to the car at the end. The Langdale Pikes are great and I’ve climbed
them a number of times. As a child I remember there was an aggressive wasp that chased us
all the way up. We made excellent time! I juggled at the top of them in 2012. And although
they’re not the tallest at 736 metres… they’re in a central location and can be
seen from pretty much everywhere in the Lake District. Plus they look most like a ‘mountain’.
I did these walks from memory and I almost always take the wrong path down. Luckily I
figure it out in time but looking back at some of the routes I’ve tried taking make
me think… ooh. In case you didn’t know: I’m scared of
heights. Rollercoasters are fine! Glass floors, fun! I’ve walked many coast paths and I
love views from the tops of mountains. But there’s something about a big drop that
changes my perspective. As an example: I have no problem walking along a pavement. I don’t
fear that I’m going to stumble and fall into the road at any point. I’ve never done
that! But replace the road with a bottomless pit and I would change. I would start walking
weird, arms leaning as far away from it as I could. It doesn’t matter if I could do
that route 1000 times without a problem! I just don’t like the idea that I might die
if it goes wrong. Oddly enough I’m fine with heights that would maim me for life.
It’s just bigger drops that make me turn to jelly.
Striding Edge I could probably do! If it was a 2 metre drop either side I’d want to for
fun. But it’s the idea that I might get stuck at a point and have to head back the
way I came. Plus I know that climbing back down is always harder than getting up it in
the first place. Luckily for me I’m good at avoiding the
routes that would give me problems. But one caught me out this holiday!
One day we had already climbed a mountain so were looking for a nice easy walk for the
afternoon, and we chose one that starts at a picturesque village called Borrowdale and
then leads off into the wood and around Castle Crag. Castle Crag is the smallest peak in
the Lake District that Wainwright considers a ‘mountain’. It’s only 290 metres above
sea-level. The ominous feeling started when we were in a valley between it and a larger
mountain, and I suggested we checked it out. You don’t want to climb these scree slopes.
Not only would they be extremely uncomfortable to fall down, but I imagine they’re pretty
unstable and you could trigger a mini-avalanche of sorts.
It started off okay, with a steep but well-defined path leading up to the top.
But just before the top is a slate mound that you have to climb. Some mad lads have actually
built a path out of it! I don’t know how it’s still standing, honestly. It looks
like it will all come tumbling down if you take one of the rocks out from it. And although
there’s a path, it’s the gritty, loose type and there’s nothing to hold on to,
and nothing between the path itself and a long drop. If you slip, you’re going down
the side of this thing! I got up it but spent my time on Castle Crag
fearing the descent and looking for another way down, before accepting that there wasn’t
one and that I would have to go back down the same way if I wanted to continue on with
my life. I’m sure the average Youtube commenter would
have found it easy, but honestly, pictures and video really don’t do justice to it.
And I sure as hell wasn’t going to be filming as I was going down it. But here’s one I
found online. Imagine a steep gritty slope where every step you take kind of slips a
bit, and you know that if you slip too much then there’s nothing stopping you from falling
right off the side. To be honest, shuffling down it on my arse
wasn’t too bad and I shamelessly grabbed anything that didn’t come loose in my hands.
By the time it was over I had even started to enjoy it.
Oh and we also climbed Scafell Pike- England’s tallest mountain. The proper way of doing
it is a much longer route, and I believe a lot scarier. We chose to do the tourist route-
which means driving for an hour and a half to get around to the other side of it! Along
the way is Hardknott Pass, England’s steepest road. If you want to be disappointed then
look up videos of it online. But just imagine a road so steep that you’re practically
lying on the back of your seat and are expecting the front wheels to come off the road and
for the car to flip backwards at any moment. It’s quite an adventure! Also I think I’ve
lost my girlfriend’s trust because when discussing what to do if the brakes failed,
I said I’d plough into the nearest wall. She then suggested I tried the handbrake first.
And here it is: Scafell and Scafell Pike- the tallest peaks in England! Next to the
deepest lake in England. It was a great moment for me. All of these large mountains, like
Great Gable and Pillar, I normally only see in the distant skybox. But to see them up
close was like concluding something that I started decades ago. To finally put a mountain
to a name! The climb took 2 hours- though we did stop
a few times for water… and sweets. The weather was HOT. By this point I was used to being
slimy from suncream and so sweaty my clothing felt like damp flannels. I know it’s already
been said, but pictures and video fail to do the mountain justice. That rock bit at
the top may look like a standard old cliff, but zoom in far enough to see the people climbing
it and it puts the scale into perspective. I heard from a few people descending it that
it gets steep and slippery towards the top, and feared it would involve climbing a scree
slope… but actually it was one of the easier mountains to climb, the top pretty much being
a field of rocks. At no point did I feel like I could have plummeted to my death. A bit
disappointing really. Even at the top it was warm and there wasn’t a breeze. Must have
been the best day of the year to be up there! Oh and then for lols on the last day we climbed
Helvellyn, England’s second tallest mountain. The weather was colder and windier and it
looked like a storm was brewing, but it all went okay and I got to see Striding Edge.
As well as Great Rigg! So yeah I’ve had a lovely, peaceful relaxing
holiday, have got a bit of a tan, and am now working hard to get some videos done before
heading off to Cologne later in the week.