First trip of the year was in January. Geoff, James, Reuben, Tilly and I spent a chilly night at Mermaids Pool on Kinder. James maintains that Daryl Hannah visited him in the night.
February saw the next trip. This time I was with Kim, seeking out a potentially spooky spot at a ruined coal mine on the North York Moors. We didn’t see any ghosts, but the wind was unbelievably wild.
Kim and I did another short trip in March. We live in the shadow of Kinder, so for a quick one nighter, Mermaids Pool fit the bill again. Once again we picked a rather windy night, the wind coming straight from Siberia. It was absolutely arctic!
Easter – in April – was when Kim and I walked the Cumbria Way. The weather left a lot to be desired! Rain!
We camped for two of the nights, the first one being at Beacon Tarn.
A couple of nights later we tried to camp at the site at Stonethwaite, but got flooded out. We ended up breaking camp in the dark and walking to the Scafell Hotel at Rosthwaite, who were happy to let us – and a soggy wet spaniel – have a room for the night. No pictures of the tents this night, but here’s some water and Effy living it up in the hotel.
April was also when James and I did Boulter’s Bimble. This was a three day route that James had devised, from Ashbourne (in the White Peak) to Hayfield (in the Dark Peak).
A really interesting trip with some long days, but since wild camping is difficult in the White Peak, we used a couple of very small Camping Club sites.
This trip also had the advantage of passing through some delightful villages with cafes and pubs just begging to be stopped at.
It was August before I was next backpacking. This time I did another section of the Pennine Bridleway, which I am slowly nibbling away at. In the White Peak again for this night, I once more used the small site at Peak Forest.
In preparation for the trip to the Arctic that James had planned for us in August, I suddenly decided to spend a lot of money on a new tent – a Hilleberg Enan. I had just enough time to try it out for a night before we flew off to Sweden.
I had Geoff drop me off at Hope and then I walked home over two days, camping at Fieldhead in Edale.
And then came Sarek, with James. Eight days walking, seven nights camping, in the most amazing wilderness.
Geoff and I have now planned a trip to Sweden for next summer, but starting from Kiruna this time, not Kvikkjokk.
Once back in the UK, Kim joined me again for another trip. She is keen to work her way up the Pennine Bridleway with me, so I repeated a section I had already done so that she hasn’t missed any out.
This time I had our wonderful lab, Tilly, with me and we tried out our new Polar Lite Two Micro tent.
Geoff and I also needed to try this tiny tent out as we were thinking of taking it to Sweden next August, so also in November, we had a couple of nights out on Kinder.
Whilst we think this tent is perfect for one person and a dog, we decided that for seven or eight nights on the run, in what could be less than perfect weather, we needed more space. We also have a Polar Lite Three tent (perfect for the two of us plus both dogs), but it was ages since we’d used it. We decided to give that a try out too then and took it the North York Moors in December, for a couple of nights.
It was just perfect.
And once again, here we are at the end of another year. I won’t dwell on some of the hard times we’ve had these last 12 months, but suffice to say that every now and then life does get very difficult, and you just have to continue on as best you can.
So, here’s wishing everyone out there in twitter and blog land, all the very best for 2016.