Mountain Days | Walking The Wainwrights

Descending Sharp Edge with Alan Hinkes

Just descended Sharp Edge on Blencathra with Alan Hinkes.Just descended Sharp Edge on Blencathra with Alan Hinkes.

Just descended Sharp Edge on Blencathra with Alan Hinkes.

I can’t get over how awesome my weekend was. Besides John Beamson and the guys he brought to help, these two are my personal heroes of the weekend.

Firstly, Lesley Skyblue, was on the summit when we arrived at 2pm on Saturday and the last to leave at 2pm on Sunday! We didn’t know her, she was simply there to show support and be part of what is seriously a historic event for the Lake District. Lesley is a fine example of the Lakeland walker, true and devoted. She was on the summit for 24 hours, and the night was freezing.

I had to wait on the summit to get a photo of The New Blencathra Summit Stone by itself with Derwent behind for the limited edition map we’ve designed (link in my bio) so I was the last of our party from the top.

Alan Hinkes, a true gentleman if I ever met one, was helping Lesley pack her tent away. I had to say thank you after chasing him all week to come ?. When they’d done, he pipes up, ‘Down over Sharp Edge then?’

Descending Sharp Edge

The last thing I was planning after such an exhausting two days was descending over an arrêt but doing it with Britain’s most successful mountaineer, the only Brit to ascend all 14 8000m mountains! ? No brainer.

Descending Sharp Edge with Lesley Skyblue trying to catch up with Alan Hinkes.Descending Sharp Edge with Lesley Skyblue trying to catch up with Alan Hinkes.
Descending Sharp Edge with Lesley Skyblue trying to catch up with Alan Hinkes.

This event has changed my future!

Alan grabbed hold of Lesley’s 12kg bag and hooked the handle over his head like a sherpa would. Well, he had his own bag on his shoulders! Off he goes down the gully!!!

Keeping up was hard enough but looking down, watching him simply walk straight over the stretches that so many people crawl filled me with a confidence I’ve honestly lacked. It transformed my view on ‘edges’ forever.

With Alan Hinkes overlooking Scales Tarn on BlencathraWith Alan Hinkes overlooking Scales Tarn on Blencathra
With Alan Hinkes overlooking Scales Tarn on Blencathra

Talking Leadership With Alan Hinkes

We threw our bags down on the grass coming over Scales Fell and had one of those random ‘funny as’ conversations about phone boxes and old mobile phones before setting off STRAIGHT down the rest of the hillside. There’s a zig-zag on Scales Fell?

The ultimate end to an unforgettable weekend in the Lakes.

So why has it changed my future? Well tomorrow I’m doing the same thing – after an ascent of Halls Fell Ridge! – with another Wainwrights/Lakeland legend. I’ll tell that story tomorrow. THEN after taking a group up Scafell Pike on Saturday I’m heading for Snowdonia for a day up Tryfan and the next climbing Crib Goch. This is not what I had planned this Spring.

What I did have planned however (and my confidence boost is all aligned with it) is a rebrand. Walking The Wild seems a bit tame now. So the new company name and website url is…

WildFire Expeditions – Take a look when you have a minute.

I feel like I’m on fire at the moment and it doesn’t look like the flames are dying down.

Book on an event like the Hell Yes! weekend (up Striding Edge and down Swirral Edge) in May and let’s see what adventures are out there waiting.

Why not buy the book… Alan Hinkes – 8000 Metres – Climbing the world’s highest mountains.

READ NEXT: The New Blencathra Summit Stone (the reason we were all up there)