My feet really ache after any long hill walk.  Sometimes the following morning I can’t even stand up they are so painful.  So, in June I sought professional advice and went to see a podiatrist.

I know that the arches on my feet are high, and it seems that the shape of my feet is responsible for a condition called plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the connective tissue on the sole of the foot).

I left the consultation with three suggestions.  First to spend more time stretching calf muscles every day.  Second to avoid walking on my toes even on steep uphill slopes.  Third get some custom made carbon fibre insoles for my boots and shoes.

While waiting for the insoles to be manufactured, I tried the first two techniques on our walk up Grisedale Pike and the results were good.  I could actually walk without pain the next morning. The Great Gable and Pillar walk was my first real test of the insoles.

The stiff short bumpy inserts feel very odd at first, like you are walking with some rounded pebbles inside your boot, but you get used to them and quickly forget they are there.  The results were brilliant, my feet were sore after a strenuous eight hour walk, but the sharp pain I used to experience with each step was completely gone.

I’m looking forward to many more walks with my new pain free feet.


Great Gable and Pillar

Sunday, 24 August 2014
4970ft/1210m ascent
Trail 100 #45 & # 46
Wainwright #162, #163, #164 & #165

The Mosedale Horseshoe is recognised as a tough walk over some of the roughest mountain terrain.  So we decided to add Great Gable (2949ft/899m) and Kirk Fell (2631ft/802m) on to the traditional route to make it a real challenge.  This allowed us to complete two Trail 100 mountains in a single day.

WasdaleFrom Wasdale Head we headed up the valley to the col between Great Gable and Kirk Fell before turning South and climbing over scree covered ground to the summit of Great Gable.  We stopped for a photograph and then returned to the col before climbing up the other side to Kirk Fell.

Great Gable from Kirk Fell

From the flat top of Kirk Fell there is a steep scramble down to the Black Sail Pass followed by another scree coated ascent to the summit of Pillar (2927ft/892m).  This time avoiding the detour to Robinson’s Cairn and Pillar Rock (2559ft/780m).Pillar

Heading West we crossed to Scoat Fell (2759ft/841m) and then descended to Red Pike (Wasdale) (2710ft/826m) before reaching Dore Head.  Having descended this route a couple of years earlier by running down the scree, we attempted the same again only to discover that the scree is now a mass of loose boulders.  Forty minutes later we arrived at the foot of the hill with shaking legs almost unable to walk.  Which explains why the route map finishes at the pub!

Pillar from Red PikeDore Head Scree


From the car park at  NY187084. Pillar Route

Langdale Pikes

Sunday, 23 March 2014
2575ft/785m ascent
Trail 100 #26
Wainwright #126 & #127

A splendid day walking in the Langdales in the sunshine and snow.

From the New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel we walked up the steep fellside to Loft Crag (2231ft/680m) and all the time the views open up, first Crinkle Crags (2818ft/859m), then Bowfell (2959ft/902m) and the Coniston group in the distance.

Langdale Pikes - Crinkle Crags 

Looking down the Great Langdale valley towards Lingmoor Fell (1539ft/469m) and Skelwith Bridge.




Loft CragLoft Crag

The first mountain on the route is Loft Crag where the rest of the route can be seen for the first time. The photo shows the rocky summit of Loft Crag with the spectacular crags of Pike of Stickle (2326ft/709m) appearing over the cairn in the background.

Pike of Stickle

This is the Trail 100 hill on this walk and the reason we chose this route. A truely spectaular mountain with a tricky scramble to the top when the rocks are covered with compacted snow.

Pike of Stickle 3Pike of Stickle 2

These two photos show the view of Loft Crag and Harrison Stickle (2415ft/736m); and celebrating reaching the top with the snow filled Harrison Combe behind.

Pike of Stickle - Loft Crag and Harrison Stickle Pike of Stickle 1

Harrison StickleHarrison Stickle

We scrambled down Pike of Stickle and crossed back to Harrison Stickle on the other corner of the Langdale Pikes. This gave us the first view of Stickle Tarn and our planned route down.

The photo also shows a heavy snow flurry which completely hid the summit of Helvellyn (3117ft/950m) but missed us completely.


Pavey ArkPavey Ark
The snow made finding the route from Harrison Stickle to Pavey Ark (2297ft/700m) a challenge. The top of Pavey Ark is not very impressive – it’s much better from Stickle Tarn. We ate lunch sitting on the rocks before setting off over the snow covered rocks and peat towards Thunacar Knott (2372ft/723m).

Thunacar KnottThunacar Knott

The summit of this mountain looks like a lunar landscape – rock strewn and windswept. The view to the West includes Glaramara (2569ft/783m) and Great Gable (2949ft/899m). The photo shows the snow topped Helvellyn ridge and Fairfield (2864ft/873m) to the East.

We followed the well worn path towards High Raise (2500ft/762m) which was covered in deep snow. My leg disappeared through the snow into a peat bog hidden beneath. Thank goodness for gaiters!

Sergeant ManSergeant Man 2

Sergeant Man (2415ft/736m)  is a prominent and easy to identify mountain with a very distinctive shape, and was the last mountain on our walk.

From the top we followed the ridge down towards Blea Rigg (1175ft/541m) before turning South West and descending to Stickle Tarn where the huge cliff of Pavey Ark casts a dark shadow over the lake.


Stickle Tarn

Pavey Ark from Stickle Tarn

Last resting point before descending the steep rocky staircase back to the Dungeon Ghyll and a nice cup of coffee.

Resting at Stickle Tarn 1Resting at Stickle Tarn 2


Starting at the New Dungeon Ghyll car park  (NY296064).

Langdale Pikes Route