It’s a strange time between Christmas and New Year.
If you’re one of the lucky ones to be free from work it could be a time to race up hills,
scramble up slopes and generally enjoy the outdoors.
Except the weather.
Gale force winds in Cumbria have made walking miserable and ridges impossible.
I’ve been out and about but have not as yet done anything memorable.
Just hoping the winds will drop before I arrive in Wales at the weekend.
So with lack of recent activity I’ve trawled through the annual archive and picked month by month memories.
January was much as December. A climate change winter of storms.
Somewhat foolishly I agreed to join a friend for navigation practice and find bits of crashed plane on Kinder Scout.
Most memorable for bog, ditches, and a trudge back to the YHA in the dark as a veil of drizzle joined the January dusk.
February I escaped for a week in the snow of Madesimo. And learned to walk with snow shoes.
Snow showing in Madesimo
A way to escape ski swish, piped music and clatter of cables.
But this wall has to have a mention.
From a lowish stroll round the Coniston Fells. It was just there.
March turned a bit cold. Without a road past Thirlmere the bus was the only way to reach the start of some fells. Even the bikes were brought out.
Bikes on Raise
Thaw quickly set in again, until in April when there was one weekend of cold and the ridiculous situation of sunburn one weekend and ice axes and crampons the next.
May turned blue.
Bluebells in Rannerdale
I live amongst the softer south Lakeland with deep green woodlands are under clad with an aromatic blue hue in spring, but even the northern valleys still cling to their woodland flowers with the trees long gone.
A second stab at Scotland in June and I struck lucky.
From the top of Oss
Though every other person, at least, whom I met, told me I’d never see the Munroes like this again.
I was none too impressed by the campsite midges, who had come early to enjoy the weather.
July was balmy, for a few days
Hardly a hike. More a short sprint. Up to High Dam and an evening swim. There’s nothing to beat open water .
August went international. No wonder the marathon runners export to Oregon. Snow topped mountains, at least for now, throughout the year.
Three Sisters from PCT
Walking on snowfields, along glaciers and the most picturesque stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail.
September and back to earth.
Dawn over St Sunday
Rain returned and washed down the hills to keep the lakes replenished. The odd bit of dry and an overnight stay by Hard Tarn, snuggled underneath Nethermost was worth it just to see the sun lazily rise.
Warm and wet may not be conducive to being outdoors but it proved to be incredibly fruitful. Apples laden trees, my plum tree almost bent double and the hedge rows dripped damsons and sloes. Fungi sprouted from almost everywhere. Though some much better to look at than to eat.
November had anyone who loves the outdoors rejoicing in the prospect of a ‘proper winter’.
Everyone went out to play.
So to December.
and this is the best I can do for a wintery scene.