Slave to "The List"

Increasingly that’s how I’ve come to think of myself, a slave to the list.

“The List” in question being the 214 Lakeland fells described and documented by Alfred Wainwright – known colloquially as the Wainwrights. Beloved of many fell walkers, myself included; the Wainwrights are a collection of the best tops in the Lake District National Park. Each fell is lovingly described in minute detail and a number of different ascent routes are drawn in pen and ink diagrams, held in a collection of seven books.

I’ve completed (or bagged as we prefer to call it) 153 of the 214, leaving a mere 61 to do. Since I broke the magical 100 barrier earlier this year I’ve become quite focussed on them, to the exclusion of other walking areas. The smaller the number left becomes the more intent I’ve been on doing the ones that remain.

My Wainwright Progress

My Wainwright Progress

As the list dwindles, my choice of walks becomes fewer and my enthusiasm for some of the remaining walks (all plotted in Memory Map) is not great. I’ve found that over the past couple of weeks, when the weather has been marginal, I’ve arrived at the start of the walk and been so unimpressed with what’s in store that I’ve not even got out of the car – just turned round and driven home.

The list has become more important than the walking. I miss the freedom I felt 12 months ago when I could look at the map of northern England and pick any of a hundred walks I’ve done before or a limitless number of new ones. Now I look at the Lakes and try and pick one my 21 remaining walks; hopefully one that fits my mood, or my fitness level (which tends to drop sharply at this time of year). That has become increasingly difficult and the lack of enthusiasm leads to aborted walks.

So this morning I decided to take control of my walking choices again. I will be a slave to the list no more! The 21 walks I have left for the Wainwrights will go into the pot with all my other potential walks and will be chosen on merit – not on the basis that I have a list to complete.

I feel better already!

lonewalker

Fell-walker, trig-pointer, peak-bagger, Wainwright-er & Pennine Way author, with a passion for long paths, malt whisky, fast cars & Man City

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2 Responses

  1. Kevin Potts says:

    Am currently on my 14th round of the Wainwrights – never tire of them. Every day is different. That’s what makes the Lakes so unique. Never give up – the feeling of completing them never gets any less!

  2. MARK TUZYLAK says:

    I wonder whats the cause of the lack of enthusiasm, I Have Noticed It recently With Your Twitter Updates, Where You Have Turned Back… Its NEARLY Happened To Me, I Can Feel It Creeping Up But Then At The End Of Each Bagging Session Im Usually Glad I Did It & How My Drive Didnt Let Me Down As In Just NOT Doing It…… Im another SLAVE TO THE LIST… As A Trig Bagger. Its Now A List To Complete Rather Than The Fun Of Each Individual Days Walk… Similarities To Your Feelings As Wainwrights Go. Im Often Asked After The Completion Of A List Or All Lists, WHAT THEN?… I Was Going To Pose That Question To You Now Too… WHAT THEN?… But You’ve Kind Of Answered That In A Way As Above… You’ve Broken From The Shackles Of “The List”! 😉

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