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by Eric Robson :
Published by Striding Edge Publications
I have just finished reading one of the funniest books I have come across for a long time. This is "After Wainwright" written by the Wainwright Society's Chairman, Eric Robson. It tells the tale of a journey by Eric, his well-behaved border collie and not so well-behaved film crew. This journey is a circular tour of the Lake District, through some of the more remote areas. A total of 190 miles, and 40,000 feet of ascent (one and a half times the ascent of Everest) covered over a two-week period.
Starting and finishing in Penrith, the fourteen days of walking vary from 18 miles on day one to 10.15 miles on day five whilst ascents vary from 4,580 feet on day four to 647 feet on day twelve. Day four undoubtedly has to be the hardest with 16.25 miles of walking and the 4,580 feet of ascent, taking the walker from Bassenthwaite to Loweswater via some of the best peaks in the north-western fells – Lords Seat, Grisedale Pike, Hopegill Head and Whiteside. No wonder Eric chooses a short day for day five, but this still has nearly 3,500 feet of ascent.
What makes the book so funny are the tales and escapades along the way encountered by Eric and his intrepid crew. Day four, for example, had to be attempted four times before the party was able to complete it. Problems after problems beset them and one can empathise with the group as many of us have come across similar days in Lakeland.
The book uses quite a lot of Wainwright material for the maps, ascents, summit views from the thirty three fells that the walk covers. But why use new material when the master's works are still the best. It is the same size of the Wainwright Pictorial Guides and comprises a total of 198 pages. At £9.99 from Striding Edge Publications, this book is a little gem!
reviewed by John Burland - Member No. 2