I want an adventure. I want more than that. I want to scratch that itch. I want to feel like I have accomplished something, pushed the boundaries of what I am capable of, taken myself to new limits and discovered hidden depths that I didn’t know I possess; but what to do? 

I don’t know where the idea came from, maybe a dream, maybe a subconscious arranging of my skills and abilities, maybe divine inspiration but I have decided my adventure is going to be to ‘Wild Camp’ on all 214 Wainwrights in the Lake District.  

It has never been done before, Wow! I am going to be the first person ever to spend 214 amazing nights sleeping on all of the Wainwrights. The romantic in me likes to think of Nan Shepherds quote ‘No one knows the mountain completely who has not slept on it. As one slips over into sleep, the mind grows limpid; the body melts; perception alone remains. Those moments of quiescent perceptiveness before sleep are among the most rewarding of the day. I am emptied of preoccupation, there is nothing between me and the earth and sky.’ 

Sleeping With Wainwright

 

At the end of my adventure, I will know all of the mountains completely. Will anyone else be able to say that? But maybe the question I should be asking is why had it never been done before. 

Nan’s quote has already inspired me to have many wild nights under the stars but they are not always as romantic when you are living the adventure as they seem when sat a home dreaming about them. There have been times when my poles have snapped in gale force winds, when my fingers have been too cold to push the pegs into the frozen ground and when I have been trapped in my tent by a swarm of midges unable to leave till the hours and the blighters passed. I know it is not going to be easy. 

My plan is over the course of one year, across all four seasons, (Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter) to climb to the top of every Wainwright and then find a spot for a ‘Wild Camp’ before descending the next morning. The next day I will pick a different mountain. I want to promote sustainable Wild Camping with the ‘leave no trace’ moto in order to help educate other Wild Campers so that my beloved Lake District can remain beautiful and still be a place for adventure. 

Throughout next year I will be updating my blog with my progress and can be followed on Twitter @amountainbivvy  

Author:
Russell Moorhouse