Mr T's Final 8 Challenge
A year ago Andy Turner passed away, taken by cancer, leaving a super family, some some great friends and 41 unclimbed Wainwrights behind.
His wife Susan got in touch with me wanting to do a challenge to tick off the final peaks left on the list after she'd spent months working her way towards the 214 since his passing. We designed a route and yesterday, along with Susan's family and friends we had the most amazing day in the hills, walking in tribute to Andy.
After meeting at 6am our first target was Kirk Fell. With a 13 mile route to complete overall we had to ascend via the very direct route of Kirk Fell Nose. This is one of the steepest and most sustained 'paths' in the Lake District... Some would call it grim. The group battled to the top, from which we saw the sun appear to the east.
Onward we marched to Grey Knotts. A quick about turn took in Brandreth and Grey Knotts before descending to Styhead Tarn.
Another direct route was required and we picked our way up the steep flanks of Seathwaite Fell to the Wainwright summit on the northern end of the fell.
Now, with much of the hard work done we cruised to Allen Crags and then up onto Great End. Scafell Pike was always to be Andy's final Wainwright and so that was where we locked our sights.
We continued to cruise along under beautiful blue skies and sunshine, continually commenting on the amazing weather we really didn't expect to get.. It had been perfect..
Before long we were pulling onto the summit plateau of Scafell Pike, and the emotion was thick in the air for both the team and us guides. This had been an epic day, an amazing tribute, on some of the most brilliant peaks. The group toasted to Andy to bring the challenge to a close, and solidifying Scafell Pike as a place they'll always be able to remember him.
Downward we still had to go, but just a hop, skip and a jump back into Wasdale.
In total, the group hiked 23km and 1700m ascent over 8 peaks. All in memory of one special guy.
Thanks for letting us be part of it. A real honour