I am married to a mountain goat – a wonderful mountain goat, but he sees a mountain and wants to climb it – simple as that. He has always been like this and I have followed him up many steep climbs – not always filled with enthusiasm, but normally agree on reaching the summit that it was worth the effort.
The Lake’s District is a paradise for mountain goats – many mountains and many walks – just a limited number of days. My mother had sent an email to us telling us about a walk at Keswick called the Catbell’s. She had done this climb many years ago and said it was beautiful.
Indeed it was beautiful – stunningly beautiful – even when the weather was far from beautiful. The weather report had promised us “chunks of rain” for this day – the only rain in the entire country was to be chunked over us. Undeterred, we set off.
It was a steep climb up to the first peak. You then walk across a narrow ridge to the second peak and scramble up this. If you are feeling particularly adventurous, there is a third peak. We had views the entire way up and looked out across the Derwent Water and then around towards the north and west.
The trick with walking across the ridge at the top was to not look down – you could look out, but down was deadly. There was a strong wind blowing, so I concentrated on keeping to the track and not moving off it. We barely had time to get our water bottles out at the top of the second peak before the heavens opened and the chunk of rain fell upon us – time for raincoats and a retreat to a more sheltered spot below.
I wondered about the origin of the name Catbell and wonder if it comes from this beautiful purple bell shaped flower that grows in sheltered spots up and down the hillside.
When we reached our car, the sky cleared and the sun came out. I found myself saying to Keith “do you want to go back up, now the sun is out?”