As soon as my management team heard that Lancashire was on the brink of becoming a Tier 3 COVID zone they acted. Most of the team were put onto full time furlough, but two brewers and a dray-man put onto a two day week. Thankfully for my sanity I am one of those working part time*.
I’ve often dreamed of being a professional hill walker, well thanks to Rishi and his furlough scheme, I spent two days this week in the Lakeland Fells on 80% pay.** My route took me from Mosedale over Blencathra and Skiddaw, and then back via the more minor Northern Fells that sit behind these two 900 m peaks. Minor in size and notoriety, but not in the pleasure of the views they afforded as I was to find out.
Day One took me over Blencathra and onto the col between Jenkin Hill and Little Man, some 700m up the 931 m of Skiddaw.
Day Two started in low cloud which persisted until I was part way down the further side of Skiddaw, but then lifted to afford great views.
The route worked out well, with 10.5 miles and most of the height gain on Day One, and 13 miles on Day Two. If I did it again I would tweak the route a little. My route and the changes I’d make to the end of each day are shown below:
*Mentally there is a world of difference between a two day week and not working at all. It’s easier to think positively about working shorter hours than not at all. OK, I’m only one week into this new regime, but it feels much more like something I could make the best of than it felt during the full ‘house arrest’ of earlier in the year.
** Joking aside, it’s really important that people who are furloughed keep themselves ‘fit’ for a return to work. Brewing is a very physical job, so it’s good to remain physically fit. Mental health is vital for everyone so reconstructing purpose and routine into these novel and prolonged periods away from work is also key. Backpacking / wild camping in Fell Country fulfils both these goals for me