Several people have asked me how  am I managing lockdown and staying positive ? I was even asked to write a few words about lockdown and staying positive which helped me answer the question.

When I wrote about this I was sitting at my desk gazing out at a bright blue sky which put me in a very positive frame of mind! Today it is snow showers which is just as exciting. Lucy (my daughter) will soon be back from work so a short walk will be next. Staying positive has included lots of local walks exploring Scout Scar, Cunswick Scar and other nearby places. Alfred Wainwright described the walk along Cunswick and Scout Scars in his book, The Outlying Fells of Lakeland, as –

A walk above others: a pleasure every step of the way.

With their sweeping and far-reaching views over Morecambe Bay and the Lake District I cannot disagree with this statement.

The view North from Cunswick Scar towards Helvellyn

Part of my plans with the move from Cardiff to Natland is to launch and grow a small business providing guided walking and photography courses and holidays. I have spent much time preparing for this. This has included completion of my Mountain Leader Award, painting and decorating ready to accept visitors and developing websites and marketing material. This is very different from my science background and has proven to be both challenging and enjoyable. It has certainly kept me positive about the future. I am now tinkering with my websites – and So please have a look and let me know what you think.

I am also looking at my own mountaineering action plan and have discussed this with Chris Ensoll a local mountain guide.  I have been told that planning for the future helps us remain positive. Regarding the completion of listed targets I have chased my usual mountain partners about a trip to Skye and am now waiting for their response. In the short term I will be venturing into the Lake District with Lucy and in preparation we have purchased a local scrambling guide and are planning our days out. It is easy to keep excited looking at big mountain routes together on Bowfell, Dow Crag, Great Gable, Pillar and Scafell. Living in more normal times Lucy would have gone from university to Uganda where she has spent the last three summers working in an orphanage – so having this time together is special.

The Corridor Route on Scafell Pike – perhaps the best way up England’s tallest mountain

To help brush up old skills I have watched a few short technical videos and read some mountaineering manuals which include everything from rope skills to weather forecasting. I have also checked my climbing equipment and the next task, to stop me from becoming rusty, is to practice my rope skills at home. I’m not sure what my family will think when I start tying myself to the table and chairs 🙂

I have also taken the chance to do some reading. I can certainly recommend Nimsdai Purja’s book, Beyond Impossible, which describes his ascent of the 14 8000m peaks in 7 months. After finishing this amazing story I was a keen follower of his successful winter K2 climb and it has me thinking about a visit to the Greater Ranges – although my first visit would not be a winter attempt on K2.

The view East, looking towards Coniston, from Cunswick Scar

On a completely different note, I have always fancied growing my own vegetables. The beds are now marked out and if lockdown lasts much longer I will be outside digging – if I didn’t get outside I would just go crazy!!!! 😊

So, what are you doing to remain positive during lockdown? If you want to start planning and are looking for inspiration please browse I hope to see you after lockdown.