Looking north from Kentmere Pike, taken during my final day's research for Lakeland Fellranger in November 2012.
With the final volume of Lakeland Fellranger safely in the hands of my publisher I have time to draw a few breaths. What next? I might look to the future by evoking the spirit of adventure that allowed me to embark on what turned into a fourteen-year journey of discovery.
What is it about the Lakeland Fells that makes us want to be in their company? It is a multi-faceted response. A wonderful mix of rugged beauty and sleek lines, ridge upon ridge, peak after peak, a compact company of mountains and moors that on frequent acquaintance become like old friends. Intertwined with delightful dales some alive with commerce and tourism, while others seem remote, even quite barren in countenance, but all rich in nature's wild beauty. The health-giving endeavour of reaching the fells many connected summits is the stuff of day dreams. Gorgeous valleys and an unending variety of perspectives and variations of fell approach, this is the core genesis of Lakeland Fellranger.
Viewing Lakeland Fellranger as a resource is simply expressed in the title of this column the Wandering Spirit. This being the motivation we all feel to walk freely on the fells. To further this notion I intend to add to your quest for adventure by providing infusions of free-ranging descriptions, both from within the mountain area covered by the eight volumes and just occasionally beyond the natural bounds of Lakeland, to find elemental journeys new. For all the rich quality of this mountain landscape, it is not unique in its ability to provide great mountain days.