13 February 2012

Are you a ticker?


I am not ashamed to admit I enjoy ticking. What I mean by this is that I prefer a reason to complete a walk, whether this happens to be a new summit, a different route or simply just an alternative and unusual walk I may not have completed before then for me this increases the enjoyment of a day in the outdoors.  If there is some kind of list that can be followed so much the better; a list gives structure and purpose to wandering feet and heightens the sense of anticipation and satisfaction of a good walk completed.

Well that’s my opinion but many disagree and take a superior attitude to anyone who is not out simply to enjoy the walk for what it is. In fact tickers are often referred to as saddos but of course the truth lies somewhere in between. There is only a very small number of walkers/climbers who are out and about purely to tick, maybe an obsession when there is only 30 or 40 Munros to complete, with the vast majority of people on the fells and countryside of Britain out to complete a walk or a mountain but also out to simply enjoy themselves. I am slightly suspicious of those who simply wander aimlessly but equally anyone out purely to capture a hill and not enjoying themselves is similarly crazy.

I have found over the years having a purpose has really helped me enjoy the fells and countryside; there is always something else to do and drive me out and about so I have detailed below the differing lists that I have followed over the years and what I would like to complete in forthcoming years (knees permitting!). Click the links for further details.

The Wainwrights. Alfred Wainwright’s famous list of 214 summits in the Lake District depicted in 7 excellent guide books. I have nearly completed a 2nd round although admittedly the 2nd round is not important to me anymore

The Munros. The 283 Munros and over 220 Tops are a wonderful challenge (particularly living in England with today’s petrol prices) but they will lead you to some unusual and less frequented areas of Scotland. I have completed the Munros and Tops.

The Marilyns. A real ticker’s paradise these are all the fells in England, Scotland & Wales with a drop on all sides of 500 feet (ie: relative hills). An almost impossible challenge, a lifelong challenge but offering a purpose as you travel the country.

Where2walk Challenge. For walkers near the Lakes or the Dales there is a list of the best 100 walks in both areas varying from full days in the higher mountains to simply walks taking not much more than a hour.

Looking forward I am becoming particularly interested in Long Distance walks. If ever there is a feeling of real satisfaction a completion of a long distance walk provides it, with my ultimate ambition being the Land’s End to John O’Groats walk.

I also believe that the Peak District, North Wales and the North Yorkshire Moors are worth many more visits and closer exploration.

However this does not mean that I will be avoiding familiar haunts; living in the Settle area means delightful and regular walking in limestone scenery whereas the northern Lakes draw me back year after year (last year was my 30th climb of my favourite mountain, Blencathra).

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Grant Cunliffe, a resident of my home village of Long Preston is missing in the Cairngorms, last seen nearly a month ago in the Currour Bothy. Others know him better than me but he was an experienced climber and walker and in particular did a lot of work in Outdoor Centres for schools and clubs. Please click on this link to find out more about Grant but in particular how, in his name, you can support the Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team, who were magnificent in their efforts to find Grant.

Previous Posts:

Why go walking? Many good reasons to get off your backside and get out and about

Fell Top Assessors. What do they do and how are they funded

Windfarms – simply no need. As wind farms continue to be built why are we doing it?

Inspired by Autumn Watch? Some photography of animals in the countryside and the pleasures of limestone walking

Extending the National Parks. Views and news on the decision to extend the national parks of the Lakes & Dales

Using a map to navigate. Why using a map and compass adds so much to a good walk.

Walks for the family. How to educate your children to enjoy the great outdoors.

Away from the Crowds. Some tips and suggestions on where to still find peace and solitude when many walks are crowded out.

My favourite villages in the Dales. The villages in the Yorkshire Dales which are extra special.

Delighting in photos. Why it is so easy to enjoy photography these days.

More than just a walking heaven. Different reasons why people take to the fells and dales.

Watch out for the little blighters. Sheep ticks continue to be a growing menace.

Map Reading Skills on the decline. Impact of new technology on traditional navigation.

Hidden Yorkshire Dales. The joys of walking in my favourite lesser known dales.