For a society formed in memory of one of the most pernickety and precise of writers, the Wainwright Society is surprisingly inexact in its latest charity venture.
The laudable aim is to raise money for the Keswick Mountain Rescue Team (MRT) and the way of doing it is to scuttle up and down Skiddaw (pictured above) and pay £5 to the team. So far, so good, grough has no problem there.
But it’s called Everest – the Easy Way and here’s the flawed logic: the society says, “Mount Everest is approximately 30,000 feet high, Skiddaw is approximately 3000 feet so for every 10 ascents of Skiddaw we have one ascent of Everest and while doing this we can raise much needed funds for the Keswick Mountain Rescue Team.”
Well actually… Everest is, depending on which surveying team we believe, about 29,028 ft and Skiddaw is 3,054 ft. So it would take 9½ ascents (9.5049115 actually – Pete the Pedant) to equal Sagarmartha’s height. So presumably, that means going up and down nine times and then staying up on the summit after the last one. Then you’d need the services of Keswick (MRT) we think.
Anyway, it’s still a worthwhile cause, if not exactly in keeping with the spirit of the Old Blackburn Bumbler, who was renowned for taking the Ordnance Survey to task for anomalies in its spot heights. The Wainwright Society is organising the Skiddaw ascents for May next year. Participants are expected to go up under their own steam at any point during the period from 12 to 20 May next year, during the Keswick Mountain Festival.
The festival itself will feature talks by Sir Chris Bonington, Alan Hinkes and Andy Cave at the Theatre by the Lake in the town. Check the Wainwright Society website for details of the walk and the Keswick Mountain Festival site for details of other events.