It’s hard to keep up with the cornucopia of outdoor programmes on television at the moment, so we’ll try and bring you up to date.
Julia Bradbury abseiling to The Old Man of Stoer, Scotland BBC/Darlow Smithson Productions
Julia Bradbury continues her new-found action-woman status with a foray into hardcore rockclimbing this week. She has tackled Sharp Edge; she’s conquered a cloud-shrouded Striding Edge. On Friday, she ropes up with climber Tim Emmett for a stab at some proper cragrat routes.
The Old Man of Stoer, a 60m sandstone sea stack on the Sutherland coast is one of her conquests, along with a severe route in north Wales and a Cornish sea cliff. We’re promised genuine cragfast moments as Julia finds herself frozen to the rockface in hair-raising situations. Ultimate Rock Climb screens on Friday, 17 August, at 9pm on BBC1.
Still on rock, our heroine heaves herself up the diminutive but shapely Helm Crag in the latest of her Wainwright’s Walks on Sunday. It may be only 405m (1,328ft), but the peak of the fell, whose outline from Grasmere village earned it the soubriquet of the Lion and the Lamb, has a vertiginous summit scramble and Alfred Wainwright was forced to admit defeat, leaving Helm Crag with the distinction of the only peak in his illustrated guides that he hadn’t trodden. Wainwright’s Walks is on BBC4 at 10pm on Sunday, 19 August.
Below: Julia Bradbury ready to ascend Helm Crag BBC/Skyworks
Before Julia boldly goes where Grumpy Old Borough Treasurers feared, you can catch the fourth episode of Griff Rhys Jones’s odyssey round Britain’s high ground. In the penultimate part of the Mountain series, former comedian – OK, that’s unkind: his Location, Location description of the Cairngorm snow-hole was quite funny and his desperate attempts on Napes Needle were hilarious – travels to the Pennines of Yorkshire and Lancashire for a look at the backbone of England, for centuries exploited by man.
He joins latter-day ‘trespassers’ on Kinder Scout and ventures into England’s karst: the vast limestone pavements of the Yorkshire Dales. There’s also footage of the site of the Dambusters’ secret bouncing-bomb test site, Ladybower Reservoir in the Peak.
It’s probably stretching the description a little to include the Pennines in a ‘Mountain’ series – Cross Fell, the highest point, falls short of the 900m mark, 70ft below the magic Munro mark – but anyone who has clung to the side of Ingleborough in a storm or been whipped off their feet by 80mph winds on Great Shunner Fell will vouch for their feel as mountain territory.
Certainly, Benny Rothman and his fellow Manchester trespassers viewed the Peak uplands as mountains and fought their ultimately successful battle to open them up to the people of England. Mountain can be seen at 9pm on BBC1 this Sunday.
Griff Rhys Jones and Paul Evans from Natural England on limestone pavement BBC/IWC Media
The final treat for outdoor lovers is on Tuesday, when BBC News 24 journalist Kate Silverton takes to a kayak for a taste of white water in another Ultimate Outdoors offering.
Fast-flowing rivers and towering sea waves face the latest action hero to move from the comfort of the studio to the great British outdoors. Ultimate Wild Water hits your screens at 9pm next Tuesday, 21 August.
Phew, we’re exhausted just writing about it all! Pass us the remote and bring our slippers.