Helm Crag, the rocky top of which defeated Wainwright, is on the itinerary

Helm Crag, the rocky top of which defeated Wainwright, is on the itinerary

Aficionados of the late Lakeland author Alfred Wainwright will follow in his footsteps in a marathon challenge to raise cash for charity.

Members of the Wainwright Society will recreate a Whitsuntide walk the guidebook creator undertook with three friends early in his career.

And cash from the effort will go to the Lake District Calvert Trust, a charity providing activities for disabled people.

Wainwright Society spokesman Derek Cockell said: “Eighty years ago, Alfred Wainwright planned a six-day tour of the Lake District to be undertaken at Whitsuntide with three of his pals from the treasurer’s office in Blackburn, covering102 miles with nearly 35,000ft of ascent.

“Details of the walk did not come to light until the year of Wainwright’s death in 1991.”

Wainwright said of his upcoming 1931 expedition: “This tour is a most comprehensive one. Limited as we are by time, it is impossible to visit every corner of Lakeland, yet the programme, if followed conscientiously, will lead us everywhere worth mentioning.

“It will be arduous, but the reward will be well worth the work. It will avoid the tourists, the roads, the picnic-spots.

“It is the claim of this programme that every lake, every valley, every mountain will be seen if not actually visited.”

Mr Cockell added: “The six-day walk starting at Windermere actually took the party seven days and even then not all the route was completed.  But Wainwright’s tour is a glorious high-level ridge walk amid Lakeland’s finest scenery.

Society members will tackle the route in sections over a three-week period starting on 7 May. The tour takes in the High Street range, Helvellyn range, Blencathra, the Newlands peaks, the Buttermere fells, Ennerdale fells, the Scafell range, Langdale Pikes and Helm Crag, the scrambly top of which defeated Wainwright.

Suggested minimum entry fee is £10 and details are on the Wainwright Society website.

Mr Cockell said: “A society walk is arranged for the last day of the challenge which will coincide with the planned last day of Wainwright’s 1931 Tour.  It is hoped that some Lake District Calvert Trust visitors with disabilities will join us on the final part of the walk into Grasmere, in order to prove that Wainwright is accessible to all, no matter what their ability, and to emphasise the motto of the trust : it’s what you can do that counts.

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