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Summer 2020: Did Things Still Turn Out Well?

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 Martin Wood 14 Oct 2020

The leaves are falling and Autumn is upon us. How did the Summer turn out?

There have been some major new routes and some fine hard repeats, as well as new Bob Graham and Lakes classic rock records. There's also been some sad passings and trouble at t'mill in the Grampians and at Arapiles in Australia. Then there is the still unsolved mystery of the Lamborghini underpants!

For me the highlights have to be the miles of empty Peak District roads during lockdown, losing 3kg and as a consequence climbing some harder routes again. And, of course, not catching Covid ... yet.

The lowest of the lows has to be the extreme litter in the National Park, particularly in some of the hotspots. Whole festival-esque campsites simply tossed and scorch marks left on the grass by  disposable BBQs.

What were the significant highs and lows of your Summer 2020?

 wintertree 14 Oct 2020
In reply to Martin Wood:

High - Rosberry Topping (320 m)

Low - Seaham Harbour (-3 m) 

1
 Flinticus 14 Oct 2020
In reply to Martin Wood:

My lows must be all the missed opportunities of 2-3 months near prefect Spring weather during the strict 5 mile radius, no non-essential travel, lockdown.

I had a few plans this year and a 50th birthday, none of which came to pass though I still turned 50. I'd been planning on getting up some of the Cullin, including the In Pinn, by myself, using 'but its my 50th' as an excuse to do so, as that would require leaving our dog behind and that needs a good reason.

How busy the parks became, so even there, my daily escape (I'm in the parks everyday all year round), I couldn't get away from it all, and the rubbish.

Cancelled family holidays, visits to my dad in Ireland, losing climbing strength, wife's plans for going part self-employed torpedoed (we had a website ready to launch, business cards printed...)

Highs, er...none that would not have been eclipsed in a normal year. Perhaps a couple of summit camps and long walks in the Cairngorms but they or other versions would have happened anyway and more frequently. 

Emmm, the quiet roads while cycling during April - June

My wife working from home too (I was already)

I can't imagine there will be many highs in the responses you get!

 Welsh Kate 14 Oct 2020
In reply to Martin Wood:

Lows - Losing holidays to Provence and Lochinver; not being able to get to the hills for leisure and mental wellbeing throughout lockdown, and again now as I'm in a local lockdown in Wales; the ramming-home of the fact that though I live very happily by myself I need human company around me. Celebrating my 55th birthday on my own with a fairy cake.

Highs - coming out of national lockdown lighter and fitter than going in thanks to my brutal backyard gym routine; a very busy period of MR callouts with some really interesting incidents; just managing to squeak in a fortnight in the north-west Highlands before local lockdown restricted me from leaving my county again.

 girlymonkey 14 Oct 2020
In reply to Martin Wood:

I'd say my high is that I am fitter than I have been in a long time. I can't decide if I would say fitter than when I did WML, it was a different fitness. I have barely driven this year and I am loving it!

Low, my dad dying in May was pretty low but nothing to do with the Covid crisis.

In terms of covid related lows, the diary totally emptying was pretty sad. However, I am about to start job number 3, and this one looks like it will be interesting, challenging and fulfilling. The others have been fine and have massively opened my eyes to the world of social care which I think has improved me as a person and made me very grateful for my health (mental and physical). 

I have been so thankful not to have kids trying to get through this. My bike, running shoes, dog and husband have all kept me sane and happy. 

In reply to Martin Wood:

It's bl**dy strange, you hear of people dying but personally I don't know any - well, one in the early days, but he was pretty ill even before the pandemic. Though I'm not complacent, we have health issues in the family which means it still feels quite serious. Lows? Slowly realising that despite having more leisure I can't do anything with it! My daughter having to come home early from her placement in Germany, then going back to her final year at university without much to look forward to, - and straight away having to self isolate as one of her flatmates tested positive. Not being able to see my eldest son and his family - they will have grown up by the time we see them next. Not being able to do trad with my younger son. 

Highs? Well we managed a day in Pembroke, when the sun shone. Had a few good days out on the boat, though never got as far as we hoped - and not seen any dolphins this year. And had a couple of nights backpacking in mid Wales between lockdowns, but that's not much to show for a summer, is it? Still, we're still here.

In reply to Martin Wood:

Lows: Well, I haven't seen many people this year, and nothing is open apart from the outdoors

Highs for me:

Understanding that so much of what we do and spend money on is actually completely unnecessary.

I've still not needed to replace the tyres on my car which I though would be £800 due April

I've worn out 2 pairs of shoes with all the walking I'm doing.

A rather cute little doggy that came to live with me has made my life 200% better


 girlymonkey 14 Oct 2020
In reply to balmybaldwin:

More doggy pictures please?! Looks super cute 😊

3
 petemeads 14 Oct 2020
In reply to Martin Wood:

Lows:

Missed Easter in Font, still not got refund from Direct Ferries;

Not attempted the Joss Naylor Lakes Challenge - no chance to recce during lockdown;

Not climbed outdoors yet, but still time;

Hurt my leg trying to run too far too fast in a virtual race.

Highs:

Still here, despite having all the Covid symptoms before new year (and wondering since if I would be more or less susceptible, or even if i would know if I got the real thing...);

Brilliant weather for biking and running on quiet roads and towpaths, and also topping up Vitamin D levels on my back lawn;

Two more attempts at the Edale Skyline, finally getting below 5 hours, once lockdown eased (we are in Leicester so had an extra measure of it);

Getting round the Derwent Watershed, albeit absolutely knackered, in generally ideal conditions despite bad leg;

Currently managing to run every day (just for October) to see what happens to bad leg - Ok yesterday, rubbish today!

Second place in bouldering comp, old person category and few entrants...

 Flinticus 14 Oct 2020
In reply to petemeads:

> Second place in bouldering comp, old person category and few entrants...

I was hoping for similar achievements, on turning 50 and finally shifting from the 18 - 49 category to the 50+ old folks category! Though no chance on 2nd place as there is a small group of top notch boulderers in that demographic at my wall, regularly ticking problems in the toughest grade sets

Sadly C19 precautions etc. have put a halt to comps!

Post edited at 14:21
 jimtitt 14 Oct 2020
In reply to Martin Wood:

Highs- my older son passing his motorcycle test so we spent 3 weeks off-roading in Italy, got to 3,000m and a glacier in the Piemont.

Business better than ever.

Lows- it was hot, some of my cucumbers didn't do to well.

 Roadrunner6 14 Oct 2020
In reply to Martin Wood:

Mine went pretty well.

I basically had zero expectations so just targeted things solo. I ran quite a few FKT's, did some classic mountain routes like the 50 plus mile white mountain hut traverse.

Just had good fun. With the twins arriving in April and my wife on maternity leave and me being off most of the summer we actually had time like a normal family. We were away lots at a farm in Maine, lots of beach time. TBH it was pretty normal except no races and not traveling back to the UK at all.

1
In reply to girlymonkey:

Oh go on then


3
In reply to Martin Wood:

Bad: A level year (not mine), followed by Uni and contracting Covid, losing clients, losing way a bit with running, cancelling races

Good: Plenty of out of the way grit bouldering at new venues, developing a new buttress just around the corner, first Font 7A in maybe 20 years

 girlymonkey 14 Oct 2020
In reply to balmybaldwin:

Thanks! What a cutie! Those ears are excellent! Good to have a happy adventure buddy ☺️

 Martin Wood 14 Oct 2020
In reply to Martin Wood:

Somebody said above I shouldn’t expect too many highlights.

On the contrary, I’m struck both by how much attention people have been paying to the little things in life, things close at hand: finding security in the company of others (including puppies), perhaps feeling bodies more balanced, focussing on humble things like cucumbers and running shoes, or realising modest aims like Roseberry Topping; together with a sudden realisation of my own conventional forms of relating to my surroundings: being fitter, cycling faster, climbing harder …

Perhaps I should strive to connect more than I try to conquer, tick and send.

In reply to Martin Wood:

High: fostering a rescue dog with a view to adopting

Low: realising after three weeks that this particular dog had requirements that were far beyond my resources and experience, and having to return her

 Martin Wood 14 Oct 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Yep, it can be hard. We got two rascals last year, both were owner 'returns'. The female in particular has confidence issues. 

In reply to Martin Wood:

Highs, got a new puppy, still in business and made a small profit. Found some nice local walks.

Lows, we had something booked every 2 weekends, maybe a game fair of a museum visit, all canceled. Massive workload. Business partner had a mental breakdown, I'm teetering on the edge of a breakdown now and alternating between rage and wanting to sit and cry.

Normally we would look for rescue animals but having 4 rescue rabbits in the house and a rescue cat the dog needed to be a pup so she could grow up with them. 


In reply to Martin Wood:

High was this family trip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxB303MEmDU&

Low was having to postpone a visit home. Haven't seen Mum and Dad in 2 yrs. Dad is now 86 and there is some possibility I won't see him in person again.

 ClimberEd 15 Oct 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> High: fostering a rescue dog with a view to adopting

> Low: realising after three weeks that this particular dog had requirements that were far beyond my resources and experience, and having to return her

Don't beat yourself up. I had a wonderful rescue dog, which was a lab/rotti cross, and she was brilliant 99.8% of the time. 0.02% of the time she would suddenly attack another dog without warning. (quite literally, we could go 2 weeks and pass 10s of dogs with no problem and then it would happen.) Being a bit rotti this was a problem.

I spent months trying to fix it, or at least be able to pre empt it, with several different dog experts and got nowhere. Living in a dog heavy area, and with friends not wanting her around their kids, I had to return her. 

She now lives on a farm in the middle of nowhere and is happy as larry and fierce protector of the chickens!!

 girlymonkey 15 Oct 2020
In reply to Dax H:

Another cutie! Loving all the dog photos! Thanks 😃

 peppermill 15 Oct 2020
In reply to Martin Wood:

Bad: Lost all my self employed work, University Course kicked in to touch at (probably) the most crucial part of the training from a technical point of view, relationship broke down in early April, three months of blazing sunshine spent gardening, running and essay writing rather than anything else!

I'm perfectly happy in my own company for prolonged periods but going six months without seeing family just a two hour drive away was very difficult for me. Technology helps but compared to actually seeing people it's just sh*te.

Good: Once restrictions lifted up here in Scotland I ended up having one of the best outdoorsy summers in years. Working part time as a bank Care Assistant along with friends either furloughed or on a flexible rota resulted in more climbing, cycling and walking than I'd get done in a normal season.

Highlights being a week basically just being a climbing dirtbag with one of my oldest friends and finally managing to do the Fisherfield 6 over a couple of days carrying all the kit. 

In reply to girlymonkey:

> Another cutie! Loving all the dog photos! Thanks 😃

It's a shame we can't post videos, watching these 2 dash round the field would make anyone smile. 

2
In reply to ClimberEd:

Thanks (and thanks also to Martin the OP). I am not beating myself up, it was a positive experience all round. I knew it was a gamble with Lola being some sort of border collie cross, as the border collie is well known to be a somewhat neurotic breed, and being a rescue dog on top of that too. But she was so calm, placid and obedient at the rescue centre that I visited three times to acclimatise her. And she was very good in her first week at home with me. But as she started to settle (I know three weeks is not exactly full “settling” time) some issues from her past really started to manifest. She’s been kicked in the back end, we think, and mistreated/punished with crates / cages and the withdrawal of treats and toys, and very much not socialised. She needs someone with experience of the breed, who lives in the middle of nowhere. Hopefully such a person will adopt her because at her best, she is a lovely creature 

In reply to Blue Straggler:

It is something that people tend to forget with rescue dogs, that they do come with some baggage. We have one and if you approach her straight on she thinks you are going to hit her and will simply pee where she is. This makes carpet choice a bit of an issue

 chris_r 15 Oct 2020
In reply to Martin Wood:

Highs: Being at home all day everyday with my kids

Lows: Being at home all day everyday with my kids

In reply to girlymonkey:

Our lockdown was certainly enlivened by fostering a couple of fox hounds.  One of them has graduated to drag hunt school but Boozy tweaked a lateral cruciate somehow during zoomies/mortal combat with her sister in the trees (heard the yelp but didn't see the impact) and is still with us. 

She seems fine now and may yet be fit enough to join the others, but I suspect she may well be destined for a slightly easier life...


1
 Heike 15 Oct 2020
In reply to Martin Wood:

Highs... hmmm. I think the only three highs were 1) getting new windows fitted and hence having peace and quiet. Great job by the guys btw 2)  I have to say that we were lucky to have some hols in summer in Switzerland without having to self isolate - we just dossed in the van in approved spots, never spoke to anyone and did some climbing. 3) The best was that we were allowed to attend my dad's 85th birthday party in Germany with lots of measures and only 15 people allowed, but it was amazing to see everyone of the close family. Now we are back to hiding in the house.

In reply to Martin Wood:

This is definitely turning in to more of a good news page with added doggies. I just uploaded the pups first time off the lead. 

Bramble is a mini schnauzer and was 3 month old in this video. 

Spud is a Poochon and 18 month old. 

Bramble is now 5 months old and slightly bigger than Spud. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NklisIF3NE&

1
 girlymonkey 15 Oct 2020
In reply to Dave Garnett:

That is some size of bone! A happier dog there could not be! 😃 Ace, I'm loving all the doggy pics! I haven't paid for picture privileges so I can't share mine. Enjoying everyone else's though ☺️

1
 girlymonkey 15 Oct 2020
In reply to Dax H:

😃 Such happy puppers! Bounding through the long grass always seems to be fun for them! Thanks for that 🙂

 streapadair 15 Oct 2020
In reply to Martin Wood:

Low? er, umm, nothing of note really. Being socially distant is my default position anyway.

High, no contest - 2 radiant days on Monte Rosa, and a night in the sparsely populated Margherita hut on Signalkuppe, 4554m.


1
In reply to girlymonkey:

> That is some size of bone! A happier dog there could not be!

Her favourite- postman’s leg!

Only joking, she’s friends with the postman. It was a Jehovah’s Witness.

 Stuart William 15 Oct 2020
In reply to Martin Wood:

Nice question. Made me think that despite the chronic stresses and general gloom of this year there has been a lot of good stuff too for me.

Lows have been the (non covid related) loss of my partners gran, some very tough family planning decisions, and a lot of missed birthdays and other events. And pretty much not having climbed at all after having just fully recovered from a long term shoulder problem.

Highs have included getting a new job which I’ve been working towards for almost 10 years, and recently the purchase of our first house. Have also been actually living with my partner after several years of a long distance relationship.

I’m probably aerobically fitter than I’ve ever been too as I’ve been running consistently for the first time to replace climbing. Ran my first half-marathon distance last month which included 1300m of ascent through the mountains - beautiful day and far exceeded any of the goals I had thought were even remotely realistic. 

 Flinticus 16 Oct 2020
In reply to Dave Garnett:

My pup (well, let's face it, she's fully grown). 

In this pic, she's watching me eat cheese. Lately we've taken to calling her the 'cheese monster'. 


 Timmd 16 Oct 2020
In reply to Martin Wood:

I found a plan and a sense of direction from the enforced isolation and introspection, I didn't do much other than that, but hopefully next summer...

Post edited at 11:58
In reply to balmybaldwin:

Snap (almost literally) on the new pup.


In reply to Martin Wood:

Highs: managed a week hiking in Northumberland and a long weekend in Dartmoor with the family and had mainly good weather. Then my wife and I spent 2 weeks in Kerry with great weather and hiked scrambled around carruntoohil, some sea swimming, saw the dingle dolphin while kayaking. Solo hikes in great weather in the comeraghs. Seeing my Dad.

Lows were mainly things that did not happen, late spring ski trip, also we had planned to hike the Tour des Combins. Cancelled birthday parties.

Otherwise summer was not so bad, had planned to climb outdoors but did not given the situation and no indoor either since March.

In reply to Flinticus:

> In this pic, she's watching me eat cheese. Lately we've taken to calling her the 'cheese monster'. 

Our daughter is a vet, so ours isn't allowed cheese for reasons I'm not sure I understand.  It might contain calories, possibly...

 Flinticus 16 Oct 2020
In reply to Dave Garnett:

Calories = energy = long walks are required!

 Timmd 16 Oct 2020
In reply to Adam_42:

I had a sneaky amount of fun when looking a dog, by moving my pizza slice back and forth watching her expression following in sync.

Post edited at 13:02
In reply to Adam_42:

Oh wow, very similar... closest I had seen was one with a pink nose.

 Roadrunner6 16 Oct 2020
In reply to balmybaldwin:

3 people disliked your post. Not sure quite what there was to offend people..


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