A Dartmoor Diary from Chagford - Latest!

A Dartmoor Diary from Chagford - Latest!

The Assistant is standing in Keswick Museum and Art
Gallery. She is beyond excitement. Some dear friends have invited her and the
Photographer to stay with them in the Lake District. She has always had an
ambition to learn more of the great A.W. ( Alfred Wainwright ) Here she is at
a whole exhibition about him. He was the big figure in the encouragement of
fell walking. Here, you can touch the suit that he walked in and stand under
a bus stop that he will have used to get to the start of his walk. There is an
enormous map of the Lake District on the floor. You can walk on it and see
all those famous walks. You can read his school report and see some of his
drawings. As many of you will know, his books are full of information and
details. They are exquisite and even if you can't walk, you can go with him
in his writings and drawings. Indeed, unable to find a companion or a way of
walking Hadrian's Wall complete, the Assistant has bought his guide and will
sit in front of her Moorland winter fire engrossed in vicariously doing just

The dreadful bonus of this trip has been to see the
endeavours of Jo Tasker and Pete Bordman repeated in an adjoining room. She
had met their climbs before in an all encompassing exhibition of
mountaineering in Scotland, and The Photographer, who was born the same year
as Tasker, had followed their exploits whilst they were alive, with
enthusiasm and admiration. These two amazing pioneering climbers forced out
the boundaries of Alpine style climbing. Tasker had taken a decision as a
young man not to become a priest, but to climb instead. Both men perished on
Everest in 1982. Their bodies have never been found. Tasker's camera was
found and the film had been developed. Other bits and pieces turn up from
time to time. There are postcards to his parents. The exhibition is too
evocative and heartbreaking. You long to go back to that mountain and help
these two to continue, but it is this impossibility that is so cruel!

Well, you can't just go to the exhibition and sit and have
an Eccles cake, you've now got to do some fell walking yourself. The
Photographer, the Assistant, and John, their experienced friend, set off to
"do" Catbells, one of Wainwright's easier walks. The Assistant is
thrilled to have such companions and takes an extra puff of medication so as
not to let them down! What wonderful views await the three. A walk not too
long, but just right, the beauty of which is so incandescent, you wonder that
Alfred ever returned to his day job. He must have sat on that bus, puffing on
his pipe with great satisfaction.  Read more here

For more about what to do and where to stay in historic Chagford visit the official destination website