Bouldering Below The Old Man

The cloud beginning to lift, revealing the Old Man of Coniston and Boulder Valley.

I couldn’t actually find the boulders.  I walked back and forth along the same stretch of grassy ridge looking at the boulders scattered around me, trying to find one that matched the photos in my new guidebook.  If I could find the Ridge Stone boulder, then I could orientate myself and get on the right track.  But in the mist it wasn’t easy to work out which rock was which.  I felt certain I’d missed the path to Boulder Valley shown in the guidebook, and so had ended up walking too far up the ridge.  The Ridge Stone was shown in the guidebook’s map as being after the start of the path I wanted.  I reasoned that if I found the Ridge Stone, I would know for sure I had gone too far. I looked again at a tall boulder sitting just to the side of the path, trying to work out if its shape matched that of the boulder shown in my book.  The whole situation felt ridiculous.  I felt ridiculous.  I was walking about in the mist, on the first day of a bouldering trip to the Lake District, unable to find the boulders I’d come all this way to climb. Read more