About Me. What can I say about me? well not a lot. I have lived in Kendal all my life, spent most of my leisure time in and around the Lake District, canoeing, cycling, motorcycling and driving, somewhere along the way I became a sea match fisherman, not such a bad one, a boat fisherman sometime's quite a sick one, but not once did I ever contemplate setting foot on the hills. I grew up with strange ideas about the fells,mostly fueled by my father who told me terrifying tales of this alien environment, people falling from cliffs even getting blown into the next valley, deaths and heroic rescues, now with hindsight and having been up there to see for myself, I think he was just scared of something he knew nothing about and if he was alive today would jump at the chance of a guided tour of the Lakeland Fells. Please don't fall into the same trap.

In his defence I was quick to draw up my own opinions, it was a strange pastime, pursued by strange people, who in there right mind would drag their body, sweating heavy, to the summit then down again, probably sweating equally as heavy, what I had not noticed was, there was an awful lot of them. I had a friend in the Kendal Mountain Rescue, when asked,"why fell walk"he described it as a spiritual experience.

Everything was about to change, It was the height of Thatchers Britain and like many I had a young family an unaffordable mortgage, no money and not much hope, two weeks off work found us at a loose end, yes you guessed it the hills were free.

A cheap guide book was purchased and in less than perfect walking attire, on a typical grey Lakeland day one four year old, a seven year old, my long suffering wife guided by myself headed up to Allcock Tarn above Grasmere, it may not be very high but the views are to die for. Windermere to the south, Coniston Water to the west and a litany of hills I ought to know the names of but never, I was hooked and had to see more. Short walks turned into longer walks, longer walks into all day rambles, the kids grew up, found other pastimes, we travelled into Scotland and Wales.

I became a Wainwright Bagger photographing every summit as I crossed it, as the miles clocked up I became the lone walker you often see on the Lakeland Fells, I think spiritual experience. aptly describes Fell Walking, Then out of the blue.

On a cold February day in 2005 a bizarre fell walking accident saw me stranded on Dove Crag in deep snow, refusing to be stretchered off the hill, from what I can remember the conversation went something like "I'll crawl of this f------ mountain rather than be rescued",which I proceeded to do, three miles of hell followed, but I got to Cow Bridge with blisters on my hands the size of tennis ball's and amidst all the pain a smile like a Cheshire Cat.

The smile did not last long, the following day saw me crawl onto the back seat of a taxi heading for casualty where a soft spoken doctor with Indian accent proceeded to tell me the severity of my injuries, the words I remember clearly were "no more football" but even worse "no more mountain walking",

"How long" was my reply?

"Not ever" came back the answer, a list of do's and do nots was handed to me and I was ushered on my way, If the doctor had realized the enormity of his words I think counselling would have been forthcoming, they did honour me with a wheelchair ride back to the waiting taxi, but above all the jokes and well wishes all I could mutter was "no more hill walking my arse" several times over.

So here I was crippled, stuck at home with a frozen bag of peas, a computer full of not very good mountain photographs for company, I sat there for a day with the clouds of depression gathering, looking at pictures of places I most probably would never visit again, then an idea, when I get back into the hills a website of my walks in and around the Lake District, well it was hope at least.

It is surprising what hope and ambition can do, with the help of painkillers and a stout walking stick off I went, five minutes down the road then back, the following morning the same, then in the afternoon ten, each walk over, my painkillers and frozen bag of peas awaited me. Days passed to weeks, weeks to months, five minutes became ten, ten became twenty and so on. Always taking great care not to stand on uneven surfaces until one day I tried to cross a field, disaster at the first obstacle a stile, stuck on top, unable to get down, eventually rescued by a pensioner, perhaps the soft spoken doctor was right.

I started carrying a camera, the stiles crossed were photographed, it may seem a strange thing to do but it made sense to me, the strange thing is I don't know why, perhaps it was peak bagging on a much smaller scale, stiles crossed were entered on a slide show named Every Walker's Friend, that I decided would be the name of my website,( if you have read this far you'll know it is not), Permission given to drive, stiles were crossed further a- field, then one day I found myself on the slopes of Pen-y-ghent and did it feel good, you bet it did. I was now walking the gentle hills of the Yorkshire Dales but had yet to take my chances in the Lake District.

Still unable to peddle my cycle I found myself stepping out of the car on the edge of Buttermere, staring at the steep slopes of Grasmoor,the thought never occurred to me I may never be able to get up there, today was the day.From Buttermere I would attempt the steep ascent to Whiteside Edge then onto Grasmoor, the time had come, well Whiteside Edge came and went, the descent off Sand Hill was no problem, Grasmoor was reached the views off all were photographed I was back,"No more mountain walking my arse".

Look, Enjoy, hope to see you on the hill one day,

--------------------------------------------------------------------------Carlo.