MANCHESTER DIARY
Lowe and behold!

PEAK FITNESS: Michael Lowe at the summit of Scafell Pike

SUNDERLAND-born Michael Lowe has four top tips for climbing the famed Wainwrights.

  • Wear decent walking boots.
  • Protect against the weather.
  • Check the forecast before you set off.
  • Know your own limitations — don’t be scared to turn back.

The father of Shoshanna, Aaron, Shimon and Elisheva should know as he’s climbed all 214 Wainwrights — the fells in the Lake District.

Michael, who is married to Denise and lives in Salford, explained: “They were given this name because they were documented in great detail by the late Alfred Wainwright in his series of seven Pictorial Guides, published from 1955-66.

“Prior to 2009 I had climbed six of them on an ad-hoc basis, but then I was made aware of BBC Four’s Wainwright Walks with Julia Bradbury, which inspired me to set a goal of reaching the remaining 208 summits over a seven year period. And last month, I did just that.”

The impressive feat was completed over 65 different excursions. But, it wasn’t all plain sailing for Michael.

He said: “The weather is a challenge — I always check out the mountain weather information service before I go.

“But high winds can make exposed ridges dangerous. I was once blown sideways by the wind, but thankfully I was on a wide ledge.

“A smaller one would have been dangerous.

“Rain is always a problem, especially when not properly protected.”

He added: “It’s great for cardiovascular exercise.

“There’s always tremendous scenery, and plenty of solitude.

“This gives me time to think and reflect, especially away from the tourist hotspots.”

A major change since Michael started this journey is technology.

Where once he used Ordinance Survey maps, he now uses digital ones.

“This is great for me, as not only do I have the entire area on my phone, but I can zoom in . . . which helps when you’re eyesight gets worse,” he joked.


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