The following year we enjoyed much better weather when the Dotcom Walkers met at Starbotton. We refer to this as the Seven Father Christmas's Walk for as we crossed into Littondale we encountered eight chaps on their annual get together weekend - seven dressed as Santa Claus and the eighth as a dog. This last one hit the fancy dress shop after the Santa outfits had run out.
Bryan and I pushed along one of my favourite footpaths above the Glenderaterra where without any appreciable effort the way becomes elevated as the valley floor falls away. We had our final encounter of the walk - another chap heading towards Skiddaw House to sample the conditions. I was relieved to hear his report that there were a few cars on the car park. He also alerted us to the awkwardness of the craggy corner as the path emerges from the valley. Thanking him we carried on to complete what had been an outstanding and memorable walk. Bryan was abuzz with the experience of prolonged contact with a wild part of the country in challenging conditions. He wondered if it was the same for me. I reassured him that experiences like that never become routine. At least they don't for me. I enjoyed it as much as he did.
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