Book Review: Winter Walks in the Lake District

Pocket size Lake District winter walking & climbing guide

Amazon link: Winter Walks in the Lake District: Fell walks & easy snow climbs for the winter mountaineer

by Stephen Goodwin

I was provided this book by the publisher and review is my own uninfluenced thoughts. I have given this book 4/5

The by-line of the book is ‘fell walks and easy snow climbs for the winter mountaineer’ and contains a series of walks ranging in distance from 5-13km with climbs up to grade II in difficulty (though alternate route choices are offered). I have picked this book up as a reasonable summer hill and mountain walker beginning to think about winter hiking. I am always looking for a challenge and enjoyable day out, but never to push myself beyond the point where I do not feel safe, this guide offered some great starting points. Goodwin introduces this guidebook as his ‘winter fun book,’ a collection of his favourite winter outings ‘nothing too nail biting, but all rimmed with the magic and exhilaration that snow brings’. Goodwin covers the essentials including kit, safety, how to be rescued and land conservation. He is not shy to stress that even the most benign summer paths must be respected in winter conditions and that this is a guide book and not a teaching manual. This guide it is not written for a pure beginner who has never ventured into the hills before and you are expected to understand basic mountaineering terms and have basic winter skills in place. Ice axe and crampons are required for all these walks. However, this is a good read as an introduction to where the beginner winter hiker with only the basic skills should look to next in developing their skills to tackle the next challenge.

There are 13 routes, but each can contain several route options of variable difficulty. Each walk or climb includes and written introduction, route stats (distance, ascent, time, grid references…) OS map segment, elevation profile, grading and a step by step route description. The guide is pocket sized so can easily be carried on the hills, however, it is not a substitute for a map and compass. It includes some beautiful photographer that makes you want to get out in the hills! I enjoyed Goodwin’s hill descriptions in the introduction, he passion for these mountains are obviously clear. The guide book also includes an appendix with a directory of B&Bs, bunkhouse, pubs and other recommended books.

Cover image

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