On The Edge with the Sigma Merrill

Striding Edge, perhaps not the worlds most perilous knife edge ridge, but I really don’t like the exposure of ridges, and with an attempt on Crib Goch muted, I had to get my head straight.

Striding Edge | Sigma DP3 Merrill | www.richardjwalls.com
Striding Edge | Sigma DP3 Merrill | http://www.richardjwalls.com

The first time I walked it I was in my teens on a busy summer day.  Even then, as I watched kids and dogs run amok with gay abandon, I wasn’t so certain. For me there was an ever present sense of danger.

Ullswater | Sigma DP1 Merrill | www.richardjwalls.com
Ullswater from the path to Hellvelyn | Sigma DP3 Merrill | http://www.richardjwalls.com

The last time I bottled it, taking the lower path. Perhaps it was too windy, or too misty; whatever the reason it was just an excuse to get me the hell off the ridge.

Striding Edge | Sigma DP1 Merrill | www.richardjwalls.com
Striding Edge | Sigma DP1 Merrill | http://www.richardjwalls.com

This time there was no wind, there was no mist, there was no excuses. I dallied for a while taking photos then …

Striding Edge | Sigma DP1 Merrill | www.richardjwalls.com
Striding Edge | Sigma DP3 Merrill | http://www.richardjwalls.com

Stepping onto the ridge it’s hard to describe the feeling; not vertigo, not dizziness, instead a lack of confidence in my balance, my sure footedness deserting me, my legs and brain disconnecting.

Striding Edge | Sigma DP1 Merrill | www.richardjwalls.com
Striding Edge | Sigma DP3 Merrill | http://www.richardjwalls.com

So I take my time. I stand on exposed ridge stones to let others pass. I stop to take photos. I let the wind blow around me. As my confidence improves my legs and brain reconnect, my feet go where I want them to go.

Striding Edge | Sigma DP1 Merrill | www.richardjwalls.com
Striding Edge | Sigma DP1 Merrill | http://www.richardjwalls.com

And with a last scramble to the top I’m done! And it’s my first time on Helvellyn in the sunshine, not the mist.

Striding Edge | Sigma DP1 Merrill | www.richardjwalls.com
Striding Edge | Sigma DP3 Merrill | http://www.richardjwalls.com

To bag some more Wainwrights I took the long way home, via Nethermost and Dollywagon Pike. Behind me the Edge seemed ever present.

Nethermost Pike | Sigma DP1 Merrill | www.richardjwalls.com
Nethermost Pike from Dollywagon Pike | Sigma DP1 Merrill | http://www.richardjwalls.com
St Sunday Crag | Sigma DP3 Merrill | www.richardjwalls.com
St Sunday Crag | Sigma DP3 Merrill | http://www.richardjwalls.com

As I headed down Grisedale the Edge was stuck in my head as well. I’d met my goal, but did I endure it or enjoy it? More to the point Crib Goch is a hell of a lot longer and more exposed!

Grisdale | Sigma DP1 Merrill | www.richardjwalls.com
Grisdale | Sigma DP1 Merrill | http://www.richardjwalls.com

And on that note I read this fantastic post today from 2010, https://nicklivesey.wordpress.com/2010/01/03/alpine-wales/

Shooting Notes 

All taken with the Sigma DP1 and DP3 Merrill, hand held at ISO100. I was focussed so much on the ridge the tripod stayed firmly in the bag!

http://www.richardjwalls.com