George Fisher has been supporting the 10in10 here in Keswick for many years now. When we were asked to sponsor the Family 5in5 Challenge, we were very honored and said yes. Getting families into the outdoors is something George Fisher himself was very passionate about. Since 1957 we have been giving advice about where to go, what to do and what to wear. George was famous for 'lending his gear' out if someone had forgotten their boots, ropes and packs. We still do this today, you can rent boots, walking poles, child carriers, rucksacks, running shoes, race vests and we even have a kids boot exchange.
The family 5in5 is designed to get younger people out in the hills, with their families and covering a more achievable distance for smaller legs. Mind you there is still a very big hill or two in there so you're going to need your mountain legs on!
We recently went out to do a recce of the course but the actual event is on Saturday 29th September. Starting and finishing at the Swinside Inn, it's a lovely 12km/8 miles long and takes in five peaks – Causey Pike (637m), Scar Crags (672m), Outerside (568m), Stile End (447m) and Barrow (455m).
The 5in5 Challenge will be held on Saturday 29th September 2018
Ages: 8 years to 88 years
£10 per person entry fee (with a one-off ‘per group’ fee of £20 – see below for more info.) – Fundraising target per family – £100.00
Distance: 12.9 kilometers / 8 miles
So we set off from the Swinside and headed downhill, on the road, to the Newlands Adventure Centre. This is a good time to make sure boots are on tight, packs are secure and dogs are on leads. The road isn't busy but there are still cars and bicycles moving around and the roads are narrow.
Then the road starts to go up, across a cattle grid (or through a gate) and arriving at an intersection. Take a sharp right turn here and continue along until you find a path that takes you left up on the fells. This path is signposted and is just before you get to a bridge. The lovely part about this section is that you have views up to Causey Pike, your first hill, all the way.
From here you have a long winding walk up to the top of Causey. Make sure you take the time to stop and look around. The whole way up you can see back to the Swinside where you started. As you get higher, Keswick and Derwentwater come into view.
The obvious highlights of the day are the 5 summits and you are about to get to your first. As you approach the summit, there's a rocky scramble, don't do this, take the left hand path around the back of the summit. This path will take you around the rocky section, it is narrow and a little exposed but it will bring you safely to the back of Causey where you can top out and enjoy the views.
From the top of Causey you head along the ridge line towards Sail. This is a lovely undulating path and again gives you great views of the surrounding fells. You'll cross over Scar crags (2nd top) and as you start heading down and towards the Sail zigzags you need to keep an eye out for the x junction From here you turn right and head towards Outerside, your next fell top.
This is a lovely downhill section, a little rocky and uneven in places but your views will change showing you Outerside and Barrow off in the distance. As you get to the lower section you will see a path heading off to the left towards the base of Outerside. This area is a bit marshy and you will most likely get wet feet, even if it's a dry day. Continue up to the top of Outerside (3rd top) and along to Stile End (4th top). From the top of Stile End you need to turn sharp right and head down to Barrow Head.
One last push up to the top of Barrow (5th top) and you get a lovely long grassy downhill all the way down the other side. There's a very clear path all the way down to a t-junction where you will turn right and head along the forest edge until you get down to the road. Turn right onto the road and walk along until you get to Uzicar Farm, turn into the farm and off the road. You may need to put your dogs on leads.
Follow the farm road between the houses. Make sure you keep your dogs on leads through this area as there are free range chickens, sheep and other animals. Once you've walked through all the farm houses you cross over a little stone bridge. There might even be time for a quick game off pooh-sticks here.
You are nearly back to the Swinside Inn, you just need to turn right after the bridge, along the riverside path to the farm gate on your left, go through (making sure you close it behind you), across the field, through another gate and then up the road back to the Swinside Inn.
Once back, collect your well earned medal, some much needed refreshments then you can relax while feeling very smug. You've just walked 8 miles and ticked off 5 peaks in the Lake District.
Watch a fly through of the route:
If you've ever wanted to do a big walk with your kids, this is a great opportunity. There will be marshals on all the tops encouraging your little ones and plying them with sugary snacks. There will be lots of other families out enjoying the challenge and the views are stunning. You can pretty much see where you've come from and where you are going the whole way around.
Here at George Fisher we have always done everything we can to encourage families to get out in the hills. We rent boots for big and small feet, have child carriers, walking poles and can give you any advice you need on what to wear, carry and have for any sort of emergencies, even the 'are we nearly there yet' ones!