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What is Wainwright bagging?

A view of Skiddaw in the Lake District
Skiddaw viewed from Little Man

'Bagging' hills refers to the idea of having climbed a particular peak. For some people, completing as many as they can in one go, or in a particular period of time or even a certain group of hills makes for a decent challenge. Wainwright bagging refers to just that - completing as many Wainwrights as possible (often in a lifetime, but sometimes in a single trip).

What is a Wainwright?

Firstly, A Wainwright is a fell (hill in the Lake District) described by Alfred Wainwright in seven volume pictorial work on the Lakeland Fells. There are 214 peaks that Wainwright described in his books, so for many they can provide a lifetime of adventure!

How hard can it be?

As there are hundreds of Wainwrights to walk up, it means there is a huge variety in terms of terrain, incline level and time required. Although some are very difficult, there is something for just about everyone. Not all are obvious hill peaks either. Some are just high points at the end of a ridge.

If you're of average fitness, you will find fells like Latrigg, Loughrigg Fell, Catbells, Hallin Fell, Skiddaw and High Rigg easy to complete. Those who like more of a challenge, you could do worse than check out Scafell Pike or Yew Barrow.

You do however need to be well prepared to take these on. The Lake District has very changeable weather and you will often be isolated with little cover during these ascends. Loose ground underfoot and steep sides to a lot of the taller peaks can also make climbing them quite dangerous so please make sure you plan your route, follow the rules and note down the number for Mountain Rescue. More information on planning a Wainwright trip can be found here.

If you want to know more about Wainwright bagging, check out the British Mountaineering Council's website (or subscribe for our guide when it comes out).

1 Comment

This is a great introduction to the Wainwrights and what they are as well as how to bag them. A quick and easy guide to follow with some great information about safety and the weather too. Really sums it up well. Great work. 😀

Alfred Wainwright was an inspirational man and because of him, we have the epic Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells to follow too. These can be a great alternative to the usual ordinance maps and they offer the inside knowledge that he had too. Along with some great quotes about the Lake District too, they're well worth checking out for sure.

We recently did a blog on how Alfred Wainwright has inspired us to hike more…

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