It started out as such a simple idea. Let’s climb a mountain. And before I knew it, the plan was coming together. My eldest son and I are hoping to climb Scafell Pike in a couple of weeks, camping overnight up in the Lakes, and spending a whole day getting up and down the mountain.
For it is a mountain – Oh yes, and very big it is too. I’ve been getting a hold of the OS map, and trying to remember if I have a compass lying around somewhere, and generally pulling the plan together and then it hit me.
It’s going to cost a tank of petrol to get there and back. A whole tank of petrol.
When I was leaerning to drive, petrol was only about 60p a litre. A 60 litre tank cost less than £40 to fill to the brim. Now it’s over £1.30 a litre, and more like £80 to fill her up. That’s a lot of money for a single trip for a single mountain. That’s four times the pitch fee for the tent.
I’m not being deliberately obtuse. There are no railway stations very close to the big hills, and I understand market forces and supply drive the price up. I’m also aware the majority of the money I pay to fill the tank goes to the Government in taxes which pay for the huge debts we’ve racked up as a country. I kind of understand, but I simply don’t like it. It’s not like I keep eighty quid in a pot just in case I need to go somewhere.
On the plus side, once we’re up there, it’s just us, the mountain, and a well established trail that will take a number of hours to climb. And then we’ll be the highest people in England.
The next trek will doubtless be Snowdon, and then I rather fancy Snaefell over on Mann. I wonder how much the fuel costs for the ferry…