Peter Stephens
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Peter Stephens - Eskdale, The Lake District, 1958

During my final scheme on course E80 in 1958 my group and I fought our way from Honister via Dalehead and Robinson to High Snockrigg in the teeth of a violent storm. From there we descended into Buttermere, soaked to the skin, and eventually made camp in the little wood in Warnscale Bottom which is unchanged to this day!

If anyone had suggested, as we tried to cook in gale force winds, that this apparently bleak and godforsaken spot would turn into my favourite valley they would have got their head in their hands to play with.

My view started to change a few years later when as a temporary instructor at Eskdale I manned the safety post at Birkness and also climbed with boys in Birkness Coomb. It was not a very popular spot due to the long walk in, but that did not trouble me and I was there on several occasions. Now retired, I am in Buttermere three or four times a year. I walk more slowly and do not despise a lift to Honister Hause to start a walk, but to me it has become a second home.

The discovery of the beauty of Buttermere has given me pleasure for half a century.