Ron Milnes
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Ron Milnes - Eskdale, The Lake District, 1966

I think it was 1966! About April. The course started with deep snow and ended in hot sunshine. There was bad accident in Lord's Rake and the school took part in the rescue. I remember the morning jog around the school tarn ending with a dive in, the assault course through the trees and the high wall, canoeing on the tarn. I remember climbing on Great Gable by Nape's Needle and being cold and scared. I remember being driven to Wasdale Head enclosed in the back of a covered lorry, and my breath being taken from me when I got out to see the view. I remember washing in cold mountain streams. I remember the final expedition. I developed a love for the Lake District and returned to the old boy's hut above the school many times. There were not many years after 1966 that I didn't return to the Lake District to walk the fells, and I moved to Kendal to live in 2002.
I am semi retired now. I still love to drive over Hard Knott to visit Eskdale and I'm on the fells when ever I can. I still navigate by map and compass, although I also use sat-nav. I thought a month away from my factory apprenticeship in Birmingham would be an easy change. It was tough. It changed my life!