The Journal

18th November 2014

A Quest in the North West. 1.

By the Moonlighting Mail Order Manager

Have you ever had an urge for adventure but put it on the back burner? Well stop everything because one Chapman employee has decided to get up and get on. Our mail order manager, Carolyn, has always wanted to climb the peaks of Cumbria. Living in Carlisle (where our factory is based), it seemed a fitting bucket list activity. So finally, with customer orders in her head, a Chapman Rucksack and a walking pole in hand, she starts her ascent. Stay tuned in to our new ‘A Quest in the North West’ series as we follow Caz- the Chapman Intrepid Explorer, as she combats every steep incline, battles against the northerly weather and embarks on her Cumbrian adventure with her Chapman Rucksack.

Diary Entry one: Against all odds (& colds) 

Which part of that text didn’t you understand?”

Was it the WE, the ARE, or the GOING?”

Suffering from yet another crazy cold, my walking companion was trying to be kind saying, “The Mountains always wait for us,” but this one was special!

Forfeiting the girls shopping trip to Newcastle on Saturday gave me a full day to shake the head cold to make the trip up Great Gable on Remembrance Sunday for the annual service.

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In the 100th year anniversary what better time to reach the summit along with the other usual 600 walkers! Whatever feelings you have about war and the do you wear/not wear your Poppy with pride, the Poppy a symbol that can create a heated debate, with opinions flying here and there.

I just didn’t want to miss this! Looking at the craggy summit from the distance how you can get 600 people on top is unfathomable. So a night in the Honister Youth Hostel and a hearty full English, we felt equipped to face the climb ahead. I was assured that only the first and last leg of the climb, was a wee bit tough the middle was practically a stroll.

Part way up, several Kleenex breaks later, it became evident we weren’t going to make it for the service, I was gutted, but the views were beautiful, I could see Buttermere and Crummock water.

I was weary, bleary eyed, hacking and coughing, so darn disappointed and on the verge of giving up. However, one aptly named Chocolate bar later and dare I say, a wee dram from the hip flask (for medicinal purposes only of course), I was determined. Great Gable has always been on my tick list!

So on we trudged…
That is until we faced the 600 walkers on their way down. We sat and waited and waited as the path was quite narrow it was too risky trying to go against the tide. Eventually the crowd thinned and we saw a gap to make the final ascent.

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What an exhilarating scramble it was, but for me the hardest part was the most enjoyable. I soon realised had we been there on time for the service, I would have never seen the amazing views from Great Gable Peak; in the distance you can catch the glisten of Wast Water in Wasdale. I was also lucky enough to catch the filming for the Kendal Mountain Festival re-enactment of the first ever service (this
year marks its 90th year).

 I faced a fair few challenges during this adventure up Great Gable but thanks to my Chapman Rucksack I had everything I needed. Armed with complete kit, that didn’t get wet despite some rain, I could battle all obstacles and carry essential equipment such as chocolate of course. It was a very comfortable bag to wear and other walkers would agree it looks great too. Its nice to explore Cumbria with a Cumrbian made product.

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So Border Rucksack and I have conquered our first mountain peak.
Whatever a symbol means to people, the Chapman’s symbol will always be one of quality, durability and style.