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Following in the Footsteps of Wainwright - Climb Haystacks with Chris Butterfield

At Richard Fish Outdoor Adventures, our central ethos is “more than just a walk”; we want to learn and enthuse about the culture, history, and nature of the area we travel. We’re incredibly privileged to team up with Chris Butterfield, the Wainwright expert, to offer a walk to Innominate Tarn, the final resting place of Alfred Wainwright, to learn more about him, the man whose work is widely celebrated and the 214 fells he mapped. There will be the opportunity to summit Haystacks, too. Chris’ knowledge of Wainwright is unrivalled.

The Walk: Join Chris as he recreates and tells the stories behind three memorable journeys to Innominate Tarn on Haystacks. Rare images and audio will also be revealed exclusively on this walk.

The first was Wainwright’s visit to Haystacks on a wet day with the BBC in 1985, featuring all locations featured on TV, including the ‘Wainwright rock’ where Wainwright sat alone to contemplate life beside his beloved tarn. Chris also reveals a rare interview with Wainwright speaking passionately about his favourite Lakeland fell.

Six years later, Percy Duff (a former work colleague) and his two sons, Paul and Mike, assisted Betty Wainwright in fulfilling her husband’s final wish by scattering his ashes by Innominate Tarn. Chris tells the story of that cold day in March 1991.

Discover the friendship between Wainwright and his Westmorland Gazette publisher, Andrew Nichol. For over thirty years, Andrew, 91, regretted not paying his respects to his friend by Innominate Tarn. Thankfully, the Cockermouth Mountain Rescue Team came to his aid to help facilitate Andrew’s final wish to climb Haystacks. This human story touched the nation and highlighted Wainwright’s ongoing legacy and influence in the Lake District.

Chris has a lifelong love of the outdoors and has studied Wainwright extensively for the last seven years. He and his wife Priscilla built a vast personal collection and an archive honouring the world-famous fellwalker. He has also made many discoveries that had not before been public. Chris, the author of Wainwright Memories, has published articles and TV/radio appearances to discuss the life, work, and achievements of the late great fellwanderer.

Chris Butterfield, the ‘Wainwright Aficionado’, is not only Alfred Wainwright’s most dedicated archivist but also a great modern-day ambassador of AW’s legacy, with the enthusiasm and passion for helping keep the interest in Wainwright alive for the next generation. Although this hike centres around 3 specific stories you’ll be able to chat with Chris as we walk to glean any other questions you may have.

To find out more about Chris, visit:



𝐃𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐬: 7th September 2024

The walk is priced at £69 per person and numbers will be capped to keep the intimate feel of the walk. In addition to Chris, there’ll be an experienced Mountain Leader. Everyone that signs up will get a free 2025 Wainwright Calender complied by Chris too

The walk is approx. 7km in total and over some uneven ground, and moderate fitness is needed. You’ll need to be dressed for a full day outside; this walk goes ahead, whatever the weather and some of it will be spent standing around talking about Wainwright and his life. You need a pack up, etc, too. Chris will be selling books if you wish to bring some money. 

To book, email richard@richardfishoutdooradventures.co.uk or hit the book now tab!