A sheep trod wove its way up the steep fell side, gaining height with an ease unmatched by any route a human could devise. Following it and climbing all the time I skirted small outcrops of rock, crossed a stream full of melt-snow water at the best point to do so, and finally arrived on the ridge. Stopping to catch my breath, for although the route to a sheep would have been easy this human was very unfit, I gazed at the view in front of me. My horizon was filled with snow covered peaks under a bright blue sky. Warm sunlight bathed the ridge and gave a small crag to my left a sharpness normally unseen.
The Coniston foxhounds had disappeared to god knows where, and had been gone for some time. I’d watched them climb the fell side I now stood on. It had been a beautiful sight as they climbed, in a line, like as someone put it “a hound trail.” Their music had carried down the valley, growing fainter as they crested the ridge and then as they dropped into the next valley it disappeared altogether, leaving an eerie silence.To read more, log in above or click here to subscribe.