Sally's guide to carrying a desk up a mountain - part one


Earlier this week we told you about our Office in the Clouds. But how did we actually do it? Well here is Suzanna with the behind the scenes story of taking a desk to the top of Blencathra……

Having been up Catbells to do handstands with Sally earlier this year, I was not surprised when she mentioned her latest idea to me. We agreed to meet at her house at 9.30am to set off up Blencathra. As I left the office just after 9pm I received a text from Sally asking me to meet her at the foot of Blencathra at 4.30am, how can you refuse such an offer!

Meeting up in the car park
We duly met in a rather chilly carpark just before 4.30am. Sadly there is no photo of Rob sitting in his car with an electric shaver however I can assure you this is what he was doing when I pulled up. At this stage I realised that our walk was going to be a little bit more serious than I first thought.

Alastair Birkett, the local farmer, turned up with his quad bike, trailer and faithful hound to give us a leg up on the walk. We started loading our equipment into the trailer. In went the desk, the lamp, backpacks, camera equipment and a Mac computer.

Loading equipment into the trailer
Rob and Colin set off up the fell with Ted the Dog. Sally and I perched precariously on the back of the quad bike with Justin our star photographer riding in the trailer.

We tore along the rough bumpy track high above the Glenderaterra Valley. Clinging on for dear life, Sally and I managed a selfie that did not convey the extreme fear of our ride. As I was perched on the exposed side of the bike looking straight down the steep sides of the valley I think I was most scared of all.

Selfie on the way up the fellside
Eventually we left the track and started to make our way up hill the fell side. Between us we had the experience of a born and bred Cumbrian (Sally), Alastair the farmer and me - a hillwalker and self confessed cartophile. None of us had a map or any idea if we were taking the quad bike in the right direction.

We started to slowly climb up hill we hit a bolder with the quad bike making quite unhappy noises. There was a huge crunch and all of a sudden we were sliding backwards in a rather uncontrollable fashion.  Sally and I hopped off pretty sharpish but poor Justin was in the trailer and couldn’t get out until Alastair had brought the bike under control.

After a quick inspection underneath and the drive shaft was well and truly broken. Whilst Alastair toiled under the bike, we stood helplessly watching. After rocking back and forth Alastair got the bike running again but it was clear that it would not be taking us any further uphill. By this stage it was just after 5am and still quite dark. Alastair headed back with Sally leaving Justin and I stranded on the dawn hillside with a trailer full of equipment and no mobile signal.

View from the way up
Find out how it all panned out in Part 2 and the Final Installment.

See the final results of Sally's Office in the Sky.