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Has this been done? Will it ever be done?
Background: I've been paragliding for a while. A couple of years ago I had a nasty crash and broke a leg. This year I broke the ankle on the same leg. I've now got so much metal in there I'm not comfortable getting airborne again, so I'm considering diving as an alternative pursuit.
Nine years ago I walked all the Wainwrights (Lake District fells) - lots of people do that. Three years later, I paraglided all the Wainwrights. As far as I know, nobody else has. Wrote a book about it - google "wainwrights paragliding".
So now I'm thinking diving, and my mother-in-law says "Are you going to dive all the Wainwrights?". That got me thinking.
What would that even mean?
I figured the simplest interpretation would be: visit the deepest point of every decent-sized body of water in the Lake District. That should present a decent challenge, while being achievable in a reasonable amount of time, even considering that I'd be learning to dive first.
Then the investigation started.
First thing I found out: many of the lakes and tarns are absolutely rubbish for diving in. Nothing in there, and if there was, you couldn't see it because of the silt that runs off the fells and kills visibility. Well, OK, but there are summits that are dull and uninteresting (Mungrisdale Common, I'm looking at you, but not for very long...).
(2): some of the largest most significant bodies of water are reservoirs owned by United Utilities, and completely off-limits for diving. These include Thirlmere and Haweswater. Fine, cross those off.
(3): it seems there's no such thing as lightweight diving gear. Some of the tarns are a long, hard trek up from the nearest place you can park a car. Carrying diving gear just makes it harder.
(4): by "outdoorsy people" standards, divers are lazy. I've heard tales of people complaining about having to cross a road from where the van is parked to get to the water's edge.
(5): there's no sensible way to do this alone, so I'm going to have to find a dive buddy who's prepared to do this nonsense with me. See (3) and (4) for how likely that is.
(6): some of the lakes are DEEP. It's well known that Wast Water at 79m is the deepest in England, but you can at least park right next to that. Blea Water, a glacial tarn above Haweswater, is 61m deep and the surface is at 488m (over 1600 feet). Dives that deep require, I'm told, advanced training, preparation and equipment, and are pretty hazardous.
From all of the above I concluded that while my original idea (visit the deepest point of every major body of water in the Lakes) CAN be done in theory, it is something that I won't be attempting. Further, I'm going to stick my neck out and say that nobody will ever do it.
That, in itself, seems incredible to me - on one level the "challenge" seems relatively straightforward, but when you lay out the obstacles, it becomes impossible. Can this be true? Surely there's some nutjob out there who would be prepared to take on this task? I mean, people have done much more stupid things for basically no reason..
Then again, who would be impressed by it (apart from me, I mean)? It's hardly a route to fame and fortune. Then again, neither was paragliding the Wainwrights, and some nutjob did indeed do that (I finished almost exactly six years ago).
Any thoughts on this?