Meet the mini-mountaineers tackling the Wainwright walks
- Credit: MILTON HAWORTH.
Many youngsters their age are content to play with their toys, but a Bowness brother and sister are happiest in their walking boots.
Everyone has high hopes for their children but Susie Anton has taken it to a whole new level. Her daughter, Marley-Rose, five, and her brother Kobe, four, started climbing just about as soon as they could walk. Now, the girl with a head for heights has completed 40 of the 214 Lake District fells known as ‘Wainwrights’ while her little brother has conquered an impressive 25.
Susie, 33, a personal trainer from Bowness, has been with her children every step of the way but all the hikes have been done under their own steam.
She said: ‘I wanted to get them into outdoor activities and fitness as soon as possible. I would go out jogging with them in a stroller and as soon as Marley-Rose could walk, she wanted to jog too.
‘We did our first Wainwright when Marley-Rose was about 18 months old, leaving Kobe, who was six months old, with his grandparents. We walked up Loughrigg and she did it all on her own. Mind you, it took us all day!’
As well as Loughrigg Fell the youngsters have already managed some of the more difficult climbs like Skiddaw and Helvellyn. Marley-Rose also climbed Coniston Old Man in bleak mid-winter under the watchful eyes of Susie, a single mum.
They often meet seasoned walkers who can’t believe their eyes when they see the small children appear at the summit of these ‘Wainwrights’.
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‘People are so surprised when they see them walking up the mountains because they are so young,’ said Susie. ‘They often get high-fives from other walkers who can’t believe how tiny they are.’
The children have had walking birthday parties where friends and family join in on the fells. Marley-Rose is now taking up fell running with Susie.
Will they bag all 214 Wainwrights? ‘We just try to make the climbs fun and they seem keen to keep doing more walks. I’m so incredibly proud of them both but I’m also just constantly amazed. I can’t believe it sometimes.
‘It’s great that they love the outdoors and its a massive bonus that we live in the fabulous Lake District with this incredible beauty on our doorstep.’