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Catbells is a charming and popular fell that overlooks the magical Derwentwater in the English Lake District. There are numerous reasons for its popularity. Its unmistakable, rising profile seems to beckon all around to one day tread upon its summit. The views from its flanks are lovely, both to the North Western Fells and to the Vale of Keswick and Derwentwater. It combines a taste of easy ridge walking and the flavour of some cheeky little scrambles.


Despite all this, it is not a giant of the Lakes; Catbells is a mountain in miniature at 451 metres. Easily accessible from Keswick and only two hours to climb, Catbells crams in many of the joys of climbing the bigger fells without the hours spent and without potential dangers rearing their heads. Thus, Catbells is a family fell: this is from where its popularity derives.


On Wednesday 28th December, to blow away those Christmas cobwebs, almost my entire close family made a superb ascent of this beloved fell. For my nephews Noah (six) and Dylan (four), it was their first ever mountain day; their first ever fell; their first ever Wainwright. In fact, twenty-five years earlier, it had been their Uncle Alex's first ever fell, at the age of six.


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