Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Completion of The Eastern Fells

Today we completed the final fell in Wainwright’s Eastern Fells book.
We parked at Dunmail Raise which gave us the advantage of being at 226m to start off with.
The first part of the walk was parallel with the A591 along a grassy path
Looking up at the fell, rather than go directly at it the route we have chosen follows Raise Beck
The path keeps drifting in and out of the sunshine
We need to climb up to the skyline before turning right for the final 160m of height
Looking back the road seems a long way down now
Crag is very happy we are following a beck and he climbs up via the beck for much of the walk
And waits for stones to be thrown whenever there is a pool of water
The path flattens out & we know we will be turning right shortly
To our left is Dollywagon Pike
And this is what we have left to climb
Grisedale Tarn comes into view, we have walked to it before but then headed for Ullswater
We are nearly at the top now, looking back
A panorama from the summit, the tarn is Grasmere, to the eagle eye Windermere & Coniston are also visible (it’s a bit hazy in the photograph)
And looking north-east, Ullswater is just visible.  You can also see Helvellyn & Fairfield from here
Seat Sandal (736m)
It was just a there & back walk today so we retrace our steps back
It got really windy whist we were on the summit & you can just see the waves it is making on Grisdale Tarn
A very nice 3 hour walk & we are into single figures now for our Wainwright’s

Saturday, August 23, 2014

A Return Trip to Brothers Water

This week we managed to get away again, going back to the first camp site we had visited this year near Brothers Water.
The weather wasn’t perfect but Wednesday was due to be dry with some sunshine but Tuesday night was forecast to be very cold.
Andy is enjoying himself, really….
Wednesday dawned fine & the sun soon lifted the dew from the grass (it was the coldest night we had ever spent in a tent), two of the fells we could see from the site were due to be numbers 2 & 4 today.  Note how steep the fell to the left is from here.
We had planned this trip for the school holidays as there is a bus that runs throughout the holidays along the road outside the campsite from Penrith to Windermere.  We could take this bus from the site to The Kirkstone Inn & then walk back to the camp site.  The big advantage this had was the inn was 265m higher up the pass than the site was.
The bus was due at 10:09 so at 20 past when it hadn’t arrived we were beginning to worry it wasn’t coming, but eventually it did arrive.  It was only one stop on the bus so we were rather surprised how expensive it was at £2.75 each, however when we realised that was just over 1p per metre climbed it seemed incredibly good value!
In less than 10 minutes after a slow bus journey up the pass we are at The Kirkstone Inn.
Where there is a rather understated sign telling us our first fell is only 3/4 mile away (so 15 – 20 mins then)?
Only 3/4 mile up this then
It is a good path & before too long the inn is fading into the distance
The path weaves its way up the fell
The pass continues on with “The Struggle” joining it to the right from Ambleside
The next bus is on time!
It only takes us 50 minutes & we have reached the summit
The trig point of Red Screes (776m) the highest point we will be at today
The first of many wonky summit photos today!
Our next fell is below us & on the right hand side of this picture
It really is downhill all the way, Brothers Water in the distance
Perhaps there is about a 10m climb at the end.
It feels a real cheat that within 15 minutes we have reached our second summit of the day & for the superstitious we were only on 13 Wainwrights to go for that length of time.  However if we had walked this from the camp site we would have known we had done a fell as it is a steep drop down to the north.
Looking back up at Red Screes
Stunning views up here
Middle Dodd (654m)
Next we attempt to contour our way to the third fell
Some black clouds start to gather, but thankfully we don’t see any rain
We make our way to Scandale Pass where we start our next climb
Wainwright describes this fell as “the sentinel of Scandale Pass.. taking it’s duty of guarding the Pass very seriously & proudly.  It has the appearance, in fact of a crouching watchdog”  It is certainly quite stark against the boggy moorland around it.
After a gradual climb the summit push is quite steep.
Perfect for a lunch stop, that is Lake Windermere in the distance
Looking across the valley, Red Screes to the right & Middle Dodd to the left, you can see how little effort was required between the two.
Little Hart Crag (637m), each summit gets lower today
Looking towards our final fell with Brothers Water in the distance
A pathetic cairn marks the summit
Zooming in on the camp site, our tent & car are below the tree that is left of centre.  The site was far busier when we left this morning, it seems a lot of people have left
Zooming back out
High Hartsop Dodd (519m), now only 10 Wainwrights to go.
We decide to take the very steep but direct route back.  It is not an official right of way, but it is within Open Access land & you can see many have walked this route in the past.  Andy is holding up a twig that Crag has found, he seems to know when we are heading back and always finds a stick of some description that he wants thrown!
This would have been a tough way up
A very similar view throughout the descent
We got rather wet taking the tent down on Thursday, but had a lovely couple of days & a great walk on Wednesday.