Sunday, September 14, 2014

We Did It

This week we achieved something that has been over 8 years in the making (8 years, 1 month & 22 days to be precise), we completed The Wainwright Fells.
We camped at Chapel House Farm campsite, a new one to us, but perfectly located as we could walk the last two direct from the campsite.  The campsite is also on the coast to coast route so a lot of people just stop the one night there.
Our tent’s up, tea’s made (beer’s cooling) & the sun is shining, can you ask for anything more?
Due in part to the lack of rain the valley is very hazy
The next morning dawns bright, looking across to our last fell, it is the tree lined lower one just right of centre, however we are heading in the opposite direction today.
We are walking into the sun for most of the ascent
Looking back down the valley as we start to climb
Zooming in on the campsite.
Our first sight of the summit, we will climb to the right & head along the ridgeline to it
Combe Gill is pretty dry, I imagine it is pretty spectacular after a lot of rain.
We start the climb up to the ridge, the summit still looks a long way away
Looking back down the valley, we are about the same height as tomorrows fell (in the middle) & we have only been walking for about an hour
Looking across the valley to Rosthwaite Fell, we will descend on that side.
Zooming in on the tent, there were 25 tents & 2 camper vans overnight, it looks like many have left now.
Across the valley to Fleetwith Pike & Dale Head.  Fleetwith Pike is at the south-east end of Buttermere, you realise when you are in a central location like this how small The Lake District is, it’s just the fact that the roads connecting the valleys travel many many more miles than you would as the crow flies.
Looking down on Seatoller
Finally the summit seems to be getting a bit closer
Karen’s been taking the photos so the boys have got ahead so they stop & wait for her to catch up & for a little rest.
The unmistakable shape of Great Gable in the distance
Fleetwith Pike & Honister Slate Mine
The last bit to the summit
And we are presented with this wall of rock to climb up
So we walk around & find this easier route up
We reach the summit & Crag decides it’s time for a nap
The views should be spectacular up here, however it’s so hazy
We chat to a couple on the top & they take our summit photo, Glaramara (783m) our 213th Wainwright
We retrace our steps off the summit & then head for Rosthwaite Fell
We don’t intend to go to the summit, we did that back in August 2007 (the 9th, Bess’s birthday to be precise).  The lower summit is called Bessyboot & we had some pictures taken then we wanted to try to replicate, however when we got there we just couldn’t find the exact locations.
It’s steep with no real paths to follow
Bessyboot & Tarn at Leaves
After a short break at the tarn we head back down, looking across at where we climbed up earlier
Two rock climbers, a rare sight in The Lakes
Soon we are almost back down to the valley floor
And guess what, Crag has found a stick
Two rams eye us with suspicion
The next morning again dawns bright & we set off for our last Wainwright.  This is how close we were to it from the campsite.
A gentle walk across some fields as we get closer
A shallow & still River Derwent
Until Crag causes some ripples
As it would be such a quick walk, we decide we will walk around the fell before starting our ascent
It’s a very well used path, we pass loads of people as we work our way around the fell
The lower post shows Rosthwaite is 1 3/4 miles away & we started from the other side of there so we have added a few extra miles to the day.
Looking at the summit from the other side, it’s quite different, covered in tress rather than the rock you could see from the south
Extensive slate quarrying has gone on it the past here
We reach the western path that will take us to the top
The flat valley belies what the fell now has in store for us
We then come across this plaque to Sir William Hamer who gave the land surrounding the summit to the nation & a seat commemorating his wife.
It’s a steep rock path & we are soon quite a height from the footpath
We come out of the trees & see the rocky summit is in fact a huge slag pile from the slate quarry
A path has been grooved through the slate
Which zig zags it’s way up
Hazy again today
We come to area where many people have stood up large pieces of slate in a kind of memorial
We have reached the summit & Derwent Water is just visible in the distance, like yesterday the views should be amazing here, instead we can’t see very far at all.
We have taken some bubbly up to celebrate.  Castle Crag (290m), the final Wainwright for us.  It is the lowest Wainwright, but certainly not the easiest
The summit cairn, looking south, the visible path below is part of the Allerdale Ramble route
Another plaque here to commemorate the men of Borrowdale who died in the First World War
Looking down on the slates
Karen’s desperate to get a signal on her phone so she can email everyone, however it wasn’t happening & the email didn’t get sent
Derwent Water
Castle Crag is dwarfed by it’s neighbours, this is Grange Fell
We realised we hadn’t got Crag in the first summit picture, so here’s another
Bubbly finished & lunch eaten, we then descend on the eastern side of the fell to the valley floor, stepping stones across the River Derwent
The afternoon clouded over, back at the tent & the sun is trying to get through
We just missed the best of these pictures as the sun set
So there we are 214 fells climbed, every one from all 7 of the pictorial guides
The list that has come on every camping trip with us & duly filled in after each fell
For the stattos some of our progress over the years.
1st Fell - Scafell Pike (the highest) 20th July 2006
214th Fell – Castle Crag (the lowest) 11th September 2014.
The busiest month – May 2008 – 18 fells
The quietest year – 2012 only 1 new fell
Total fells including duplicates 294
We are chuffed to bits with our achievement, so what next?
Well Crag has done exactly half at 107 so we need to finish off the other 107 (Bess managed 175)
Thank you for the card, Joyce & Ian, Les & Bernie