Saturday, September 06, 2014

Completion of The Far Eastern Fells

This week saw us complete the last 7 of The Far Eastern Fells over 3 days, that in itself was quite an accomplishment as they are the furthest from us & some of them oh so remote & it puts us to within 2 of the finale.
We had planned to camp at Bowness-on-Windermere but the site was full so we headed back to a site we have used almost every year at Glenridding – Gillside.
Crag is very chilled out watching the world go by at the tent entrance, note the crossed legs.  We had a short walk to the shores of Ullswater on Monday.
On Tuesday we travelled over the Kirkstone Pass to Troutbeck where we started our walk, the goal today is to complete the 3 fells to the right of the picture (by the way we calculated the distance our bus ride two weeks ago was which was 2.1miles so Stagecoach charged us £1.31 a mile on that route)
We started by walking through Limefitt Park & up onto the fell above it
There is quite a walk in but these fells are not near a road so this is necessary
Soon we are quite high above the park, with the hamlet of Troutbeck below
The first section is a good path marked on the map as Garburn Road or Garburn Pass
We reach the col where the pass starts to descend to Kentmere & this is the point we turn left & start heading for the first fell
Again a good track, its been a good walk with flat sections between the climbs, a chance to stretch your legs out
We have now lost sight of the summits
Looking back & some of Windermere has come into view
No time for sentiment but we are looking across at Wansfell which is also known as The Hundreds which was our 100th fell which we climbed with Andy Talbot back in October 2007 (the 10th of to be precise!)
Fix the Fells have done a grand job on this path, its so much easier where the path has been maintained
The summit cairn comes into view
Yoke (706m)
Zooming in on our next summit with its impressive cairns
The summit photo
Kentmere Reservoir, we were on the fells behind it a few weeks ago
An easy ridge walk from Yoke
With a little climb to our highest point of the day
One of the three impressive cairns on the summit
Ill Bell (757m), Crag is trying to catch some of the flying insects which we soon realise are flying ants that will be a part of most of the rest of the walk across the summits
A reasonably steep drop off, part of High Street in the background
The views are amazing up here
Looking back at Ill Bell
And looking down on what will be our fourth fell of the day
We reach our third summit of the day
Part of High Street, Mardale Ill Bell & Harter Fell which are the continuation of the Kentmere Round or Horseshoe
Froswick (720m) & we are still being besieged by flying ants so decide lunch will have to be further down the fell
We drop off to the col where we turn left & head back into the Troutbeck valley
A grassy path to follow down
Troutbeck Tongue which is to be our fourth, lying below us
Looking back at where we had walked, its a 64m climb from the north side to the next summit
Too many ants to put the camera down so just Karen at the summit of Troutbeck Tongue (364m)
However as we have had our small climb up, the valley has dropped below & we have 144m of descent back to the valley floor in a much shorter distance
Looking across at Yoke
Ahh at last the flat valley floor walk back to the car
Meanwhile back at the tent……….  Please let me sleep, job done day 1.
On the second day we headed to the tiny hamlet of Sadgill at the end of Longsleddale valley.  We chose the most direct route which was about 26miles yet it took us one & a half hours to get there.  We have decided to call it a once in a lifetime experience as it is so remote we have no intention of returning.  The roads were so narrow that 3rd gear became an aspiration, white lines were irrelevant as the only two vehicles that could have passed were bikes & passing places were an obvious afterthought.  Never again.  Karens left knee had had a full clutch workout by the time we arrived & it was a wonder we made it up any fells at all.
Ok rant out the way, but the fells weren’t worth the effort to get here either, thanks Wainwright for including these.
Sadgill comprises of a bridge & a couple of farms
There are no footpaths marked on the map for the ascent so we had to pick our way up
Looking back down on Sadgill, the track on the ground had led us up though these ferns
And then follows the course of a stream, you can see the car & bridge below
It’s grassy nothingness
One of many stone posts in the area, Wainwright remarks they were erected in connection with the construction of the Haweswater Aqueduct
The second summit in the distance also with an aqueduct post on it
And across the barren moorland to our first summit, to keep our height we approach it on a dog-leg rather than head direct to it.
There really isn’t a lot to see up here
A lone sheep probably looking for greener grass!
Finally the summit, Grey Crag (638m), the ordnance survey mark it as Sleddale Fell
The summit photo
Nothing to report in-between so here we are at the final fell of the day
Tarn Crag (664m) & a wonky stone
Branstree & Selside Pike (Bess’s last 2 Wainwrights in December 2011)
It’s a far gentler, all be it longer descent back to the car
Goat Scar, an impressive rock outcrop, wouldn’t want to be at the bottom when those boulders move
Waterfalls on the River Sprint (see even the water is keen to get out of here!)
It’s a wide track that leads us back out of the valley
I can hear water & now see it, why can’t I get in?
Well if I can’t play in the river, can I play with a stick?  He is unbelievable how much energy he has
Looking back up the valley for the last time
Back at the tent, day 2 job done.
On Thursday we pack up the tent & Karen convinces Andy there is a stand alone fell that we have to complete to finish The Far Eastern fells.
We drive up yet more narrow windy roads to Dale Head in Martindale Common.
The fell is inside a deer park & in Wainwrights day was totally out of bounds to the public “ ‘Keep Out’ notices, barricaded gates, and miles of barb wire must convey the impression to even the dullest-witted walker that there is no welcome here ”  So we ask why did he include it?  Like the previous days walk there are no official rights of way marked on the map so you have to make your own route.
Anyway suddenly about 100 deer appear & pass below us
Like yesterday it’s make your own route time
Looking back down
Towards the remote end of Martindale valley
It’s just a relentless, endless grass bank
The Nab (576m)  We are sure it’s much higher than that, it certainly felt it.
No summit photo as we are again besieged by flying ants.
The most direct route would have been up the front of the fell, but that involved crossing some land that wasn’t open access, but having found the way up soul destroying we didn’t want to go back that way & decided to take the direct way back & hope we weren't stopped from walking across the non-open access land.
The Bungalow a former hunting lodge, now a holiday let
After a gentle start this fell bit us again with this really steep grassy bank.  Andy braved walking down it, Karen decided she was going down slowly on her backside
OK it has got a little less steep a photo can be taken
We make it off in one piece
To grassy fields at the bottom, we know we are OK until the wall in the distance & then we need to get across to the track to walk back to the car.
We have made it to the track
The Nab from the road, a really tough little fell that we have absolutely no intention of ever climbing again
So here we are 212 out of 214 fells climbed & just one camping trip away from finishing them all.  This week has been a tough three days but worth it to be where we are now.

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