North-Western Fells Completed!
Published 10 July 2016
When I write my blogs I often wonder if anyone will read them. My daughter reassured me this week by saying that she reads them; she then qualified this by saying that she has read “a couple” – thanks Heather, there have actually been 13 so far! I am grateful as “a couple” is better than none and thankfully the stats suggest that whilst family involvement might be intermittent, many people from across the globe are logging in regularly.
This week saw me complete the fells in Wainwright’s North-Western Fells book.
03 July; Sale Fell and Ling Fell
These were the two remaining fells from the North-Western book. I had been indoors for a couple of days because Julie had been unwell and the weather had been poor. I was therefore pleased to get out for a few hours to climb these two fells.
I parked the car at Eskin near Wythop Mill and walked a circular route across the valley, through woods to reach the top of Sale Fell. Despite its modest size it has an undulating top with some exposed rock. It also had good views of Bassenthwaite, Cockermouth and in the hazy distance the Scottish Hills across the Solway. Ling Fell was more of a grassy hill but the views were similar.
04 July; Ennerdale Water
Julie felt equal to a gentle stroll so we parked at Bowness Knott and walked along the shore of Ennerdale including a diversion through the trees to Smithy Beck. The water level is high which is encouraging for water supplies and we noted how it contrasted with two years ago when we photographed ourselves on the shoreline and had we tried that on Monday, we’d have been saturated!
The photograph is of the river Liza – meaning ‘shining’ in Old Norse – just before it joins Ennerdale Water. With the sun glinting off it, the name seemed very apt.
05 July; Wasdale Head flat walk
We met our Sussex friends Steve and Julie S who are staying in their caravan in Coniston. This is their first trip to Cumbria and they are still getting used to the narrow roads so the drive over through Ulpha had been ‘exhilarating’.
We followed the low level paths that we checked out last week and I thoroughly enjoyed passing on some of what I’ve learned about the area. We paused in St Olaf’s Church to write a prayer request for our mutual friend Alan who is waging a brave war against cancer.
The Wasdale Head Inn provided a good lunch following which we walked up to Ritson’s Force.
Later we heard from Julie S that the road was closed on the way home and they were diverted along even narrower lanes. Welcome to Cumbria, Steve and Julie!
07 July; Rosthwaite Fell and Glaramara
Having been helping out at the local Mother and Toddler group, Julie was invited to attend their summer outing to Gincase Farm Park near Silloth; she made friends with a horse and later in the day, apparently had a very nice lunch.
Meanwhile, I packed up my sandwiches …
I drove round to Borrowdale to climb these two fells; about 16 miles for a crow to fly, 35 by road.
Fells come in all shapes and sizes and they are not easy to classify. Rosthwaite Fell has a dip in the middle separating the lower northern summit of Bessyboot (550m) and the higher southern summit of Rosthwaite Cam (612M). However, because the southern end runs on to Glaramara without a clear depression, it is considered to be part of that fell and Bessyboot is the “Wainwright”.
Walking from Stonethwaite, I followed Wainwright’s instructions to take me up Stanger Gill in woodland alongside the beck with its numerous waterfalls. Following the beck at the top, I found myself surrounded by the lovely rocky outcrops of Bessyboot and after a false start I found the highest. Next came the dip filled by the attractive Tarn at Leaves followed by the series of rocky outcrops that included Rosthwaite Cam.
The feint path took me gradually higher and then steeply up through Combe Door when I could at last see the summit of Glaramara. I spurned a grassy slope going up the eastern side to make the final climb up the rockface on the northern end of the outcrop.
I descended via the path that runs the length of Thornythwaite Fell which gave me good views of Combe Gill and Rosthwaite Fell.
In poor weather it could be challenging to find your way across the southern part of Rosthwaite Fell but that aside, this was an excellent walk with variety, beauty and a sense of achievement, giving me plenty of time for quiet contemplation, as I met only two people all day.
I never fail to be enchanted by some of the names I encounter, with Tarn at Leaves and Glaramara being two places which sound like they should have magical properties, conjuring up images of goblins and gnomes; the existence of which seemed all the more likely after I’d encountered this outlandish-looking tree!
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