Summer is back!
Published 21 August 2016
The weather this week has been fabulous but am I happy? Well a little but then I can be hard to please. Last week when we had guests we wanted good weather but it was very wet. This week the priority has been proofreading Julie’s next published novel, ‘Evil Echoes’ so a few days of rain would not have been a problem; instead it has been glorious.
That said, we certainly made the most of the two days when we could get to the fells and in between much of the proofreading was done in the garden.
This coming weekend we have more guests and at the time of writing the weather forecast is poor. Still, it has been wrong before but if its accurate we have lots of food in and the Olympics or cricket on the telly …
15 August 2016; Brea Fell, Great Sca Fell, Knott, Great Cockup, Meal Fell and Longlands Fell
Yes, six Wainwrights in one day in a nine mile circuit from the hamlet of Longlands. These are not the highest of fells but there was a fair amount of climbing as I had to go down then up several times. It was an absolutely beautiful day with just enough air to keep the clouds away and the visibility excellent.
The tops were, in the main, grassy with few exposed rocks but the real beauty of the walk was the very attractive valleys that separated them; in particular, Charleton Gill, Frozenfell Gill, Burntrod Gill and the wonderful Trusmadoor. The other joy was the heather on the southern slopes of Meal Fell and Great Cockup. Pictured left to right are Charleton Gill, Trusmadoor and Burntod Gill.
And in case you are, like my sons, tittering about the name Great Cockup, Wikipedia suggests that it means “larger fell above the secluded valley where Woodcock or Black Grouse are found” No mistakes and nothing phallic.
18 August 2016; Bakestall
Julie’s manuscript was sent back to the publishers on Wednesday evening so time for us to return to the Northern Fells to climb Bakestall. This was another warm and dry day but as there was no breeze the views were rather hazy. We walked from Peter House Farm on the road to Orthwaite along the Cumbria Way. As an aside the layby car park is on land owned by the farm and they ask for a donation of £1 or £2 towards Fix the Fells. No problem with that; it was a modest sum and a worthy cause:
The going along the Cumbria way was very easy, initially being a tarmac road and then a vehicle wide crushed stone way which passes under Dead Crags then winds up alongside Whitewater Dash waterfall. Great views all the way.
We then climbed steeply up Birkett Edge to the summit of Bakestall. On the way up I photographed Dead Crags from above.
One of the treats of the day was the mass of heather on the slopes of Little Calva. Unfortunately the sun was not shining at that time otherwise the photo would be even better than it is.
Even if you do not want to climb to the summit, the walk to Whitewater Dash and beyond would make a nice outing.
After we returned to the car we drove down to Dodd Wood for a cup of tea and a wander up to the Osprey Observation Platforms. Although we did not see any of the birds we learned a lot from one of the very well informed RSPB representatives that were there.
On returning home I found that when I was on Great Cockup earlier in the week I had taken a good photo of Bakestall and Skiddaw without even knowing that it was Bakestall.
The Northern Fells are very quiet. Despite the excellent weather and this being high season for tourists it is still possible to be alone. On our Bakestall climb we passed only four people and during my five and a half hour walk on Monday I met just two people and a dog. So these really could be classified as hidden treasures.
Where does the water come from?
I was asked this question last week as we looked at a waterfall in full flood. As an answer I have included this picture of a section of peat which has been exposed by a landslide; from my walking pole you can get an idea of just how thick the peat layer is. This is nothing more than a large sponge out of which the water is slowly leaching into sundry channels which merge to form the becks.
My appeal for The Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association continues to flourish. If you are enjoying my blogs and wish to contribute the link is:
Huge thank you to everyone who has contributed so far and if everyone who read my blog last week alone gave ten pence, my target would be smashed, so no amount is too small.