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Six North Western Fells

PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 8:47 pm
by Derek T
Due to the overnight snow I changed my plans and decided not to go to the fells at the back of Skiddaw and settled for some lower altitude in the North Western Fells.

I parked in a small car park across the road from The Swan Hotel in Powter How on the Thornthwaite road, just off the A66. I met a guy in the car park named Nick who had roughly the same idea for a walk as I did so we ended up spending the day together.

The ascent up the path that follows Beckstones Gill is steep and not the easiest climb to tackle ten minutes after a full English breakfast! The path is good going apart from one part about two-thirds of the way up where it has been more or less destroyed and covered by fallen trees. The last time I had to get myself in the positions I had to achieve to make my way through the tree roots I was playing Twister :lol:

There was some fresh wet snow on the last stretch to Barf summit, which was by far the best of the day.

By the time we turned towards Lord's Seat it was in the clouds and again we had some fresh wet snow to deal with on the route up. Next was the walk of a mile or so over to Broom Fell. This had also had some snow the night before which had been turned to solid ice on one side of the impressive cairn by the wind. Next was Graystones, which seemed to be further away than it looks on the map but again the walking is good and with a short pull up from the plantation we had achieved what we thought was our targets for the day.

We rested on Graystones for 10 minutes or so and convinced ourselves that Ling Fell and Sale Fell both looked like tiddlers so we might as well bag them while we were out. So off we went down the grassy northern side of Widow Hause, straight into the bog that is marked on the map as Wythop Moss. We made our way through the wet stuff to the wall that runs up Ling Fell from Bladder Keld. The climb from there was directly up the line of the wall and was by far the toughest of the day. Once we got to the summit ridge it was relatively easy following sheep paths through the heather to the summit.

Then we set off down the grassy north slope of Ling Fell towards Eskin to cross Brumston Bridge and up the side of the wall that crosses the west ridge of Sale Fell. This wasn't nearly as steep as Ling Fell had been but was still a tough pull with tired legs. The final summit rewarded us with our first relatively clear view of Skiddaw which was trying hard to emerge from the clouds. We then had a long walk back through Wythop Woods back to Powter How.

This was a great day out and one that would be good for people who are not comfortable on rock but are happy with a few relatively short but energetic ascents on a long walk.

If anyone decides to follow this route my one piece of advice would be to stick beside the wall that runs from Graystones to Ling Fell to avoid the worst of the boggy stuff.

Here is the route and some pictures...

our_route.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Bassenthwaite Lake from Barf with Binsey on the horizon.jpg

Keswick and Derwentwater from Barf.jpg

Barf summit from track to Lord's Seat.jpg

Lord's Seat summit.jpg

Broom Fell summit.jpg

Icy cairn on Broom Fell summit.jpg

Grisedale Pike from Broom Fell.jpg

Ling Fell summit.jpg

Approaching Sale Fell summit.jpg

Ling Fell from Sale Fell.jpg

Broom Fell and Graystones from Sale Fell.jpg

Ullock Pike and Skiddaw from Sale Fell summit.jpg

A snowy Skiddaw with Ullock Pike and Dodd in the foreground.jpg

Re: Six North Western Fells

PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:00 am
by ChrisW
That looks a really enjoyable walk, great report and pics - thanks for posting :D

Re: Six North Western Fells

PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:28 pm
by susanmyatt
Great report Derek, the frozen cairn makes me feel cold, nice round. Have done a round from Darling How and remember Lords Seat as the midges had us :lol: also remember the very, very steep descent from Graystones back to the car :shock:
Me on Lords Seat
Already a third of way down!
Hope you don't mind the pics, it was warmer for us, thanks Derek :D

Re: Six North Western Fells

PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:29 pm
by Derek T
It's nice to see is in the sunshine, Susan 8)

I just need to go back and do Whinlatter sometime soon and that's the whole group north of the pass done. If you can recommend the best approach to Whinlatter as a single hill walk it would be much appreciated.

Re: Six North Western Fells

PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:56 pm
by susanmyatt
I would think from the visitor centre, the nearest top I believe is the Wainwright :D

Re: Six North Western Fells

PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 7:06 pm
by Derek T
susanmyatt wrote:I would think from the visitor centre, the nearest top I believe is the Wainwright :D

I didn't know there was a visitors centre and i suppose that makes sense do start there. Thanks.