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Battle of the Ferns (AD 2011) above Wast Water

Battle of the Ferns (AD 2011) above Wast Water

Postby canisp » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:29 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Illgill Head, Whin Rigg

Date walked: 17/08/2011

Time taken: 9

Distance: 11 km

Ascent: 700m

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Hills done - Whin Rigg and Illgill Head
OS Landranger map No 89
Start - parking area, Grid Ref 149050
Distance walked 11 km’s
Height Gain 700 metre’s
17 August 2011

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The plan was an ascent of Whin Rigg to bag one of my final Wainwrights, a straight forward out and back on a map marked path with less than 500 metres of ascent, easy :oops:.

A short distance from the car i crossed a stile onto NT property and soon passed Wasdale Hall Youth Hostel, continuing i followed the waters edge round to a bridge at 142039, so far so good.

Reflections from around 145040

Looking north west from around 145030

Just above Greathall Gill looking west

From Whin Rigg looking to Kirk Fell and Great Gable

A little further on at 143037 is where i made my 1st mistake. From where the path joins the main track i could see a gate a few metres to my left so went through it, then turned right and followed the wall uphill, clear at first then through knee high ferns. Meanwhile the clouds which had been building overhead started to shower their contents so i sheltered under a tree, it was only a shower as i could see brighter skies were moving in from the west and so didn’t bother putting my waterproofs on (2nd mistake).

West to Sellafield

West to Sellafield

Dark skies over Illgill Head

Dark skies over Illgill Head

Once the rain had stopped i continued, the ferns were now soaking wet and rose from waist to shoulder high and the path had all but disappeared. As the ferns got deeper and denser i had to force a way through and soon i was drenched, at one point i stood on ground that wasn’t there :? and plunged headlong into the undergrowth.

Wast Water and Wasdale Hall


Cliffs and scree above Wast Water

Ferns (battle site AD 2011)

Cut, soaked, battered and bruised more slipping, sliding and thrashing about in the undergrowth ensued before i finally came across the path shown on the map that heads up Gateshall Gill. To add insult to injury from a now higher vantage point i could see the path i should have taken to avoid the ferns, turning right at point 143037 would have avoided this fiasco.

Great Gable


Wast Water screes

Great Gable and Wast Water

After this the rest of the hike was easy, up to Whin Rigg, follow the cliff edge to Illgill Head, back to Whin Rigg then down.
Last edited by canisp on Fri Aug 19, 2011 9:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Battle of the Ferns (AD 2011) above Wast Water

Postby malky_c » Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:24 pm

I need to pay more attention to your Lakeland reports, as these photos are great :)

Always fancied getting on top of these cliffs, but I've never got round to it.
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Re: Battle of the Ferns (AD 2011) above Wast Water

Postby Crawler » Fri Aug 19, 2011 5:41 pm

you do take some cracking photos don't you? Really beautiful :D
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Re: Battle of the Ferns (AD 2011) above Wast Water

Postby old danensian » Fri Aug 19, 2011 5:52 pm


Wet bracken has a lot to answer for - I got caught by the same trick last Monday.

Pics of Wasdale I can gaze at all day - thanks - I must get back round there.

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Re: Battle of the Ferns (AD 2011) above Wast Water

Postby JohnJoe » Fri Aug 19, 2011 6:22 pm

Great pictures, especially the ones with the water!
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Re: Battle of the Ferns (AD 2011) above Wast Water

Postby Red Peak » Fri Aug 19, 2011 6:51 pm

Cracking photos! It's been quite a while since I was over that way, but seeing as my 3 remaining Lakeland Hewitts are over near Wastwater, I should be over there sometime later this year.

Good luck with your two remaining Wainwrights - the only list of hills that never gets messed around with :D
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