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Green Grag from Birker Fell Road

PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:12 pm
by richardkchapman
"An obvious starting point is the top of the unenclosed road between Ulpha and Eskdale Green, whence simple and straightforward walking leads to the summit."

Thus says Wainwright. To which I say "yeah right".

Simple in clear weather, maybe, but in mist, with NO paths (well, hundreds but all are sheep trails) and NO landmarks to navigate by (well, hundreds of crag that all look pretty much identical)... not quite so simple.

Wainwright also says "To avoid swamps, keep to the heights over the Great Worm Crag." To which I say "To avoid swamps, pick a different walk".

I will post the GPS track, if you promise not to laugh. It was supposed to be 1.5 miles each way, so how come we ended up walking 6? If we hadn't had the GPS, we would still be wandering around the swamps now...

This walk was a bit of a spur of the moment decision - we were going to have a rest day today, but at 2pm decided there was time for a quick walk and to tick off another Wainwright. The kids were too tired to be dragged out, so we left them in front of the Wii with instructions to call mountain rescue if we were not back by 7pm, and set off, figuring we would be able to travel faster and lighter with just the two of us.

The conditions underfoot, while damp, were actually a pleasant change from the hard stony ground of yesterday's descent from Scafell Pike. We tried to keep to the higher ground to avoid swamps but the mist made it hard to plan out a route between tops that avoided the swamps.

We eventually managed to find our way to the base of the crags of Green Crag itself, and had to try to find a way up (again the fact we could not see very far made route planning tricky). We found our way up to what seemed like a summit, only for the mist to clear enough to see the real summit a little further on, across a small chasm. We were running short on time at this point and for the first time that I can remember I seriously considered abandoning a walk 200 yards from the objective. But we kept on and eventually found our way around what felt like a ring of mini-summits to the real top.

The descent was a bit easier, mainly because the mist cleared enough for us to plan half a mile ahead rather than 100 yards, and thus avoid the worst of the swamps. The only path we found at all in either direction was between Great Worm Crag and Far Hill.

Seems to me that whenever we decide to do a lower fell because of low cloud, we end up wandering over pathless expanses of swamps. But actually, I really enjoy walks like this. Weird.

Track_GREEN CRAG 05341.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

No photos I'm afraid. Didn't take the camera, but if I had, they'd all just be glimpses of bog through mist...

Re: Green Grag from Birker Fell Road

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:52 am
by ChrisW
This is great Richard, you had me laughing from the start with your interpretation of Wainwrights words, the final laugh came from looking at the GPS track - thoroughly enjoyable report pics or no. :D

Re: Green Grag from Birker Fell Road

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:52 am
by mamoset
What a difference a week makes. Was lovely over this way last Tuesday. Still, can't beat a bit of fun n games while you're out :?