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A Wander in the Howgills

A Wander in the Howgills


Postby johnkaysleftleg » Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:37 am

Hewitts included on this walk: Randygill Top

Date walked: 12/03/2014

Time taken: 4

Distance: 10 km

Ascent: 660m

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With spring finally springing I decided to attempt to make the most of it and head off for a wander in the hills on my day off. It looked for a while that Geoff (AKA L-Hiking) was going to join me but unfortunately that necessary evil of work intervened so it was just me and Hughie that headed off over the ever so familiar A66 towards those oh so overlooked fells of Cumbria, the Howgills.

I'm not sure just how I came across the idea of parking at Gais Gill on the Adamthwaite road because I've never seen any walk reports from here anywhere on the net. So imagine my surprise when I arrived at around 9:30 to see Two cars already there :? Turns out this wasn't a walkers Mecca but a useful place to park for some locals carrying out some menial task up the gill.

Image
Starting out by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

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On the way up Knott by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

Memories of my previous visit to the Howgills included attractive grassy hills, dramatic deep valleys and a wonderful sense of tranquility. For some reason, thigh and lung busting grassy ascents had been placed to the back of my mind but quickly returned as I headed off up the pathless slopes of the first minor top of Dodd. My reward for the first climb of the day was a wonderful panoramic view of the North Pennines and the delightful Eden Valley.

Image
Pennines from Knott by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

Image
Eden Valley from Knott by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

A brief respite followed before I made my way steadily up Knoutberry, with Ingleborough now putting in a hazy appearance before the final pull up to the aptly named Green Bell. It is a shame that this hill misses the 2,000ft mark because the views are stunning. A panorama of the Lakes, still with snow patches, the Pennines, now beginning to be obscured by haze and the dales are all beautifully seen as is the skyline of high Howgills.

Image
The High Howgills by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

Image
Sheepfold on Knoutberry by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

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Wyegarth Gill by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

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Green Bell Summit by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

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Green Bell by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

Following a well earned rest to enjoy the sights I made the most of the easiest section of the walk and bimbled my way to the high point of the day, Randygill top. Views from here were nice but not quite as impressive as Green Bell due to the large flat summit. This top completed my collection of the five Hewitts of this corner of the world but this certainly won't be my last visit.

Image
Randygill Top and Simons Seat by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

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Weasdale by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

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Randgill Top by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

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Hughie by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

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Yarlside from Randygill Top by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

From here I decided to head for Kensgriff via the boggy col. The steep grassy descent was a rapid one but confirmed my decision to leave this fell for another day on my last visit, no way I'd have made it up here given how tired I was. From Yarlside, Kensgriff is very shapely but from here it looks remarkably like The Nab in the Lakes complete with peat hags scattering the ridge. These are easily avoidable however and a relatively gentle climb leads you to the small summit cairn.

Image
Hughie Relaxing on Kensgriff by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

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Looking Down Bowderdale by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

I had some early lunch here looking at the near vertical looking eastern face of Yarlside and wondering just how I descended from there on my previous visit; strange what a different perspective can do.

I retraced my steps for a while before heading off towards the obvious dark scar of Spen Gill. Once again the Howgills grassy slopes showed themselves to be excellent for an easy descent and in no time I arrived at the confluence of Stockless and Spen Gill. Following taking a few shots of a small fall in Stockless Gill I made my way up Spen Gill to see just what the waterfall marked on the map looked like. Turned out it was a delightful little cascade, like a fragment of the magnificent Cautley spout. I consumed the remainder of my rations in this wonderful secluded location before heading off towards Adamthwaite over boggy ground.

Image
Stockless Gill by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

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Stockless Gill Mono by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

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Looking out of Spen Gill by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

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Main Fall in Spen Gill by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

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Spen Gill by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

The owner of the sizable farm at Adamthwaite is obviously unimpressed with the fact that a public right of way heads through his farmyard and has made accessing the lane most difficult. In his defense however a perfectly good track bypasses above the farm so no inconvenience is caused.

Image
Adamthwaite Farm by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

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Adamthwaite by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

My last target of the day lay ahead in the shape of Harter Fell. This hill, like Green Bell and Kensgriff falls into the list of Deweys (hills over 500m with a 30m drop) and despite it being largely separated from the main bulk of the Howgills it shares the same attributes i.e. punishingly steep grassy slopes. :roll: I zigzagged my way up the steep lower slopes before heading for the large flat summit topped by a small cairn.

Image
Harter Fell Summit by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

Image
Hazy Fells by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

From here I had a good view of the western slopes of Wild Boar Fell and the areas of limestone pavement that decorate its base. By now the haze had grown to such an extent that the Pennines had been totally obscured, but given I was now quite tired I still enjoyed my sit on the cairn with boots off. :) It was with regret that I headed down towards the road and the waiting car at Gais Gill as it had been a fantastic but hard day given my lack of fittness.

In my two visits to the Howgills I've walked around 18 miles and visited many tops and have yet to see another walker in these hills even at a distance, quite why this wonderful corner of the world attracts so few visitors is a mystery to me but long may it continue.


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I'll use this opportunity to draw your attention to a meet up in the Lakes on the weekend 12th/13th April, a fair few folks have already stated their intention to attend, it would be good to get a nice group.

http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=40070
Last edited by johnkaysleftleg on Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A Wander in the Howgills

Postby EileanB » Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:05 pm

Loved the pics! I'm really glad to hear the Howgills are still deserted, I used to love walking round there when I lived in the Yorkshire dales, especially as you always had them to yourself. I do remember being mugged by a sheep up there though, it was determined to get my lunch, and one sandwich wouldn't do!
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Re: A Wander in the Howgills

Postby Alteknacker » Sun Mar 16, 2014 10:54 pm

Great report, and I really enjoyed the wonderful pix.

I grew up in the Dales: this is indeed a wonderful part of the world, with very few walkers to be met with in the main.

I'm always torn between 2 emotions when I do a great walk and don't meet anyone: the solitude is wonderful; but just what are people missing!!
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Re: A Wander in the Howgills

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:25 pm

EileanB wrote:Loved the pics! I'm really glad to hear the Howgills are still deserted, I used to love walking round there when I lived in the Yorkshire dales, especially as you always had them to yourself. I do remember being mugged by a sheep up there though, it was determined to get my lunch, and one sandwich wouldn't do!


Thank you. It was so quiet up there I didn't even see any sheep let alone get mugged by one :lol:

Alteknacker wrote:Great report, and I really enjoyed the wonderful pix.

I grew up in the Dales: this is indeed a wonderful part of the world, with very few walkers to be met with in the main.

I'm always torn between 2 emotions when I do a great walk and don't meet anyone: the solitude is wonderful; but just what are people missing!!


Thanks, I know precisely what you mean regarding the the torn emotions. The people that live around the Howgills were upset when it was proposed to include it in the Yorkshire Dales National Park to afford it better protection. They suggested it would attract more visitors and spoil it which was the last thing any or them wants.
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Re: A Wander in the Howgills

Postby colgregg » Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:47 pm

The Howgills are great walking and very often overlooked (fortunately) making for uncrowded summits. So many ridges to explore and you nearly always end up on the Calf.
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Re: A Wander in the Howgills

Postby ChrisW » Mon Mar 17, 2014 9:09 pm

Another absolute beauty JK, your panorama of the Eden Valley had me yearning for home :clap: Love the shot of Hugie at the summit too. Here's hoping the improving weather livens up the 'Outside Scotland' section a little :wink:
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Re: A Wander in the Howgills

Postby colgregg » Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:45 pm

ChrisW wrote:Another absolute beauty JK, your panorama of the Eden Valley had me yearning for home :clap: Love the shot of Hugie at the summit too. Here's hoping the improving weather livens up the 'Outside Scotland' section a little :wink:

Well Chris your pics do the opposite for me. They make me want to jump on the first plane out of here and explore your new homeland!!!
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Re: A Wander in the Howgills

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:09 am

colgregg wrote:The Howgills are great walking and very often overlooked (fortunately) making for uncrowded summits. So many ridges to explore and you nearly always end up on the Calf.


Not overlooked by me :) Both of my visits have left me scouring maps looking for my next route.

ChrisW wrote:Another absolute beauty JK, your panorama of the Eden Valley had me yearning for home :clap: Love the shot of Hugie at the summit too. Here's hoping the improving weather livens up the 'Outside Scotland' section a little :wink:


The "improving weather" lasted about 5 days. Out in the North Yorks Moors yesterday and it was back to wind and driving rain :roll:
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Re: A Wander in the Howgills

Postby colgregg » Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:24 am

johnkaysleftleg wrote:
colgregg wrote:The Howgills are great walking and very often overlooked (fortunately) making for uncrowded summits. So many ridges to explore and you nearly always end up on the Calf.


Not overlooked by me :) Both of my visits have left me scouring maps looking for my next route.

ChrisW wrote:Another absolute beauty JK, your panorama of the Eden Valley had me yearning for home :clap: Love the shot of Hugie at the summit too. Here's hoping the improving weather livens up the 'Outside Scotland' section a little :wink:


The "improving weather" lasted about 5 days. Out in the North Yorks Moors yesterday and it was back to wind and driving rain :roll:

Yep. JK I'll probably end up on the Calf on my next visit. Looking to the northern Ridges up over Hazelgill knott and back via Bush how and Simon's seat instead of the valley route up Bowdowdale
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Re: A Wander in the Howgills

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Wed Mar 19, 2014 11:03 am

colgregg wrote:Yep. JK I'll probably end up on the Calf on my next visit. Looking to the northern Ridges up over Hazelgill knott and back via Bush how and Simon's seat instead of the valley route up Bowdowdale


Simons Seat looks a good objective, I think I'll be trying a route to include this and a visit to Black Force next time.
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Re: A Wander in the Howgills

Postby colgregg » Wed Mar 19, 2014 11:21 am

johnkaysleftleg wrote:
colgregg wrote:Yep. JK I'll probably end up on the Calf on my next visit. Looking to the northern Ridges up over Hazelgill knott and back via Bush how and Simon's seat instead of the valley route up Bowdowdale


Simons Seat looks a good objective, I think I'll be trying a route to include this and a visit to Black Force next time.

Looks an awkward combo. Carlin gill bridge good start point for black force but a lot of ups and downs to and from Simon's seat!!
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Re: A Wander in the Howgills

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Wed Mar 19, 2014 11:44 am

colgregg wrote:
johnkaysleftleg wrote:
colgregg wrote:Yep. JK I'll probably end up on the Calf on my next visit. Looking to the northern Ridges up over Hazelgill knott and back via Bush how and Simon's seat instead of the valley route up Bowdowdale


Simons Seat looks a good objective, I think I'll be trying a route to include this and a visit to Black Force next time.

Looks an awkward combo. Carlin gill bridge good start point for black force but a lot of ups and downs to and from Simon's seat!!


Should make a good challenge! Possibly a two car job. :think:
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Re: A Wander in the Howgills

Postby Sarah86 » Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:22 pm

Lovely lighting here and it looks a lovely remote spot to enjoy a morning walking. Love the shot of Hughie relaxing :)
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Re: A Wander in the Howgills

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Fri Mar 21, 2014 12:08 pm

Sarah86 wrote:Lovely lighting here and it looks a lovely remote spot to enjoy a morning walking. Love the shot of Hughie relaxing :)


Thanks Sarah
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Re: A Wander in the Howgills

Postby colgregg » Sat Mar 22, 2014 7:38 pm

Simons Seat looks a good objective, I think I'll be trying a route to include this and a visit to Black Force next time.


[/quote]
Looks an awkward combo. Carlin gill bridge good start point for black force but a lot of ups and downs to and from Simon's seat!![/quote]

Should make a good challenge! Possibly a two car job. :think:[/quote]
That would be ideal situ. One at Carlin Gill one at Gaisgill.
There's a lovely little bridge at the bottom of Langdale.
randy (102) (1024x767).jpg
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