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An easy walk in the Northern Fells under hazy skies.

An easy walk in the Northern Fells under hazy skies.


Postby trailmasher » Sat May 04, 2019 8:50 am

Wainwrights included on this walk: Great Cockup

Date walked: 24/04/2019

Time taken: 4.16

Distance: 12.39 km

Ascent: 709m

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Great Cockup (2).gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


Although I've been wandering the fells quite a lot over the last few weeks it's been quite a while since I was out walking with Chris due to him having to have another operation, albeit a small one this time, but, nevertheless it knocked him back quite a bit especially with the interminable waiting for the results of a biopsy and subsequent mind games that one plays with oneself when waiting for an 'aye' or a 'nay' that hospitals seem reluctant to divulge to waiting patients and therefore ease their mental anguish one way or the other. After a wait of at least 4 weeks Chris finally got some good news and today will be his first walk out since the operation.

Chris and man's best friend arrived around 8:15am and soon after a quick coffee for Chris and water for Sonny we were off to find our way to Orthwaite Hall our chosen start for today's walk in the Northern Fells of which - apart from the Birkett's - will leave the remaining Wainwright of Great Calva in this neck of the woods before the Northern Fells are completed.

The days weather was good, cool though sunny and we had a pleasant drive to Orthwaite where we parked up on a newly laid strip of concrete opposite Orthwaite Hall that had been put there by the owner of the farm opposite the Hall. This new parking area is large enough for 5 or 6 cars and according to the locked metal box bears a charge of £3 for all day parking, cheap enough for a day out on the fells and can be found at NY25250 34178.

Soon enough we were booted up and despite the rather cool wind we elected not to take a heavy top with us but did carry light waterproofs as standard baggage as we set off walking south along the road to soon reach a wide and stony track that leads onto Uldale Common.

ImageBridleway across Uldale Commons

We walked along the track with flowering gorse either side of us and in the sunshine made for a colourful and pleasant start to the walk.

ImageBakestall with Skiddaw behind

ImageA view southwest towards Sale Fell and Ling Fell

This bridleway actually runs all the way through to Dash Farm behind Skiddaw but we were only on it for a few minutes before leaving it to take a well graded grassy track off to our left and can be seen in the next image.

ImageEast towards Great Calva and Skiddaw

This group of the Northern Fells would keep us company for quite some time as we walked roughly east whilst making our way towards Hause Gill our preferred route of ascent for the day. Before we get there however we have to negotiate the Burn Tod Bridleway with Burn Tod being marked as 2 miles distant from the start of the climb.

ImageBurn Tod bridleway with Brockle Crag ahead

The small pointed Brockle Crag at 369 metres was to be our highest point on this particular stretch of the walk that entailed a good steady gradient before arriving at more undulating ground…

ImageBrockle Crag

that continued its steady rise up to the top of the crag. Brockle Crag has a grassy countenance on three sides with the south face being a near vertical face of rock the head of which pokes out amongst the grass of the summit. Despite the abundant sunshine it's one of those days when the haze makes for dire photographic conditions so I'm afraid that the following images leave a lot to be desired as far as long shots are concerned.

From this small crag the views have opened up somewhat to the northwest towards Binsey and southwest over towards Sale and Ling Fells as well as Lord's Seat etc.

ImageBinsey from Brockle Crag

ImageSale Fell and a hint of Bassenthwaite from Brockle Crag

Leaving this one behind we continued along a good track/path with the waterfalls of Dash Beck now in view showing as a white stripe in real life but hard to see on the image and once again Bakestall and Skiddaw hog the skyline.

ImageView towards Dash Falls - Bakestall and Skiddaw

It was a pleasant walk along this good grassy track but the wind was by now picking up and the temperature had dropped a few degrees and we were hoping that it wouldn't get any stronger or it would be a struggle fighting the wind higher up where it's wide open. We were now approaching the base of Great Cockup and in front of us a walker appeared, waved, and then disappeared again making us think that someone was in trouble but as he didn't re-appear we didn't concern ourselves unduly. However, as we rounded a bend in the path we came across two chaps walking towards us, one who was dressed in a pair of shorts and a T-shirt plus some type of footwear and the other one decently attired for a day on the fells. The scantily clad chap was rubbing his arms and legs due to the cold wind when they stopped us and asked where Great Cockup was. After Chris and I swapped glances I pointed out the big hill on our left so that was that one sorted. Next question was "How do we get up there"? I really do despair of some people that I see on the fells and wonder what the hell they are doing out at all. Although it's not marked on the map there is a wide green lane rising across the flank of Great Cockup that leads to the ridge path and we were stood more or less on it, c'mon guys, open your eyes. After pointing it out we left them to it.

Just after leaving those two behind the path starts to drop down toward Burntod Gill with one of our Birkett's now full in our faces, Burn Tod, that 595 metre high great rounded grass, bracken and heather covered mound that we would approach from the east later on in the walk.

ImageBurn Tod with Hause Gill to the right

We were now descending and would lose around 40 metres - 130 feet - in height as we arrived at Burntod Gill from where we would now start our climb alongside Hause Gill along a narrow path that would see us arriving at the saddle that lies between Great Calva and Knott.

The wind was now stronger than before even at this lower level and we were now leaning into it to force progress and still wondering what the hell it would be like 'up there'. The path initially runs at some distance away from the northeast side of the gill but as the valley narrows it pulls the path ever closer to the watercourse itself.

Chris had had no breakfast so was ready for a break - as was I - but due to the wind would have to wait until we got into the confines of the gill where it's a lot narrower, but wait, there's an old wall, shelter from the wind for the sheep but would also make one for us just now. It's tumbledown and overgrown with rushes, but no matter, we left the path and hunkered down behind it for a refuel and respite from the wind.

ImageShelter from the wind at Hause Gill

After this break we set off and were soon entering the narrower section of the gill as we followed the path that varied between sections of scree and grass, crossing over from one side to the other as the rocky sides determined our way of passage. This path is well graded and I just loved the way it was in the shape of a meandering narrow gully with sides of rock and grass, mini waterfalls tumbling down the gill that sometimes disappeared underground only to appear once again higher up. It was a pleasure to gain the higher fells by this route. There follows a sequence of images that were taken as we made our way along the gill.

ImageEntering the confines of Hause Gill

ImageLooking down Hause Gill

ImageA touch of scree as the gill narrows

ImageThe gill twists and turns through the rocks

ImageMini waterfalls on Hause Gill

ImageA face full of intent

ImageA great spot for a break

ImageAbout to leave the gill behind

We left the gill behind to continue east for a few metres to then arrive at the obvious and wide path that runs between Little Calva/Great Calva and Knott, yet another grassy and well graded path that we would follow up towards Knott. This is where we got a nice surprise as the cold wind that had been battling with us in the lower reaches was now but a gentle and warm breeze. Not complaining but what happened here then?

The blue sky had abandoned us some time back but could still be seen over the far distant fells whilst we had to make do with full cloud cover and haze, nevertheless it's a good day for an easy walk amongst the Northern Fells.

ImageThe path to Knott from Little Calva

Continuing on and a couple of stops later we left the path at the 675 metre contour to make our way roughly northwest towards Frozen Fell over rough ground before we eventually picked up a sheep trod that would escort us more or less on to the summit of our first Birkett of the day and at 625 metres, the highest.

ImageFrozen Fell with Binsey and Great Cockup behind

This hill is nothing but a rough grass covered spur on the west side of Knott, sports no cairn but does redeem itself by wide open views in every direction apart from the east that is blocked by the massive bulk of Knott.

ImageLittle Sca Fell - Lowthwaite Fell and Longlands from Frozen Fell

ImageGreat Cockup left - Meal Fell right - a hazy Binsey behind

We left to now walk more or less south as the ground allowed passing over the two feeders of Burntod Gill as we made our approach towards the ridge of Burn Tod, yet another great spur of grass that protects the east side of Trusmadoor.

ImageBurn Tod and Great Cockup

From the rough we picked up a path that would take us to the summit of this our second Birkett, Burn Tod at 595 metres…

ImageOn to Burn Tod summit

with similar views to before but now we could see into Trusmadoor and the point at where Frozen Fell Gill joined Burntod Gill to form Hause Gill near the point where we had crossed it earlier in the day. Great Cockup was now squarely before us with its great scar of a path leading up from out of Trusmadoor.

ImageGreat Cockup

ImageLooking along Burntod Gill towards Trusmadoor

Another unexciting top was left behind as we descended to the north to find the path that would take us down into the realms of Trusmadoor and another break to refuel. This path zigzags its way nicely down to the side of the gill giving us a fair view of Meal Fell et al. The last time we were here there was a fairly deep covering of snow giving it a much more picturesque quality even though the sun had by now caught up with us again.

ImageNorth towards Meal Fell - Great Sca Fell - Lowthwaite Fell

ImageMeal Fell

ImageTrusmadoor

Arriving at the gill we settled down in a sunny spot with the peace and quiet only broken by the sound of the water running over the stones in its bed and with a few sheep quietly grazing it was quite idyllic, a place where a man could easily fall asleep for a while before starting his climb up Great Cockup. But time waits for no man and climb we must if Chris wants to bag this penultimate Wainwright summit of the Northern Fells. So it was with some reluctance that we got ready to move on for the final biggish climb of the day.

ImageChris at Trusmadoor with Frozen Fell and its gill behind

The first part of the climb is along a wide stony path but as height is gained quickly it soon became grass underfoot from where we took a last look at our lunch spot and the bulk of Burn Tod to the southeast.

ImageThe view east from the east slopes of Great Cockup

ImageBurn Tod from Great Cockup

This bit of a climb was soon over and there was but an easy stroll along an undulating grassy path with the summit showing in the distance.

ImageGreat Cockup summit

We soon arrived at the summit cairn from where we could cast our gaze across a very hazy landscape…

ImageA hazy Skiddaw skyline from Great Cockup summit

but funnily enough it's clear enough to spot Chris and Sonny in their usual summit pose, this time with the waters of Bassenthwaite Lake and Little Sca Fell in the distance.

ImageChris and Sonny at Great Cockup summit

Not far now to the end, just an easy walk along the path to the next Birkett - Little Sca Fell - and then off piste from there to Orthwaite Bank.

ImageLittle Cockup

ImageOrthwaite Bank ahead

ImageView back to Little Cockup

Apart from the hazy views there was not much point in lingering on these other two unexciting tops, but Chris is happy with his one Wainwright and five Birkett's all done on a sensible walk with no great climbs, just everything nice and steady along good and grassy tracks and paths.

From the top of Orthwaite Bank we could all but see our car parked at Orthwaite Hall…

ImageLooking down at Orthwaite and Over Water

and after setting off once again we missed the path down even though we crossed over it twice and were making our way down to a path that runs behind Orthwaite Hall but upon arriving at a gate in the wall noticed that we would have had to pass through a field full of sheep and lambs so as not to upset them or the farmer with taking Sonny through the field we elected to follow the wall down back to the first gate that we had accessed Uldale Common at the start of the walk. A short walk from there along the metalled lane and we were back at the car and trading ideas of which local hostelry could serve our purpose and part us with our hard earned brass.

Another gentle and easy day out on those fine Northern Fells where the walking is akin to the Howgills in their nature, big grassy rolling fells with no barriers to interrupt the stride along grassy paths, apart from the one on to Little Calva. Once we had passed the two walkers that we met early on, a lady dog walker and a group in the distance we had these fells to ourselves, that is just another similarity of what it is like when walking in the Howgills, peace and quiet with just the occasional scream of the curlews as they glide overhead. At one point I was really missing having a fleece with me due to the cold wind, and although I could have put my light waterproof coat on I was keeping warm with the effort of fighting the wind. Once we had gained Hause Gill, and as related earlier, the wind dropped, the temperature rose so I was glad that I wasn't lugging a heavy coat around with me today.
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trailmasher
Walker
 
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Re: An easy walk in the Northern Fells under hazy skies.

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Sat May 04, 2019 1:50 pm

Looks a nice little wander in the quiet back o'skidda fells, includes a few places where I have yet to explore and look forward to doing so. Good to see Chris getting back to it following another scare.
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johnkaysleftleg
Walker
 
Posts: 3000
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Location: County Durham

Re: An easy walk in the Northern Fells under hazy skies.

Postby thefallwalker » Sat May 04, 2019 4:49 pm

yes indeed! a nice little" welcome back (again) :lol: :lol:
god help me if I hadn't made it out with Wasdale only 2 weeks away now :shock: :lol:
thanks for a good but still tiring day out! I think it took a day or two to recover :o
Thanks also for your comments JKLL :D hopefully this time I am on the mend :roll: :lol: I guess I'll know after 4 days walking over the big fella's in Wasdale :lol: :lol:
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thefallwalker
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Re: An easy walk in the Northern Fells under hazy skies.

Postby trailmasher » Tue May 07, 2019 4:06 pm

johnkaysleftleg wrote:Looks a nice little wander in the quiet back o'skidda fells, includes a few places where I have yet to explore and look forward to doing so. Good to see Chris getting back to it following another scare.


The NF's are tidy little hills and in August are blathered in purple from the acres of heather that abound there but in all seasons they are a pleasure to walk. Chris is getting there albeit steadily along but these things take time to sort out :thumbup: Thanks for your comments JK much appreciated :D :D
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trailmasher
Walker
 
Posts: 1102
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Location: Near Appleby - Cumbria

Re: An easy walk in the Northern Fells under hazy skies.

Postby trailmasher » Tue May 07, 2019 4:12 pm

thefallwalker wrote:yes indeed! a nice little" welcome back (again) :lol: :lol:
god help me if I hadn't made it out with Wasdale only 2 weeks away now :shock: :lol:
thanks for a good but still tiring day out! I think it took a day or two to recover :o
Thanks also for your comments JKLL :D hopefully this time I am on the mend :roll: :lol: I guess I'll know after 4 days walking over the big fella's in Wasdale :lol: :lol:


Got to look after you big fella, a lot more hills to cover yet :wink: There'll be no rush in Wasdale as plenty of daylight about, slow and steady wins the race :) 8) just need good weather to stop you bitching and twining at me all day :lol: :lol:
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trailmasher
Walker
 
Posts: 1102
Munros:11   
Hewitts:180
Wainwrights:214   
Joined: Nov 26, 2014
Location: Near Appleby - Cumbria

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