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Walla Crag - Pre Covid - 19.

Walla Crag - Pre Covid - 19.


Postby trailmasher » Fri Apr 24, 2020 7:00 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Walla Crag

Date walked: 23/12/2019

Time taken: 2.49

Distance: 8.46 km

Ascent: 439m

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


Like everyone else who loves to get out on to the fells and mountains I have been grounded for the last 5 weeks and getting increasingly frustrated by the sight of Cross Fell and its siblings on the north side of the A66, so near yet so far away, as the saying goes. But recent rules imposed on us means that I can’t even take the short drive to Dufton or Blencarn from where it is easy enough to reach those fine Pennine hills. Looking west I can see Blencathra, a Lake District favourite of mine, but that is even further away and a drive to Threlkeld or Mousthwaite Comb is a definite no no. So, what to do during these times of confinement?

The garden is tired of being poked and prodded by various tools, the lawns have been scarified, lawn raked, and mown so much the grass refuses to grow any more, small construction projects are completed, decorating done to E’s satisfaction, that is a task in itself, jet washing paths, drive, and patios is almost done and the final task that I’ve been ordered to do is sort out my man cave. It may look a mess and cluttered up but as it is now I know where everything is, it’s my domain, a place of refuge, a place of nuts and bolts, screws, nails, and a multitude of other things including tools and cobwebs, but now it’s going the way of the old tap rooms at the local pub, once a place where a man could enjoy a quiet drink and some masculine banter, where only the barmaid or landlady was allowed in to exchange empty glasses for full ones. Some things should just be left as they were.

So what to do to keep body and soul together, well, I have a few short walks that I had done prior to Covid-19, walks that were recce walks for the group during 2020 the photos taken just to give the group a flavour of what the walk was about, although I’m sure that there may be enough content to warrant some sort of report and maybe a reminder of what the LD looks like after so many weeks of forced abstinence from the fells. I will now attempt to cast my mind back to those days and try and portray a flavour of those short walks.

It was two days before Christmas and Martin and I collected our Australian/Yorkshire mate from Penrith and set off to embark on a short walk to Walla Crag from the car park in Great Wood. This pre-Christmas walk was meant to be a recce for a planned group walk for later in the year of 2021 but seeing as it was only a short one and we needed to get out before the likelihood of being bogged down by the festive season and all that it has to offer, including short visits by friends and relatives that invariably turn into long ones, we turned out on this damp, cloudy, cold and windy day.

There weren’t many cars about as we turned into the NT car park of Great Wood from where we would take the lower level path that runs beneath Falcon Crag and Brown Knotts to one of Lakelands most distinguished and photographed structures, Ashness Bridge, with its glorious views along Derwent Water.

So we set off along the leaf strewn path through the trees under a grey sky, although the dampness seemed to bring out and enhance the various colours of the fallen leaves and the moss covered tree trunks and rocks.

ImageWinter in Great Wood

Within just a few minutes we were passing below the craggy face of Walla Crag and marvelling at how the trees could hang on so precariously to the seemingly bare rock. Looking at the clear area below the crag it appears that some tree felling has been going on.

ImageThe face of Walla Crag

It’s was a pleasant walk through the wood in spite of the bare trees and cold dampness of the day and we soon arrived at the junction of paths with the slippery stone steps looking very much so as we passed it by to continue along towards the base of Falcon Crag.

ImageA slippery set of steps to Cat Gill

Access to Walla Crag by the way of Cat Gill can be a strenuous effort – both ways – as its steep and dark with not a lot to see apart from the toes of your boots as steady passage is made, especially in the higher reaches where some exposure is met above the dark gully of the gill.

Image6 - Tumbling waters on Cat Gill

But we are not going that way today as it would make the walk even shorter than it is to be now.

A short distance from Cat Gill the path leaves the wood, the trees being replaced by acres of dead bracken with the views opening up as we began to walk below Falcon Crag; pyramidal in shape and devoid of tree’s its front face sitting in front of the higher crags behind it.

ImageThe face of Falcon Crag

Everything was covered in a fine layer of moisture making the rock strewn path below the crags a real ankle breaker if not taking enough care when placing ones feet.

ImageVery stony path below the crags

We were fairly sheltered below the crags but there was still a hint of a fair breeze that was to get much stronger as we climbed up from Ashness Bridge but just now we began to enjoy the wintery views across Derwent Water from just behind Barrow Bay...

ImageNorth along Derwent Water

and as we progressed a ray of sunshine lit up the ridge of Skelgill Bank, the beginning of the great ridge walk to High Spy.

ImageA fine ridge behind Derwent Water

ImageViewpoint near Barrow Bay

Once the crags are left behind the path becomes more civilised and we could now see the south end of Derwent Water and into Borrowdale.

ImageLooking south towards Manesty Park and the Jaws of Borrowdale

Some good and easy walking soon had us at Ashness Bridge where we didn’t linger as we turned around and started the steady climb away from it as a good view of the craggy face of Dodd was to be seen from the side of Barrow Beck...

ImageDodd below High Seat

and from below the crags of Brown Knotts we could look down to that most famous of bridges.

ImageLooking down on Ashness Bridge with Castle Crag centre skyline

It was still a dull old day and the wind was picking up now as we climbed a little higher but despite the winter weather the countryside still has that look of autumn about it.

ImageThe south end of Derwent Water

Not many minutes after taking the last photo we were on top of Falcon Crag from where a good view of Walla Crag and surrounding fells could be had and with the low cloud cover and haze in the distance I was surprised to get any decent photos at all. A short walk down the fell over the top of the crag to its front face finds a great viewpoint with unhindered views along and across the lake.

ImageWalla Crag from the top of Falcon Crag

ImageWest across Derwent Water

ImageWalla Crag with the Dodds under cloud

Another few strides and we arrived at the northern feeder of Cat Gill.

ImageA view along Cat Gill

From there we pushed on through the wind to soon arrive at the summit of Walla Crag from where the views are always amazing in all directions with even Bleaberry Fell over to the southeast making for a great skyline. The sprawl of Keswick was overlooked by a sun spotted Carl Side...

ImageKeswick 1

and the gloom of the day made the waters of the lake look like dull polished silver with the bright green pastures shapes marked out by the dark lines of trees, hedgerows, walls and metalled lanes as they stretched out below from the outskirts of Keswick to the shores of Bassenthwaite over to the north.

ImageA gloomy day over Derwent

ImageBleaberry Fell from Walla Crag

After a while of enjoying the views it was time to get some refuelling done so we hunkered down behind the wall out of the wind and enjoyed what views we could of Bleaberry Fell.

ImageStar Wars storm troopers

Occasionally the clouds were interrupted by large patches of brightness caused by the suns efforts to break its way through the clouds defences...

ImageBursting through the clouds

but to no avail apart from the odd spot in the far distance.

It was time to move on and merely followed the ‘tourist’ trail that would see us descending towards Rakefoot Farm and the path above the gully of Brockle Beck...

ImageBlencathra-Lonscale Fell-Latrigg and a hint of Skiddaw

whilst from somewhere in between the last photo was taken...

and then the next one from a bit further along.

ImageAnother view of Keswick

From the gate a nice steady stroll soon had us back in Great Wood...

ImageBack in Great Wood

where the evidence of the previously mentioned tree felling was to be seen.

ImageTake heed

ImageNo climbing on the logs

Birds were a singing all around us, it sounded more like spring than winter and I managed to get a blurry shot of this robin perched amongst some brambles.

ImageFearless Robin

Back at the car minutes after passing the log piles, boots and jackets off post haste and back to our favourite inn for a last 2019 Christmas drink together, none of us aware of what March of 2020 would bring. A short walk but nevertheless a decent one and maybe a good one to start off with to get the legs going again when all this trouble is done with.

Just now, unlike many others who like the great outdoors, I am fortunate enough to be able to, and am happy with, a walk along the river bank and although it’s short and level at least I can get out into near countryside and fortunately I have a rowing machine and treadmill that I use daily hoping at least to keep some semblance of hill fitness in my legs.
User avatar
trailmasher
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 1202
Munros:11   
Hewitts:180
Wainwrights:214   
Joined: Nov 26, 2014
Location: Near Appleby - Cumbria

Re: Walla Crag - Pre Covid - 19.

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Mon Apr 27, 2020 10:10 am

Stunning photos, I really like the midwinter light in these.

What a scenic route, all the character of the Lakes in an easy walk.

And, what a fat robin! Puffed out against the cold I guess.

Tim
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HalfManHalfTitanium
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1261
Munros:95   Corbetts:10
Grahams:2   Donalds:1
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Joined: Mar 11, 2015

Re: Walla Crag - Pre Covid - 19.

Postby trailmasher » Sun May 03, 2020 6:56 pm

HalfManHalfTitanium wrote:Stunning photos, I really like the midwinter light in these.

What a scenic route, all the character of the Lakes in an easy walk.

And, what a fat robin! Puffed out against the cold I guess.

Tim


Thanks for your comments HMHT very grateful :D This is a lovely walk and an easy way to go, not as it's any harder the other way from Great Wood. The advantage is the lovely scenery in all directions to savour and enjoy 8) Again, thanks for your comments :D
User avatar
trailmasher
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 1202
Munros:11   
Hewitts:180
Wainwrights:214   
Joined: Nov 26, 2014
Location: Near Appleby - Cumbria

Re: Walla Crag - Pre Covid - 19.

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Mon May 04, 2020 8:33 am

trailmasher wrote:
Thanks for your comments HMHT very grateful :D This is a lovely walk and an easy way to go, not as it's any harder the other way from Great Wood. The advantage is the lovely scenery in all directions to savour and enjoy 8) Again, thanks for your comments :D


My wife's parents live in the Eden valley near Lazonby, but in the past couple of years we've not done any walking in the Lakes as a family, like we used to, due to a wide variety of walking abilities.

But this looks a perfect walk for all to enjoy - thanks for posting!

Tim
User avatar
HalfManHalfTitanium
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1261
Munros:95   Corbetts:10
Grahams:2   Donalds:1
Hewitts:148
Wainwrights:103   
Joined: Mar 11, 2015

Re: Walla Crag - Pre Covid - 19.

Postby trailmasher » Mon May 04, 2020 11:20 am

HalfManHalfTitanium wrote:
trailmasher wrote:
Thanks for your comments HMHT very grateful :D This is a lovely walk and an easy way to go, not as it's any harder the other way from Great Wood. The advantage is the lovely scenery in all directions to savour and enjoy 8) Again, thanks for your comments :D


My wife's parents live in the Eden valley near Lazonby, but in the past couple of years we've not done any walking in the Lakes as a family, like we used to, due to a wide variety of walking abilities.

But this looks a perfect walk for all to enjoy - thanks for posting!

Tim


You're welcome Tim :) and when all this Covid-19 is over maybe you can get it done with the family :)
User avatar
trailmasher
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 1202
Munros:11   
Hewitts:180
Wainwrights:214   
Joined: Nov 26, 2014
Location: Near Appleby - Cumbria

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