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Heading home: Carrock Fell to Great Calva

Heading home: Carrock Fell to Great Calva

Postby malky_c » Mon Nov 13, 2023 10:05 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Carrock Fell, Great Calva, High Pike (Northern Fells), Knott

Hewitts included on this walk: Carrock Fell, Great Calva, High Pike, Knott

Date walked: 23/09/2023

Time taken: 6.5

Distance: 21 km

Ascent: 870m

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Hewitts: Carrock Fell, High Pike, Knott, Great Calva.
Date: 23/09/2023.
Distance: 21km.
Ascent: 870m.
Time: 6 hours, 30 minutes.
Weather: Grey and breezy but brightening up later.

We ended up staying an extra night with Jackie's parents in Langdale. There were various options for the road home - we had a tent and taking a swing through Galloway was an option. In the end we settled on the walk we had intended to do on the way in. But first...a swim. I stupidly parked at the White Moss carpark near Rydal which is probably one of the most expensive and hostile in the area - complete with cameras that capture you on the way in. But it was worth it for the short stroll through the woods to Grasmere (the lake not the village) for a last dip. We weren't alone in doing this - quite a popular swimming spot.

ImageSwimming in Grasmere

Back in the car I somehow managed to bag a last parking space in Grasmere village and we were able to get some gingerbread and have a post-swim coffee and cake (well, hot chocolate for Jackie). After all of this messing around I wondered when we would actually get going - it didn't look like it would be an early arrival back in Glasgow! In the end it was a little before 1pm when I parked up on the verge. We had a short section of road walking to do before hitting the steep path up the eastern flank of Carrock Fell.

Carrock Fells.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

ImageEastern face of Carrock Fell

ImageDefinitely on the edge of the hills here

There is no messing around with this route. Interestingly the rock on each side of Further Gill Sike was different, with a rare bit of gabbro on the south side (the only UK gabbro I'm aware of outside of the Inner Hebrides - no doubt someone will correct me on that). After the initial steep pull the going levelled off a bit. The surroundings were different to the bulk of the Lakes - heather and a stony, peaty path. More like the Grampians or the Pennines to the east. We arrived at the summit at the same time as some other folk and hunkered briefly behind a rock for a drink.

ImageJackie on Carrock Fell

ImageSE to High Street

Then it was time to push on to High Pike. A flat, boggy section of moorland followed before the ground improved again for the final rise. there was plenty of evidence of mine workings on the northern slopes of the hill.

ImageBack to Carrock Fell from Milton Hill

ImageSkiddaw and Knott from High Pike

Shame about the haze as this is probably the most unobstructed view of Dumfries and Galloway I have had from the Lakes. Having made good time here we decided to have lunch. Time was marching on but we reckoned we could get at least one more summit.

ImageAcross the Solway Firth to Criffel

ImageAcross the Eden Valley to Cross Fell

ImageLooking back to High Pike

ImageBowscale Fell and Blencathra

A good path led us south towards the sprawling mass of Knott. We soon passed Lingy Hut - I had wondered exactly where this was as I don't really know the layout of these hills well. Looked reasonably pleasant for what amounted to a garden shed with no stove - certainly better than the windowless box I had envisaged.

ImageDown the Caldew from Lingy Hut

The path deteriorated after the hut and we made a squelchy way up onto the broad eastern shoulder of Knott. Eventually the ground dried out a bit on the final rise. I don't really keep a close Marilyn count any more - I just have a look where I'm up to every year or so. However recently I had a suspicion that I was nearing 1100 and a check of my tally a few weeks ago confirmed that the next one would be it. Finally here I was - almost 5 years to do the last 100 compared to less than 2 for the previous 100. The next 100 will probably take 10 years :lol: .

ImageBlencathra from Knott

ImageSkiddaw and Bassenthwaite Lake from Skiddaw

ImageSolway Firth and Galloway coast from Knott

ImageThis is Knott, the summit

ImageBlencathra and Great Calva from Knott

After that little moment, we somehow decided we would carry on to Great Calva. While this was always the plan I wasn't sure we would actually have enough daylight for it given our late start. But the sun had popped out and there was a pleasant evening glow across everything. An easy descent led to an extremely gloopy re-ascent onto Great Calva, but again the last bit was nice and dry. Quite shapely too - in fact this ended up being our favourite hill of the day with its remote feel above Skiddaw House and a nice pointy top. Skiddaw and Blencathra looked great from here as well, and Thirlmere and glimpses to other parts of the Lakes were visible to the south.

ImageSkiddaw and Bassenthwaite Lake

ImageBlencathra and Great Calva

ImageApproaching Great Calva

ImageDown Glenderaterra Beck to Thirlmere from Great Calva

ImageCriffel from Great Calva

ImageJackie on Great Calva

ImageCarrock Fell and Bowscale Fell from Great Calva

The way down was pretty steep though. 300m of unrelenting heathery slopes (at least there was a bit of a path through it) - we couldn't wait to get onto flatter ground again.

ImageLonscale Fell and Skiddaw House

ImageDescending to the Caldew from Great Calva

Down here on the Cumbria Way felt more remote than even the summit of Great Calva now we had lost the longer range views. The path was pretty good, improving to a track at Burdell Gill and then a tarmac road at Grainsgill Beck.

ImageBlencathra and Mungrisdale Common

ImageBack to Great Calva

The day was definitely catching up with us at this point, the tarmac making for fast going but sore feet. And despite joking about running out of light, it was definitely getting dark now. Eventually we reached the car in the twilight with some relief, just about managing to grab some sustenance in McDonalds in Penrith on the way past before it closed (at 8pm on a Saturday evening, apparently). By the time we got back to Glasgow it was definitely bedtime!

ImageLast light on the Caldew
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