Central Fells, frozen bogs and Raven Crag was shut!
by DaveB1 » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:04 am
Wainwrights included on this walk: Armboth Fell, Bleaberry Fell, High Seat, High Tove
Date walked: 12/02/2012
Time taken: 7
Distance: 12 km
Ascent: 689m4 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
It quickly became apparent that the path upward was in fact a frozen stream and it became increasingly difficult to walk up it with any speed as the ice required some dainty footwork to avoid the embarrassing fall. Halfway up the view backwards revealed an inversion and gave just a faint hope that the weather would be kind. . It didn't happen and as I struggled up even with the poles (Yes that's me!) my camera went skittering down the ice and one of the batteries flew over the deer fence and into the forest! Its still there, a Varta AA. As the forest finished we continued up the Watenlath path for a bit then did a left towards Armboth Fell it was as AW described in 1958 except the quagmire was frozen.
The going was better than expected mainly due to the frozen ground, a theme that would repeated many times on this walk. and we got there in the end, the summit cairn being of such stature it can only have been a reflection of the few who disregarded the advice and went there! . HIgh Tove was next AW says 'It is hard to imagine anyone that anybody feels any affection at all for HighTove apart perhaps for the sheep the sheep'(Central Fells 1958). Fifty-four years later nothing much has changed. . We met a couple on top who had come up from Watenlath and chatted, then followed to fence to High Seat the highpoint of the day.
The path was wet but mainly frozen; had it not been so, then wellies would have been more appropriate footwear. However we reached the top and found three others who'd come up from Bleaberry Fell having lunch. We stopped too, fed our faces, met the couple from High Tove again and chatted away. We were discussing the merits of a Garmin E-trex when another walker appeared at the summit cairn. I noticed he had a really fancy bit of Garmin kit and as I was telling of the customer service experience I'd had (broken glass front replaced for £30!) He joined in the conversation. He explained that he relied totally on Garmin stuff as he had had an accident and suffered brain damage, he was registered blind and had been told when he was discharged from hospital it wasn't safe for him to walk on the street. He promptly demonstrated this by having a mild epileptic episode where he appeared to pass out for about a minute whilst standing upright, supported by Jim and the guy from the couple. As he recovered he thanked Jim and the guy saying he usually contrived to fall backwards onto his rucksack, keeping himself safe. He then regaled us with a tale of escorting a group of people off Helvellyn in poor weather, and their comments when he pulled his white stick from his pack and continued into Glenridding. The blind leading the blind literally! When we expressed our admiration and dismay he just shrugged and said 'don't worry this is normal for me!' This is him, if you meet him on the hill give him our best!
Whether it was the meeting or something I'd put in the coffee I'm not sure, but as you can see from the map we went seriously off course for a bit and tramped through many a frozen bog before reaching Bleaberry Fell. It has amazing views allegedly, but not today for us.
We took a bearing for the point nearest to Raven Crag only to discover we had seriously underestimated the height of Iron Crag so we contoured round till we reached the point where the forest track met the fence then followed it round to the path for Raven Crag, our last Wainwright of the day. Horrors! it was shut! .
Yes, we did take off our packs and see if we could find a way through, but there were a lot of fallen trees, it must have been one hell of a windy day! It'll keep till next time and we wandered down the path to the road and back to the car. A welcome pint in the Travellers Rest, Grasmere by the roaring fire, a sample of their sticky toffee pudding sponge ( freshly baked and free!) and then the drive home.
AW was right and still is, the hills are dire, you'd need a wetsuit if it had been raining for more than a week, but now they're done and duly ticked. .
by ciderpeter » Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:25 pm
I remember doing these when I was bagging the wainwrights, I ended up doing what I thought was Armboth, Bleaberry, High Seat and High Tove, only to get back and realise I had been to the wrong Armboth summit... so had to go back the next week and get that. I was literally up to my waist at times getting between them, not pleasant at all!! As far as I could tell there was no path other than "through bog" to the summit of Armboth!!
by johnkaysleftleg » Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:00 pm
by ChrisW » Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:06 pm
by L-Hiking » Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:16 pm
ChrisW wrote:If AW says its dire you should believe him - this is a man who loved the hills even in the pouring rain maybe these should be saved until they are under a few feet of snow
The treck between High Tove and High Seat is a nightmare Did it last September in a dry spell Bog was up to the knees
Well done Dave
by icemandan » Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:16 pm
by kaye.cantlay » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:39 pm
I did Bleaberry fell, High Tove and High Seat in September and it was hideous! I slipped into a bog up to my waist between High Tove and Seat!
I had planned Armboth but couldn't face it that day......put it off for 6 months and finally did it from Armboth car park 2 weeks ago....mainly because I was in danger of leaving it as my very last Wainwright...
Went up and back in exactly an hour.......not nearly as bad as feared
by DaveB1 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:11 pm
by Jane Yates » Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:49 am
by blanchie » Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:33 am
.........and possibly a pair of microspikes. Theyre excellent for walking on frozen paths.