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Buckbarrow, Seatallan and Middle Fell

Buckbarrow, Seatallan and Middle Fell


Postby richardkchapman » Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:04 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Buckbarrow, Middle Fell, Seatallan

Hewitts included on this walk: Seatallan

Date walked: 31/03/2013

Time taken: 5.2

Distance: 11 km

Ascent: 788m

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Track_SEATALLEN 2013-03-31.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



We were a bit concerned reading reports of the weather conditions - and the fell conditions - that it might not be possible to do much walking on this holiday. Snow on the fells is lovely to look at but metre-deep drifts and -15 degrees windchill is not something to be undertaken lightly (or with kids/dogs).

So we packed the car and drove up to the Lakes prepared to spend the entire week playing games in the cottage if necessary, with teh view that any walking we got done would be a bonus.

However when we got here, while there's plenty of snow still around, the roads are all passable (well, have not checked Wrynose/Hardknott - I assume they are still closed), and the lower fells are mostly clear. And as an added bonus, all the bogs are frozen solid!

We decided for the first outing to stay relatively low, and with options to turn back if necessary, till we got a feel for what conditions were like up on the fells. So we drove round to Wasdale, and parked at the foot of Buckbarrow

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We set of up the side of Gill Beck - a pretty easy climb, and before too long we reached the ridge. So far, we were more concerned with being too hot (with all the layers we had put on in case of windchill).

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This tree was covered in moss - I thought you were supposed to be able to tell which way was south by looking at the moss on trees, but seemed like this was all over...

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A short detour off the main path took us to a viewpoint with lovely view over Wastwater and the snow-covered Scafell group - they did not look like they were a good place to be without ice axe, crampons, and better winter gear and experience than we had.

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A short stroll later and we reached our first Wainwright of the day - Buckbarrow. I was going to say the first summit of the day, but it barely feels like a summit once you are up there - the ground behind it quickly rises towards the higher cairns on Glade How and Cat Bields. Gem managed to run across the photo at the rong moment and ruin my careful composition of Lorraine triumphantly arriving at the summit with the Scafell group in the background.

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The conditions so far were fine - nice clear views, not too windy, fairly cold but nothing uncomfortable. We could see Seatallan and Middle Fell looking pretty clear of snow, and there seemed to be no reason not to carry on to Seatallan then back over Middle Fell.

The walk from Buckbarrow to Seatallan is pretty easy - a gentle climb on easy ground, with views like this to keep you inspired

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After a while the summit was in sight

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At the top of Seatallan there was a little shelter built in to the summit cairn - full of wind-blown snow.

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The summit area was covered in icy snow patches, but with enough clear areas around to use as stepping stones.

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By his time we were all feeling hungry, but it was pretty cold at the tom - an icy wind had started to blow - and the general consensus was to get off the top to find somewhere sheltered before we ate. There was no sign of a path leading on from the summit, just a snow-covered bank leading down to the hause at the top of Nether Beck. THe snow was pretty compact and slippery, and this was the first point where we wondered if we were really equipped for the conditions - if we slipped, would we stop? There were enough green patches among the snow to pick our way slowly down this slope, and eventually things flattened out and warmed up a little, and we found a little rock outcrop to eat our lunch.

By this time I was feeling rather warmer than I had a little while before, but Sarah was really feeling the cold. Somehow she managed to persuade Lorraine to lend her another coat (Lorraine has a very warm fleece!)

Looking back at Seatallan

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There was a minor mutiny trying to suggest we should head straight down via Greendale Tarn rather than going over the top of Middle Fell, but the kids were quickly overruled, and we set off up again.

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By this time Sarah was wearing two coats, and two pairs of gloves, and was starting to warm up. But with two pairs of gloves on, the only way to text was with her nose... Got to make use of the signal whenever you have it though.

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The view from the top of Middle Fell was spectacular.

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The descent from Middle Fell was quite steep and tiring - but the views of the Wastwater screes with the relief picked out by snow were lovely.

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Back at the road, we looked back at Middle Fell and Buckbarrow.

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And then an unusual end to the walk - uphill. We hit the road at Greendale, and had to walk a mile or so back up the road to get to the car.

A most enjoyable first day of our holiday.
richardkchapman
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Re: Buckbarrow, Seatallan and Middle Fell

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:24 pm

It's got to be just about the finest view point for Scafell on that walk. We were on Lingmoor Fell on that day, great fun in the snow and a great report.
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johnkaysleftleg
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Location: County Durham

Re: Buckbarrow, Seatallan and Middle Fell

Postby ChrisW » Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:41 am

Another great family day RC, love the texting with the nose shot :lol: (I say another great family day cos I didn't read this one first..I've got some catching up to do :roll: )

As you rightly say, the cold clear days sure do make for some stunning photos :clap:
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ChrisW
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