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A visit to some of Scafells minions.

A visit to some of Scafells minions.


Postby trailmasher » Mon May 25, 2015 7:32 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Seathwaite Fell

Hewitts included on this walk: Broad Crag, Ill Crag, Seathwaite Fell

Date walked: 15/05/2015

Time taken: 5.46

Distance: 18.64 km

Ascent: 1353m

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Broad Crag and Ill Crag track log.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


Anyone who has cared to read and comment on - both of which I am grateful for - any of my walk reports may have sussed out that I will go up anything that has a hump about it. Having done all the Wainwright's on more than one occasion I recently turned my attentions to the ones in between, the Hewitt's, Nuttall's, and Birkett's which sit between, and around the Wainwright's and which are predominately in the Lake District.

I hope to start scurrying further afield later this year in search of new ground.

After this walk the one remaining Hewitt left to climb in the LD is Black Sails which is between Swirl Howe and Wetherlam in the Coniston group of fells and having passed by it 5 years ago and also last year and not knowing it was a Hewitt makes me feel a bit brassed off about it. Just means that I will have to go back and walk those great fells again. Oh dear!! In the meantime I shall continue my trips into the Lake District hills mixing and matching as best I can.

If you'll please forgive my ramblings I will now start the walk report in the usual manner.

The whole purpose of this walk was to knock out a couple of my last three remaining Hewitt's in the Lake District, a brace of Nuttall's,/Birkett's and also to climb Seathwaite Fell by a route that I hadn't tried before.

It's Friday at 9am, the sun is shining, the sky is blue, and despite being 'early' I still have to park nearly as far back as Seathwaite Bridge due to the volume of traffic. It would give more room nearer the farm if the owners of cars parking parallel to the road parked them instead, at right angles, nose to the wall or road. Suppose it serves me right for being a late starter :( .
1 - The view from High House-Seathwaite.JPG
The view from High House-Seathwaite.

Anyway, moan over, I duly set off heading the usual way to Stockley Bridge passing a couple of large, lingering groups of walkers heading I know what where. Not wanting to be caught up in a crowd I hastily passed them by and headed up the long easy walk to the bridge. Just through the first gate where one can either turn south along Grains Gill or continue west up the partly stepped path heading towards Taylor Force Gill I met a couple of chaps who asked if they were right for Great Gable. I replied in the positive and continued on my way until I stopped under Greenhow Knott to survey the valley below.
2 - The 1000ft boulder at Greenhow Knott.JPG
The 1,000ft boulder at Greenhow Knott.


Whilst here the two chaps caught me up and we had a chat about where they were going and then we more or less walked together until I needed to leave their company and head off south climbing up the steep side of Seathwaite Fell alongside a small, unnamed, and nearly dry stream.

The path is not very clear in places but just heading upwards for about 190 metres will find you arriving at a more amenable gradient, where, after moving west for a short distance the path - or not - swings around to the east and takes you a further 20 metres of easy climb to the cairn on top of Aaron Crags from where there are great views along Seathwaite and into Borrowdale.
4 - The view from above Aaron Crags.JPG
The view from above Aaron Crags.

Having been up here a couple of times in the past I strode west past Great Slack…
3 - Great Slack on Seathwaite Fell.JPG
Great Slack on Seathwaite Fell.

to meet the unnamed tarn which sits behind Sprinkling Tarn but still gives some foreground interest to a view of Great End.
5 - Great End behind unnamed tarn on Seathwaite Fell.JPG
Great End behind unnamed tarn on Seathwaite Fell.

Moving on I continued across the fell, not following any paths in general but meandering around until I reached Sprinkling Tarn where just short of the main path I decided to have a short break. Leaving a patch of flattened grass behind me I linked up with the main path and followed it climbing steadily northeast before turning south along the path towards Esk Hause where the junction of five paths is formed.

Since leaving Seathwaite Fell the mist has been making an appearance and is now getting lower - or maybe it's because I'm getting higher - and as I arrive in the vicinity of Calf Cove it is all but covering Esk Pike with its eerie, swirling greyness.
6 - The mist coming down on Esk Pike.JPG
The mist coming down on Esk Pike.

Following the path over the top of Coldkeld Knotts I then commenced to rock hop across the boulders and despite the marker cairns followed no line in particular only what I could recognise as the easiest way forward for me. I am glad that it is a dry day because these boulders are very slippery when wet as I found out much to my chagrin when falling flat out on them whilst walking across them one stormy day a couple of years ago.

Safely across this rocky hazard I can now lift my eyes to look and walk south towards Ill Crag, that large monolith of jumbled rocks the summit of which sits at 935 metres. Moving towards my target I find more rocks in my path which again takes great care to walk across if twisted leg joints and broken bones are to be avoided.
8 - Rough walk to Ill Crag.JPG
A rough walk to Ill Crag.

I worked my way around to the northeast corner and made my way up what appeared to be the easiest way forward until I finally topped out.

The wind has started to whip up now so had to be careful whilst looking down into and across the Great Moss and the River Esk winding its way down the valley.
9 - Great Moss from Ill Crag top.JPG
Great Moss from Ill Crag top.

Despite the wind and the mist the views are still spectacular but I could only wish that the weather had remained at its 9am state.
10 - A view across Pen and to Slight Side.JPG
A view across Pen and to Slight Side.

11 - Broad Crag through the mist from Ill Crag.JPG
Broad Crag through the mist from Ill Crag.

As I looked towards Scafell Pike the mist started to lift slightly with only the top wearing a misty capping.
12 - Scafell Pike in mist from Ill Crag.JPG
Scafell Pike in mist from Ill Crag.

Looking across to the west a number of walkers can be seen in various states of condition passing up and along the side of Broad Crag whilst on their way to Scafell Pike.
13 - Scafell Pike and Broad Crag.JPG
Scafell Pike and Broad Crag.

14 - Broad Crag.JPG
Broad Crag.

Leaving my present airy position I descended carefully over the rocks in the direction of Broad Crag and joined the main drag following in the steps of the weary ones in front of me, and then when the start of the ascent to the top of Broad Crag looked the most amenable off I went again scrambling over the great pile of boulders until I reached a sparse, stony, grassy area which made the walking a lot easier in the short term.

Once again wishing the sky was clearer I took some record shots of the surrounding area with the great mass of Great Gable hogging the scene when looking north, Scafell Pike to the south, and the south face of Great End overlooking the wet basin below it and Round How when looking southeast.
15 - Scafell Pike from Broad Crag top.JPG
Scafell Pike from Broad Crag top.

16 - Round How with Great Gable and Kirk Fell behind.JPG
Round How with Great Gable and Kirk Fell behind.

Having taken a few minutes taking it all in I exited the top and made my way to the top of the pass between Broad Crag and Dropping Crag and which is the head of the passage running from the Corridor Route and into Little Narrowcove and on into Great Moss etc. My way was down the scree covered path heading roughly north and leading on to Piers Gill and Middleboot Knotts my next port of call.
17 - Lingmell from the path below and between Broad Crag and Dropping Crag.JPG
Lingmell from the path below and between Broad Crag and Dropping Crag.

The steep path down between the two crags is fairly rough with lots of loose stones and small slippery material which takes some care and lots of gymnastic and balancing abilities to keep ones feet where they should be if one doesn't want to turn this descent into an acrobatic display of some substantial note.
17 - Piers Gill and Lingmell.JPG
Piers Gill and Lingmell.

Upon reaching the bottom and crossing the Corridor Route the great gash of Piers Gill cuts its way through the rock and onwards until it reaches the head of Wasdale between Flass Knotts and Bursting Knott falling down the valley until it eventually becomes Lingmell Beck. The path from the Corridor Route takes me along the east side of Piers Gill along a good path. The first few metres are made up of the usual stony ground before turning into a nice even trod all the way on to and beyond Middleboot Knotts. Upon reaching my destination I turned off and picked my way through the rocks and grass to reach the summit at 703 metres.
18 - Middleboot Knotts in front of Great Gable.JPG
Middleboot Knotts in front of Great Gable.

There is nothing remarkable about the summit. Just the usual small pile of stones acting as a cairn but allowing for some good views once again even at this lot lower altitude than the one that I have just left. I could even see Styhead Tarn to the north.
19 - Looking across the Corridor Route from Middleboot top.JPG
Looking across the Corridor Route from Middleboot Knotts top.

My last objective, Round How, over to the east is now in sight proper. I headed off east down the fell side working my way between the rocks but before reaching the Corridor Route I stopped for my second break of the day in the lee of a large rock watching quite a number of people either doing the same by the main path or making their way back down Sty Head and beyond. Having passed this way before on numerous occasions I had never really bothered to stop and look at the southwest face of Great End but now it's in my face and sitting behind Round How it looks mighty big from here, just as it does from the front.
20 - Round How below Great Ends southwest corner.JPG
Round How below Great Ends southwest corner.

In the book, The Mountains of England and Wales: Volume 2 - England, it advises following Greta Gill from the Corridor Route for about a quarter of a mile until easy ground is met. I don't think so.

I followed the path down to the start of Greta Gill and could see no way of getting up by that route without one almighty struggle which at this point of the walk I'm not keen to do. So I backtracked about 50 metres until I came to the grassy bank which seemed to run all the way up to the top of the gill before it disappeared into the basin behind. Not only that, but a faint track could be seen leading in a respectable manner to where I wanted to go.

Following this path proved to be a doddle as the gradient was easy and took me all the way to the bottom of Round How where the path continues across, or around the basin, and I believe eventually makes its way up on to Great End although there is no path shown on the OS map. A quick short climb up the back, the east side got me to the top at 741 metres and another small cairn sat on the grassy top and once again, good views to be had.
21 - Lingmell from Round How top.JPG
Lingmell from Round How top.

Well that's it, job done, apart from making my way back to the car via the Corridor Route the climbing is done with an easy walk back now. I caught up with a young couple but stayed at a respectable distance behind as I don't like anyone trailing close on my heels so thought that I would return the feeling.

I did get right behind them at the arrowed step which I think is at Stand Crag - please correct me if I'm wrong - passed them and continued…
22 -  Looking into Wasdale from Skew Gill.JPG
Looking into Wasdale from Skew Gill.

on to Sty Head where once out of the confines of the Corridor Route the wind was horrendous. Still following the path down past Styhead Tarn and upon reaching the footbridge across Styhead Gill I elected to keep to the west side of the gill and continue down to Taylor Force (Waterfall) I would have been better keeping to the usual east side of the gill for my journey back to the car.
23 - A view down Styhead Gill.JPG
A view down Styhead Gill.

The path I was on was boggy, indistinct in places, boulder strewn, and in general, knackered. I think the best bit was in the hollow under Blackmoor Pols, under the trees, where I took a moment to have a drink and prepare myself for the drop off by the waterfall. Refreshed and loins girded I set off on the not so user friendly stretch of path passing by the waterfall which had a good bit of power behind it today.
24 - Taylorgill Force Waterfall.JPG
Taylorgill Force (Waterfall).

This path is not for those of a nervous disposition as it's exposed, rocky, and a steep rock scramble is required on the last drop off before the gate releases you into a more green and pleasant land. It's raining now which makes it impossible to get any good shots down the valley so it's just a case of "hey ho and off we go" following the path under Base Brown, Fawn Crag, Seathwaite Slabs, until finally reaching Seathwaite Bridge below Lowbank Crags.

As I turn the corner onto the tarmac road and head south back to the car the wind is driving the rain into me and I seem to be making little headway with my head down and only blacktop in my vision. I glance up and see a car of my colour and I'm elated until I see that it's the wrong shape. Chin up TM, keep fighting the elements, you're bound to get there before its dark.

Another car, the right colour and thankfully, shape as well. Once disrobed and sorted and whilst taking a moment in the car finishing off my drink I notice that there are lots of cars still about which means, lots of wet people to pitch in yet but hope that not too many are still high up and struggling in the late afternoon bad weather.

Well, it's been a profitable day with some good walking got in, four new tops, albeit two of them Nuttall's/Birkett's but what the hell, they're still hills. The weather was great to start with but as we all know these fells are fickle. By the time I had got on my way to Esk Hause the mist was dropping and the wind rising. Ill and Broad Crags the wind was worse but negligible once I had dropped down to Piers Gill and along the Corridor Route. At Sty Head it was of gale force proportions easing off as I dropped down into Taylor Force where the rain started. The weather forecast from this point has already been reported.
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Re: A visit to some of Scafells minions.

Postby MiniRambo » Mon May 25, 2015 9:53 pm

Another good walk TM. Cracking! :clap: :clap: 8)
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Re: A visit to some of Scafells minions.

Postby ChrisW » Mon May 25, 2015 11:25 pm

Thats a good solid round Trailmasher great conditions initially but that tramping to the car in the pouring rain sucks....and it's even worse when you think you're there only to realise that's not your car. Great report with some lovely shots in spite of conditions :clap:
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Re: A visit to some of Scafells minions.

Postby AJNicholls » Tue May 26, 2015 1:03 am

Hi Trailmasher. Good idea picking off some of the other hills in the area. Black Sails would be a decent hill to finish the Lakeland Hewitts on. I've been on it twice whilst doing the Coniston round (along with my favourite peak, Dow Crag.)

I hit the half-way stage on the Birketts earlier this year (currently at 273 out of 541) and I'm looking forward to getting on top of some more of them as I slowly aim to work my way through a second round of Wainwrights and check out some of the Outlying Fells too. I've got about 30 or so Lakeland Nuttalls to pick up (or at least I think I do; I can't remember which minor tops I did on Skiddaw for example as when I was up there it was dark.)

You might also want to look out for Wallowbarrow Crag (SD 222 968) and Muncaster Fell - Hooker Crag (SD 112 984) which I believe are the only fells on the peak-bagging list for Mark Richards' Fellranger series that aren't Birketts as they're too small. (The latter is an Outlying Wainwright though.)

Thanks for sharing the pics. :)
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Re: A visit to some of Scafells minions.

Postby Mal Grey » Tue May 26, 2015 11:55 am

An interesting variation in an area where most folk will be ticking the obvious few hills. Well done for seeking out the less well known summits.
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Re: A visit to some of Scafells minions.

Postby trailmasher » Wed May 27, 2015 4:18 pm

MiniRambo wrote:Another good walk TM. Cracking! :clap: :clap: 8)


Thanks MR and I see that your has done list is rising pretty fast :clap:
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Re: A visit to some of Scafells minions.

Postby trailmasher » Wed May 27, 2015 4:30 pm

ChrisW wrote:Thats a good solid round Trailmasher great conditions initially but that tramping to the car in the pouring rain sucks....and it's even worse when you think you're there only to realise that's not your car. Great report with some lovely shots in spite of conditions :clap:


Thanks again Chris. I don't mind the rain too much as long as walking on the rough, tarmac at anytime sucks, but in the rain :roll: especially with the wind in your face. Some people seem to think that if the sun is shining at 9am it will be like that at 4pm. I despair at seeing some of 'em not dressed appropriately with a bottle of water and a Mars Bar in hand, but maybe they are of the Iron Man ilk. But the hills have mercy on no one if treated with disdain. :(
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Re: A visit to some of Scafells minions.

Postby trailmasher » Wed May 27, 2015 4:42 pm

AJNicholls wrote:Hi Trailmasher. Good idea picking off some of the other hills in the area. Black Sails would be a decent hill to finish the Lakeland Hewitts on. I've been on it twice whilst doing the Coniston round (along with my favourite peak, Dow Crag.)

I hit the half-way stage on the Birketts earlier this year (currently at 273 out of 541) and I'm looking forward to getting on top of some more of them as I slowly aim to work my way through a second round of Wainwrights and check out some of the Outlying Fells too. I've got about 30 or so Lakeland Nuttalls to pick up (or at least I think I do; I can't remember which minor tops I did on Skiddaw for example as when I was up there it was dark.)

You might also want to look out for Wallowbarrow Crag (SD 222 968) and Muncaster Fell - Hooker Crag (SD 112 984) which I believe are the only fells on the peak-bagging list for Mark Richards' Fellranger series that aren't Birketts as they're too small. (The latter is an Outlying Wainwright though.)

Thanks for sharing the pics. :)


Thank you for your comments, couple of fells, and the tip of the Mark Richards' Fellranger series which I'll look up. I can fit the fells in whilst knocking off some of the Birkett's in those two areas. I've got 8 Nuttalls in the LD but Pillar Rock may have to wait until I grow spurs. Birkett's number 158 remaining but as in the Nuttall's I may have to increase the size of my balls before tackling Broad Stand :lol: Thanks again AJ.
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Re: A visit to some of Scafells minions.

Postby AJNicholls » Wed May 27, 2015 5:13 pm

trailmasher wrote:Birkett's number 158 remaining but as in the Nuttall's I may have to increase the size of my balls before tackling Broad Stand :lol: Thanks again AJ.


Broad Stand isn't a Birkett, is it? :shock: Hope not!
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Re: A visit to some of Scafells minions.

Postby trailmasher » Wed May 27, 2015 6:35 pm

Mal Grey wrote:An interesting variation in an area where most folk will be ticking the obvious few hills. Well done for seeking out the less well known summits.


Thanks MG. It's always nice to walk over new ground and hills no matter where it is or how large or small a hill is. It also gives an opportunity to walk on little known or lost paths to these locations :) .
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Re: A visit to some of Scafells minions.

Postby trailmasher » Wed May 27, 2015 6:41 pm

AJNicholls wrote:
trailmasher wrote:Birkett's number 158 remaining but as in the Nuttall's I may have to increase the size of my balls before tackling Broad Stand :lol: Thanks again AJ.


Broad Stand isn't a Birkett, is it? :shock: Hope not!


Sorry my mistake :? saw it in Bill Birkett's Complete Lakeland Fells but just realised it's an alternative way onto Scafell :roll:
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Re: A visit to some of Scafells minions.

Postby AJNicholls » Wed May 27, 2015 6:43 pm

trailmasher wrote:
AJNicholls wrote:
trailmasher wrote:Birkett's number 158 remaining but as in the Nuttall's I may have to increase the size of my balls before tackling Broad Stand :lol: Thanks again AJ.


Broad Stand isn't a Birkett, is it? :shock: Hope not!


Sorry my mistake :? saw it in Bill Birkett's Complete Lakeland Fells but just realised it's an alternative way onto Scafell :roll:


Phew! :D
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