Took the direct route up from Powter How, near Thornthwaite (good parking for three or four cars just before Swan House) involving a very steep scree gully and a short scramble to negotiate the lower escarpment to reach the summit of Barf. Then followed the broad ridges to Lords Seat, Broom Fell and Graystones. Descended directly down to Scawgill bridge keeping close to the fence line to avoid the quarry, and then followed the road up to the top of the Whinlatter Pass. From there the Coast to Coast cycle route was followed back to Thornthwaite. If a car is left at the car park just beyond Scawgill Ridge, the distance is only about four miles, the walk along the road to back to the start increases the total distance to just over 8.5 miles (straightening out the route through the trees reduces this, but only if you don't get lost - the cycle route has the advantage of being well marked). Done on a day when the forecast was for high winds and poor visibility above 1,500' the route had the advantage of being well below the worst of the weather. If the amount of ascent looks very high, bear in mind that you have to go up and over the Whinlatter Pass if you return by the road - there's much less descent and re-ascent retracing the route, but then all the party has to do it (I was saving some young legs for the following days exertions - I need the exercise!)
Windy initially, good visibility. c.6 hours.
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