walkhighlands

This board helps you to share your walking route experiences in England and Wales... or overseas.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

The Fellbarrow Septuplets

The Fellbarrow Septuplets


Postby trailmasher » Fri Aug 21, 2015 8:28 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Fellbarrow, Low Fell

Date walked: 18/08/2015

Time taken: 3.17

Distance: 11.52 km

Ascent: 649m

3 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).

In my quest for completing the Lakeland Birkett's I decided to continue with it by attacking the ones north of Loweswater and which are also located in the western fells area.


The Fellbarrow Birketts.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


It was warm and humid when E and I set off from a small parking space at the side of the road which runs alongside Loweswater and is big enough for maybe three cars. The grid reference is NY128218 and it is situated just before the signpost which points the way to Mosser via an old road and tells you that 'Mosser unfit for cars' and which runs uphill through the trees for a while before reaching open ground.
1 - The start of the walk.JPG
The start of the walk.

It appears that it is a now unused tarmac road which is washed out in places but mainly in good condition apart from vegetation growing on it and runs from the grid reference point all the way to, as it says, Mosser. I initially got the start wrong as instead of going straight on to the old Mosser road I led E down the main road for a few metres and picked up a path which runs uphill through the trees only to reach, yes that's right, the old road. Turning left and walking uphill for about 600 metres and just before an old stone gully runs across the road we espied a fingerpost and a set of seven steps leading up the bank on our right hidden amongst the trees and pointing uphill to a fence stile and the west side of Darling Fell.

Care had to be taken climbing over the fence stile as the fence was broken and wobbling around a great deal and a slip could result in a fall down the steep bank and steps. We are now on the open fell and almost immediately head north along a good grass path and begin to climb the fairly steep bank alongside the wire fence until we reached another fence running across us which we simply followed as it turned east.
5 - Looking over Loweswater to Burnbank Fell-Carling Knott and Blake Fell.JPG
Looking over Loweswater to Burnbank Fell-Carling Knott and Blake Fell.

7 - Darling Fell summit near at hand.JPG
Darling Fell summit near at hand.

At the 350 metre point the ground eased off somewhat as the path turned away from the fence and led us to a stile over another wire fence from which the summit of Darling Fell is only a few metres away and is adorned with nothing but grass. The views are, as to be expected, amazing in all directions. South and looking across Loweswater is Burnbank Fell, Carling Knott, and Blake Fell. Hen Comb, Mellbreak with Gale Fell peeping in between them are also to be seen.
8 - Darling Fell summit.JPG
Darling Fell summit.

I must say that at this point my camera focusing function packed up and locked at only half a metre zoom so I will apologise now for the quality of the images but I wasn't going to come back at a later date to take them all again. I tried to get it fixed today - Thursday - but was told that the lens had locked and would cost more to mend than what I paid for it two years ago. I had to buy another one today and being a Yorkshire man… what a bummer!

East and south again we can see Whiteside, Grasmoor, Crummock Water, Rannerdale Knotts and the great mountains of Lakeland packing the distant skyline. It was so warm on the climb up to the top of Darling Fell that copious amounts of perspiration was emitted on the 200 metre climb from road to summit, so it was with no conscience whatsoever that we lingered and enjoyed a drink of Adam's Ale. It isn't all that sunny just yet but cloudy with a hint of blue, but it is very humid and rain has been forecast for around 11am but we can only hope that it doesn't arrive before we have completed the walk.

Our next move is to Loweswater Fell, so leaving here we continued to follow the fence east along another good and grassy path which then dropped down fairly steeply into the hollow of Crabtree Beck -
13 - From Darling Fell to Loweswater Fell.JPG
From Darling Fell to Loweswater.

14 - Looking up Crabtree Beck towards Low Fell.JPG
Looking up Crabtree Beck towards Low Fell.

16 - Darling Fell from the side of Loweswater Fell.JPG
Darling Fell from the side of Loweswater Fell.

which was crossed with the help of stepping stones - and subsequently the path still following the fence then took a turn for the worst and began its long and grassy route with a 115 metre climb up the steep side of the fell before reaching the summit with its cairn of rocks which has a pointed one sticking up from the centre of it.
17 - Elizabeth at the summit cairn of Loweswater Fell.JPG
Elizabeth at the summit cairn of Loweswater Fell.

I have been here before when I did the Fellbarrow and Low Fell Wainwright's but that was many years ago and the views from here in that time hasn't changed at all. In fact it looks better a second time round as I can now recognise the fells in front of me as before they were all strangers.

Moving south away from the summit and dropping down to the lower cairn which is perched right on the end of the rocky knoll the view down and across the Loweswater farm land, Crummock Water and the surrounding fells are absolutely magnificent. The image such as it is, tells the story.
21 - Crummock Water and Mellbreak from Loweswater Fell.JPG
Crummock Water and Mellbreak from Loweswater Fell.

It's time to leave unfortunately so we make our way back to the summit and strike a line north along the now familiar grass paths, over the undulating hillocks to reach Raven Crag at 423 metres but no real climbing to do to get there as most of the collar work has already been got rid of on Darling Fell and Loweswater Fell. From Raven Crag which has no cairn we passed onto Low Fell - after using yet another fence stile - with its small cairn of stones and now Lorton Vale which is overshadowed by Whiteside and Grasmoor is just beginning to appear below us.
24 - Looking north to Sourfoot Fell from Low Fell top.JPG
Looking north to Sourfoot Fell from Low Fell top.

25 - Watching Crag and Lorton Vale from Low Fell.JPG
Watching Crag and Lorton Vale from Low Fell.

As we were about to descend from Low Fell to the fence stile which is just above Watching Gill we had to wait whilst a couple struggled up the bank and upon greeting their sweat laden brows established that they were on a short break and staying at Thackthwaite, and hailed from Burnley. So it was Lancashire meets Yorkshire on the Cumbrian Fells, but as Yorkshire is more Cumbrian than Lancashire I rather regarded them as the visitors which they were and me the local lad :wink: .

Leaving them to their own wandering we dropped down to a fence stile - yes another one - before passing over the back of Watching Crag and onto a fairly level area of grass which has an old sheepfold next to the east to west running fence. This is where we stopped to eat and drink before continuing on to the next Birkett of Sourfoot Fell.
26 - Old sheepfold behind Watching Crag with Smithy Fell and Fellbarrow in sight.JPG
Old sheepfold behind Watching Crag with Smithy Fell and Fellbarrow in sight.

28 - The view over Crabtree Beck towards Loweswater Fell.JPG
The view over Crabtree Beck towards Loweswater Fell.

Upon leaving the fold we passed over yet another fence stile and turned immediately west along the faint grass path running alongside of the fence until reaching the point at the top where three fences and an old stone wall meet. Passing over the fence stile in the fence that we have just followed the summit of Sourfoot Fell is found to have a small cairn of stones with the largest one being the old boundary stone which is marked with an M carved into it and has been shaped to a point for driving more easily into the ground.
29 - The old Boundary Stone on Sourfoot Fells cairn.JPG
The old boundary stone on Sourfoot Fells cairn.

31 - Smithy Fell and Fellbarrow from Sourfoot Fell.JPG
Smithy Fell and Fellbarrow from Sourfoot Fell.

Next on is Smithy Fell which is to our north and for this we followed the old stone wall and fence downhill to meet a decent stretch of dry stone wall which we followed, on yet again a good grass path. The path took us directly to the top of Smithy Fell which has no cairn but I did see a single rock poking out of the grass so maybe that could be passed as the ultimate top?
52 - Smithy Fell top.JPG
Smithy Fell top.

The further north that we go the better the views are across to the east where the Whinlatter Fells of Graystones,Broom Fell, etc can be seen. Looking north and around the west side of Fellbarrow the Solway Firth and Scotland can be seen in the haze.

We left this newly acquired Birkett to follow the fence down the easy slope to reach a lone standing gate with no fence with the path leading straight up the fellside to the top of Fellbarrow. But that is not the path that we need as it is on the wrong side of the fence which although not hard to do would have to be climbed over once the summit had been reached to be on the OS column side. Take the stile which is on the left and walk along the west side of the fence to reach another stile which is used to cross over the patch of not overly boggy ground before starting the fairly steep climb up to the trig point and cairn on the summit of Fellbarrow.
32 - Walking on grass to Fellbarrow summit.JPG
Walking on grass to Fellbarrow summit.

Now the views have really opened up to the north, east, and west looking across the wide open plains of Lorton to the east, Mosser and countless farms west, Cockermouth, more agricultural landscapes, and of course, Scotland.

We met a couple of elderly gentlemen here accompanied by their dogs and who had travelled from Keswick and Threlkeld respectively to 'do a walk'.
36 - Fellbarrow OS column.JPG
Fellbarrow OS column.

They had neither food nor drink, didn't know where they were heading and was walking until one of them had had enough. Mmm! They asked us for directions and as they were walking where we had been we could put them right and pointed out various options should the need arise to exit the fells prematurely.

After our chat and enjoying the views we continued north downhill, again following the fence to a stile and eventually to a wooden ladder stile over a wall which we climbed to gain access to the foot of Hatteringill Head with its rocky outcrop stuck on its south face.
40 - Hatteringill Head in front.JPG
Hatteringill Head in front.

We traversed across the pathless fell side to reach the summit cairn which sits on the northwest corner of the top which again is covered in short grass as have all the fells we have touched on today.
41 - Fellbarrow from Hatteringill Head summit cairn.JPG
Fellbarrow from Hatteringill Head summit cairn.

This is our last top of the day so we now have to retrace our steps back onto Fellbarrow and make our way down across Mosser Fell to pick up the old and redundant Mosser road which will take us directly back to the car and Loweswater. Surveying the landscape from Hatteringill Head it looks as though it would be easier to drop off from here to save the short climb back onto Fellbarrow and follow the wall around until it reaches the old road where we need to be. It looks straight forward enough but who knows what obstacles we could find and I had read that access could be a problem crossing this area. Better not to upset anyone I think.

So we made our way back up the hill and from the trig point we made our way northwest, initially with no path but soon picking one up as we left the immediate top. Once again the path is good, dry, and grassy as it meanders down the fell side until we came across a very large area of short and prickly gorse where the path ran out.
45 - A sea of prickly gorse on Mosser Fell.JPG
A sea of prickly gorse on Mosser Fell.

Stopping to have a look around for an alternative route of which there was none we picked our way sort of northeast through the odd open bits with E yelping every now and again as the gorse grabbed her ankles.

After a short distance we came across a path which led us into a u-turn and onto a narrow and clear corridor through the gorse. We are now surrounded by gorse and lower down is an even larger sea of bracken.
46 - A sea of bracken on Mosser Fell.JPG
A sea of bracken on Mosser Fell.

48 - Some of the fells that we have walked on this route.JPG
Some of the fells that we have walked on this route.

Fortunately the path took us on a clear way through the lot until eventually terminating at Mosser Beck and the old road. This old access road is about 2 metres in width, covered in old tarmac and slightly overgrown, but makes for good walking along its 1.6 kilometre journey through open countryside and then the trees as we get under Darling Fell.
50 - The old Mosser road leads back to the car at Loweswater.JPG
The old Mosser road leads back to the car at Loweswater.

This has been a good walk on good, dry, and mostly grassy paths over, under, and around some nice fells. The going is easy with good views in all directions. The weather although very warm and humid has kept dry with the promised mid-morning rain coming to nothing. If I hadn't began picking off the Birkett's I may never have come here again but I am pleased to have gone down that road as they are encouraging me to visit these lesser of the Wainwright fells once again. There are of course many more that I need to do but it is an exciting prospect of returning to familiar areas to climb unfamiliar hills which are amongst the more notable ones.
User avatar
trailmasher
Walker
 
Posts: 1086
Munros:11   
Hewitts:180
Wainwrights:214   
Joined: Nov 26, 2014
Location: Near Appleby - Cumbria

Re: The Fellbarrow Septuplets

Postby ChrisW » Sat Aug 22, 2015 5:32 am

What a beauty TM, even if you were operating with a fixed focal length for most of it the images are wonderful, shame about the lens jamming up....bit of a strange thing to randomly occur :wtf: having to spend hard earned cash on another is always going to bite.

So it was Lancashire meets Yorkshire on the Cumbrian Fells, but as Yorkshire is more Cumbrian than Lancashire I rather regarded them as the visitors which they were and me the local lad :wink: .


This cracked me up so much, as a Yorkshireman in Canada I'm always ranting on about 'bloody tourists' as if all this is mine :lol:

Shame about the lens mate but it certainly didn't detract from a beauty of a wander, the shot of Crummock Water and Mellbreak from Loweswater Fell is perfect :clap:
User avatar
ChrisW
Scrambler
 
Posts: 4938
Munros:18   Corbetts:5
Grahams:3   
Sub 2000:6   
Joined: Jan 25, 2011
Location: Cochrane- Alberta - Canada

Re: The Fellbarrow Septuplets

Postby trailmasher » Sat Aug 22, 2015 2:24 pm

ChrisW wrote:What a beauty TM, even if you were operating with a fixed focal length for most of it the images are wonderful, shame about the lens jamming up....bit of a strange thing to randomly occur :wtf: having to spend hard earned cash on another is always going to bite.

So it was Lancashire meets Yorkshire on the Cumbrian Fells, but as Yorkshire is more Cumbrian than Lancashire I rather regarded them as the visitors which they were and me the local lad :wink: .


This cracked me up so much, as a Yorkshireman in Canada I'm always ranting on about 'bloody tourists' as if all this is mine :lol:

Shame about the lens mate but it certainly didn't detract from a beauty of a wander, the shot of Crummock Water and Mellbreak from Loweswater Fell is perfect :clap:


Thanks Chris. I have other camera's, Canon like yourself but too heavy and big to drag around all day :( . I could have got one online at a cheaper price but I'm out on a mission next Tuesday so couldn't afford to wait for delivery :roll:
User avatar
trailmasher
Walker
 
Posts: 1086
Munros:11   
Hewitts:180
Wainwrights:214   
Joined: Nov 26, 2014
Location: Near Appleby - Cumbria

3 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).



Walkhighlands community forum is now advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Outside Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Trekkin Tony and 5 guests