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The outlying fells west of Gavel Fell.

The outlying fells west of Gavel Fell.


Postby trailmasher » Thu Sep 17, 2015 1:49 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Gavel Fell

Date walked: 08/09/2015

Time taken: 4.02

Distance: 13.41 km

Ascent: 800m

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


Elizabeth and I were late setting out on this walk due to my frugal nature and choosing what I thought was the shortest and easiest way to the start of the walk by taking a route to Buttermere, Crummock Water, along the side of Loweswater and then swinging around south on to the Lamplugh road and then the starting point at a small roadside parking area at the junction of the Kirkland to Rowrah road. A lovely drive but one which did not impress 'the navigator' and I was forced to capitulate and take her home by a different route after the end of the walk. But, one just has to keep on smiling, and at least the weather is warmer than her countenance with the sun smiling down on us out of the blue, cloud scattered sky.

So after she had recovered somewhat from her - well to her anyway - traumatic and stressful drive in we booted up and set off through the gate which is just behind the Kirkland to Rowrah road sign…
1 - Murton Fell - the start of the walk is through the gate.JPG
Murton Fell left - the start of the walk is through the gate.

and along a good grass track which took us directly to Kelton Fell, the first of the nine hills we would visit today.
3 - The track to Kelton Fell.JPG
The track to Kelton Fell.

5 - Godworth and Banna Fell.JPG
Godworth and Banna Fell.

We passed between a pair of old stone gate posts and on up the easy slope to drop down to a gate from where we had to walk a short distance to our right and then climb the broken gate as it was tied up and walk up the gently sloping grassy bank to the top of the hill on which there was a small cairn of seven small stones.
6 - The seven stone cairn of Kelton Fell.JPG
The seven stone cairn of Kelton Fell.

As we are low down we can see an impressive array of high fells around on the north, east, and west aspects with the low farm lands behind us to the south. A short distance to our north east is the grassy dome of Godworth our next target for today. After descending Kelton Fell we simply walked straight across the wide rough grassy pasture to pick up a good path that led us directly to the summit cairn which once again comprised of just a few small stones. But at least they mark the top and it's always feels better to see something marking the summits rather than walking around on a bare top wondering if you've actually got there.
9 - Kelton Fell From Godworth.JPG
Kelton Fell from Godworth.

10 - Banna Fell from Godworth.JPG
Banna Fell from Godworth.

11 - Gavel Fell from Godworth.JPG
Gavel Fell from Godworth.

12 - High Pen and Low Pen from Godworth.JPG
High Pen and Low Pen from Godworth.

The next one to go for is Banna Fell which from here seems quite a way off, and big. From the top of Godworth we are now going to walk over pathless ground for quite a while. We set off walking east towards Comb Gill across the grass and patches of bilberry arriving at a couple of old sheepfolds which are sited just above the confluence of the three waterways, Comb Gill, Grain Gill, and the main one, Croasdale Beck. We crossed Comb Gill just below where Ill Gill joins it and climbed the steep bank to find a grassy track which ran out after a few metres.
14 - Gavel Fell and Ill Gill in the upper reaches of Croasdale Beck.JPG
Gavel Fell and Ill Gill in the upper reaches of Croasdale Beck.

We continued upwards more or less following Grain Gill and then crossing it to climb the easier slopes above High Bridge Gill leading onto Banna Fell and the 411 metre high subsidiary summit to the west of the main top.

From the smaller fell we walked east along the pathless grass, bilberry, and purple heather which emitted clouds of pollen as we walked over it. Upon reaching the col a stop for a breather was suggested and finding the one and only rock in the vicinity was about to park up when we were covered in flying black ants of which I have read somewhere that at this time of year wings are grown and off they go in search of new nesting sites. Now we know why there are plenty of swallows winging about the area. Anyway, time to move on then and find somewhere else to have food and drink. We decided to get over Banna Fell and try again. The top is devoid of a cairn but has a lovely covering of grass, so after tramping around for a while with my GPS I decided that I had touched the summit at some point in my wanderings so will tick that one off. Great Borne is towering over us to the south east with the Buttermere Fells more to the east of that. It is a bit hazy so views into the distance are a bit non descript but, at least it's sunny and warm for us.
21 - Banna Fell.JPG
Banna Fell.

We dropped off the pathless east side of the fell, found another rock and that is where we had our first break of the day. There are still some of the pesky ants about but at least a swat or three keeps 'em at bay this time. They have no malicious intent but consider us as just something else to land on whilst in their search for a suitable next nest building mate.

Break over we continue east over the rough tussocks of grass and heather and make a best line as possible for Floutern Cop a large grass covered outcrop of rock which stands guard over the upper reaches of Floutern Tarn and the Pass.
22 - Floutern Cop with the Buttermere fells behind.JPG
Floutern Cop with the Buttermere Fells behind.

We eventually arrived at a fence and paths, one of which leads us to Floutern Cop and the other running north along the fence uphill to White Oak and the summit of Gavel Fell. We climbed over the damaged fence and walked along the good grassy path before pulling up the short but steep side of the Cop with its rocky top and wonderful views across the surrounding fells of which there are too many to name in this report.
25 - Floutern Cop.JPG
Floutern Cop.

27 - Whiteoak Moss and Hen Comb from Floutern Cop top.JPG
Whiteoak Moss and Hen Comb from Floutern Cop top.

Floutern Tarn is to the south of us lying in the Floutern Pass which runs between Buttermere and Ennerdale and was also one of the old pack horse routes servicing the surrounding farms and villages.
26 - Floutern Tarn with Starling Dodd and Red Pike behind.JPG
Floutern Tarn with Starling Dodd and Red Pike behind.

30 - The western end of Floutern Pass.JPG
The western end of Floutern Pass.

From here we retraced our steps back to the fence where we turned north to ascend the fairly comfortable slopes on another good grassy path to pass over White Oak and then to the summit of Gavel Fell, a Wainwright which I have done in the past, so it is nice to pay it a second visit as apart from Birkett bagging I doubt if I would have been this way again for many a year more. Looking at the photos of my last visit to here I see that everything is the same apart from the cairn which has been re-arranged over the years. The fence which runs along the top and down to Fothergill Head and beyond plays host to a number of old stone boundary markers, and looking at the size of some of them they must have taken some getting up here.
34 - Gavel Fell summit cairn.JPG
Gavel Fell summit cairn.

To the north east there is an outlying fell which is unnamed on the map but goes by the name of High Nook-Gavel Fell (No. 242 in the Birkett Table)…
35 - High Nook - Gavel Fell looking from Gavel Fell.JPG
High Nook - Gavel Fell - looking from Gavel Fell.

so off we go across the once again pathless and familiar local ground conditions to reach and climb the easy slopes of this 488 metre high lump of grass covered rock of which bits of it can be seen around the small cairn area. Towering over us to the north is Blake Fell at 573 metres another one of my earlier conquests.
36 - Blake Fell from High Nook top.JPG
Blake Fell from High Nook.

We can now see across Loweswater and into Lorton Vale with Mellbreak, Grasmoor, Whiteside, etc to the east. A small fell, but one with very big views.
37 - A view of the North Western fells from High Nook.JPG
A view of the North Western Fells from High Nook.

Once again we set off across a pathless tract of rough ground towards the base of Blake Fell and Fothergill Head passing a small 1½ metre tall pine tree which looked so strange sat here rooted in peat amongst the wild flora of the area. Walking west we arrived at the boundary fence once again which we scaled by way of a stile and set off along a good path over the head of the previously mentioned Comb Gill until we eventually had to leave it to traverse across the fell side to reach another higher path following the fence and leading from Blake Fell to the summit of High Pen where once again no cairn was in evidence so walking around with the GPS in hand soon established that.
40 - High Pen with Knock Murton behind.JPG
High Pen with Knock Murton behind.

Seven done and two to go, so off we went following the fence on its way west as it lost altitude before climbing slightly to the top of Low Pen with its single tower cairn set in a ring of small stones, very decorative. From here we could see Cogra Moss below us to the north west whilst even further west is the object of our final top for today, Knock Murton, and hell does it look big from here. Frightening.
41 - Low Pen top with Knock Murton and Cogra Moss behind.JPG
Low Pen with Knock Murton and Cogra Moss behind.

We have another break at this point pondering over the fact that we now have a long drop off to the pine forest and Cogra Moss which is now under threat of being drained by United Utilities despite the fact that it is used by fishermen, is a local beauty spot, home to much bird and wild life, and would just be an ugly, black and boggy blot on the otherwise lovely surroundings.

Well off we go down the rather steep slope to arrive at the forestry road where we turned north and made our way down another steep, slippery path to arrive at Cogra Moss where a few trout fishermen were doing their best to catch this evening's supper.
42 - Cogra Moss.JPG
Cogra Moss.

There is supposed to be a path leading up through the now cut down area of trees but we couldn't find it so we wandered down the side of the Moss until we came across an old forest break running at an angle up the hillside. Upon investigation it was evident that although there were a scattering of timber debris laying on it, it is being used as an access on to the higher fell. The way up to the fence was fairly easy on the steady gradient but just having to take care when stepping over the old and sometimes slippery branches.

Climbing the fence was easy as it is worn out and neglected, probably because the forestry have done their work and it is of no more interest to them to maintain it. From this point the hard work began. It's steep, warm and humid with soft, deep heather and bilberry beneath our feet which sank into the vegetation at every step therefore making each stride uphill only half the distance forward as one would like. The saying of 'two forward and one back' certainly rang true on this climb up. After much huffing and puffing with frequent stops we reached the top with E leading the way to the three summit cairns and wind shelter where we promptly collapsed in sweat coated heaps to get ourselves together, take in fluid, and take some photos in that order.
43 - Hazy view from Knock Murton top.JPG
Hazy view from Knock Murton top.

44 - Elizabeth taking a break at Knock Murton summit cairns.JPG
Elizabeth taking a break at Knock Murton summit cairns.

It is said that horses sweat, men perspire, and women gently glow, well, the exception to that saying is that, we were both sweating. The air quality has not been good today despite the warm and sunny weather. Too much haze covering the long shots keeping the visibility low with the identity of a lot of the furthest fells in doubt were not conducive for taking decent pictures.

Thirst sated, the odd picture taken, we set off south east and soon picked up a path which would lead us all the way down the spine of the fell down to Harris Side and a farm track that made its way to the main road from where we just had a few metres to walk along the blacktop back to the car.

This has been a good walk despite the hard pull up Knock Murton and the pathless terrain. The weather was good, warm, sunny, but humid later in the day. I don't think we even had a bad path to walk on, all being dry and mostly grass. It brought me back to a fell that I wouldn't have considered doing again for a long time and all because of my penchant for knocking off the Lakeland Birkett's. But as I have mentioned in the past, at least they get one to walk around the Wainwright's picking up the lesser fells in areas that one wouldn't normally visit. There are some truly wonderful views to be seen and photographed from the smaller fells that are hardly noticed when chasing the big ones.

To make amends for the beautiful, albeit winding route through the back waters of Loweswater etc, we returned home by way of taking the minor road to Kirkland, picking up the A5086 to the A66 and Cockermouth, then making our way along the A66 to Keswick where we purchased fish and chips from the Keswickian chippy, eating them in the warm glow of the evening sun whilst watching the remnants of visitors strolling across the square.

E is happy, I am happy, now it's time to set off for home, a bath/shower to wash away the perspiration, the gentle glow, but not the memories of a good day out.
Last edited by trailmasher on Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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trailmasher
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Re: The outlying fells west of Gavel Fell.

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Fri Sep 18, 2015 5:30 pm

Looks like a lovely walk for a fine day, I do like those lonely western outposts and this certainly looks like a good post Wainwright walk.
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Re: The outlying fells west of Gavel Fell.

Postby trailmasher » Mon Sep 21, 2015 4:25 pm

johnkaysleftleg wrote:Looks like a lovely walk for a fine day, I do like those lonely western outposts and this certainly looks like a good post Wainwright walk.


Yes it is a good place to walk as not too busy and some nice hidden places to search out and find.
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Re: The outlying fells west of Gavel Fell.

Postby ChrisW » Tue Sep 22, 2015 4:59 am

Great stuff TM, that second picture looks like the Mrs has had enough of winding her way there and wants to get on the trail. Seems like a lovely hike except for the fact that you saved a pathless steep ascent for the very end, it sounded like scree walking at one point forward 2 slide back 1 :roll: The ants are a nightmare when they're flying and seem drawn to humans for some reason.

Your fish n chips had me watering at the mouth too...I would love to find a proper chippy around here :(

All in all though what a rewarding day and in good weather too, even if a bit warm at the end :clap:
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Re: The outlying fells west of Gavel Fell.

Postby trailmasher » Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:13 am

ChrisW wrote:Great stuff TM, that second picture looks like the Mrs has had enough of winding her way there and wants to get on the trail. Seems like a lovely hike except for the fact that you saved a pathless steep ascent for the very end, it sounded like scree walking at one point forward 2 slide back 1 :roll: The ants are a nightmare when they're flying and seem drawn to humans for some reason.

Your fish n chips had me watering at the mouth too...I would love to find a proper chippy around here :(

All in all though what a rewarding day and in good weather too, even if a bit warm at the end :clap:


Thanks Chris :clap: and yes she was still a bit 'excited' just then so thought that I would hang back a little :roll: after pointing her in the right direction. The last two images of the top of Knock Murton showing a burnt out E are missing so I suspect that I didn't compress the images enough and went over my 4MB limit :o. Unfortunately we found another way up it after the event :shock:
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