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A Windy Place
by The English Alpinist » Wed Dec 23, 2015 12:34 am
Wainwrights included on this walk: Angletarn Pikes, Beda Fell, Hallin Fell, Place Fell
Hewitts included on this walk: Place Fell
Date walked: 17/12/2015
Time taken: 4.5
Distance: 16.4 km
Ascent: 1227m2 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).
Setting out from Goldrill Bridge, I passed a local lady just before the footpath proper. "It's dangerous up there, I don't know if anybody has told you. You go up at your own risk," she said. Not the most encouraging of starts, but I thanked her for her warning (she meant well). It wasn't that dangerous at all, though it might well have been a few days ago at the height of the flooding. I saw the evidence she meant: landslips over the path, chaotic in places but easily passable and perfectly stable at this time. Up at the first col, Boredale Hause, it was much better anyway. A solid, beautiful gravelly path all the way up to Place Fell summit, On the way I had satisfying views of the Fairfield range and the Hartsop Above Howe ridge I'd come down last week. At Place summit I met 3 younger guys and a pretty damn ferocious wind. It was kind of fun, though, and I could see they agreed; one of them doing the 'Titanic' pose at the trig point, balancing into the gale. I enjoyed the panorama, but didn't linger too long, feeling deeply suspicious that the weather gods might unleash hell on me somewhere on Beda Fell on the way back.
There's several what-you-call-them, under 2,000 feet - 'Birketts' - on the Place Fell massif, but these don't interest me (maybe they will one day, and I'll come to regret not taking them in when I had the chance). So, I forged the simplest route down towards the second objective of the day, Hallin Fell. My descent took me into the green and pleasant valley of Boredale, equally as timeless as the valleys back'o Skiddaw but prettier imho. I had to pass over a little stone footbridge, which is always fun. Along the lane to St Peter's Church, I encountered a JCB and council vehicles at work on the flood damage. The walk up Hallin Fell will probably hold the record for the briefest Wainwright during all my adventures. Simplicity itself, and rewarded with great views north along the length of Ullswater and up the bigger Far Easter Fells, and also one seriously impressive summit cairn. A miniature fell though it is, even up there the wind was substantial. I couldn't complain though, as there was absolutely none of the threatened rain and the third and last objective of the day, Beda Fell, was still free of cloud.
I would be going against the wind on the way back, along Beda Fell, and feared it could be quite nasty especially if the rains came. It proved a perfectly enjoyable yomp, though, a pretty short climb in the scheme of things and an interesting, undulating ridge walk. The wind merely served to keep me fresh and remind me not to malinger. Beda Head has a good summit cairn, which you always want (well, I do, as it makes you feel 'welcome' somehow instead of a wandering madman), and as a bonus there's the remnants of an old shepherd's shelter close by if you fancy hunkering down for a break. In summer maybe, but not now. I soon moved on, not wanting to flirt too much with nightfall. If time and conditions seemed okay, I had the option of trying to shorten one of my future walks by taking in Angle Tarn Pikes at the end, even Brock Crags too.
When I reached the junction of the path back to Boredale Hause or continuing on to the Angles, I made the inspired choice: onward, get the buggers done. I had enough daylight and the reassurance it was a fairly simple and short descent to Patterdale. Clouds were drifting in more persistently now, and I was losing visibility of the Pikes. For spells, I feared this epilogue to the day might degenerate into the summit-finding stress of two days ago (Arthur's and Bonscale Pikes). I was far from sure whether I'd hit the northerly one of the Angle Tarn Pikes - no cairn, but the rocks 'looked' right - and just as I thought my greed would be punished by failure, the clouds cleared enough for me to see the way onto the southerly (and main one). I was treated to a view of the tarn itself, which confirmed my position. Pleased with myself, I called it quits and headed down the trusty Cumbrian Way. Doing Brock Crags, about a kilometre away, was feasible, but I didn't want to push my luck. I'd have certainly ended up walking by torch light, and possibly worse cloud into the bargain.
That little stretch of the Cumbrian Way was an excellent, dramatic walk along the fell sides by the way. In the fading light, dusk-hued clouds and wintery breeze the atmosphere was spellbinding. In full, summer daylight it would be a magnificent picture-postcard, This is 8 full legs of the 30 done now. It's December 17th, but I really want 12 done by January to say I'm on top of it, working on the principle that the weather might well throw even worse things our way before March.
by ChrisW » Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:22 am
Glad you're staying on top of the challenge mate, you never know it might clear up after christmas and be fantastic weather til spring
by trailmasher » Wed Dec 23, 2015 3:39 pm
Have a great Christmas and New Year
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