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More than a handful of Kentmere/Troutbeck fells

More than a handful of Kentmere/Troutbeck fells


Postby trailmasher » Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:10 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Froswick, Ill Bell, Sallows, Sour Howes, Troutbeck Tongue, Yoke

Hewitts included on this walk: Froswick, Ill Bell, Yoke

Date walked: 15/02/2016

Time taken: 5.26

Distance: 20.24 km

Ascent: 1346m

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It's Monday and Chris and I are set to walk some of the Far Eastern Fells that sit between Kirkstone Pass and the Kentmere Valley. We had been meaning to do this one for quite some time now but due to circumstances beyond our control it kept being put on the back burner. It was sunny but cold at 0°c as we parked up in a small lay-by that is across the road from the Limefitt Holiday Park. Not long after we had got dressed for the occasion we set off walking north up the main road and passing a gate that would have taken us on the pleasant footpath that runs through the fields to our first point of call that is Ing Lane. But we decided to continue along the tarmac as it is the quicker option and the road was quiet just now.

Ing Lane is quite a long, narrow, stony, and tree lined track, and in summer it would be like walking through a green tunnel in places as it makes its way roughly north to reach Ing Bridge that crosses Trout Beck and then continues onto Hagg Bridge which, as its name suggests spans Hagg Gill that starts to collect its water from Blue Gill that starts near the top of Froswick whilst accumulating more as it runs off the eastern side of the three Kentmere fells that overlook Troutbeck.

It's at Ing Bridge where we meet the narrow tarmac lane that runs on to Hagg Bridge and the farm that sits below the south end of The Tongue.
4 - Ing Bridge.JPG
Ing Bridge.

5 - Hall Hill with The Tongue behind.JPG
Hall Hill with The Tongue behind.

Upon reaching Hagg Bridge there is a finger post with two path indicators on it. One points the way left around the west side of The Tongue to Threshwaite Mouth and the other one to the right and High Street. We took the High Street path as it made its way up the green pasture until leaving it as we arrived at a gate in the wall that surrounds the base of The Tongue. From the gate the path winds its way up the easy slopes steadily heading for an old iron gate in the wall to our right through which we passed and then followed the wall up on our left hand side. As the ground levelled out the path turned up hill once again at a wooden post passing through some rocky outcrops until reaching a third gate and stile in a wire fence that allowed access to the remainder of the short climb to first of all a pointed rocky knoll…
8 - The view towards Troutbeck from under The Tongue summit.JPG
The view towards Troutbeck from under The Tongue summit.

and then the summit cairn which sits at 364 metres. From here we can see south down over Troutbeck and towards Windermere, to the east there are the three large Kentmere mountains towering over us, southwest is Wansfell, west there is Red Screes and numerous snow capped mountains that can be seen as far away as Great Gable, Scafell Pike, etc.

In the north we can see right up to Threshwaite Mouth with the sides of it rising up to Stoney Cove Pike and Caudale Moor on the left and Thornthwaite Crag on the right.
11 - The view north up to Threshthwaite Mouth.JPG
The view north up to Threshthwaite Mouth.

Leaving the summit we continued on northwards for about 10 minutes before passing over a stile in a fence on the long walk down the spine of Troutbeck Park on a good, and today, dry and frozen path. It is easy walking as we head for the bottom of Scot Rake which begins its climb up to Froswick from a wall corner about where Blue Gill meets up with Hagg Gill.
13 - Scot Rake rising to the left of Blue Gill under Froswick.JPG
Scot Rake to the left of Blue Gill under Froswick.

Upon reaching this point we had our first break sitting on a large pile of stones under the wall bottom where we were sheltered from the cold wind. As we were taking in the views over Troutbeck Park and along Hagg Gill, a shepherd drove his quad bike through the gateway and stopped to have the crack with us. During our conversation he was telling us about the National Trust who owns the land around that area and giving us a bit of local knowledge including how the grazing rights operated on the different fells.

As we think that he would have talked to us all day and after a good 15 minutes we had to make a move so started to pack our bags again to drop the hint that it was time to part company. He was a nice chap, but probably with more time on his hands and nearer to home than we were just now. We had to move on and get up Scot Rake which I have heard could possibly have been an old Roman road that was a spur off the High Street one and linked up with the fort that was at Ambleside.

In any event it is a fairly good path that is well graded, starts off as a wide green lane changing to a narrow stony one and then back to the green lane variety of varying widths.
16 - A view from Scot Rake.JPG
A view from Scot Rake.

It's careful as we go due to the many patches of ice that lay along the path, with many of them - as on the way down The Tongue - hidden with just a light covering of grass that makes the ice hard to spot at times. At about 600 metres we met the snow which wasn't all that deep, the path had levelled off somewhat as we passed over Park Fell but we had to stay vigilant due to the ice now hidden by snow.

Upon reaching the point opposite Wander Scar we did consider cutting across the fell side to reach the col just below and north of Froswick, but due to the delicacy of our nature decided against it due to the conditions of the unseen ground below the snow. So we continued on the Rake until meeting the High Street road proper before turning south on the well made and wide path that would take us along the full length of the ridge on our way to our next set of hills.
19 - Looking across Kentmere.JPG
Looking across Kentmere.

There are quite a few people about today. In fact we have seen more today than has been seen on a summers day when on two occasions and apart from my walking companion have not seen another soul. Continuing along the path on which the snow has been flattened by many boots passing over it…
20 - The view south from the ridge path.JPG
The view south from the ridge path.

we dropped down to the col and then proceeded to climb the ice and snow covered side of Froswick. It wasn't too bad going up apart from the compacted snow being a bit slippery as it was on all three of these mountains. Reaching the summit cairn the north wind is fairly strong and cold as it has been for most of the way. The sky is blue and the air is clear giving excellent views around on all sides.
22 - Ill Bell from Froswick.JPG
Ill Bell from Froswick.

Thornthwaite Crag beacon can be seen clearly on top of the snow covered fell with Stoney Cove Pike to its left whilst between the two of them Blencathra is clear to see with Halls Fell running straight and true to its summit cairn.
23 - Stoney Cove Pike and Thornthwaite Crag from Froswick.JPG
Stoney Cove Pike and Thornthwaite Crag from Froswick.

A clear view of the Pennines is also to be seen in the very far distance. Meanwhile Mardale Ill Bell is to the right and following round from there is Harter Fell and the ridge of Kentmere Pike to Shipman Knotts on the other side of the Kentmere valley. Continuing round the view becomes blocked somewhat by the bulk of Ill Bell, but looking around to the right of that and south can be seen Windermere and Troutbeck which will become more visible when we get on to the top of it. Southwest there is the massive of the white capped Coniston Fells. Moving west there are the mountains previously - Great Gable, Scafell Pike, etc - mentioned but can now be seen more clearly.

It's time to move on to the next top, Ill Bell,
24 - Ill Bell looking south.JPG
Ill Bell looking south.

which is the highest of all that we are going for today. The path continues in the same vein as before and will do so for the remainder of the walk down to the Garburn Pass road. Again a bit of a slippery climb up the side of this one but we reached the top without any bother to find the three large cairns/pillars, the largest of which sits on top of the craggy face on the east side overlooking Kentmere. The views of course are the same as from Froswick but with the southern aspect now more open and we can clearly see the wide path leading on to the lowest of the three that is Yoke. Despite the strong, cold wind it is an absolutely brilliant day to be out with magnificent views everywhere we look. What can be better than this? Snow covered mountains under blue skies in the Lake District.
25 - A view from Ill Bell summit cairn.JPG
A view from Ill Bell summit cairn.

26 - Windermere from Ill Bell.JPG
Windermere from Ill Bell.

28 - A view over Threshthwaite Mouth with Hart Crag etc to the left.JPG
A view over to Threshthwaite Mouth with Hart Crag etc to the left.

30 - A look into Kentmere from Ill Bell.JPG
A look into Kentmere from Ill Bell.

31 - A view of Yoke.JPG
A view of Yoke.

A short easy walk off Ill Bell and the same as we gain the top of Yoke with its two large cairns with the first one met at the highest point.
32 Ill Bell from Yoke.JPG
Ill Bell from Yoke.

This is where we had our second and nearly disastrous break of the day. I set off from home with fully charged batteries in my GPS but before reaching the foot of Scot Rake I had to change them. Funny I think, I know it's cold but they should last longer than this as they normally do a full day out. Okay, battery change is done and off we set again. It is when checking my GPS I noticed that once again it is warning me that the batteries are nearly down and out. This I can't understand as it's never happened before, so once again I put in fresh batteries. It was at this point that we decided to move location to the lower cairn where there was a bit more shelter from the wind, so slinging the bag over one shoulder off we trudged the few metres to the next cairn.
34 - Looking over to Sallows and Sour Howes from Yoke.JPG
Looking over to Sallows and Sour Howes from Yoke.

Break over off we set once again and this time we are heading for Sallows, Sour Howes, and Capple Howe an outlying Birkett that sits to the southeast of Sour Howes.

Well annoyingly but fortunately my GPS warned me that once again the batteries needed changing. Hells bells we have only walked about 1.5 kilometres what's going on here. We stopped just short of Buck Crag to do another battery swop when I noticed that the back pocket on my bag was still open and everything apart from the first aid kit had fallen out, head torch, maglite, more spare batteries including my wallet, with of course all that goes in 'em. Now I'm a bit brassed off to say the least as it means backtracking maybe all the way up to Yoke summit. We had passed a few people heading up as we were going down and would like to think that if anyone had found the lost items that they would be returned at a later date.

I gave Chris that look of desperation that one gives on such occasions as this. A few Klingon phrases were uttered which only Chris and the ravens heard as I fruitlessly checked my bag once again, even looking in pockets that weren't even there. It was then that Chris, as selfless as ever volunteered to go back and see if he could find the lost items whilst I looked after the bags. This he did. Unfortunately he had to walk all the way back to Yoke summit where he found the wallet sat amongst the rocks after he had already picked up the small bag of batteries and torches part way up the climb back. My feeling of guilt and remorse at letting Chris do the leg work soon dissolved as I sat in the warm sunshine awaiting his return from his voluntary actions. It only took him half an hour to complete the extra 3 kilometres and 180 metres of height gain journey there and back and making sure that I was aware of the extra distance and height gain he had over me, poser. I had actually marked our halt on the GPS so that I could credit him with the extra work involved. Once again, thanks Chris.

Right, panic over and new batteries installed off we set once again still heading south towards Garburn Pass from where we intended to cross over it and get onto Sallows. I knew that there was a path from a wall stile at Garburn Nook but was wanting to cut the mileage down so aimed for a point further to the east at NY436043 that would allow us to access this fell via its northern flank. Upon reaching the road we climbed over the fence by way of a rocky knoll from where there is a path across the level ground to the base of Sallows and then a good and well used one that looks like a white scar that runs quite steeply and straight up the fell side and then continues as it meanders across the easier ground to the summit.

The summit is nothing but a short ridge of higher and stony ground at 516 metres from where there are good views in all directions.
37 - A view south from Sallows.JPG
A view south from Sallows.

38 - Sallows summit.JPG
Sallows summit.

We didn't linger here as we wanted to get on to our next one which is Sour Howes at 483 metres and a fair way further south of where we are just now. But to get there we first have to leave Sallows by its west ridge before swinging around in a circular and anti-clockwise direction and following an old tumbledown wall to our left. Once again the paths are good helped along by being frozen over the many wet and mossy patches as we made our way quickly to the once again small, rocky knoll that marks the summit of Sour Howes.
38a - Sour Howes summit ahead.JPG
Sour Howes summit ahead.

41 - Looking back to Sallows and Yoke from Sour Howes top.JPG
Looking back to Sallows and Yoke from Sour Howes.

Our final top lies to the southeast of where we are now as we descend down to another old wall and fence which we have to negotiate to reach our destination.
42 - The way towards Capple Howe.JPG
The way towards Capple Howe.

This obstacle proved to be a bit awkward so we dropped our bags and made our way over the familiar rough, brown grass of these fells to reach another unremarkable top that is Capple Howe at 445 metres in height. There is nothing of note to remark on here and we didn't take a picture as we had left our cameras with the bags.

From here we simply made our way back to the fence by the corner of the tree plantation, picked up the bags and set off on the short but steep ascent up the bank and retracing our steps back to Sour Howes.
43 - Capple Howe just behind the trees.JPG
Capple Howe just behind the trees.

Kentmere Park and Applethwaite Common on which these hills sit are nothing more than large grass covered and undulating ranges that are easy to walk, have the odd tumbledown wall crossing them, a plantation of trees that is not shown on the map, and an old disused quarry just below the south end of Sallows.

The path from Sour Howes heads off west before disappearing as we swung northwest down the steep and rough fell side towards the Garburn Road where we arrived at an old gateway from where we followed an old green track down and across to reach the Longmire Road along which we walked roughly south until we arrived at a path that would take us down to and through the Limefitt Holiday Park that sits by the banks of Trout Beck. Once at the bottom and passing through the many holiday lodges it was but a few minutes back to the car.

This has been another good days walking on some great fells in brilliant sunny weather, albeit with a cold wind which when walking north put a glow on the cheeks but was harmless enough really. Chris got himself another 7 new summits under his belt and I got one, Capple Howes which knocks my required list of Birkett's down to 111.

I still have numerous English Hewitt's outside of the LD to do and in my last report mentioned that I had done only six outside of the LD. That was a bit of mis-information as I have completed all of the Howgill Hewitt's and also done half of the Cheviot ones on top of the ones already mentioned, but there is still a long way to go before they're all done with.

PS. On getting home and putting the batteries on the charger I found it to be goosed so the batteries that failed probably hadn't charged up enough. So more expense on buying a new one now. Technology would be great if batteries were not required.
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trailmasher
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Re: More than a handful of Kentmere/Troutbeck fells

Postby thefallwalker » Fri Feb 19, 2016 8:59 am

smashing report mate!
Another great day out on the fells, 1 of the best to date i reckon just for the weather & unbelievable views.
R.e the wallet & batteries incident! i think you are right in not mentioning the well chosen expletives that were uttered on the realisation of the items being missing :lol: though rest assured more were uttered to myself all the way back up to Yoke!! :D however like i said to you If i had found the wallet first there was no way i would of carried on for the batteries, even though at the time we didnt realise all the torches were also gone. but as per usual i carry no luck whatsoever and found the less valuable items 1st :roll: anyway thanks again for another epic day out take a bow! :clap: :clap:
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Re: More than a handful of Kentmere/Troutbeck fells

Postby martin.h » Fri Feb 19, 2016 8:04 pm

Great report trailmasher, that was a good read.
I've been thinking of doing a round of Sallows, Sour Howes, Troutbeck Tongue and Wansfell, You've given me an idea of a way of connecting Sallows with Troutbeck Tongue but I'm wondering how to connect Troutbeck Tongue with Baystones and Wansfell Pike without losing too much height, or would it be a case of getting down to the road and taking it from there, any advice would be appreciated.
Thanks for sharing.
M.
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Re: More than a handful of Kentmere/Troutbeck fells

Postby dav2930 » Fri Feb 19, 2016 8:06 pm

Great report TM. You certainly picked the right day for it - beautiful! What a truly awful moment that must have been when you discovered your wallet etc. had fallen out of your rucksack pocket! :( So easily done, that. I've learned to put my wallet in the compartment underneath the lid, which I don't open on the hill! Well done Chris for the retrieval job :clap:

The Ill Bell ridge is one of my favourites, especially good in winter and easily the best part of the Kentmere Horseshoe, to which the walk you did is in many ways preferable. Nice one. :clap:
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Re: More than a handful of Kentmere/Troutbeck fells

Postby ChrisW » Sat Feb 20, 2016 6:31 am

Great read TM, wonderfully entertaining and with perfect pictures of the lakes with blue skies, snow and sunshine, what a fantastic combination rarely seen in the lakes :clap:

Got to say, I think Chris is the hero the world needs, I'd have sat down and wished you luck with your search while I had a half hour kip in the sunshine :lol: :lol:

Really glad you got your stuff back as it would have been a real downer on what was clearly a fantastic day in the hills :clap:
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Re: More than a handful of Kentmere/Troutbeck fells

Postby trailmasher » Sat Feb 20, 2016 6:50 pm

thefallwalker wrote:smashing report mate!
Another great day out on the fells, 1 of the best to date i reckon just for the weather & unbelievable views.


Glad that you enjoyed it and thanks again for your wallet finding skills :clap: :clap:
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Re: More than a handful of Kentmere/Troutbeck fells

Postby trailmasher » Sat Feb 20, 2016 7:01 pm

martin.h wrote:Great report trailmasher, that was a good read.
I've been thinking of doing a round of Sallows, Sour Howes, Troutbeck Tongue and Wansfell, You've given me an idea of a way of connecting Sallows with Troutbeck Tongue but I'm wondering how to connect Troutbeck Tongue with Baystones and Wansfell Pike without losing too much height, or would it be a case of getting down to the road and taking it from there, any advice would be appreciated.
Thanks for sharing.
M.


Thanks very much Martin much appreciated :D re your query. When I did Wansfell and Baystones they were my only two of the day and I set off from Troutbeck and went up Nanny Lane. The only way that I can see at a quick glance is drop off The Tongue onto the Threshthwaite Mouth path, down through Hird Wood and up to the road at the 285 metre contour then it's only a couple of hundred metres of a climb to Baystones. From there it's an easy walk to Wansfell top. Okay a bit of clambering about maybe but do-able :? :(
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Re: More than a handful of Kentmere/Troutbeck fells

Postby trailmasher » Sat Feb 20, 2016 7:05 pm

dav2930 wrote:Great report TM. You certainly picked the right day for it - beautiful! What a truly awful moment that must have been when you discovered your wallet etc. had fallen out of your rucksack pocket! :( So easily done, that. I've learned to put my wallet in the compartment underneath the lid, which I don't open on the hill! Well done Chris for the retrieval job :clap:

The Ill Bell ridge is one of my favourites, especially good in winter and easily the best part of the Kentmere Horseshoe, to which the walk you did is in many ways preferable. Nice one. :clap:


Thanks for your comments dav :D I've done this ridge quite a few times but my first time with snow on the ground and it was a perfect day out despite the little problem :( Thanks again :D
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Re: More than a handful of Kentmere/Troutbeck fells

Postby trailmasher » Sat Feb 20, 2016 7:10 pm

ChrisW wrote:Great read TM, wonderfully entertaining and with perfect pictures of the lakes with blue skies, snow and sunshine, what a fantastic combination rarely seen in the lakes :clap:

Got to say, I think Chris is the hero the world needs, I'd have sat down and wished you luck with your search while I had a half hour kip in the sunshine :lol: :lol:

Really glad you got your stuff back as it would have been a real downer on what was clearly a fantastic day in the hills :clap:


Thank you Chris :D what more could a man want. Perfect walking day and a mate with the skills of a bloodhound :clap: After all the rain it was just great to get out on a day as this one was :D Thanks again for your comments :clap:
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