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Around the Jaws of Borrowdale

Around the Jaws of Borrowdale


Postby johnkaysleftleg » Sun Mar 13, 2016 5:18 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Castle Crag, Grange Fell, Great Crag

Date walked: 05/03/2016

Time taken: 6

Distance: 15 km

Ascent: 860m

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It had been five long months since I had last been to Lakeland, a day spent largely in clag on a Kentmere round. Since then any days out in the hills had been far too few and far between. With Grace and Nicola going to Birmingham for the weekend this was not to be a family occasion but I booked a BnB on a late deal giving me two days walking while the ladies of my life enjoyed shopping and a concert.

The weather on the Saturday was not forecast to be particularly great and with much snow and ice still on the high ground I figured a modest re-introduction was in order. In the end I plumped for a walk taking in the smaller fells around the Jaws of Borrowdale as it had been a good few years since I was around this way.

I parked up at Rosthwaite, donning water proofs immediately, and set off with Hughie in tow along the stony section of the Cumbrian way to Stonethwaite. It wasn't actually raining at this point and given my layering up I was quickly over heating especially on the steep path through the wonderful woodland up to Dock Tarn. Five months of limited walking and nothing of Lakeland steepness hit home quickly and I was soon huffing and puffing badly, shedding layers as I ascended.

ImageBase Brown by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageBorrowdale Trees by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageCumbrian Way by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageWillygrass Gill by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageSteep path up through the woods by Anthony Young, on Flickr

It was with considerable relief that I made it out of the top of the woods, which marks the end of the steepest section of the day, to be greated by a flurry of snowflakes. It was to keep precipitating for the next few hours without ever getting truly wet, given the brisk wind this was certainly for the best. With the hard work behind us the going was much easier as the path wound it's way to Dock Tarn, a lonely wild feeling place of notable atmosphere.
It was somewhere around here that I lost my water bottle at the second attempt having already dropped it on the steep woodland path necessitating dropping back down someway much to my chagrin.

ImageOut of the trees by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageA local surveys the scene by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageEagle Crag by Anthony Young, on Flickr

Image
Beck and wall by Anthony Young, on Flickr

Image
Over the Stile by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageLooking towards the Honister Pass by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageDock Tarn by Anthony Young, on Flickr

The way to the summit of Great Crag from here is far from clear so I continued along the path to Watendlath until a likely looking trod headed off into the hummocky craggy ground that makes up the upper sections of the fell. It was once I attained the summit and reached for a drink that I realized my water bottle had gone, as I hadn't had a drink for some way the potential ground to be recovered was considerable so I made the decision to go on without it, relying upon my flask of coffee for refreshment. I made my way over to the North summit, which is of equal height before making a return to the main path as the snow and wind picked up.

ImageGreat Crag Summit by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageSnowing on Great Crag by Anthony Young, on Flickr

The path down to Watendlath is simple enough but was very wet in places as disappointingly the freezing level was seemingly way above my head. I had lunch over looking Watendlath Tarn, often thronged but on this winters day fairly deserted.It was sad to see the lovely old bridge in a poor state, hopefully it can be restored fully once the weather gets warmer. I started my soggy trudge up Grange fell as the rain continued to fall but with the odd patch of brightness giving hope of better conditions ahead. Upon reaching the Wall at the delightfully named Joppletyhow Moss I made a navigational error. Despite my memory insisting I had to cross the wall further down I ignored it and crossed the stile before realizing after a few hundred yards my memory was right and I was on the wrong side of the high stone wall. A scrambled crossing later, making use of a convenient crag and I was soon on the rocky top of Grange Fell. It was still raining but with brighter patches around I continued on to the Birkett of King's How, once again through some very saturated countryside.

ImageLight catches Watendlath Tarn by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageWrong side of the wall by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageGrange fell summit view by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageBack over the fence by Anthony Young, on Flickr

I had seen very few people to this point other than a few around Watendlath, but that was to change as a mini bus full reached the summit of King's how at the same time as I did, a few quick photos and I headed down towards Grange. I was far from sure about this section of the route but it was very easy to follow being it was a stone pitched path. The problem was it is not a very good stone pitched path and given it was soaked and covered with very slippy decaying leaves meant that my descent was labored and required a great deal of concentration.

ImageNorth from King's How by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageWeather to the South by Anthony Young, on Flickr

Happily back at valley level it had stopped raining but with coffee all gone I was starting to feel a bit thirsty. I had not brought cash with me on the walk but fortunately the public toilets in Grange enabled me to refill my flask with water for the last climb of the day up the most diminutive of Wainwrights, Castle Crag.
I must admit I was feeling even this modest climb but I pushed on up Broadslack Gill before the path up though the tinkling slate led me to the summit. I sat and enjoyed the views of a clearing Skiddaw, noticing a nearby group who had the champagne out, no doubt celebrating a completion, I left them to it and made my way back to Rosthwaite.

ImageCastle Crag by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageBorrowdale fields by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageSkiddaw from Castle Crag by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageLooking up Borrowdale by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageRosthwaite Fell by Anthony Young, on Flickr

My BnB at Troutbeck, just off the A66 was lovely, enhanced all the more by a great pot of tea being made by the landlady upon my arrival. I enjoyed a truly magnificent repast at the Troutbeck Inn before I relaxed with a few beers to decide on what to do tomorrow.


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Last edited by johnkaysleftleg on Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Around the Jaws of Borrowdale

Postby jacob » Sun Mar 13, 2016 6:30 pm

This is stunning.......
Absolutely.
Hats off
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Re: Around the Jaws of Borrowdale

Postby dav2930 » Sun Mar 13, 2016 7:43 pm

Good to see you out & about again JK. The sheer quality of your photography is always a delight to see. A nicely constructed walk that, taking in some of the best viewpoints in outrageously beautiful mid Borrowdale! 8) Superb images of the ancient, mossy woodlands - classified by the biologists as temperate rainforest, apparently :shock:
Hopefully that'll have helped get your hill-legs back! :clap:
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Re: Around the Jaws of Borrowdale

Postby ChrisW » Mon Mar 14, 2016 2:47 am

Fantastic report JK, isn't it always the way of it that once you realise you lost your water bottle you are more thirsty immediately...and for the remainder of the hike :roll: Some stunning shots for the entire route it's hard to pick a winner really, just beautiful mate :lol: :lol:
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Re: Around the Jaws of Borrowdale

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Mon Mar 14, 2016 10:21 am

jacob wrote:This is stunning.......
Absolutely.
Hats off


Thank you Jacob, you are most kind

dav2930 wrote:Good to see you out & about again JK. The sheer quality of your photography is always a delight to see. A nicely constructed walk that, taking in some of the best viewpoints in outrageously beautiful mid Borrowdale! 8) Superb images of the ancient, mossy woodlands - classified by the biologists as temperate rainforest, apparently :shock:
Hopefully that'll have helped get your hill-legs back! :clap:


Cheers Dav it was good to be out and about, found it ridiculously hard work at times however, probably why I took so many photos!

ChrisW wrote:Fantastic report JK, isn't it always the way of it that once you realise you lost your water bottle you are more thirsty immediately...and for the remainder of the hike :roll: Some stunning shots for the entire route it's hard to pick a winner really, just beautiful mate :lol: :lol:


Thanks Chris, it was the fact I'd already dropped the water bottle and had to lose some hard earned hight previously and made me so feel so stupid, Some people just won't learn I supose :lol:
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Re: Around the Jaws of Borrowdale

Postby nigheandonn » Mon Mar 14, 2016 12:55 pm

I love how Borrowdale is bright green even at the end of winter! And I like the very definite snowline.

Lovely hills and photos - it's good to see you back in the Lakes. (I'm in exile - or at least Scotland - until the end of May, which is approximately forever.)
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Re: Around the Jaws of Borrowdale

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Tue Mar 15, 2016 11:42 am

nigheandonn wrote:I love how Borrowdale is bright green even at the end of winter! And I like the very definite snowline.

Lovely hills and photos - it's good to see you back in the Lakes. (I'm in exile - or at least Scotland - until the end of May, which is approximately forever.)


Thank you Nigheandonn, just don't make the same mistake of I have of letting fitness levels drop too far, I was well whacked at the end of this modest outing.
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Re: Around the Jaws of Borrowdale

Postby basscadet » Tue Mar 15, 2016 12:50 pm

johnkaysleftleg wrote:
Thank you Nigheandonn, just don't make the same mistake of I have of letting fitness levels drop too far, I was well whacked at the end of this modest outing.


Gosh I was pooped after just the dander up Castle Crag on Sunday :lol:
Some lovely shots there :clap:
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Re: Around the Jaws of Borrowdale

Postby trailmasher » Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:09 pm

That's a great walk JK with a great report along with it :clap: A good mixture of weather too :? A determined effort going up by Willygrass Gill JK :clap: it's bad enough going down it never mind the climbing up it well done you :clap: Where's Hughie :?
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Re: Around the Jaws of Borrowdale

Postby Gordie12 » Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:27 pm

Some of the best photos I've seen in ages - great report :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Around the Jaws of Borrowdale

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:29 pm

basscadet wrote:
johnkaysleftleg wrote:
Thank you Nigheandonn, just don't make the same mistake of I have of letting fitness levels drop too far, I was well whacked at the end of this modest outing.


Gosh I was pooped after just the dander up Castle Crag on Sunday :lol:
Some lovely shots there :clap:


Thanks basscadet

Gordie12 wrote:Some of the best photos I've seen in ages - great report :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:


Cheers Gordie

trailmasher wrote:That's a great walk JK with a great report along with it :clap: A good mixture of weather too :? A determined effort going up by Willygrass Gill JK :clap: it's bad enough going down it never mind the climbing up it well done you :clap: Where's Hughie :?


I thought it was just me being old going up that path, nice of somebody else to confirm it's hard work. Hughie was present throughout but was in fine camera dodging form. A few pics of him on the next report however.
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Re: Around the Jaws of Borrowdale

Postby nigheandonn » Thu Mar 17, 2016 1:14 pm

I need to get back in the habit of walking up the Mound in the mornings - it really does help! I should manage a couple of Scottish days out before then, but I do miss the Lakes.
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Re: Around the Jaws of Borrowdale

Postby LoveWalking » Sat Mar 19, 2016 3:57 pm

Great report and stunning photos :clap:
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Re: Around the Jaws of Borrowdale

Postby pamfox » Sun Mar 20, 2016 10:03 pm

Lovely photos Anthony. :clap: I would hang any one of them on my wall. The ones of the woods look like something from Lord of the Rings. I was looking for the elven folk. It's good to brush the cobwebs off and get back in the lakes isn't it?
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Re: Around the Jaws of Borrowdale

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Mon Mar 21, 2016 11:03 am

LoveWalking wrote:Great report and stunning photos :clap:


Thank you

pamfox wrote:Lovely photos Anthony. :clap: I would hang any one of them on my wall. The ones of the woods look like something from Lord of the Rings. I was looking for the elven folk. It's good to brush the cobwebs off and get back in the lakes isn't it?


Good to here from you Pam, thank you very much for your kind words. It wasn't so much cobwebs as rusted up parts! my knees strangely feel far better for it however.
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