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Weasels go Furth in the Lakes

Weasels go Furth in the Lakes


Postby weaselmaster » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:44 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Bakestall, Catstyecam, Dollywaggon Pike, Fairfield, Helvellyn, Lonscale Fell, Scafell, Scafell Pike, Seat Sandal, Skiddaw, Skiddaw Little Man, St Sunday Crag

Hewitts included on this walk: Broad Crag, Catstyecam, Dollywaggon Pike, Fairfield, Helvellyn, Ill Crag, Lonscale Fell, Scafell, Scafell Pike, Seat Sandal, Skiddaw, Skiddaw Little Man, St Sunday Crag

Date walked: 09/04/2017

Time taken: 21

Distance: 58.4 km

Ascent: 4746m

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Finally we were to set foot on English Hills! In pursuit of the Furths, tis required - so plans were laid to venture south before it got too terribly busy - remember we have been doing obscure Grahams for the most part in the last year, so meeting anyone on a hill is something of a rarity - I wasn't sure I'd cope with hordes. I found the planning quite challenging just because I wasn't familiar with the terrain. It didn't help that I only had a map of Helvellyn, not the other hills. To be fair, in my "pre-hills" life I had holidayed several times in the Penrith area - enjoyed it too, around Kirkoswald & Glassonby and the lovely Eden Valley. It appeared that we could do Helvellyn and Skiddaw from a base in Keswick, but my route for Scafell Pike had us setting out from Eskdale which seemed to be quite a long drive from Keswick. In the end I decided we'd do Helvellyn on the Friday, Skiddaw Saturday and some of Allison's outstanding Donalds on the way back on Sunday, leaving Scafell Pike etc for another weekend.

Drove down on Thursday, late afternoon. M74 chaos not too terrible, arrived at our chosen campsite at Castlerigg Hall just gone 7pm. A bit on the big and posh side to be honest and not cheap - £74 for 3 nights. The camping field was also on a major slope. We found a spot, grabbed some dinner and settled down for an early night knowing we'd have an early start next day if we were to beat the hordes.


hellvell4.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



Up at 7 and away to Patterdale for Helvellyn. Parked at the large parking area near the Hotel (£4.50) however there appears to be free parking just up Grisedale Lane. Lovely daffodils out front of St Patrick's Church. Quaint little school building over the road. Up to the end of the lane then right turn past the farm with the incredibly loud howling foxhounds that can be heard miles off. The ascent to Helvellyn is wonderfully leisurely, gaining height at a gentle if steady pace. We reached Hole in the Wall and continued towards Striding Edge. I was quite looking forward to this, and it didn't disappoint. Very much my kind of scrambling these days - no exposure, good rock (though well polished in plenty of places) and nothing tricky :D

ImageDSC03006 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC03007 by Al, on Flickr

Helvellyn still in cloud
ImageDSC03010 by Al, on Flickr

Striding Edge - no-one on it!
ImageDSC03012 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC03016 by Al, on Flickr

Catstye Cam
ImageDSC03017 by Al, on Flickr

Helvellyn was still shrouded in mist as we left Red Tarn behind and climbed the steeper path to the summit. A couple of other folk about, no hordes (yet). On we went to Swirral Edge and descended (more fun) to climb Catstye Cam. retraced our steps back to Helvellyn summit then set off south towards Dollywaggon. In planning the route I'd noticed that it was possible to include three other Marilyns in with Helvellyn - Seat Sandal, Fairfield and St Sunday Crag which formed a neat horseshoe loop. Allison did roll her eyes a little - but not a bad day out - the equivalent of a Munro, 2 Corbetts and a Graham north of the border.

Towards Helvellyn
ImageDSC03018 by Al, on Flickr

Striding Edge
ImageDSC03019 by Al, on Flickr

Swirral Edge
ImageDSC03021 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC03022 by Al, on Flickr

Helvellyn from Catstye Cam
ImageDSC03024 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC03027 by Al, on Flickr

The route to Dollywaggon was flat with impressive views to the surrounding hills. Passed by man speaking loudly on his mobile phone heading up to Helvellyn summit. Really :roll: Paused when we got to Dollywaggon for lunch. Then descent to the west of Grisedale Tarn to include Seat Sandal (the "Graham") - there was even a boggy section to make us feel at home. A bit more exertion required to get to the top of Fairfield with some wee bits of scrambling down Cofa Pike on the way to St Sunday Crags. From here Helvellyn looked impressive - would have been at home in a Scottish landscape with scalloped gullies and crags. The top of St Sunday gave good views down to Ullswater and an easy track down to Thornhow End. Beautiful sunshine for the last couple of hours- it would have been shameful not to have gone for a pint in the Patterdale Hotel - sitting in the beer garden enjoying the rays.

View to St Sunday Crag from Dollywaggon
ImageDSC03030 by Al, on Flickr

Seat Sandal & Grisedale tarn
ImageDSC03031 by Al, on Flickr

Fairfield & St Sunday Crag
ImageDSC03032 by Al, on Flickr

Helvellyn from St Sunday
ImageDSC03039 by Al, on Flickr

Ullswater
ImageDSC03041 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC03042 by Al, on Flickr

On return to the campsite we had our tea and purchased an OS map from the campsite shop. That evening we went for a wander from the campsite to the nearby stone circle at Castlerigg. It's surrounded by mountains - Skiddaw, Blencathra, Great Dodd...we caught a fine sunset over Skiddaw and the promise of a fine day tomorrow. Back at the campsite plenty of new arrivals including some loud Scousers who yapped until well after midnight much to our irritation.

ImageDSC03045 by Al, on Flickr

Blencathra
ImageDSC03047 by Al, on Flickr

Castlerigg
ImageDSC03048 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC03053 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC03056 by Al, on Flickr

Skiddaw with a light blanket
ImageDSC03065 by Al, on Flickr


skiddaw3.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



A clear night and a cold one - frost inside the tent and had to scrape the car when we got up of Saturday. Short drive towards the car park for Skiddaw to find the road closed at Underscar Hotel (for resurfacing) which meant we had to walk an extra kilometre and climb an extra 145m compared to parking in the car park...deary me :lol: We were on the hill by just gone 8am and again - no hordes. A couple of guys with mountain bikes (who walked their bikes all the way to Skiddaw summit :? ) and some fell runners who seemed to be walking more than running...very odd. Anyway, we marched uphill in the increasing heat - thanks to the chilly morning air I'd decided to keep my thicker walking trousers on, something I was regretting before long.

Skiddaw
ImageDSC03067 by Al, on Flickr

Keswick/Derwent Water
ImageDSC03069 by Al, on Flickr

Little Man
ImageDSC03072 by Al, on Flickr

Skiddaw - Carl Side and Long Side are visible down to the R
ImageDSC03073 by Al, on Flickr


Some fine (if hazy) views south over the Derwent Water and the hills beyond - I was surprised to see just how mountainous the land is here. Up Little Man , the grassy slope of Skiddaw rising ahead. I had originally planned to include Carl Side and Long Side (both SIMMs) in the route, but a look at the descent/re-ascent required in the increasing heat made me think again :lol: We headed up Skiddaw instead, meeting up with the bike-walkers, who by this time were ready to ride their steeds down hill. Instead of turning back we continued northeast to Bakestall, from there descending to the Cumbria way which was populated by several aged walkers. Stopped by Skiddaw House (the highest Youth Hostel Bunkhouse in Britain) for some lunch in the sun. I sat and thought if we could include Blencathra in our outing, but it seemed a significant addition to the day and I thought again.

Summit Skiddaw
ImageDSC03075 by Al, on Flickr

Blencathra & Lonscale Fell
ImageDSC03077 by Al, on Flickr

Towards Bakestall
ImageDSC03078 by Al, on Flickr

Skiddaw House, Lonscale Fell
ImageDSC03080 by Al, on Flickr

Our route now took us up Burnt Horse, following the wall and onto Lonscale Fell - a shapely mountain with crags falling away to the east. At the summit we spotted the first of many paragliders - obviously Skiddaw is a favourite place for this activity. As we rejoined the main path the hordes were out in force now, sweating their way uphill in the admittedly very warm sunshine. We had an interesing walk back to the car over a newly tarmacked road, not sure the toiling road workers were very pleased to see us as we squeezed past their machine.

Lonscale
ImageDSC03082 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC03084 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC03087 by Al, on Flickr

Paragliders
ImageDSC03090 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC03091 by Al, on Flickr

It wasn't even 2pm yet...the joys of starting out early. We drove into Keswick (very busy) and picked up a few things from the Co-Op then returned to the campsite, moved the tent to a lower part of the field as far away from the Scousers as possible, and sat in the sunshine with a cool beer. In the evening we went for a short walk along a public footpath that cuts through the campsite (and is barricaded) down to the viewpoint at Castlehead - I'd taken the map with us and realised that Sca Fell could be approached from Seathwaite, just a few miles drive south of Keswick. Hmmm - with the likelihood of good weather tomorrow it was just too good an opportunity to pass up on - instead of returning to Galloway hills on the way home, we'd grab the chance to get the remaining 4 Furths tomorrow. We sat watching another fine sunset with a glass of Welsh whisky and turned in early again.

Superb Magnolia bush
ImageDSC03092 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC03093 by Al, on Flickr

View towards Scafell Pike
ImageDSC03097 by Al, on Flickr

Skiddaw
ImageDSC03100 by Al, on Flickr


sca4.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



Up before 6am (this is unusual I can tell you!) and tent packed away before 7 - we arrived at Seathwaite by 7.30. There's a nice looking tent-only campsite at the end of the road here, which I'd have used had I known about it. No problems parking by the farm wall at this time in the morning - sun high up on the hills, our valley still in shadow. We walk along a rough track to Stockley Bridge and follow Grains Gill steadily upwards. Great End imposes itself on the view ahead. Some folk have been wild camping up by Sprinkling Tarn, wonder what the wild camping rules are here?

ImageDSC03110 by Al, on Flickr

Great End ahead
ImageDSC03112 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC03114 by Al, on Flickr


We walk on, up around Great End towards the long shape of Ill Crag, our first Furth of the day. We have a scramble up both outcrops before heading to Broad Crag and doing a bit of boulder hopping back to the path. We can see the big cairn on Scafell Pike now, a short steep ascent up some scree takes us there for 10.15. One other person sitting by the cairn, no hordes :clap: Ahead of us rises Sca Fell, a craggy and dramatic looking mountain. As we hadn't intended to climb these hills this weekend we have done no reading about the route up, I have decided to follow the footpath marked on the map, taking the gully up to Foxes Tarn, which involves rather more descent than I had envisaged - Lord's Rake might have been a better option. Anyway, we drop below 700m on a mix of rock and scree and turn up the channel beside the stream - plenty of evidence this is a well used route from the crampon scratches and polished rock. Another enjoyable wee scramble upwards, bringing us out by the tarn in the middle of the mountain. We continue up of scree to reach the summit cairn. Ha - my final 3000 foot top in Britain - 530 mountains (I still have the Irish Furths to complete). The clag has come down - we shelter in the windbreak for lunch, several other people appear from various directions including 3 lads in training for the 3 Peak Challenge who accompany us back down the mountain.

Ill Crag
ImageDSC03116 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC03119 by Al, on Flickr

Scafell Pike
ImageDSC03123 by Al, on Flickr

Broad Crag
ImageDSC03124 by Al, on Flickr

Summit Scafell Pike
ImageDSC03127 by Al, on Flickr

Sca Fell
ImageDSC03131 by Al, on Flickr

Up the gully to Foxes Tarn
ImageDSC03135 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC03136 by Al, on Flickr

Summit Sca Fell
ImageDSC03137 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC03138 by Al, on Flickr

We have a look at our return options and it seems the most straightforward is to climb back up Scafall Pike and take the NW path, joining up with the Corridor Route to take us back to Seathwaite. The route from Wasdale is clearly one of the popular ascents and here we do meet the hordes, like Zombie Apocalypse. We lose most of them when the path splits off to the right above Lingmell Col. Clag is down, the return is quite enjoyable despite this and we drop back down into sunshine passing Styhead Tarn. Back at the car before 3pm and the sense of a good weekend - helped by the weather, admittedly, but we've both enjoyed the English hills more than we had expected. I wouldn't mind coming down here again - although it would need to be very much off-season as it's the sheer mass of people I find challenging. But now - bring on the Irish!

ImageDSC03141 by Al, on Flickr

Scafell Pike
ImageDSC03143 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC03145 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC03147 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC03148 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC03149 by Al, on Flickr
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weaselmaster
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Re: Weasels go Furth in the Lakes

Postby prog99 » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:58 pm

Looks like you had a nice trip and avoided the worst of the crowds? Finished my mainland furths last year, ireland to go.

You did seem to find the most expensive campsite in the lakes though, try burns farm or chapel stile next time you are down.
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Re: Weasels go Furth in the Lakes

Postby basscadet » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:55 am

Wow wish we had known you were about - we were at the campsite in Stonethwaite this weekend :)
Really good one to be down south - like being on a foreign holiday 8)
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Re: Weasels go Furth in the Lakes

Postby Guinessman » Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:10 am

Excellent trip reports and photos. It was an excellent weekend in the Lakes. I was over in Wasdale on the Friday and Eskdale on the Saturday, Sunday in Dunnerdale and Langdale. Clouded over around midday in Langdale. If you're ever down that way again have a look at Braithwaite camp
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Re: Weasels go Furth in the Lakes

Postby dav2930 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 6:57 pm

A pleasure to read and some cracking photos - I especially like the one of Scafell seen across Mickledoor, East Buttress in morning sun, Central Buttress etc. in shadow. Three great days out on the fells.

Re wild camping; as far as I understand it wild camping in the Lakes is permitted above the intake fields and at a minimum distance of a few hundred yards from nearest road. Places like Sty Head are fine and very popular for it. The 'official' attitude is rather informal and tolerant I think - certainly I've never heard of any issues regarding this.

Sounds like congrats are in order re completing the British Furths? :clap: I'd never heard of the 'Furths' before :oops:
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Re: Weasels go Furth in the Lakes

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:29 pm

Looks like that weekend couldn't have gone much better, some great pics of the English Furths in superb weather. Once you're done with Ireland don't be put off by the trail of zombies trudging up The Pike. You can get relative seclusion in the Lakes, you've just got to be careful of your route choices.
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Re: Weasels go Furth in the Lakes

Postby trailmasher » Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:37 am

A damn decent three days walking there guys :clap: :clap: with some great shots of the LD hills :clap: Well done on 3 great walks 8)
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Re: Weasels go Furth in the Lakes

Postby Alteknacker » Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:42 pm

I think this is the furtht weasel report I've seen of a foray south of the border. And what fantastic weather you had! Mind you, I think I had more sun on Helvellyn in January: weird or just weird...? The LD is (I think) the wettest place in the UK - you sure got your timing right.

Wonderful pics too, far too many to pick out; but 3039, 3047, 3056, 3065, 3087, 3093, 3097, 3148.... all bear multiple viewings. :clap: :clap: :clap:

Nice to see Skiddaw in full sun and T-shirt weather. There were no paragliders when I was there earlier in the year, and had they been there, they'd have needed 5 or 6 800 rated sleeping bags around them to survive the temperatures!

The route you took for Scafell is really a revelation: if you approach from Sty Head, Great End and III Crag are almost unnoticeable. You approach is definitely the best I've seen.

Great report, and - numbers of folk notwithstanding - it seems like you didn't have such a bad time...

I did notice though, that the superhero mojo was a bit lacking - maximum speed less than 50 kph....
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Re: Weasels go Furth in the Lakes

Postby weaselmaster » Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:53 am

Alteknacker wrote:I think this is the furtht weasel report I've seen of a foray south of the border. And what fantastic weather you had! Mind you, I think I had more sun on Helvellyn in January: weird or just weird...? The LD is (I think) the wettest place in the UK - you sure got your timing right.

Wonderful pics too, far too many to pick out; but 3039, 3047, 3056, 3065, 3087, 3093, 3097, 3148.... all bear multiple viewings. :clap: :clap: :clap:

Nice to see Skiddaw in full sun and T-shirt weather. There were no paragliders when I was there earlier in the year, and had they been there, they'd have needed 5 or 6 800 rated sleeping bags around them to survive the temperatures!

The route you took for Scafell is really a revelation: if you approach from Sty Head, Great End and III Crag are almost unnoticeable. You approach is definitely the best I've seen.

Great report, and - numbers of folk notwithstanding - it seems like you didn't have such a bad time...

I did notice though, that the superhero mojo was a bit lacking - maximum speed less than 50 kph....


You mean you missed our Welsh exploits last year...
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=64490

I can't believe that the Lakes are wetter than the west coast of Scotland :D

Clearly English gravity slows our speed a little :wink:
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Re: Weasels go Furth in the Lakes

Postby weaselmaster » Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:54 am

basscadet wrote:Wow wish we had known you were about - we were at the campsite in Stonethwaite this weekend :)
Really good one to be down south - like being on a foreign holiday 8)


It's a small world!
Enjoyed your report - some great scrambles there.
I know what you mean about the "holiday" feeling :D
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Re: Weasels go Furth in the Lakes

Postby Alteknacker » Sat Apr 15, 2017 12:24 am

weaselmaster wrote:
...You mean you missed our Welsh exploits last year...
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=64490

I can't believe that the Lakes are wetter than the west coast of Scotland :D

Clearly English gravity slows our speed a little :wink:


Yes, to my surprise I did :?: :?:

But now I've read it! Great report, and glad you had reasonable weather: they're pretty fine hills, even going back to them after the Highlands. I must have been up most of these hills (except Yr Wyddfa - Snowdon) 40 or 50 times over the years, and I still love them (especially Tryfan).

It seems you're probably right about the rain - apparently close to 4 metres per annum in parts of Wester Ross.. :shock: Whereas Seathwaite gets a mere 3.3 metres ...

I see, though, that the kryptonite started affecting those super powers earlier than I'd realised: max speed in Wales only a modest 38.8 kph ... :)
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Re: Weasels go Furth in the Lakes

Postby RocksRock » Mon May 01, 2017 11:01 pm

The hordes are greatly diminished if you go mid-week, in English school term time (summer hols down there start/finish two weeks later than in Scotland) and keep away from the main "tourist" routes.! :wink: :wink:
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