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A Walk on the Sleeping Elephants

A Walk on the Sleeping Elephants


Postby dav2930 » Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:02 pm

Hewitts included on this walk: Calders, Fell Head, The Calf

Date walked: 12/11/2017

Time taken: 5

Distance: 14.7 km

Ascent: 831m

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The purpose of this walk was to bag Fell Head, the only Hewitt in the Howgills I hadn't been up. If the weather had been rubbish it might well have been a straightforward up and down job. But the day in question (remembrance day as it happens), though rather windy, was bright and sunny as one could wish. So in order to prolong enjoyment of the views and the pleasure of tramping along the ridges, the walk was extended to take in The Calf, Calders and Arant Haw. Karl was keen to join me on this one as he has a penchant for the Howgills and Yorkshire Dales. On this walk I could see why.


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At Beck House are a couple of camping pods with a small parking area nearby. The farmer very kindly allowed us to park there - what a nice chap! :thumbup: Otherwise, parking in this area would be a problem. The pods are very new and the facilities look superb. This would certainly make an excellent base for anyone wanting to explore the Howgills over a weekend or short holiday.

We set off walking at 9.30am. Up behind the farmhouse the path is quite muddy but soon improves when it escapes the confines of the beck on its south side. Somewhere here we started a conversation about the unique character of the Howgills and were searching for similies to describe their smoothly sculpted forms. What came to my mind was Harry Griffin's brilliantly apt description of them, in his evocative book The Roof of England, as 'suggesting sleeping elephants, spread across the eastern horizon' (when seen from the west, of course).

Gradually the path swings north then west to make a steadily rising traverse of Whins End, heading for Black Force.

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Looking across the Lune valley from above Beck House


On reaching the brow a path strikes off up the south-west ridge of Fell Head.

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South-west ridge of Fell Head


This ridge is longer and steeper than it looks, but eventually leads to a levelling marked by a small cairn, then a more gentle and brief ascent to the summit.

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Across the M6 to Grayrigg Pike and Borrowdale from the first, lower cairn on Fell Head.


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North to Orton Scar and Cross Fell.


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The Coniston Fells and Scafell range in distance.


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Summit of Fell Head ahead.


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Cairn on summit of Fell Head


The continuation of the ridge around the head of Long Rigg Beck, on a good, green path, is exquisite.

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Path along the top of Fell Head - very inviting...


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Bush Howe across Long Rigg Beck


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Down Long Rigg Beck


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The steep rise to Bush Howe above Windscarth Wyke


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Trig point on The Calf.


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Frosty path from The Calf heading for Bram Rigg Top and Calders.


Stopped for lunch at the little pass between The Calf and Bram Rigg Top, which was a bit sheltered from the wind.

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View towards the 3 peaks from summit of Calders


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View from Calders across the Rawthey and Dentdale to Ingleborough.


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Arant Haw from Calders. Our route followed the shining path then veered rightwards over the top.


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Down Hobdale Gill to Garsdale


The wind was quite ferocious on the ridge of Arant Haw. Wasn't inclined to stop and take photos on this stretch. :( But it gradually subsided as we descended towards Bram Rigg Beck. :)

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Near the sheepfold in the valley of Bram Rigg Beck


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Chapel Beck


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On the green path above Chapel Beck, looking back to The Calf, Bram Rigg Top and Calders.


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Brant Fell, Calders, Arant Haw.


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The green path to Castley and the Howgill Lane


Reached the Howgill Lane and walked up it for about half a mile back to Beck House and the car. Although it had been very windy on the tops at times, with such clear, sunny views all around we weren't complaining. This had been a splendid, short day's walk on a unique range of hills :D
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Re: A Walk on the Sleeping Elephants

Postby Mal Grey » Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:19 pm

Looks like a lovely day out.
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Re: A Walk on the Sleeping Elephants

Postby Alteknacker » Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:43 pm

I like the sleeping elephants image!

A cracking walk, and ideal for short winter days. My bro and I are looking around for winter walks within easy striking distance, and I think this - or some variant on it as we haven't either of us done any of these - will be one of them.

Some great pics - I particularly like "Bush Howe across Long Rigg Beck" and also the long shots out to the Lake District, and to Cross Fell.

:thumbup:
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Re: A Walk on the Sleeping Elephants

Postby trailmasher » Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:45 pm

A great walk on a fine set of hills with some damn good photos Mal :clap: :clap: Myself and Chris was in the Howgills on the same day but seemed to have more cloud than you did :( but we were at the northern end of them and could see the blue skies over your way. 8)
Great report and well done :clap:
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Re: A Walk on the Sleeping Elephants

Postby dav2930 » Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:08 pm

Mal Grey wrote:Looks like a lovely day out.

Thanks Mal, yes it was a lovely day out. The Howgills are great and this walk takes good advantage of them. The sunny weather helps of course! :)

Alteknacker wrote:I like the sleeping elephants image!

A cracking walk, and ideal for short winter days. My bro and I are looking around for winter walks within easy striking distance, and I think this - or some variant on it as we haven't either of us done any of these - will be one of them.

Some great pics - I particularly like "Bush Howe across Long Rigg Beck" and also the long shots out to the Lake District, and to Cross Fell.

:thumbup:

Thanks AK. Glad you liked the sleeping elephants image - courtesy of good ol' Harry Griffin - and the pics. I was using a new camera (well, a recently acquired used one), a Panasonic GF3. Seems to give good results. As you say, the Howgills are ideal for short winter days - they're especially nice with a covering of snow. I'm sure you and your bro will enjoy them very much. Nice to think my report has been useful to your plans! :D

trailmasher wrote:A great walk on a fine set of hills with some damn good photos Mal :clap: :clap: Myself and Chris was in the Howgills on the same day but seemed to have more cloud than you did :( but we were at the northern end of them and could see the blue skies over your way. 8)
Great report and well done :clap:

Hello TM, dav here. Mal was kind enough to chip in with a comment but he didn't write the report! :wink: Your comments are nonetheless gratefully received. :D :lol:

I wonder if it was the same day we were on the Howgills TM? - I don't remember seeing much cloud just to the north. Karl & me were there on 12th Nov., very windy but not much cloud. I was a week behind with the report. :think:
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Re: A Walk on the Sleeping Elephants

Postby trailmasher » Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:14 pm

Hey sorry about that dav, must have had a senior moment or three :? :? :lol: Chris and I was out on the 11th so the day before you and Karl. We were on the lower fells of Blease Fell and another couple. Report on soon as I also am behind :roll:
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Re: A Walk on the Sleeping Elephants

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:56 pm

Looks a fine Howgills circuit, they look lovely in the autumn sunlight
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Re: A Walk on the Sleeping Elephants

Postby dav2930 » Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:58 pm

johnkaysleftleg wrote:Looks a fine Howgills circuit, they look lovely in the autumn sunlight

Thanks JK, I'd say it's probably the nicest Howgills circuit I've done - the lovely light certainly helped me to appreciate them for the fine hills they are. :)
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Re: A Walk on the Sleeping Elephants

Postby Grisu » Tue Oct 15, 2019 9:44 pm

Hello dav2903,
thanks for your comment on my Beinn a'Ghlo report. I take this as an good opportunity to read another of your reports and I have chosen this one which brought back some nice memories.
When I still was only dreaming about a holiday in Scotland I spent several holidays in the Dales, staying in Sedbergh. I love the roling hills and the sleeping Elephant is such an apt expression!
I remember some windy walks as well but mostly in good weather like your day.
The pictures are great, and again I am stunned by the majestic massiveness of these hills - which actually reminds me a bit of Beinn a' Ghlo - Thanks!
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Re: A Walk on the Sleeping Elephants

Postby dav2930 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 5:14 pm

Grisu wrote:Hello dav2903,
thanks for your comment on my Beinn a'Ghlo report. I take this as an good opportunity to read another of your reports and I have chosen this one which brought back some nice memories.
When I still was only dreaming about a holiday in Scotland I spent several holidays in the Dales, staying in Sedbergh. I love the roling hills and the sleeping Elephant is such an apt expression!
I remember some windy walks as well but mostly in good weather like your day.
The pictures are great, and again I am stunned by the majestic massiveness of these hills - which actually reminds me a bit of Beinn a' Ghlo - Thanks!

Hello Grisu!
You're welcome, yours was a lovely report and Beinn a' Ghlo is one of my favourite hill groups to the east of the A9. I can see what you mean about the similarities between Ba'G and the Howgills - never thought of that before! Thanks for reading my report on the latter and for your kind comments, which are much appreciated. Happy walking! :D
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Re: A Walk on the Sleeping Elephants

Postby past my sell by date » Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:49 am

Just seen this Dave - also love the Howgills - lived a few years both at Sedburgh and at Soulby. Black Force is great fun though not a great scramble. As soon as you get round the corner the sounds of cars on the M6 disappears almost entirely. Once when I was at the Calf trig point I could see this huge cliff in the distance :? It was the East Buttress - you look up Langdale over the three tarns and straight through Mickeldore :)
When I lived at Soulby I "pioneered" what I thought was a great route right across Orton Scar from Orton to the Black Swan at Rassendle ca. 6 hours and you really need two cars - even got the local council to put in a couple of extra stiles. where they were needed. I call it a "wild walk in tame surroundings" but although I must have done it at least 8 times I never got good enough pics to write it up.
I think you would enjoy it and appreciate the title - (a compass is essential as although there are lots of paths you don't follow any of them :lol: and at times have no landmarks to aim for. I'll send you more details by E-mail
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Re: A Walk on the Sleeping Elephants

Postby dav2930 » Sun Oct 20, 2019 10:01 pm

past my sell by date wrote:Just seen this Dave - also love the Howgills - lived a few years both at Sedburgh and at Soulby. Black Force is great fun though not a great scramble. As soon as you get round the corner the sounds of cars on the M6 disappears almost entirely. Once when I was at the Calf trig point I could see this huge cliff in the distance :? It was the East Buttress - you look up Langdale over the three tarns and straight through Mickeldore :)
When I lived at Soulby I "pioneered" what I thought was a great route right across Orton Scar from Orton to the Black Swan at Rassendle ca. 6 hours and you really need two cars - even got the local council to put in a couple of extra stiles. where they were needed. I call it a "wild walk in tame surroundings" but although I must have done it at least 8 times I never got good enough pics to write it up.
I think you would enjoy it and appreciate the title - (a compass is essential as although there are lots of paths you don't follow any of them :lol: and at times have no landmarks to aim for. I'll send you more details by E-mail

Hi Tony and thanks for your interesting comments.
Hope you enjoyed your few years at Sedburgh and Soulby; certainly plenty of nice hill country to explore and quite handy for the Lakes. I've actually never visited Black Force, so I'll have to remedy that sometime soon! It is quite amazing how clearly you can see Mickledoor from the Howgills on a clear day, isn't it?

I'd be very interested to look at your 'wild walk in tame surroundings', it sounds intriguing. Hopefully I'll try to do it sometime and write up a report. I look forward to seeing the details! Thanks again. :)
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Re: A Walk on the Sleeping Elephants

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Thu Oct 24, 2019 5:24 pm

The Howgills are favourites of mine - not least because when I see them as I drive up the M6, I feel like I'm coming home.

(which is a bit weird, as I live in Birmingham)

I've done a few walks there, but I didn't know this route, which looks wonderful, and a great alternative to my usual walks via Cautley Spout.

PS I had always though of the "elephants" comment as Wainwright's, in his Walks on The Howgill Fells.

However, Roof of England was published four years earlier - and Griffin and Wainwright knew each other well. Coincidence? - I think not!

Thanks for posting - and for capturing the unique scenery in such a fine set of photos.

TIm
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Re: A Walk on the Sleeping Elephants

Postby past my sell by date » Fri Oct 25, 2019 1:43 pm

[quote="dav2930"]f. I've actually never visited Black Force, so I'll have to remedy that sometime soon!
Yes It's quite amazing. to be slightly crude it's like walking round behind the elephant and suddenly find yourself looking up its bum :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: A Walk on the Sleeping Elephants

Postby dav2930 » Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:49 pm

HalfManHalfTitanium wrote:The Howgills are favourites of mine - not least because when I see them as I drive up the M6, I feel like I'm coming home.

(which is a bit weird, as I live in Birmingham)

I've done a few walks there, but I didn't know this route, which looks wonderful, and a great alternative to my usual walks via Cautley Spout.

PS I had always though of the "elephants" comment as Wainwright's, in his Walks on The Howgill Fells.

However, Roof of England was published four years earlier - and Griffin and Wainwright knew each other well. Coincidence? - I think not!

Thanks for posting - and for capturing the unique scenery in such a fine set of photos.

TIm


Thanks for your kind comments Tim!
I know exactly what you mean about your feeling of coming home when you see the Howgills from the M6, despite living in Birmingham; home is where the heart is! I used to get the same feeling when I was a youngster living in Bedfordshire. Seeing the Howgills meant we were nearly in the Lake District, and that was my real home as far as I was concerned! :lol:

That's really interesting about the "elephants" quote. I never realised that Wainwright had said it in his Howgills book until another WH poster mentioned it in a report of his, which made me wonder if Griffin had plagiarised it. I wasn't sure which book was published first, so thanks for clearing that up. As you say, unlikely to be coincidence!
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