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A perfectly placed Place Fell.

A perfectly placed Place Fell.


Postby trailmasher » Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:14 am

Wainwrights included on this walk: Place Fell

Hewitts included on this walk: Place Fell

Date walked: 05/04/2018

Time taken: 2.34

Distance: 8.34 km

Ascent: 562m

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Place Fell by the west face path.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


Due to a bit of a chest problem I hadn't been out on the fells since the 15th February and as a man has to make a move sometime or other today was as good as any to take a short walk onto the fells.

The day dawned cold, frosty, and sunny, there was new snow on the fells, a perfect day for taking a walk so E and I got a few things together whilst the car de-iced and then set off for Patterdale in a less than warm 0°c. Nevertheless an uneventful and easy drive along the picturesque Ullswater shore road soon had us parked up at NY394160, the small car park at the end of the lane that leads to Side Farm and subsequently Place Fell where our walk - albeit short due to my recent inactivity - will hopefully get us to the summit by way of an old quarry mans path that runs up the west face to Hare Shaw that is just about the lowest accessible spot on the west side of the fell.

As this small parking area is the only free one around we were fortunate to find just one car space available as other walkers had also decided to have an early start and we soon booted and bagged and fairly well wrapped up against the cold wind that accompanied such a gorgeous, sunny day.

We walked across the raised causeway to find that the tea room at Side Farm was already open, too early for us but maybe hoping to capture some who had missed breakfast or travelled a fair way for a day's walking. Walking on we turned left after the buildings, passed through a gate, walked for a few metres before turning off to the right to ascend a short but steep grassy path that put us on the higher level one that runs adjacent but obviously above the shoreline path. That short and steep climb endorsed that maybe I should have left it for another week before attempting a walk in chilly conditions as I was panting and breathing so hard and fast that I couldn't speak. E, bless her, showed her alarm and concern by suggesting that we should call off the walk but as we had a fairly long walk in before starting the climb proper I convinced her that things would settle down as my breathing got regulated on the more or less level path before the climbing bit started. After I had got my breath back I grabbed a shot south towards the Hartsop fells.

ImageA view south towards Hartsop Dodd and Caudale Moor

And another towards Arnison Crag and Birkhouse Moor.

ImageArnison Crag and Birkhouse Moor

It was now time to take the higher path that runs along the west face.

ImageThe higher path past the old quarries

At just about the spot where the short and steep path levels off there is an old quarry/mine entrance that looked an interesting place to have a forage about in but due to the amount of water running over the edge and opening it was, I felt, prudent not to try and gain entry today.

ImageOld quarry entrance

Just a little further on E decided to have a minute or two sat on a Victorian era bench seat that is dated 1897.

ImageElizabeth resting on 1897 Victorian bench

The path above the shoreline one is in good condition and the walking was easy.

ImageThe higher path on the west side of Place Fell

Twenty minutes of easy walking soon had us at the spot where we would start to climb up to Hare Shaw.

ImageStart of the climb along the old quarrymans path

And so it was. By the time we had arrived at the turn off point I was running on all pistons again but decided that a steady uphill pace was all that I was willing to give today.

The path turns off at approximately NY397172 is initially over green grass before gradually getting rougher as it approaches a swathe of juniper trees. The air was clearer than any that I have seen for quite some time so maybe a photo fest is in the offing. We had arrived at a sprinkling of snow that would get a little thicker on the ground as we ascended, but not enough to cause any undue concerns.

We hadn't been climbing for more than a few minutes before the path began to rough up a little as we left the lovely green carpet of grass behind.

ImageSo far so good along the old path

As we climbed so the views opened up with a good view of Glenridding across Ullswater sat before and below us.

ImageGlenridding nestled below Glenridding Dodd and Birkhouse Moor

A few minutes later and the path steepens somewhat but is still good and clear to see.

ImageThe path steepens as we approach the juniper trees

ImageUllswater - St Sunday Crag - Birks - Nethermost Pike etc

Although the snow was still thin on the ground the path had small patches of ice lying along it in various spots so careful placing of feet was the order of the day.

ImageA bit more rugged and a bit more snow and ice

At around the 330 metre contour we were amongst the juniper trees where the snow was a little deeper, still thin on the ground but soft, wet and slippery and from this point another picture of Glenridding and its closest fells was taken.

ImageGlenridding across Ullswater below Birkhouse Moor

Shortly after the photo was taken we were well into the junipers and rocks proper and this is also where the path disappeared. It was obviously there but now it had vanished under a covering of snow only to re-appear to our right as we climbed out of the trees and rocks.

ImageGetting into the juniper trees at 360 metres

All we could do now was to work our way steadily upwards twisting and turning as the ground allowed, squeezing in between the prickly trees and following anything that looked anything like a path. At one point we were following some deer tracks as they always seem to know the easiest way to go. In some instances we found ourselves making our way along small rocky water channels and it took us some 20 minutes of searching for suitable ways of access before arriving at the wide path that had decided to dodge our boots further down the fell.

We fell upon the regular path wondering how the hell we had lost it further down as it is so wide and obvious but we now followed it along its rocky way to soon arrive at the grassy slopes of Hare Shaw.

ImageThe ground eases off as we near Hare Shaw

So far it's been a good walk; steady enough along this old path despite the odd problem lower down and although it had been warm work climbing in the sunshine at least my earlier breathing problem didn't re-occur. After a few minutes of walking on rough fell grass we arrived at the path that goes on from Place Fell summit to the Birkett of Bleaberry Knott and this is also where we turned off to the north to reach Birk Fell where we decided to have a break for food and drink.

The sky was a glorious blue but with plenty of small white clouds moving overhead. Now that we are on the top of the fell we could feel the coolness of the strong breeze, nearly a wind in truth but tucked in behind a small rocky knoll we were sheltered from the worst of it. From our dining area we had a good view of The Knight…

ImageThe Knight from Bottom Heads

also Bleaberry Knott…

ImageBleaberry Knott on Birk Fell

and over to the west mountains of the Helvellyn Range.

ImageHart Side-White Stones-Stybarrow Dodd-Raise etc

Place Fell is a busy old place today as we watched numerous groups and solo walkers wandering all over the fell. This fell is enormous, much larger than one would imagine from down below and takes quite a while to walk over it to the various humps, bumps, and places of interest that includes the old slate workings. Over to the northeast there are the two fells that are stuck on to the side of Place Fell - High Dodd and Sleet Fell - that makes for a good way to leave Place Fell if time and energy permits.

Our break over we set off to make our way along to The Knight and the trig column of Place Fell so all we had to do now was walk south along a well worn path that had disappeared under snow in quite a few places whilst in others it was nothing more than sheets of ice. In many places we had to leave the path and work our way around the worst sections by making our way up the fellside which was no hardship at all as the gradients are fairly easy but with The Knight as a guide and then the summit itself and by continuing south one couldn't fail to arrive at the summit even if they hadn't been up here before.

ImagePlace Fell summit ahead

Once we had arrived at The Knight the views opened up more to the north and east…

ImageThe Knight and a glimpse of Ullswater and the Pennines

ImagePlace Fell top from Hare Bennett

ImageSoutheast to Wether Hill-High Raise-The Nab-Rampsgill Head

ImageLittle Mell Fell-Great Mell Fell with Gowbarrow Park middle centre

Place Fell is perfectly placed in the centre of a ring of high fells with 360° panoramic views, fells that are too numerous to mention in this report but a quick look at Wainwright's Far Eastern Fells Book pages Place Fell 7 to Place Fell 10 will endorse the fact that this fell is at the centre of one of the most beautiful high level scenes in Lakeland.

ImageLooking northeast over High Dodd - Sleet Fell and Hallin Fell

ImageThe view south

ImageAnother southerly view

ImageNow southwest

The fell is too busy for me with the summit trig column playing host to many people with a long line following on to fill the places vacated a few minutes earlier as walkers leave to continue their sojourns across the undulating top of Place Fell to find their own preferred way to wherever else they are going. On the short walk down to the tarns from the trig column we had to stand aside on a few occasions to allow new visitors free passage to the summit. It certainly was a glorious day and one couldn't really blame anyone for wanting to be out and about on a day like this but we're just pleased that we decided to take the quieter route onto this fell today.

As we passed the two frozen tarns a look back gave me this view.

ImageFrozen over tarns on the south face

There was quite a bit of ice and snow on the upper reaches of the path and care had to be taken over parts of the pitched part of the path and as we arrived at Round How we got a good view south across to the Hartsop range of mountains.

ImageA view south over Patterdale and Brothers Water with the Hartsop Dodd's behind

ImageA look back to the summit

ImageHigh Street and the old Roman Road behind Round How

And to the east once again.

ImageAn abundance of Eastern Fells

We made our way steadily down to Boredale Hause from where we then took the upper of the two paths back down to pass over Rooking Gill and back to Side Farm from where it was just a few metres walk back to the car.

ImageThe western face of Place Fell from near Side Farm

Despite my dodgy start there were no more problems on my way up and onto Place Fell. Both the weather and the walk - short as it was - were brilliant. I've been on Place Fell quite a few times in the past but this has got to be one of the better visits, if not the best as the weather and conditions were just perfect with the light overnight snowfall bringing out the beauty of the mountains perfectly. I had one mishap when I went down a snow covered hole into water that went nearly up to my knee but fortunately the only damage was a boot full of brown water and a wet leg but on a day such as this one can forgive such un-towards mishaps when a smile as bright as the sun can make even these misfortunes seem trivial.
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trailmasher
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Re: A perfectly placed Place Fell.

Postby Pointless Parasite » Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:23 pm

Stunning :clap: Shame the wonderful weather didn't last until Saturday, when I climbed it.
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Re: A perfectly placed Place Fell.

Postby Graeme D » Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:21 pm

Beautiful. Climbed it 4 days later in a big circuit out as far as Rest Dodd and had a cracking day. Not a speck of snow on the route then though.
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Re: A perfectly placed Place Fell.

Postby trailmasher » Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:18 pm

Graeme D wrote:Beautiful. Climbed it 4 days later in a big circuit out as far as Rest Dodd and had a cracking day. Not a speck of snow on the route then though.


Thanks for your comments GD :D and if it's any consolation by the time we had got under Cross Fell whilst travelling home that day the snow had thinned out considerably :? BTW, glad you enjoyed your walk over to Rest Dodd as some fine hills, walking, and views in that neck of the woods 8)
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Re: A perfectly placed Place Fell.

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:47 am

Great to see your back on the fells, I agree with the title, Place fell is a beauty and perfectly positioned. Me and the family did just about that exact walk as one of our first wainwrights many moons ago.
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Re: A perfectly placed Place Fell.

Postby trailmasher » Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:27 pm

Pointless Parasite wrote:Stunning :clap: Shame the wonderful weather didn't last until Saturday, when I climbed it.


Thanks very much PP :D and sorry that I missed your comments 1st time around :? :( The new snow had all but gone by late evening of the same day :(
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Re: A perfectly placed Place Fell.

Postby trailmasher » Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:37 pm

johnkaysleftleg wrote:Great to see your back on the fells, I agree with the title, Place fell is a beauty and perfectly positioned. Me and the family did just about that exact walk as one of our first wainwrights many moons ago.


Thanks very much Anthony :D and feeling a lot better now ta but just keep having a relapse or two :( You don't realise just how much you miss 'em until you can't get on 'em, Just have to keep horsing on mate :lol:
You've been keeping a low profile yourself lately, wondered if some relation to Rocky Racoon was searching the fells for you for some reason :lol: :lol:
It's a good hill to start off with as it must give much encouragement to get on with the many others that can be seen from this one :clap:
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trailmasher
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Re: A perfectly placed Place Fell.

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:44 pm

trailmasher wrote:
johnkaysleftleg wrote:Great to see your back on the fells, I agree with the title, Place fell is a beauty and perfectly positioned. Me and the family did just about that exact walk as one of our first wainwrights many moons ago.


Thanks very much Anthony :D and feeling a lot better now ta but just keep having a relapse or two :( You don't realise just how much you miss 'em until you can't get on 'em, Just have to keep horsing on mate :lol:
You've been keeping a low profile yourself lately, wondered if some relation to Rocky Racoon was searching the fells for you for some reason :lol: :lol:
It's a good hill to start off with as it must give much encouragement to get on with the many others that can be seen from this one :clap:


March was a write off but I've been on the Lakeland hills three times in the last couple of weeks :D Reports to come once I sort things out including one I might finish tonight.
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johnkaysleftleg
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Re: A perfectly placed Place Fell.

Postby trailmasher » Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:48 pm

johnkaysleftleg wrote:
trailmasher wrote:
johnkaysleftleg wrote:Great to see your back on the fells, I agree with the title, Place fell is a beauty and perfectly positioned. Me and the family did just about that exact walk as one of our first wainwrights many moons ago.


Thanks very much Anthony :D and feeling a lot better now ta but just keep having a relapse or two :( You don't realise just how much you miss 'em until you can't get on 'em, Just have to keep horsing on mate :lol:
You've been keeping a low profile yourself lately, wondered if some relation to Rocky Racoon was searching the fells for you for some reason :lol: :lol:
It's a good hill to start off with as it must give much encouragement to get on with the many others that can be seen from this one :clap:


March was a write off but I've been on the Lakeland hills three times in the last couple of weeks :D Reports to come once I sort things out including one I might finish tonight.


Okaaaay, looking forward to report and pics :)
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