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Kinniside Common and another bad leg day for Chris.

Kinniside Common and another bad leg day for Chris.


Postby trailmasher » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:28 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Crag Fell, Grike, Lank Rigg

Date walked: 15/06/2018

Time taken: 4.03

Distance: 13.2 km

Ascent: 775m

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After a good night's sleep all three of us were up early - despite our longer than usual stay at the pub - to a calm but cloudy day with a threat of rain in the air, and knowing that we would be leaving as early as possible after breakfast for our last walk of the week we packed our bags and loaded the car. Breakfast eaten, bill paid, and goodbyes said we were off to pick up the A595 at Gosforth, drive to Calder Bridge from where we took the minor road to Ennerdale Bridge and then parking up below Blakeley Raise just opposite the track that leads down to Near Thwaites, grid reference NY066130 where there is just enough room for two cars parked close together.

Today's mission is for Chris to tick off three Wainwright's and nine Birkett's that include the Wainwright's and after Thursday's episode on the stroll to Sty Head we are hoping that Chris's legs are in better fettle today. It was cloudy, cool and damp, not raining, but enough of a moisture content to encourage us to put all on as we started to walk directly from the car…

ImageStart of the walk from the foot of Blakeley Raise

first walking north and then swinging around to the northeast to take the easiest gradients on offer. This first part of the walk is over pathless ground but gives no difficulties as the grass is fairly short and the ground even. On the lower slopes there is a patch of prickly gorse bushes to pass through but there are plenty of well used sheep trods to follow.

Apart from a short stretch of stoned up forestry track leading up to the foot of Grike this walk is over grass, mostly on paths with the rest over grass covered ground some of which is scattered with a large amount of stones and rocks but has grassy breaks running between them.

About halfway up the fellside I took a photo of…

ImageFlat Fell - Raven Crag and Uldale from the slopes of Blakeley Raise

that is on the opposite side of the road from where we parked the car.

Not many minutes after we were on the summit of grass with its cairn of stones and a fence to follow…

ImageBlakeley Raise summit with Grike in the background

as we continued on alongside it with the forest that used to be on the other side of now gone with just long raised grass covered berms with furrows either side showing where the pine trees had been growing whilst further back there is still a lot of the usual tree debris that is left behind after any logging operation on the fells of Lakeland.

Looking to the south before we went too far we could the last two Birkett's of the day and also the highest point of our walk that would be Lank Rigg.

ImageWhoap and Lank Rigg

We were now following a good path alongside the fence that would take us all the way down to the forestry track just below Kinney How to make our way easily to Grike.

ImageGrike

A short walk along this stony track soon found us at the gate that would allow us entry onto the foot of Grike from where a fairly steep path makes its way to the summit cairn and shelter. As we were walking the clouds started dropping and we had a shower of rain that we hoped wouldn't settle in for the day.

ImageGrike summit cairn and shelter

As can be seen Grike was in cloud and with nothing to see we didn't linger but continued on to our next Wainwright, Crag Fell. As we descended Grike and as we reached the old radio mast the cloud was really dropping low.

ImageA cloud covered Great Borne and Starling Dodd

Just past the old mast we started to climb the easy slopes of Crag Fell.

ImageCrag Fell

A look back revealed the still cloud covered top of Grike.

ImageA look back at Grike

Again the climbing to the summit of this next Wainwright is easy but once again there was nothing to see due to the clag so after a couple or so photos of the local talent…

ImageA miserable Crag Fell summit

ImageLost views from Crag Fell summit

ImageA grim looking pair on Crag Fell

we started our next descent by leaving down the south ridge passing and through another area of cleared pine forest towards the area of Black Pots where we decided to have a break sheltered by the wall. It was a lot clearer on the south side of Crag Fell but the cloud was still hovering over Boat How and Whoap, Whoap being one of the Birkett's that Chris is going for today.

ImageWhoap and Boat How from Crag Fell

ImageBoat How

As we walked through the old cleared pine plantation we could see part way along Ennerdale with the High Stile Range north of the valley and the heights of the Pillar group to the south, a very fine view indeed that would have been more so if we had had clear weather conditions.

ImageThe High Stile Range across Ennerdale

Due to the wind blowing from the west we had to scale the old wire fence to allow us some shelter from it from behind the wall as we had a short refuel break. It had got quite cold by now and before setting out once again we complimented our wet weather attire by putting on our gloves, in June for goodness sake.

Once back on the right side of the wall we followed it uphill climbing the easy slopes until we reached the corner where the wall turns off to the southeast…

ImageLooking back to Crag Fell

ImageCrag Fell and Grike

from where we ourselves now made our way roughly south climbing the pathless fellside…

ImageClimbing the slopes of Whoap

until we arrived at the path that runs over the bare grassy summit and on to Lank Rigg. There is no cairn on this large rounded grassy summit but suffice to say that the path does run more or less over the highest point although Chris and I did do a bit of a wander to cover all the local high points. A good wide track led us down to Red Gill…

ImageDescending Whoap to Red Gill

with the green mass of Lank Rigg daring us to climb its steep slopes to its cloud covered summit and Caw Fell to the left was all but fully clothed in the stuff.

ImageThe view west from Whoap

ImageCaw Fell and Iron Crag

Nearing Red Gill we had a good view along Whoap Beck and back towards Blakeley Raise and Grike.

ImageWest along Whoap Beck

Having reached Red Gill we stopped to gird our loins before tackling the climb up to the summit, a climb that is done on a good path but is not one to rush at unless as fit as a flea which is what I think that Chris was thinking as he took off like a man possessed with a cheery "I'll see you at the top" but, as time goes on all will change as his legs, after this sterling effort of trying to remember his youth will kick back on him with a vengeance. Ha!

He reached the summit in good time and when I arrived a few minutes later his trusty hound was sniffing out the Wainwright money cache that on investigation was found to be now reduced to just a few coppers.

ImageSonny searching for Wainwrights money cache

From below the summit appeared shrouded in cloud but on arriving at the top the cloud was hanging just high enough above it to give us a clear view across the even grassy top towards the south cairn and tarn.

ImageLank Riggs south summit

A short walk across and we were soon at the tarn with its moss and cotton grass growing amongst the small tufts of grassy islands that will eventually overcome the water at the narrow end and thus reduce the size of the tarn.

ImageLank Rigg summit tarn

I think that Chris must be feeling the effects of his out of character youthful burst of energy 'cause in the next photo of him at the south cairn it looks like his get up and go has gone, he looks absolutely goosed.

ImageChris at Lank Riggs south summit

The south summit cairn is sat on a patch of high and stony ground with hundreds if not thousands of rocks lying all around the surrounding area, the only ones of any substance that we have seen today. Also from the start of the walk to here, Lank Rigg, we have seen only one other walker that was near enough to speak to with only one other pair away in the distance leaving Grike to then take the old forestry track back west across the lower slopes of Grike, such is the quiet solitude of these fells today and despite the iffy weather most enjoyable.

Leaving Lank Rigg to itself we took off down the pathless west slopes on which the going was good with my only concern of what we would meet at the bottom when we walked across Poukes Moss as the last time I went this way the ground was - as suggested by its name - a little damp but I needn't have concerned myself unduly as it was bone dry due to the recent dry spell that we have been fortunate to have and the ground across it to the Birkett of Kinniside at 375 metres was uneventful. Kinniside is a large grassy hump midway between Lank Rigg and the River Calder and although we had a pathless descent down from Lank Rigg as we approached Kinniside a faint path made an appearance that runs straight across the summit of Kinniside that sports a small cairn of stones, stones that must have been taken there from either Latter Barrow or the river itself.

ImageLatter Barrow from Kinniside

From Kinniside to Latter Barrow the walking is easy and following the faint grassy path we made short work of reaching and climbing the slopes of this 354 metre high grassy dome of a hill. Even before we arrived there we could see one of the three cairns that adorn the stony summit.

ImageClimbing the easy slopes of Latter Barrow

Once at the summit there is to be found three cairns all of a similar size spread amongst the numerous rocks that adorn the grassy top and as can be seen by Chris still wearing his gloves the weather is still not too warm.

ImageChris and Sonny share a summit moment on Latter Barrow

We didn't linger too long as the views were not too sparkling due to the low cloud cover so we set off down the west slopes towards the River Calder that we would cross to be able to complete the round of Birkett's and return to the car. The walk down the fellside was not too difficult in itself but it is covered in thousands of small rocks and a way must be picked through using the various narrow grassy rakes until the lower slopes are reached. It was somewhere around this point that my man, my walking buddy started to get grumpy once again as he had done on the Sty Head stroll, his knees were acting up again, shame.

Once we had arrived at the bottom of the fell it was noted that we would have to scramble down some rough ground and although the contours on the map look very user friendly it was altogether different on the ground. The River Calder was a fair way below us and the whole of the bank had slipped away for a fair distance either side of where we were and as our way forward was more or less in front of us we didn't want to go too far up or downstream to make our crossing. We set off down the nearest ground slip and within two strides Chris's left leg disappeared into a hidden hole swallowing his leg up to the knee but with his forward momentum he twisted badly and caused him quite a lot of grief to the leg, in particular his knee. He tentatively withdrew it to find a very wet and soggy trouser leg and a boot full of muddy water but fortunately with nothing broken but obviously damaged. Once the moans and groans of pain, anguish, and anger had died down, the expletives subsided into whimpers and dark mutterings we had a moment of collected calm - well I did - whilst we surveyed the scene before, below and across from us. The river is quite wide but should present no problems in crossing as there was not much water running along it although just to the left it drops down a deep and narrow gully that goes by the name of Gill Force so movement that way was limited. The hillside across from us is very steep and covered in a mass of gorse that runs for quite a way to the north but in any event the slopes were too steep and formed from a loose shale like material that would have been nigh impossible to scramble up. To the south towards Gill Force was a better option, a grassy break and a wall to follow up quite a steep but stable bank which would then give us access to the easy ridge slopes and the 335 metre summit of Swarth Fell. First of all we have to get down to the river which we did ever so tentatively with muffled oaths and moans coming from Chris as he hobbled and limped his way down to the river bank.

Chris was the first to cross as he has longer legs than I whilst I had to search for a place further down river nearer the waterfall before I could get across. Meeting up again we had a break for sustenance and to give the knee a bit of a rest before starting the climb up Swarth Fell.

We got ourselves going once again when Chris was feeling a little better and as mentioned followed the wall up until we reached a fence that was protection against sheep or cattle slipping down the steep bank that makes up most of this side of the river. Luck was with us as where the wall and fence met there is a gate that put us straight onto the easy ridge but not before doing a swerve to the west for a short distance to find a grassy break running through the mass of short gorse. Once again we were on pathless ground but the way is steady enough with no bracken, heather or hummocks to walk over, just fairly short grass. Taking a moment for a leg break we could see the hills that we had previously walked over today.

ImageLank Rigg - Kinniside - Latter Barrow from Swarth Fell east ridge

I think that Chris must have been feeling the pain quite badly at this point as he looked back to Latter Barrow and blamed his mishap solely on that poor Birkett, questioning who would put a Birkett in such a stupid place. What! I think at that point he was hallucinating from the pain and grief that his leg was giving him so I tried my best to console him but to no avail. He was ridging, the mask was on, and the lip was curling as we set off once again to the sound of angry, dark muffled mutterings about misplaced hills, holes in the ground, steep ground, rocky ground, rivers to cross, hells bells everything got it today. I stay four paces behind, Sonny, well in front, and I hope that it's not too long before we find some place of fine ales and lagers to sooth his obviously tortured body.

ImageSwarth Fell

Between us we walked and limped to the grassy summit that sports a fair sized cairn made of pink rocks…

ImageSwarth Fell summit

from where we had a good view along the River Calder and the hills from the start of our walk…

ImageAlong the River Calder from Swarth Fell

where Chris put on a fairly good imitation of calm and well being but the half hidden grimace gave a hint as to his true feelings and with the road being just below us to the west he thought it was all over, but no, we had one final hill to walk to and over, Burn Edge at 320 metres over to the north. We were now on a path that led us directly to the last summit after dropping down to the col and head of a feeder sike of the River Calder, again on a decent path over grass. Burn Edge didn't look too far away but when legs are not at their best even 10 metres can seem daunting and the pace of progress can be told by the 15 minutes it took us to walk the short distance between the two tops finding only a large stone and a couple of small rocks marking the summit.

ImageBurn Edge summit

The views from this hill are no different than before really just giving a different perspective to them.

ImageLank Rigg to the east of Burn Edge

There is nothing exciting about this grass covered hill as it is more or less similar to the ones of the whole walk, different in height and a ruck of stones on Latter Barrow but basically just big grassy hills. That is not to say it hasn't been an enjoyable walk, it has, and boring it is not and although the weather has not favoured us today, on previous visits the views have been more open and far seeing. This is a walk that one can stride out on for miles over easy ground the only obstacle being the River Calder that would be more than difficult to cross after heavy or long spells of rain. In my experience these fells are usually quiet due to their relative isolation and I've never seen more than 3 or 4 other walkers on a busy day.

It was time to leave and make our short walk back to the car that was at the foot of Blakeley Raise that stood before us, a walk along the path that we would turn off halfway down the gentle slope to return to our place of parking.

ImageJob done now back to the car

As we approached the car I could see that the lights were on - not a good sign - and I just knew who would be on the pushing end of things - and this caused another cry of anguish from Chris as the possibility of being stuck out here on this lonely road for maybe quite some time was too much for his already tortured body. We dropped the bags and Chris tried to start the car, it missed firing, "oh ******," came forth the cry, but on the second try the car fired up and we both breathed a sigh of relief, changed the footwear and drove to a haven of likewise imbibers of alcoholic refreshment where we could analyse and do a post mortem on the day. I'm pleased to say that after the first pint Chris perked up a good few degrees but the leg problem amongst others scuppered our plans for a walk on the following Tuesday so it will be July before we get back together for our next outing in the hills.
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trailmasher
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Re: Kinniside Common and another bad leg day for Chris.

Postby thefallwalker » Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:03 am

i forgot how bad my whinging was until i just read this :lol:
curse you & your excellent memory! :lol:

"as he took off like a man possessed with a cheery "I'll see you at the top" but, as time goes on all will change as his legs, after this sterling effort of trying to remember his youth will kick back on him with a vengeance. Ha!"

12 mins to get to the summit, sod the fact that i paid the price!! :lol:
overshouldering of ankles.jpg
when i got home!!


& after 3 weeks off i'm ready for the Fairfield round (maybe!!) :lol:

excellent report mate :clap: & thanks for a cracking 4 days for all 3 of us :D
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thefallwalker
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Re: Kinniside Common and another bad leg day for Chris.

Postby trailmasher » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:03 pm

Have I not mentioned it before :? you never stop whining and whinging especially when there's a bit of scree under your boots :lol: :lol: and looks like you could do with a bit of a nip and a tuck on those ankles mate :lol: :lol: :lol:
See you on the next one :D
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trailmasher
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Re: Kinniside Common and another bad leg day for Chris.

Postby Pointless Parasite » Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:24 pm

My old stomping ground. I'm afraid I am responsible for the cairn on Blakely. Previously there was just a big rock and an iron fence post. I starting carrying a couple of rocks up with me every time I climbed it. After a while, others had clearly taken the initiative and started adding more stones, some of them quite large. It actually looks quite respectable now :D
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Re: Kinniside Common and another bad leg day for Chris.

Postby trailmasher » Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:04 pm

Pointless Parasite wrote:My old stomping ground. I'm afraid I am responsible for the cairn on Blakely. Previously there was just a big rock and an iron fence post. I starting carrying a couple of rocks up with me every time I climbed it. After a while, others had clearly taken the initiative and started adding more stones, some of them quite large. It actually looks quite respectable now :D


Hey PP well done you :clap: :clap: must have been quite an effort carting stones up the bank :roll: and is a fine cairn indeed 8) You just need to start on Whoap now :lol: :lol:
Thanks for your comments :D
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Re: Kinniside Common and another bad leg day for Chris.

Postby Pointless Parasite » Fri Jul 20, 2018 6:58 pm

I did try building a cairn on Whoap :roll: . There's some rocks near the col with Lank Rigg and I ferried a few up to the summit of Whoap but not enough to form a proper cairn. Poor Whoap is mostly devoid of distinguishing features and it's not a Wainwright. There is (or was) a little monument to a walker who died there, about halfway up.
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Re: Kinniside Common and another bad leg day for Chris.

Postby trailmasher » Wed Jul 25, 2018 7:13 pm

Pointless Parasite wrote: There is (or was) a little monument to a walker who died there, about halfway up.


Ta for that info on the monument as it's become a bit of a mission for me in finding such things in the LD :D
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