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A high level walk around Greenburn Bottom.

A high level walk around Greenburn Bottom.


Postby trailmasher » Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:13 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Calf Crag, Gibson Knott, Helm Crag, Steel Fell

Date walked: 11/09/2019

Time taken: 4.04

Distance: 11.9 km

Ascent: 779m

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Helm Crag ridge to Steel Fell.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



It was a damp start as we left the roadside car park that is just below Town Head just off the south bound A591 at NY33517 09610 from where we were going to walk the ridge from Helm Crag on a roughly horseshoe route to Steel Fell. It wasn't even a fine drizzle but it was cold and damp enough to don the waterproofs after a night of quite heavy rain that didn't bode too well for the walk onto Steel Fell as we walked away from Calf Crag, besides that we would be passing through bracken as we climbed along the zigzags from Green Burn.

The sky was the colour of lead as we set off up the road for a short walk before turning off to pass Town Head farm from where we had a decent view of Steel Fell.

ImageSteel Fell behind Town Head Farm

And after a few more steps, Helm Crag.

ImageHelm Crag and ridge to Gibson Knott and Calf Crag

Then it was the turn of Helm Crag to get in the picture.

ImageHelm Crag

A short walk past the farm found us looking at a sign telling us that we could park for £2 that is cheap enough for a day out on the fells and even though we were fine where we was parked this spot is now in the memory banks for future reference and use if needed. Continuing along the lane we soon passed over the River Rothay to start the short climb up to Turn House before passing through the gate onto the open fellside below the southeast face of Helm Crag. A nice stroll along the green lane ensued as we walked along Green Burn heading for the footbridge over the rushing waters of Green Burn. Once across the footbridge we started on the easy slopes that would see us reaching the start of the well engineered zigzags that took us easily up to the low part of the ridge that lies between Helm Crag and Gibson Knott.

As we climbed across the fellside first one way then the other the views began to slowly open up with Seat Sandal and the Helvellyn ridge forever prominent all the way along this walk with a view over to the north giving a good view of the Steel Fell ridge as it appears to ever so gently slope down from summit to foot, but it has its moments in its upper reaches where, from here, the steepness of the upper slopes are deceiving as the steep and rocky sections can't easily be picked out. Just at this moment the sun lit it up from one of the small breaks that are beginning to open up in the clouds.

ImageSteel Fell bathed in morning sunlight

Green Burn was fairly cracking along with plenty of white water where it was tumbling over the rocks, especially so where it disappears for a short time through the tree lined gully that can be seen centre of photo.

A bit higher up and we could see up Great Tongue to Seat Sandal and Fairfield.

ImageSeat Sandal - Great Rigg - Fairfield

And then we were on the ridge where we turned left to make the climb up to Helm Crag summit.

ImageThe famous Helm Crag 'Howitzer'

Despite the weedy touch of sunshine that somehow managed to keep eluding us it was quite chilly and still damp but so far the clouds were making an effort to stay away from the tops of the high fells.

The last time that I set off for Helm Crag I somehow managed to redirect myself and ended up descending before I got to the summit and working my way around to Greenburn Bottom from where I made my way to Pike of Carrs, Calf Crag, Greenup Edge and then Tarn Crag, nothing at all that I had planned for the day at all. But now that I'm here again I took a few photos before moving on.

ImageHelvellyn skyline with Seat Sandal and Fairfield

ImageFar Easedale - Easdale Tarn - High Raise to the Langdales skyline

ImageSteel Fell from Helm Crag

Everything was wet; grass, bracken and even the paths were still running with the overnight rain.

ImageLooking back towards Helm Crag

We splashed on for a while and whilst nobbut a cock stride from Gibson Knott saw this as I looked back.

ImageLooking back towards Grasmere - Silver How and Loughrigg Fell

There's a lot of distant haze about despite the poor weather and maybe it’s a very thin layer of cloud vapour. Turning back to the business in hand the sun suddenly broke through and stayed with us for all of 10 minutes.

ImageRidge to Gibson Knott and Calf Crag

Just a few minutes later we were astride the top of Gibson Knott where my man took his usual pose.

ImageGibson Knott top with Tarn Crag behind

ImageThe head of Far Easedale from Gibson Knott

We continued on along this up and down ridge that is strewn with many crags, boulders and rocks of all shapes and sizes with the paths getting no drier and upon reaching Moment Crag our next objective was in sight.

ImageMoment Crag to Pike of Carrs and Calf Crag

ImageTarn Crag and Coledale Head

Much up and down along a wet meandering path now had us looking at the bulge of Calf Crag as it quietly leans over into the space above Far Easedale.

ImageCalf Crag

ImageCalf Crag

From this highest of the summits on this ridge we can see for miles despite the poor air quality although the views to the west and north are more or less blocked by Greenup Edge and the massive Ullscarf ridge.

ImageA view southeast from Calf Crag

ImageBrownrigg Moss from Calf Crag

We left Calf Crag to walk north for a short while and before turning to the northeast to cross over to Steel Fell got the next shot.

ImageSome Eastern Fells behind Steel Fell

Just after taking the last photo the ground got wetter. It's usually wet on this particular section but today was even worse as we sank in and all but went in to the boot tops and at one place there is a long stretch of water that took a bit of juggling about to get past but once past that the path does get a lot firmer and quicker progress was made as we approached the couple of unnamed tarns.

ImageEastern skyline from Steel Fell

The lumpy ridge of Steel Fell was laid out before us but the going is good and we soon covered ground with a good view of the Helm Crag ridge across to the south.

ImageHelm Crag to Gibson Knott ridge

The paths are good and clear and the sun had forsaken us ages ago but no matter it’s a good walk nevertheless and the summit of Dead Pike was soon in sight.

ImageDead Pike summit in sight

The Ullscarf ridge running along and around to Greenup Edge and High Raise was now in full view as we approached the summit of Steel Fell.

ImageThe Ullscarf ridge

Another few minutes and we were on the summit of Dead Pike from where we got a glimpse of Windermere, Coniston Water…

ImageDead Pike summit

and Thirlmere in the other direction.

ImageThe view north from Steel Fell top

A fine view of the Dodd's and Helvellyn ridges were also plain to see.

ImageA Dodd's and Helvellyn skyline

Looking south again.

ImageA view south from Steel Fell summit

Roughly southeast we had this view.

ImageView across Tarn Crag towards Langdale and the Coniston Fells

And looking back.

ImageView west along the ridge towards Greenup Edge

And finally what Chris has been waiting his turn for.

ImageMan and dog on Steel Fell summit

After taking the time to record and enjoy the scenery despite the grey skies and cold breeze we set off down the ridge of Cotra Breast…

ImageSoutheast along Cotra Breast

that is quite steep and rocky in its upper regions and when wet or damp as it was today a little care has to be taken to avoid a slip or two but with care and careful placing of feet we were soon down and walking on a lovely grass path that led us all the way down to the intake wall and lower pastures.

ImageLooking down onto Green Burn

A good steady pace soon had near the foot of the ridge where the copse of trees were already boasting with the first of their autumn colours.

ImageChanging colours of autumn

A couple of gates later and a short walk back along the metalled lane soon had us back at the car in the lay-by that was by now packed with cars and other returning walkers.

We have seen very few other walkers out on the fells today but looking at the number of cars parked up they're about somewhere. The way up by the southeast zigzags made a nice change from walking along Easedale Road and climbing the steep south end of Helm Crag where in places your nose nearly touches the ground as you pull yourself up the sometimes slippery grassy slopes. Due to the wetness of the ground and foliage we kept our waterproofs on all the duration of the walk but due to the more than cool breeze we didn't overheat unduly and only feeling the cold when we stopped for a couple of breaks. So, another 3 Wainwright's for Chris now leaving him a grand total of 10 left for completion but on his next visit onshore he wants to complete the 5 remaining Western Fells so we can only hope for decent weather to help him on his way.
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trailmasher
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Re: A high level walk around Greenburn Bottom.

Postby martin.h » Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:56 pm

It's a nice little round is this, a bit soggy, especially where the tarns are, but the views into Greenburn Bottom and to the surrounding hills make it a worthwhile day out. We did it the opposite way to you and, from memory, the zigzaggy descent from Helm Crag was probably the quickest descent from a Lakeland Fell we've done :lol:

Good luck to Chris on his final 10, I hope the weather gods are with him :D

Cheers.
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martin.h
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Re: A high level walk around Greenburn Bottom.

Postby trailmasher » Tue Oct 01, 2019 3:50 pm

martin.h wrote:It's a nice little round is this, a bit soggy, especially where the tarns are, but the views into Greenburn Bottom and to the surrounding hills make it a worthwhile day out. We did it the opposite way to you and, from memory, the zigzaggy descent from Helm Crag was probably the quickest descent from a Lakeland Fell we've done :lol:

Good luck to Chris on his final 10, I hope the weather gods are with him :D

Cheers.


Thanks very much for your comments and support for Chris, Martin :clap: :D He's down to 5 now as we completed the Western Fells for him a couple of weeks ago 8) It is indeed a great round and must concur that the zigzags are some of the best graded that I've used :) Again, thanks :D
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trailmasher
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