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Small but Spectacular

Small but Spectacular


Postby johnkaysleftleg » Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:45 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Gowbarrow Fell, Great Mell Fell, Little Mell Fell

Date walked: 12/10/2019

Time taken: 5.5

Distance: 16.2 km

Ascent: 935m

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For this outing I thought I'd tidy up a few smaller fells by combining them into a proper walk, rather than 'out and backs' tagged onto the end of a day. I decided the optimal starting point for combining the Mell Fells and Gowbarrow was The Hause, at the foot of Little Mell Fell and it was here that me and Hughie found ourselves as the sun was rising.

It looked a morning full of possibilities but it wasn't until we had climbed about half way up the steep grassy slopes that the true glory of the dawn was beginning to become apparent as the fells were unlocked one by the light streaking through the clouds.

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Morning at TheHause

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Light breaking on Place Fell

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Drama over Ullswater

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Take the Long View

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Low Light

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Light catches Gowbarrow

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Towards the Dodds

Understandably it took longer than normal to surmount this small summit with all the turning around to take photos but soon enough we arrived at the trig point to be the recipients of another gift of an intense rainbow provided by a shower crossing the Eden valley.

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Little Mell Fell Summit

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Looking to the East

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That's where you'll find me....

I headed off from the summit without too much of a pause happily snapping away at glorious sights on offer before I was brought to an abrupt halt by a large, unstable gate that was also chained up. :? The benefit of hindsight suggests I should have persevered and clambered over the unsteady edifice but in reality I went searching for a better way over the barbed wire fence which bisects the fell.

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Light on Great Meldrum

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Matterdale Morning

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Towards Gowbarrow

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Light streaming in

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Matterdale Mono

As it was I ended up losing quite a bit of height before I had to climb over not one, but two gates :roll:
I capped this off by then precariously clambering over another fence only to see a stile that had been hidden by a tree just a few yards down the slope :lol: By now however, I was on a track off Little Mell Fell and assumed that today's misadventures were now well and truly behind me. :D

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Finally getting off Little Mell Fell

Now I don't like crossing farmland or going through farmyards, even if there is a public footpath. There are many times it's your only option of course, but if I can avoid it I will, as part of me always feels as if I'm intruding. With this in mind I did briefly consider taking the roads to my next target of Great Mell Fell but as it looked like quite a detour I decided to cross over the fields, via the public footpath to Brownrigg Farm.
I've looked at old pictures of the field that the public right of way crosses and to me things have definitively changed. Now an extra enclosure has been added covering the area of good ground, this was full of very curious and skittish young cows. This left me with what remained to make my way across which was what could only be described as stinking bog. My decision to not bother with gators was quickly regretted as I sunk into the sodden ground well over ankle height and filled my boots with filth. We eventually made it through, with the mix of bog and cow s**t near the gate being particularly pungent. :sick:

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Abandon all hope...

The road was greated with some elation and soon we were squelching our way, well I was Hughie was just plain minging, up Great Mell Fell. The light was still fantastic which took my mind off my soaking feet and a steady plod took us up to the top of the Greater of the Mell Fells and it's fine view of Blencathra. I de-booted on the summit, squeezed out my socks and had breakfast contemplating the view.

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Glorious light on the way up Great Mell Fell

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Mell Fell Mono

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Bent over backwards

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Shaft of sunshine in Matterdale

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Through the trees to the higher ground

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Blencathra from Great Mell Fell summit

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Towards the West

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Hughie surveys the scene

I had Planned to head off this top in a vaguely South Westerly direction to link up with the path around the base of the fell, but in all honesty the urge for exploration had been somewhat dented, so I retraced my steps back the way I had came.
Back on the road I made my way along the quiet lanes without seeing too many cars to Ulcat Row and the path around the base of Gowbarrow.

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Little Mell Fell

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Great Mell Fell

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Blencathra

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Bit of road walking

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Mid Autumn Colour

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Path below Norman Crag

On the well used path up to Airy Crag, Gowbarrow's summit, the views opened up over Ullswater which were quite fantastic with dramatic swathes of light and shade cast by the passing showers, all of which seemed to be passing me by. :D We arrived at the summit in intense sunshine before retreating to the true top to have lunch with the sublime view of Ullswater to enjoy to the full.

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Ullswater Mono

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Sunshine and Showers over Ullswater

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Another Rainbow on the way up Gowbarrow

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Follow the wall

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Not everybody having a nice day

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Sunshine on Gowbarrow

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Hughie on Gowbarrow

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Ullswater glory, a lunch time view

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West from Gowbarrow

All that remained was three little Birketts on the way back to The Hause. Great Meldrum's grassy expanse was nice and easy going but it's little cousin less so with a carpet of felled trees proving very tough progress, especially for a short legged dog who got a carry over the worst both before and after the summit.

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Airy Crag

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Blencathra and Great Mell Fell from Great Meldrum

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Hughie on Little Meldrum

One more fence negotiated and we were finally on the way to the final top of Watermillock Fell. This is one where Mr Birkett has seemingly decided upon a name himself, better than nameless green lump I suppose, with nothing suggested on the OS map.

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More great light over Ullswater

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View from ]Watermillock Fell

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Far Eastern Fells from Watermillock Fell

This was a walk blessed with some amazing conditions that seemed to go on all around me while I stayed dry, apart from my feet which was a small price to pay for being out on a day such as this.


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johnkaysleftleg
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 3188
Munros:25   Corbetts:10
Grahams:10   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:7   Hewitts:166
Wainwrights:214   Islands:8
Joined: Jan 28, 2009
Location: County Durham

Re: Small but Spectacular

Postby dav2930 » Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:32 pm

Just goes to show that even the Mell Fells can be rewarding in the right conditions. What stunning light and dramatic skies! Reports like this can be a great source of motivation to get out and explore the less favoured parts of our hill country that we habitually neglect. :clap:
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dav2930
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Posts: 1445
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Wainwrights:214   Islands:2
Joined: Feb 13, 2015
Location: Cumbria

Re: Small but Spectacular

Postby trailmasher » Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:11 pm

Great stuff JK on a marvellous round of small hills and the usual high standard of images :clap: Also noted that you slipped a few Birkett's in there so collecting those up quite nicely also :clap: 8)
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trailmasher
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Re: Small but Spectacular

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Thu Nov 28, 2019 1:49 pm

dav2930 wrote:Just goes to show that even the Mell Fells can be rewarding in the right conditions. What stunning light and dramatic skies! Reports like this can be a great source of motivation to get out and explore the less favoured parts of our hill country that we habitually neglect. :clap:


This very reason is why I decided upon a round two, the thought of re-visiting the same honey pots over and over really doesn't appeal.

trailmasher wrote:Great stuff JK on a marvellous round of small hills and the usual high standard of images :clap: Also noted that you slipped a few Birkett's in there so collecting those up quite nicely also :clap: 8)


Many thanks TM, the Birkett count currently stands at 357 with most of the missing ones in the South or the Far East. Once round two is done I may have a real go at them.
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johnkaysleftleg
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 3188
Munros:25   Corbetts:10
Grahams:10   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:7   Hewitts:166
Wainwrights:214   Islands:8
Joined: Jan 28, 2009
Location: County Durham

Re: Small but Spectacular

Postby trailmasher » Thu Nov 28, 2019 8:16 pm

johnkaysleftleg wrote:
dav2930 wrote:Just goes to show that even the Mell Fells can be rewarding in the right conditions. What stunning light and dramatic skies! Reports like this can be a great source of motivation to get out and explore the less favoured parts of our hill country that we habitually neglect. :clap:


This very reason is why I decided upon a round two, the thought of re-visiting the same honey pots over and over really doesn't appeal.

trailmasher wrote:Great stuff JK on a marvellous round of small hills and the usual high standard of images :clap: Also noted that you slipped a few Birkett's in there so collecting those up quite nicely also :clap: 8)


Many thanks TM, the Birkett count currently stands at 357 with most of the missing ones in the South or the Far East. Once round two is done I may have a real go at them.


Taking a friend on this round - or similar - tomorrow so thanks for the heads up :) on the state of the path through the fields. It was boggy last time I went that way but it sounds horrendous now :shock: Looks like we'll have to use the road for a short while :roll:
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trailmasher
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Posts: 1240
Munros:11   
Hewitts:180
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Location: Near Appleby - Cumbria

Re: Small but Spectacular

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Thu Nov 28, 2019 8:29 pm

trailmasher wrote:Taking a friend on this round - or similar - tomorrow so thanks for the heads up :) on the state of the path through the fields. It was boggy last time I went that way but it sounds horrendous now :shock: Looks like we'll have to use the road for a short while :roll:


Well worth avoiding even given the predicted frost in the morning, I'll give you a wave as I'm off to do a Coledale round tomorrow :D
User avatar
johnkaysleftleg
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 3188
Munros:25   Corbetts:10
Grahams:10   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:7   Hewitts:166
Wainwrights:214   Islands:8
Joined: Jan 28, 2009
Location: County Durham

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