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Seathwaite Fell & Allen Crags

Seathwaite Fell & Allen Crags


Postby Christo1979 » Mon Jul 13, 2020 8:52 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Allen Crags, Seathwaite Fell

Hewitts included on this walk: Allen Crags, Seathwaite Fell

Date walked: 05/07/2020

Time taken: 4.75

Distance: 14.5 km

Ascent: 743m

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This was intended to be walk 5.4 in my Nuttall guide, with Glaramara being the main event, but there was a question mark over the whole walk from the moment we left Gateshead on a wet Sunday morning. Forecasts were 'interesting' and we knew the wettest place in England would be, well, pretty wet, but we thought it was worth a look anyway.

How very wet it was. And windy. And pretty cold. And grey. We were drowned rats before we even left Seathwaite Farm. But we plodded onwards. As did several other parties, one of them a pair of young walkers who were planning to climb Scafell Pike. We pointed them in the right direction (or at least a direction) and started the walk up to the very pretty Stockley Bridge. We were chatting about Wainwright bagging as we walked in the driving rain, and the conversation turned to one Paul Tierney, the guy who ran all 214 Wainwrights last year in a record six days or other. Just then, a group of damp fell runners passed us at a little ford. "That's only Paul Tierney!" I exclaimed. Mr Tierney didn't hear me, but did say hello as he jogged on by. I felt oddly chuffed to have seen him, a celebrity of the fells, and laughed at what our reaction might have been if AW himself had been around today, and we had bumped into him :lol: Anyway, we crossed the bridge and headed up towards Taylor Force waterfall, all the while scanning Aaron Crags - my guide said to strike out onto the pathless slopes about 300 yards along the path after the plantation ends, but no matter which way I looked at Aaron Crags it seemed like a pretty tough slog up to Wainwright's summit at 601m. We decided that my (non-peak-obsessed) friend needn't go through the steep slog, so we arranged to meet at Sprinkling Tarn - she carried on along the path, I headed up to the summit.

ImageSeathwaite Fell and Allen Crags by Christopher Watson, on Flickr

ImageSeathwaite Fell and Allen Crags by Christopher Watson, on Flickr

The summit plateau of Seathwaite Fell, with its three tops, reminded me a little of Tarn Crag, and I felt oddly at home already among the knobbly mounds and pretty little bodies of water. The weather conditions were pretty rough, and cloud cover meant the views form the true summit cairn were limited, but I decided I like this fell and it was a shame that an inability to stand up in the wind mean I couldn't hang around. Soon I dropped down to Sprinkling Tarn, and once reacquainted with my pal, we headed on up the path.

ImageSeathwaite Fell and Allen Crags by Christopher Watson, on Flickr

ImageSeathwaite Fell and Allen Crags by Christopher Watson, on Flickr

ImageSeathwaite Fell and Allen Crags by Christopher Watson, on Flickr

We bumped into our two young friends from the start of the walk, who had climbed Ruddy Gill and got as far as the shelter under Broad End, before calling it a day because of weather and visibility. They also thought they were at Sty Head, and were rather confused, so we spent a while chatting in the rain and sent them back off the way we had come (or at least the way my friend had come) and said our goodbyes. Lovely lads, on their first lakeland walk, and it reminded me of my own baptism(s) of fire in Scotland, soaked to the skin, and wondering what on earth I was doing. I hoped today didn't put them off, and suggested a few walks and small fells they might consider on the way back home.

But soon, we found ourselves in a similar position to the lads. It had gone rather dark, other walkers seemed to have evaporated, and as we plodded up to Allen Crags, we were treated to hail and stinging faces. Do we continue to Glaramara? Or do we drop down Ruddy Gill and agree that discretion is the better part of valour? We opted for the latter, and reluctantly retraced our steps and dropped down to follow the Ruddy Gill path all the way back to Seathwaite.

ImageSeathwaite Fell and Allen Crags by Christopher Watson, on Flickr

This was to be just the second time in 135 Wainwrights that I had been defeated (or sternly discouraged...) by weather conditions, and I also knew it wasn't right to force my pal to plod on when they had come for a walk rather than an expedition :lol: I found I had to have a word with myself on the way down Ruddy Gill, what on earth was I feeling bad about? A glorious walk in dramatic weather, in one of the most beautiful areas of the country, and somehow not managing to tick all the planned summit boxes made me feel disappointed?! We laughed at the delicious futility of peak bagging, made a few remarks about not seeing the wood for the trees, and the rest of today's walk was one of two soaked pals, in good spirits, taking what felt like the longest path in Lakeland, admiring views and celebrating that we couldn't get any more wet.

It was something of a relief when we reached the car at Seathwaite, but it had been a cracking walk. Just not quite walk 5.4.

Oh, and despite what I said above, Glaramara - I'm coming for you...

ImageSeathwaite Fell and Allen Crags by Christopher Watson, on Flickr
User avatar
Christo1979
Walker
 
Posts: 224
Munros:15   Corbetts:40
Grahams:35   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:101   Hewitts:170
Wainwrights:190   Islands:25
Joined: Oct 21, 2017
Location: Gateshead

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