Green Velvety Magnificence

Date walked: 31/05/2020

Time taken: 4.5 hours

Distance: 14.6km

Ascent: 850m

Perhaps it was the video of dolphins frolicking the in the sea just off the coast of my home town, sent to me by a furlowed friend from work, that pushed me over the edge. The fact that he was getting paid to watch dolphins and I was sat at bloody work, as I have been throughout this pandemic (key worker my ar*e :roll: ), was just too much. :evil:
As all work and no play makes jack a dull and pi**ed off boy I decided my exile from the hills had to end. I could, of course have visited in the last few weeks, but given the easing of lockdown had just been sprung upon the national parks by those who think they know best, I had decided to hold my fire. By this weekend both the Dales and Lakes looked to at least be getting a degree acceptance of the situation so I was all set. I decided to head for the Cross Keys and walk into the Howgills as I could avoid farm yards and villages no problem.

I arrived just after eight to find two cars already in the layby, a portent of things to come :think: , and Hughie and I were soon striding along the path to Cautley Spout under blue skies and brilliant sunshine. The hills themselves, glowing in their green velvety magnificence and soaring steeply skywards were crying out to be climbed. :D

Heading for the hills

Sheep and Crag

And climbed some of them were.... slowly. :lol: Plenty of rests were taken as we made our way up by Cautley Spout, as much moss as water at the moment, and along the top of Cautley Crag. This is my favourite stretch of walking in the Howgills and before we left the end of the Crag we stopped and sat, taking it all in, it felt so good to be back. :D

Path by Cautley Spout

Cautley Moss?

Almost at the top of the Falls

Top of the Falls, Red Gill Beck

Looking along Cautley Crag


Cautley Holme Beck

Cautley Crag

Looking back along the Crags

A Place to sit and contemplate :D

By this point I had already seen more people, mainly at distance, than I normally would on a walk in the Howgills but no mater, I felt quite good so decided once I had made my way along the side of Great Dummacks (just what is a Dummack???) and onto Calders, I'd bag the last remaining Dewey in the Howgills I'd yet to climb, and visit Arant Haw. By the time we got to Calders the wind was really quite strong but this was, if anything, a good thing as it kept me cool on what would have otherwise been a sweltering day. It was a nice easy wander to Arant Haw and once there I found a spot out of the wind and sat having a snack, taking in a view that included a crystal clear panorama of the Lake District Fells with Mickledore prominent, linking the Scafells.

Sheep and Scree

Arant Haw

From Bog Cotton to Beyond

Final pull up to Calders

Calders Summit with the Lake District Fells in the background

...and a close up

Descending to Arant Haw

Howgill Layers

Back along the path to Calders

Arant Haw Summit with Morecambe Bay in the back ground

Fell Head from Arant Haw

Way back to Calders from Arant Haw

I found the pull back up to Calders hard going but this was hardly a surprise given the general lack of activity over the last few months but from here on out It was all easy as I quickly passed the Calf Summit, trig point adorned with resting fell runners and dodged a few mountain bikers before finding a quiet spot next to the path down to Bowderdale to have lunch and enjoy views up and down the valley.

Fell Head from The Calf

Lunch stop

Happy Boy

There was little point in continuing down the path at this point so I cut across the open fell down to Bowderdale Beck and headed for the head of the valley. From here, rather than descending the usual path I thought I'd stay higher on the old path that cuts across the flank of Yarlside, partly to avoid people and partly because I'd never used it before. This path, so clear from the other side of the valley is really narrow and strangely not that clear when your're on it. :-? It also had a few sections of Hughie's nemesis, namely scree, to contend with but overall it was perfectly fine in the main.

Approaching Bowderdale Head

Cautley Spout and Crag

...and again

Hughie and his nemesis

Heading Down

Back to the valley

Once we returned to the car not only was the layby full but the opposite side of the road had a solid line of cars parked on the verge, not something I've ever seen here before. As I was leaving two car fulls of lads had turned up and were chatting in the middle of the road, seemingly not bothering with any form of social distancing as man hugs and general laddish behaviour were indulged in. I left them to it only to have my faith in the general idiocy of the British public confirmed as I drove though Kirkby Stephen to see hordes of Bikers wandering around visiting every shop they could find in the hope of getting a bacon sandwich and a coffee no doubt. :roll:

I'm really glad I went for a walk, and I'm really glad I didn't have contact with anybody while out or visit any shops toilets etc etc but I am now more worried about just what the next few months will bring. Hopefully just a few more wanders in the hills. :-|

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Comments: 7

Shattering the silence

Attachment(s) Wainwrights: Eagle Crag, High Raise (Central Fells), Sergeant's Crag, Ullscarf
Hewitts: High Raise (Central Fells), Ullscarf
Date walked: 05/02/2020
Distance: 14.8km
Ascent: 958m
Comments: 6
Views: 810

Left Overs

Attachment(s) Wainwrights: Raven Crag
Date walked: 19/01/2020
Distance: 11.5km
Ascent: 736m
Comments: 9
Views: 560

Third Time Lucky

Attachment(s) Wainwrights: Barrow, Causey Pike, Eel Crag, Grisedale Pike, Sail, Scar Crags
Hewitts: Causey Pike, Crag Hill (Eel Crag), Grisedale Pike, Hobcarton Crag, Sail, Scar Crags
Date walked: 04/12/2019
Distance: 15.5km
Ascent: 1291m
Comments: 3
Views: 401

Struck by being on Middle Fell with Hugh

Attachment(s) Wainwrights: Buckbarrow, Middle Fell, Seatallan
Hewitts: Seatallan
Date walked: 10/11/2019
Distance: 10.2km
Ascent: 810m
Comments: 3
Views: 334

Hobbling in the Howgills

Attachment(s) Hewitts: Randygill Top, The Calf
Date walked: 23/10/2019
Distance: 19km
Ascent: 1024m
Comments: 10
Views: 596

Small but Spectacular

Attachment(s) Wainwrights: Gowbarrow Fell, Great Mell Fell, Little Mell Fell
Date walked: 12/10/2019
Distance: 16.2km
Ascent: 935m
Comments: 5
Views: 432

A Bank Holiday Swindle

Attachment(s) Wainwrights: Branstree, Grey Crag, Selside Pike, Tarn Crag (Far Eastern Fells)
Hewitts: Branstree, Grey Crag, Selside Pike, Tarn Crag
Date walked: 26/08/2019
Distance: 21.3km
Ascent: 870m
Comments: 11
Views: 745

A Week in Assynt: Part Two

Attachment(s) Munros: Ben Hope
Date walked: 02/08/2019
Distance: 7.7km
Ascent: 913m
Comments: 6
Views: 664

A Week in Assynt: Part One

Attachment(s) Corbetts: Quinag - Spidean Coinich
Date walked: 28/07/2019
Distance: 7.2km
Ascent: 631m
Comments: 9
Views: 884


User avatar
Location: County Durham
Occupation: General dogsbody
Interests: Walking (Who would have guessed), photography and playing Guitar.
Activity: Mountaineer
Pub: Moulin Inn
Mountain: Blaven
Place: Isle of Skye
Gear: Boots
Member: None
Camera: Canon EOS760D
Ideal day out: Ridge walk without to much exposure.
Ambition: Too keep climbing hills

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Corbetts: 10
Grahams: 10
Donalds: 3
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Hewitts: 166
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Islands: 8


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Joined: Jan 28, 2009
Last visited: Jul 05, 2020
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