You can't always get what you want....

Hewitts: Calders, Calf Top

Date walked: 05/11/2017

Distance: 10km

Ascent: 588m

Having sustained an injury coming down the back o'skidda on my last hill outing I'd been staying off the fells to give it time to recover. To amuse myself in an outdoorsy way I'd been trying to get out plenty locally with the camera with differering levels of luck in terms of light. A fine weather forecast and a civilised sunrise time saw me deciding something more ambitious than my immediate area was in order so I got up at 5:00A.M. and headed across the A66 to park up at the small Cumbrian hamlet of Cautley.

My plan was to head up the valley till I found an elevated viewpoint and wait for the sun to break over the horizon, illuminating the scene leaving me to snap away capturing some wonderful dramatic images of this great location. As I made my way along the path, following some early promise it was looking like my best laid plans were to be scuppered as the only area of the sky that had anything other than light broken clouds was to the south west where the sun was due to rise. :roll: I soldiered on and found a nice composition and waited........ and waited........ and waited. :( I did my best with what I had but eventually it was obvious the light wasn't coming to the party, feeling frustrated I headed upwards and soon reached the top of the falls.

ImageEarly Promise by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageSwarth Fell illuminated by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageHolme is where the Heart is by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageLooking to the top of the falls by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageStairway to Heaven by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageCrossing Swere Gill by Anthony Young, on Flickr

Had I not glanced up Red Gill Beck and saw warm morning light high on the hill side I'd have probably descended there and then and carried out part two of my plan which was to explore down by Cautley Holme Beck and then drive to Scaleber Force Near Settle for more photos. As it was the sight drew me up the path towards the summit of The Calf, I was in all honesty, helpless to resist, the hill tops were calling! :D

By this time I had realised I'd forgot my bottle of water :roll: which was back in the car, but as it was chilly I'd probably not get too thirsty anyway so I happily ascended towards the light and was well rewarded as I reached the col with a terrific view across to the Coniston Fells bathed in sunshine and shadows. I wandered about the plateau taking in the summits of The Calf and Calders wishing I'd just headed straight up here rather than waiting for what never came back in the valley. The ridges of the fells were being highlighted beautifully in the morning light with the view from Calders being quite stunning but very difficult to capture given the intensity and direction of the sun.

ImageConiston Fells across the Eden Valley by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageNorthern Lovesong by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageLooking towards the Far Eastern Fells by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageThe Calf Summit by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageThree Ridges by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageLooking down to Bowderdale Head by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageCrinkle Crags Takes Center Stage by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageThe Howgills by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageYarlside from Bram Rigg by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageViews to the North West by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageTaking it all in by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageRays over Rawthey by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageCalders Summit Fence by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageElysian Fields by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageBroad Ridges by Anthony Young, on Flickr

All of a sudden it seemed, I realized I was cold from the wind, hungry, tired from the early start and thirsty, not a great combination, so I started to head down by following a path to the North of Great Dummacks. This soon faded away so it was a bit of rough ground to cross before getting back to the path by Red Gill Beck. By the time I was descending alongside Cautley Spout I was quite taken by the brightly lit trees against the shadowy falls so I spent a bit of time capturing this before making my way back to the car to drain my water bottle.

ImageRed Gill Beck by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageLight and Shade by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageCautley Holme Beck by Anthony Young, on Flickr

Cautley Spout by Anthony Young, on Flickr

Hanging On by Anthony Young, on Flickr

Life by the Drop by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageDown in the Valley by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageCautley Spout and Crag by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageRiver Rawthey at Cautley by Anthony Young, on Flickr

With my thirst quenched I decided hunger was next so rather than drive to Sedburgh or back to Kirkby Stephen I wandered along to the Cross Keys to see what was on offer. Walking into the Cross Keys is like passing back in time with the only consessions to modernity being a credit card machine and a modern looking phone. You can imagine the place looking just about identical to when Alfred Wainwright stopped here for egg and chips during the writing of his Howgills Fells guide. I ordered a pot of tea and an all day breakfast and sat in front of the roaring fire to await my repast. I was sharing the room with four other people, three ladies of few words and one elderly chap who was recanting the great conspiracy involving electric cars, smart meters, the Internet, mobile phones and climate change he had stumbled upon. I kept my silence, not pointing out that what he was describing was a very sensible plan for managing our dwindling resources in the future, and not a dispicable plan hatched by the green lobby, politicians and anybody else he didn't trust in order to rob us blind.

I think the waitress must have heard this all before as she took pity upon me and showed me to a back room with a wonderful view up to Cautley Spout to have my food. Sat in peace I scoffed my protein (not a hint of a vegetable anywhere near the plate :lol: ) and thought that old AW himself may well have sat in this very seat eating his egg and chips taking in the view. The Cross Keys certainly has old world charm a plenty and is worth a visit for a cuppa, don't expect a pint however as it is still strictly a temperance inn.

I decided to bin off my plans to visit Scalaber Force happy in the excellent morning I'd enjoyed. Sometimes things not going to plan can end up with something far more rewarding, to paraphrase the Rolling Stones.

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Comments: 6

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User avatar
Location: County Durham
Occupation: General dogsbody
Interests: Walking (Who would have guessed), photography and playing Guitar.
Activity: Walker
Pub: Moulin Inn
Mountain: Blaven
Place: Isle of Skye
Gear: Boots
Member: None
Camera: Canon EOS400d
Ideal day out: Ridge walk without to much exposure.
Ambition: Too keep climbing hills

Munros: 24
Corbetts: 9
Grahams: 10
Donalds: 3
Wainwrights: 214
Hewitts: 158
Sub 2000: 7


Filter reports



Trips: 21
Distance: 244.75 km
Ascent: 14883m
Munros: 1
Grahams: 1
Sub2000s: 1
Hewitts: 25
Wainwrights 30


Trips: 17
Distance: 213.5 km
Ascent: 12721m
Corbetts: 2
Grahams: 1
Hewitts: 13
Wainwrights 12


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Distance: 367.5 km
Ascent: 22089m
Munros: 2
Corbetts: 1
Hewitts: 45
Wainwrights 50


Trips: 21
Distance: 424.5 km
Ascent: 27170m
Munros: 6
Grahams: 1
Sub2000s: 1
Hewitts: 44
Wainwrights 57


Trips: 34
Distance: 360.25 km
Ascent: 22306m
Munros: 2
Corbetts: 3
Grahams: 3
Donalds: 2
Sub2000s: 3
Hewitts: 33
Wainwrights 54


Trips: 33
Distance: 352.78 km
Ascent: 22683m
Munros: 4
Grahams: 3
Hewitts: 28
Wainwrights 34


Trips: 18
Distance: 162.53 km
Ascent: 12643m
Munros: 5
Corbetts: 1
Grahams: 1
Sub2000s: 1
Hewitts: 7
Wainwrights 24


Trips: 2
Distance: 8 km
Ascent: 950m
Munros: 1
Hewitts: 1
Wainwrights 1

Joined: Jan 28, 2009
Last visited: Jan 20, 2018
Total posts: 2772 | Search posts

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