Wild Camping On Great Mell Fell Lake District

Posted in Great Mell Fell on September 11th, 2011 by David Murphy
Pre Great Mell Fell

On my way up Great Mell Fell in the Lake District Cumbria North West England today 12th September 2011( this blog is live as usual) with my mate Paul aka the muss. I picked this location as its west from our home town and Paul has been screaming to test his Vango Hurricane out in storm force conditions and my have I an evening in store for him and he tells me he wants a small hill as his fitness is not too good.

Tell you the truth if one of our tents has to blow away I am half hoping its mine as his been a two-man tent and mine been a tight single man tent I don’t fancy been squished in mine with him, his breath stinking of brandy and his snoring not to mention his smelly backside.

Our Route 

 On The Summit Of Great Mell Fell

image
Heres what happened, We new what we were letting ourselves in for catching the tail end of hurricane Katia blown in from the States.
The purpose of this Wild Camp was to test Pauls Vango Hurricane and by god we did.
I arrived at Pauls at 12.10pm we finally were on our way after Paul packed some of his gear and arrived at our destination around 3pm. I was keep saying how lovely this hill is the wind blowing the grass and patches of trees scattered it look very idealic.
At first the wind didn’t appear very strong at all then by we were half way up we recorded around 63mph on Pauls Kestrel wind gauge.
It was tuff standing up sometimes having to spread one leg out behind us to keep the wind from sweeping us off our feet, I have never experienced winds so powerful.
We reached the summit of Great Mell Fell not a big Hill by anyone’s standards, we stood there for a while pondering what to do, do we go for it and pitch on the top or head down in a more sheltered spot, we headed back down and after deciding the lower location lost views over at least one direction we headed back to the top.

My Hilleberg Akto In 80mph Winds

I proceed to pitch the Hilleberg Akto with Paul sitting on the flysheet whilst I pegged down the corners, standing watching my poor Akto get battered we recorded 79.1 mph as you will see in my video.

Pauls Kestrel Wind Speed Meter
We then started working on the Vango Hurrricane, when he pulled all these poles out of his bag I thought to myself no way on earth this is going up, frantically holding onto the canvass, a few bent poles later we gave up never even raising it off the floor we decided to head to lower ground to pitch leaving my Akto up on the summit with my Osprey Argon inside we headed down. On discovering a snapped pole Paul discussed sleeping in the car I would have quite happily slept in my tent having the walkie talkies with us we could have at least kept in touch, I thought that wouldn’t be fair so we set off back to the summit took down the Akto and headed home. Both very sick by this time, our first Wildcamp we have had to leave for home.

Anyone reading this may think Paul is a little unlucky, well I think he’s not, for someone to lose a piece of gear a Satmap in this case, standing him at £400 with SD card for him to return the next day 200 miles round trip to find three cars parked in the very spot he lost it with a note on one of them asking him to contact them for a lost piece of hiking equipment. Paul I bet your relieved.

Just came across this forum members having a bit of a giggle at this blog post.

Great Mell Fell
Greatmellfell.jpg
Great Mell Fell from Gowbarrow Fell
Elevation 537 m (1,762 ft)
Prominence 198 m (650 ft)
Parent peak Helvellyn
Listing Marilyn (hill), Wainwright
Translation Large rounded bare hill (Scots Gaelic, English)
Pronunciation /ˌɡrt ˌmɛl ˈfɛl/
Location
Great Mell Fell is located in Lake District
Great Mell Fell
Cumbria,  England
Range Lake District, Eastern Fells
OS grid NY397254
Coordinates 54°37′12″N 2°55′59″W / 54.62°N 2.933°W / 54.62; -2.933Coordinates: 54°37′12″N 2°55′59″W / 54.62°N 2.933°W / 54.62; -2.933
Topo map OS Explorer OL5, Landranger 90

Great Mell Fell is a hill in the Eastern Fells of the English Lake District. It is a north-eastern outlier of the Helvellyn range, but, like its twin Little Mell Fell, is isolated from its fellows, standing in the middle of a flat plain. Presenting a symmetrical domed profile from almost all aspects, Great Mell Fell conspires to appear almost artificial, akin to jelly turned out of a giant mould.

Topography and land use

The hill lies on a low ridge, barely perceptible in places, which provides the connection between the Northern and Eastern Fells. This watershed runs from Bowscale Fell, across Eycott Hill to Great Mell Fell, and then up the north eastern ridge of Great Dodd. It forms the boundary between the Derwent/Cocker system in the west and the wide catchment of the Eden Valley.

To the north west of the fell is an old rifle range, now disused but still with some fittings in evidence. This was once a reason to declare Great Mell Fell strictly off limits, but this is not the case nowadays and the fell is free land. The National Trust currently owns the fell above the fenceline.

Great Mell Fell is extensively planted with Scots pines on the east, and occasional trees dot the fell all around the base. Near the summit are a few stunted larches, blown almost horizontal by the prevailing winds.[1]

Summit and view

The summit bears a small cairn built on top of a mound. The Ordnance Survey maps identify this as a tumulus and it is believed to have been a Bronze Age burial mound.[1]

Due to its isolation from higher ground, Great Mell Fell is a Marilyn, and an excellent viewpoint.[2]

Ascents

The fell can be climbed most easily via a path from Brownrigg Farm to the south east, and additional access can be gained through the old rifle range.[1] There is also a footpath which circles the base of the fell, passing largely through woods and providing an enjoyable low level walk.

References

  1. ^ a b c Richards, Mark: Near Eastern Fells: Collins (2003): ISBN 0-00-711366-8
  2. ^ Alfred Wainwright: A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells, Book 1: ISBN 0-7112-2454-4


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