Wild Camping On Grasmoor Lake District

Posted in Grasmoor Lake District on July 25th, 2011 by David Murphy

 

On the 18th September 2011 I parked along side Crummock Water in the Lake District to hike up to Grasmoor for a bit of Wildcamping on the summit.
Walking on Lad Hows Ridge between Cinderdale Beck on the left and Rannerdale Beck to my right, the summit is only 1.6 miles away.

I arrived and parked along side Crummock Water around 4.30pm I purposely left it late been a sunday I didnt want to arrive on the summit too early as I have done in the past, Ingleborough to name one where I was hanging around for hours before I was able to pitch without scores of hikers on the summit, this time was a miss judgement.
I didnt estimate the time it would take to the summit via lad Hows Ridge it was a challenge I didnt expect, very tiring on the legs and some scrambling near the top was needed.
Near dark on reaching the summit entering low cloud my great views a few hundred feet lower had gone wish I put my tent up lower down when I said in my video would have witnessed a great sunset  instead rain and wind and no views this brings back many bad memories with Paul lol
I proceeded to errect the Akto in thick fog by this time, and thought to myself I would get a brew of tea on quick sharp then Daves Wild Camping Kitchen was in full swing on the menu this even was Sheperds Pie and Chicken Korma “Pack’n’ Go” from Be-Well Ltd and how nice of a change for me they were, easy cooked with 350ml of boiling water stir and leave to stand for 6 mins.
After spending all the evening a prisoner in my tent due to rain I read the newspaper and then it was time to retire, I woke several times during the night to look out the opening in the top of my door hoping but not expecting to see stars only to see the same fog, it never shifted all night.

Morning came I had my alarm set for 6.20am to catch what I didnt really expect to see, the sunrise and there was no change at all a thick covering no views whatsoever, I turn back over to sleep till around 9am when I got up to my breakfast, Cereal Start “Pack’ n’ Go” by Be-Well ltd.

 I started to packup my tent then the heavens opened I got soaked 🙁 on walking back to the car I was hoping I didnt leave the headlights on, all was well.

Thanks for reading and supporting my website with your comments, till next time,

David Murphy
Daves Wildcamping

My Route up Grasmoor

Grasmoor Summit Shelter

Hilleberg Akto Summit of Grasmoor

My Akto On Grasmoor

View of Crummock & Buttermere

View from Lad How on way Up to Grasmoor

View from to Grasmoor Summit

Waterfall on way back down

My Actual Route

 

Grasmoor
Grasmoor.jpg
The huge bulk of the Grasmoor mountain seen over the Crummock Water valley
Elevation 852 m (2,795 ft)
Prominence 519 m (1,703 ft)
Parent peak Scafell Pike
Listing Marilyn, Wainwright, Hewitt, Nuttall
Location
Grasmoor is located in Lake District
Grasmoor
Cumbria,  England
Range Lake District, North Western Fells
OS grid NY174203
Coordinates 54°34′16″N 3°16′45″W / 54.57115°N 3.27918°W / 54.57115; -3.27918Coordinates: 54°34′16″N 3°16′45″W / 54.57115°N 3.27918°W / 54.57115; -3.27918
Topo map OS Landranger 89, 90, Explorer OL4

Grasmoor is a mountain in the north-western part of the Lake District, northern England. It is the highest peak in a group of hills between the villages of Lorton, Braithwaite and Buttermere, and overlooks Crummock Water.

Grasmoor is distinguished by its steep western flank, dropping dramatically to Crummock Water. This face is however not suitable for rock climbers as there is little clean rock, although Alfred Wainwright describes a challenging route up the face in his Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells.[1] To the east the fell is linked to others by Crag Hill and Coledale Hause. Grasmoor is also home to the most extensive scree slopes in the North Western Fells.

Name

Grasmoor takes its name from the Old Norse element grise, meaning wild boar. This element appears in other Lake District place names, including Grisedale Pike and Grizedale Forest.[1]

Topography

The North Western Fells occupy the area between the rivers Derwent and Cocker, a broadly oval swathe of hilly country, elongated on a north-south axis. Two roads cross from east to west, dividing the fells into three convenient groups. The central sector, rising between Whinlatter Pass and Newlands Pass, includes Grasmoor.

The highest ground in the North Western Fells is an east-west ridge in this central sector, beginning with Grasmoor above Crummock Water and then gradually descending eastwards over Crag Hill, Sail, Scar Crags and Causey Pike. Grasmoor has the greatest elevation, although Crag Hill stands at the hub of the range.

From the valley floor near Little Town at the eastern end, the ridge requires four miles (6 km) of gradual ascent to attain the summit of Grasmoor. Starting at the shores of Crummock Water in the west, the same is achieved by a single slope of scree in less than a quarter of the distance. Grasmoor is Lakeland's terminal height par excellence.

The summit area is a gently domed promenade of moss and short grass,[1] running along the ridgeline with a narrow constriction in the middle. This is created primarily by the scooped-out bowl of Dove Crags on the northern face. To the east of this plateau are broad smooth slopes descending to a wide unnamed col at 2,368 ft (722 m). This connects onward to Crag Hill. At the western end the summit area narrows, culminating at the subsidiary top of Grasmoor End (2,445 ft) which crowns the western face. Great fans of scree descend to the lakeside road below. Grasmoor has one minor ridge which descends south westward over Lad Hows (1,397 ft) before a steeper fall to the valley floor.

To the south of Grasmoor is the valley of Rannerdale, which flows to Crummock Water between Lad Hows and the neighbouring Wandope. This drainage is supplemented by Cinderdale Beck, separating Lad Hows from the main body of the fell. The northern flank of the ridge stands above Liza Beck. This stream also makes due west for Crummock Water, but is diverted northward by the low top of Lanthwaite Hill to join the Cocker after its exit from the lake. An area of lowland to the north west is thus annexed to Grasmoor from the natural territory of Whiteside.

Geology

The surface rocks of Grasmoor are composed primarily of the Ordovician Kirkstile Formation. These are laminated mudstone and siltstone, typical of the Skiddaw range.[2] There is no history of mining beneath the slopes of Grasmoor.[3]

Summit and view

The top of the fell lies toward the western end of the summit plateau, marked by a huge sprawling cairn. There are many smaller cairns and the top is characterised by sheep-mown grass.[1] The view is extensive although robbed of some foreground by the extent of the summit. All of the major Lakeland ranges are in sight with the exception of the Far Eastern Fells, with High Stile above Crummock Water perhaps the highpoint.[1] This is best seen from the western end of the plateau.[4]

Ascents

The obvious way is direct up the screes from Lanthwaite on the Crummock Water road, picking through the rock scenery above to appear on Grasmoor End from the north west. This involves 2,000 ft (610 m) of ascent in about half a mile. From the same starting point a detour along Liza Beck/ Gasgale Gill can be used to give access to the northern slopes. A way can then be found almost direct to the summit around the rim of Dove Crags. From Rannerdale a choice of routes arises, either climbing the Lad Hows ridge or following Red Gill a little to the west. Finally Coledale Hause can be used to gain the main ridge between Crag Hill and Grasmoor. This can be reached from Lanthwaite or as the first objective of a longer march from Braithwaite in the east. Coledale Hause connects to Hopegill Head and the fells to the north, providing further indirect possibilities.[1][4] The summit was conquered by a Rolls Royce in 1982.[citation needed]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Alfred Wainwright: A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells, Book 6, The North Western Fells: Westmorland Gazette (1964): ISBN 0-7112-2459-5
  2. ^ British Geological Survey: 1:50,000 series maps, England & Wales Sheet 29: BGS (1999)
  3. ^ Adams, John: Mines of the Lake District Fells: Dalesman (1995) ISBN 0-85206-931-6
  4. ^ a b Bill Birkett: Complete Lakeland Fells: Collins Willow (1994): ISBN 0-00-713629-3

External links

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Dale Head Lake District

Posted in Dale Head Lake District on July 14th, 2011 by David Murphy

14th July 2011 I set off from my house about 12.30pm for a Wild Camp alone on Dale Head Summit In the Lake District, it took about 2 hours 30 mins to get to my destination going the scenic route I got stuck behind slow traffic, I parked about a half mile down the road from the Honister Slate Mine on the Honister Pass just outside of Seatoller.
After the steep walk up the road opposite the slate mine was the start of my path up to Dale Head summit, I reset my satmap at 15:02 and off I went as you can see from my satmap screens it took me 1 hour 18 mins total time and 50 mins time moving which means I only had about 30 mins of stops which is good for me lol.
On reaching the summit I had a walk around to find the best pitch for my Hilleberg Akto I setup my Mrs Dragonfly Stove for a cup of yorkshire tea then decided to have a walk over to Dalehead Crags there was a nice spot there for my tent with a nice view over Buttermere Lake, Crummock Water wasnt visable from here, after another brew of yorkshire tea I decided to head back to the summit of Dale Head as am a sucker for the summits even though the options maybe the more sensible at times.
After taking some video footage out came the Akto it pitched ok with only a slight breeze it was time for another brew of tea and then out came my steak for cooking as I was just awaiting the sunset which turned out a little disapointing blocked by a band of low cloud just above the horizon.
My phone signal was very patchy the best signal was over Dalehead Crags so decided to head back over there leaving the tent my backpack, tripod with my video camera on and head over to try and post on my liveblog and read my fans posts.
The moon came out first looking very orange which a captured on my video camera and later became covered at times in patchy cloud.
I  really enjoyed my night in total solitude alone on a hill without any rain with lovely views.
Morning came I must have had about an hours sleep I had my alarm set for 4.30am for the sunrise but was awake before it went off, the sunrise was hampered by low cloud but when the sun appeared it was a great sight lighting the sky red, in the distance over towards scafell Pike and great Gable there appeared to be a cloud inversion happening and the conditions at first appeared just right, the cloud was hugging the hills as a gentle breeze in my direction slowly brought it my way but after hanging around a few hours for it to surround my hill it didnt materialise how I was wishing.
I packed my tent away and was off back down the hill at 6.50am it only took 39mins total moving time and only a two min break back to the car.

Pre Dale Head Comments

My Route

 

Me On Dales Head Summit

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Buttermere

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Dale Head
Dale Head.jpg
Dale Head seen from the neighbouring hill of High Spy
Elevation 753 m (2,470 ft)
Prominence 397 m (1,302 ft)
Parent peak Great Gable
Listing Hewitt, Marilyn, Nuttall, Wainwright
Location
Dale Head is located in Lake District
Dale Head
Cumbria,  England
Range Lake District, North Western Fells
OS grid NY223153
Coordinates 54°31′37″N 3°12′07″W / 54.527°N 3.20208°W / 54.527; -3.20208Coordinates: 54°31′37″N 3°12′07″W / 54.527°N 3.20208°W / 54.527; -3.20208
Topo map OS Landrangers 89, 90, Explorer OL4

Dale Head is a fell in the northwestern sector of the Lake District, in northern England. It is 753 metres or 2,470 feet above sea level and stands immediately north of Honister Pass, the road between Borrowdale and Buttermere.

Topography

The North Western Fells occupy the area between the rivers Derwent and Cocker, a broadly oval swathe of hilly country, elongated on a north-south axis. Two roads cross from east to west, dividing the fells into three convenient groups. Dale Head is the highest fell in the southern sector.

Dale Head is the apex of two hill ridges. The principal ridge descends from Dale Head to the north-east and forms several other fells, each given a chapter by Alfred Wainwright in his Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells. These are High Spy, Maiden Moor and Catbells (alternative spelling, Cat Bells). This ridge forms the western side of Borrowdale and overlooks Derwent Water. The other ridge descends to the north-west and includes the fells of Hindscarth and Robinson; it overlooks Gatescarthdale and Buttermere.

Dale Head is named for its position at the head of the Newlands Valley. This stretches away due north for three and a half miles before debouching into the floodplain of the Derwent between Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite Lake. The eastern wall of the valley is formed by the High Spy to Catbells ridge, separating it from Borrowdale. Entering on the western side are a series of side valleys which drain the main mass of the North Western Fells. The source of Newlands Beck does not however flow from the apex of Dale Head as might be supposed from the name. Instead it has its birth at the col between the main summit and the eastern top, High Scawdel (1,815 ft). The northern face of the fell forming the dalehead is ringed with crags. The main faces are Dalehead Crags and Great Gable, not to be confused with the fell of that name.

The southern flank of the fell running down to the summit of the Honister Pass road (1,180 ft) has much gentler slopes, although there is outcropping rock on either side. Buckstone Hows and Yew Crag overshadow the road.From the top of the pass Gatesgarthdale Beck runs north west to Buttermere while Hause Gill flows east to Seatoller and Borrowdale. Across the road is Grey Knotts in the Western Fells.

The ridge to Hindscarth departs north west from the summit of Dale Head, soon narrowing into the fine and airy Hindscarth Edge. Both slopes are rocky, that to the south being known as Molds. Far Tongue Gill descends from the north of the ridge, a tributary of Newlands Beck.

Although High Scawdel stands east of the main summit, the high ground takes a great loop to the south around the head of Newlands Beck. It then drives north to the depression at Wilson's Bield (1,655 ft) before climbing to the summit of High Spy. The rest of the North Western Fells bear no tarns worthy of the name, but Dale Head has two. On the northern slope near the source of Newlands Beck is Dalehead Tarn, while the smaller Launchy Tarn lies near the top of High Scawdel. Dalehead Tarn is a shallow pool providing a popular stopping place for walkers. Its varied flora include water horsetail, sedge and bogbean. Launchy Tarn is smaller and may have been formed by overgrazing and erosion of the underlying peat.[1]

Geology and Mining

Dale Head stands at the junction of the two main Lakeland geological systems, the Skiddaw slates to the north and the Borrowdale Volcanics to the south. On the northern flanks are outcrops of the Buttermere Formation, olistostrome of disrupted sheared mudstone, siltstone and sandstone. Southward march the Borrowdale series beginning with the plagioclase-phyric andesite lavas of the Birker Fell Formation, visible near the summit.[2]

The fell has seen extensive mining history. Dale Head Mine was driven below the northern crags for copper, several levels still being visible. Long Work was another copper mine a little further down the valley, worked for malachite and pyrite from Elizabethan times. On the southern flank of the fell, centred around the head of the pass, are the Honister Quarries. These are an extensive system of underground quarries, worked for Green Slate. The earliest extant records date from 1728 and since then huge caverns have been carved out on either side of the pass. The Yew Crag workings on the Dale Head side were operated until 1966, operations on the slopes of Grey Knotts continuing. In 1887 work began to drive a tunnel right under Dale Head into Newlands Valley, connecting with a proposed tramway to join the railway at Keswick. The scheme was abandoned after opposition from landowners. The main workers accommodation at the mine is now the Honister Hause Youth Hostel.[3]

Summit and view

The view of the Newlands Valley and Skiddaw from Dale Head summit cairn .

The summit is marked by a cairn standing on the brink of the northern face. There is a fine end-on view of the Newlands Valley to the north, backed by Skiddaw. All around are rank upon rank of fells, of the major Lakeland ranges only the High Street group not being fully visible.[4][5]

Ascents

One of the most popular ascent routes of Dale Head begins from the summit of Honister Pass, where there is a car park and a youth hostel. The route ascends directly alongside a fence for approximately 2 kilometres and would take the average walker some 45 or 50 minutes. Longer routes begin at Little Town in the Newlands Valley, climbing either via Dalehead Tarn or the old access track to Dale Head Mine. From Borrowdale a start can be made at either Seatoller or Longthwaite, ascending first to Launchy Tarn and High Scawdel.[4]

References

  1. ^ Blair, Don: Exploring Lakeland Tarns: Lakeland Manor Press (2003): ISBN 0-9543904-1-5
  2. ^ British Geological Survey: 1:50,000 series maps, England & Wales Sheet 29: BGS (1999)
  3. ^ Adams, John: Mines of the Lake District Fells: Dalesman (1995) ISBN 0-85206-931-6
  4. ^ a b Alfred Wainwright: A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells, Book 6, The North Western Fells: Westmorland Gazette (1964): ISBN 0-7112-2459-5
  5. ^ Birkett, Bill: Complete Lakeland Fells: Collins Willow (1994): ISBN 0-00-218406-0
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