Helm Crag

Posted in Helm Crag on July 24th, 2013 by David Murphy

On the 20th July 2013 myself Daveswildcamping my friends John and Paul headed to the Lake District near the town of Grasmere to a miniature hill call Helm Crag. See my video below the photos to see what happens.

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Akto on Helm Crag

helm crag
Me John and Paul

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helm crag

The howitzer
Daveswildcamping myself sitting on The howitzer


Helm Crag
Helm Crag from Gibson Knott.jpg
Looking to Helm Crag from Gibson Knott
Elevation 405 m (1,329 ft)
Prominence c. 60 metres (197 ft)
Parent peak High Raise
Listing Wainwright
Location
Location Cumbria,  England
Range Lake District, Central Fells
OS grid NY327094
Topo map OS Explorer OL5, OL7

Helm Crag is a fell in the English Lake District situated in the Central Fells to the north of Grasmere. Despite its low height it sits prominently at the end of a ridge, easily seen from the village. This, combined with the distinctive summit rocks which provide the alternative name 'The Lion and the Lamb', makes it one of the most recognised hills in the District.

Alfred Wainwright wrote of Helm Crag that "The virtues of Helm Crag have not been lauded enough. It gives an exhilarating little climb, a brief essay in real mountaineering, and, in a region where all is beautiful, it makes a notable contribution to the natural charms and attractions of Grasmere."[1]

Topography[edit]

A rocky ridge curves east and then south east from Calf Crag, passing over Gibson Knott and the depression of Bracken Hause, before ending at Helm Crag where it falls steeply on all sides. To the north and east of the ridge is the Greenburn valley, which joins the Rothay at Helm Side. To the west and south is Easedale Beck, which is also a feeder of the Rothay, the watersmeet being just north of Grasmere village. Helm Crag is generally rough, with particular features being High and Low Raven Crags on the eastern side and White Crag on the southern extremity.

Geology[edit]

The geology of the fell is complex, but the summit is in an area of outcropping andesite sill.[2] There is no history of mining.

Summit and view[edit]

The summit is unusual, having two short parallel ridges running north west to south east with a hollow in between, the western ridge being the higher. Some distance below the eastern ridge the scene is repeated as, still keeping parallel, a third ridge, ditch and parapet are crossed before the crags are reached. The whole complex initially appears man-made, but is entirely natural. The summit commands views of the Langdale Pikes, Coniston Fells and Eastern Fells.[3][4]

The 'Old Woman playing the Organ' rocks.
The Summit

The Lion and the Lamb[edit]

At either end of the highest ridge are the rock outcrops that ensure Helm Crag's fame. Only one can be seen from any point in the surrounding valleys, and they have a variety of names depending upon the profile seen from the particular vantage point. The northwestern outcrop is the true summit of the fell, a tricky little scramble being needed to stand on the top. It is variously called 'The old lady playing the organ' when seen from Mill Gill, 'The howitzer' from the summit of Dunmail Raise and 'The lion and the lamb' or 'The lion couchant' from a point in between. The southern outcrop is prominent from Grasmere and this is the traditional 'Lion and the lamb'.[3]

Ascents[edit]

Helm Crag is normally ascended from Grasmere, though can also be approached from either valley via Bracken Hause, or along the ridge from Gibson Knott.[3][4]

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Old Man of Coniston

Posted in Old Man of Coniston on July 19th, 2013 by David Murphy

On the 13th July 2013 Me and Paul left home to head to the lake District to hike and Wildcamp on the Old Man of Coniston.
We stayed up all night to the most amazing cloud inversion we’ve seen to date.

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Watch the video below for our story.

 

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Lake District Near Catbells

Posted in Catbells Lake District on February 24th, 2013 by David Murphy

Watch my video below

Catbells
Cat Bells and Friars Crag.jpg
The classic view of Catbells from near Friars Crag on the opposite side of Derwent Water
Elevation 451 m (1,480 ft)
Prominence 86 m (282 ft)
Parent peak Dale Head
Listing Wainwright
Location
Catbells is located in Lake District
Catbells
Cumbria,  England
Range Lake District, North Western Fells
OS grid NY244199
Coordinates 54°34′07″N 3°10′15″W / 54.56865°N 3.17083°W / 54.56865; -3.17083Coordinates: 54°34′07″N 3°10′15″W / 54.56865°N 3.17083°W / 54.56865; -3.17083
Topo map OS Landrangers 89, 90, Explorer OL4

Catbells is a fell in the English Lake District in the county of Cumbria. It has a modest height of 451 metres (1,480 ft) but despite this it is one of the most popular fells in the area. It is situated on the western shore of Derwent Water within 3 miles (5 km) of the busy tourist town of Keswick. Its distinctive shape catches the attention of many visitors to the Lakes who feel compelled to climb to the summit after seeing it from the viewpoint of Friars Crag on the opposite side of Derwent Water. Renowned Lake District writer and walker Alfred Wainwright acknowledges the popularity of Catbells among fellwalkers of all ability by saying:

"It is one of the great favourites, a family fell where grandmothers and infants can climb the heights together, a place beloved. Its popularity is well deserved, its shapely topknott attracts the eye offering a steep but obviously simple scramble."

Name

The fell's unusual name may well have come from a distortion of "Cat Bields" meaning shelter of the wild cat, although this is not certain. The fell's name is sometimes written as Cat Bells and is so printed on some maps.

Topography

Catbells is the last fell on the ridge separating Derwent Water from the Newlands valley. It rises due south from Hawse End, reaching the summit in two distinct steps. The lower top is named Skelgill Bank. Beyond the summit of Catbells is the steep sided depression of Hause Gate, before the ridge broadens and twists south westward to Maiden Moor.

Geology

The Catbells ridge is an example of the Buttermere Formation, an olistostrome of disrupted, sheared and folded mudstone, siltstone and sandstone.[1]

Ascents

The ascent along the northern ridge facing the summit to the south

Nearly all ascents of Catbells start from Hawse End at the foot of the northern ridge; there is car parking here but the spaces soon get taken on busy summer days. Hawse End is also served by the Derwent Water Motor Launch and this enables visitors to Keswick to combine a sail on the lake with an ascent of the fell. Many walkers who reach the top of Catbells return to their starting point after admiring the view, however, strong walkers can continue along the ridge to take in the fells of Maiden Moor, High Spy, Dale Head, Hindscarth and Robinson to give a horseshoe walk which ends in the Newlands valley close to Hawse End.

Summit and view

The summit is all rock with many loose stones lying amid the small outcrops. The view from the top of Catbells gives a fine panorama which is dominated by the aerial view of Derwentwater. Bassenthwaite Lake, the Newlands Valley, Skiddaw and Keswick all show well to the north, while the view south has a fine vista of Borrowdale.

A 360 degree view from the summit of Catbells. The view North of the summit (middle of the image) takes in Skiddaw, Blencathra and Keswick on the edge of Derwentwater.

Mining

Although Catbells is renowned as a "family fell" it does have some dangers especially from the disused lead mines on its slopes. The Yewthwaite mine, which is on the western side of the fell has extensive spoil heaps and shafts. Many of the shafts were previously open and dangerous but most have now been blocked off. The Brandlehow and Old Brandley Mine worked a lode for lead ore on the Derwent Water (eastern) side of the fell. All three mines ceased production in the 1890s. On the lower slopes of the fell above Derwent Water stands Brackenburn Lodge, now holiday accommodation but formerly the home of Hugh Walpole who wrote the Herries series of books when he lived here from 1924 to his death in 1941.

Notes

  1. ^ British Geological Survey: 1:50,000 series maps, England & Wales Sheet 29: BGS (1999)

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Hallin Fell

Posted in Hallin Fell on September 6th, 2012 by David Murphy

All photos and video is taken on my mobile because I forgot to charge my Nikon D3200 battery due to not enough planning and work commitments.
On the 1st of September 2012 myself Paul “themuss” met our friend Paul “Kilburnicus” in the lake district near Ullswater, we set off on a short direct route that would take us straight to Hallin Fell summit to be greeted with some great views of the lake. I was the first to get my bivvy pitched but last to get sorted thumbing around with various ways to put my tarp I ended up with the help of the two lads and we came up with what you see in the below photos, I’m gonna need some serious experimentation with configurations before this will be come a practical way of life for me. For lunch I had two boil in the bags washed down with a brew of yorkshire tea followed by a single can of special brew lager, Paul had his usual brandy which I believe might have been the cause of what made him retire first whilst me and Killburnicus chatted into the early hours about our next meet up in the Scottish highlands, over the top of the sound of loud snoring by themuss.

Elevation Profile
Speed Profile

 View of Ullswater from our pitch

View of Ullswater from the trig point.

Another view from the trig

Me at Hallin Trig

Our Pitch On Hallin Fell

My Rab Ridgemaster Bivvy and Alpkit Rig7 Tarp

The three stooges

A great night was had by all of us watch my video below.

Hallin Fell
Hallin Fell.jpg
Hallin Fell summit cairn, looking over Ullswater
Elevation 388 m (1,273 ft)
Prominence 163 m (535 ft)
Parent peak High Street
Listing Marilyn, Wainwright
Location
Hallin Fell is located in Lake District
Hallin Fell
Cumbria,  England
Range Lake District, Far Eastern Fells
OS grid NY433198
Coordinates 54°34′14″N 2°52′35″W / 54.57057°N 2.876354°W / 54.57057; -2.876354Coordinates: 54°34′14″N 2°52′35″W / 54.57057°N 2.876354°W / 54.57057; -2.876354
Topo map OS Explorer OL5

Hallin Fell is a hill in the English Lake District surrounded on three sides by Ullswater.

Topography

The fell is a continuation of the ridge leading down from Steel Knotts, but the depression at The Coombs is so profound that Hallin Fell appears totally independent in almost any view. This is born out by its status as a Marilyn, despite being diminutive amongst Lakeland fells.

Hallin Fell stands like a plug in the outlet of the Martindale valley system. The outflows of Rampsgill, Bannerdale and Boredale are deflected west around the fell, eventually finding the shore of Ullswater at Sandwick. Fusedale and the little valley above Howtown drain around the east of the fell to meet the Lake at Howtown Wyke. The southern boundaries of the fell are therefore easily defined by these watercourses and the Howtown to Sandwick road with its ferocious hairpin climb to The Coombs.

The fell is circular in plan with smooth slopes to the south and west. Wainwright famously claimed that the southern side could be "ascended comfortably in bare feet".[1] There is rougher ground on the other sides and Hallin Fell's northernmost extremity — Geordie's Crag — projects into the lake, separating Ullswater's middle and lower reaches.

Summit and view

The top is grassy with a number of small knolls and some outcropping rock. The highest point has an imposing square sectioned columnar cairn, and there are many other small cairns at other vantage points. Like many shorter hills in mountainous areas, the views from the summit are excellent, and Hallin Fell commands views across Martindale Common, High Street, Helvellyn, Blencathra and Ullswater.

View southwest over Martindale from Hallin Fell with captioned fell names. Ullswater can be seen on the right of the picture.

Ascents and lakeside walk

The climb from Howtown to the obelisk at the summit is short and easy, there are also multiple paths up from St Peter's church at the hause and from Howtown hamlet. Around the northern side of the fell is part of the popular lakeside walk from Howtown to Patterdale. This route, mainly in wooded surroundings and with some gentle scrambling over outcrops, can be combined with a trip on the Ullswater steamer to provide a fine low-level excursion.

External links

View of Ullswater from Hallin Fell — visible hills include Blencathra, Gowbarrow Fell and Little Mell Fell

 

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Lake District With Hilleberg

Posted in Lake District With Hilleberg on May 18th, 2012 by David Murphy

 

On the 17th May 2012 myself Paul themuss Daniel Export Sales Rep for Hilleberg the TentMakers and a group of lads from George Fisher the Outdoor equipment shop whom are great retailer for Hilleberg Tents and other outdoor gear, we all met at a Campsite in the Lake District (after the Keswick Mountain Festival had been on up the road) to have a bit of crack, some booze and some food and stay the night in some Hilleberg Tents.

Me and Paul arrived at Keswich in the Lake District  had around 4pm ish and drove onto the Stonewaithe Campsite (it was raining as usual for the area) to be greeted by a lone man in his tent we sat there for a bit wondering if this was Daniel or someone from George Fisher maybe, on asking him he said he hadnt herd of Hilleberg and new nothin about our meeting which we were invited to.

So off we went to seekout some info at the nearest pub called The LangStrath Country Inn which whilst we were there we thought we would checkout the local Ale we asked some questions if anyone had known about a meeting with Hilleberg and George Fisher on the campsite just a few hundred yards down the rather bumpy road, knowone had herd anything, me and Paul were a little unsure what to expect here would there be Marquee tents serving mountains of food and beer with hundreds of people here ? we even considered the email we received to be a windup lol. With some phoning around from a very helpful woman in the pub whom put our minds to rest and said it was all true and soon enough a silver car past the pub window and she said he was waiting for us on the campsite.

 (From left to right) Daniel, Jon, Paul and Myself Daveswildcamping

So after just one pint of the fine Ale we walked over to be greeted by Daniel a very charming Scandinavia guy whom works in Export Sales for Hilleberg the famous tent makers this was something I was very looking forward to and couldnt be missed as I have been a fan of there tents for many years as my videos will show.

Me trying on the Hilleberg Bivanorak

We started by errecting some of the tents Daniel had brought a long opened some cans of lager he had with him and soon after three lads from George Fisher had turned up. We all had a wander around these fabulous tents whilst Daniel gave us a run down on them and explained how one person is involved with the full manufacture of each tent and their name is place on a tag inside the tent that they have made. I found this astonishing as  I have never noticed this on my old Akto and checked it when I got home and sure enough a name was on the tag “Helviina Saar” as you can see from my video, I really find this amazing as I no the care these people will take in making these tents as not only because there name is on but the sense of pride each individual would feel after being solely involved in making a product that will be used and cherished by someone on the other side of the world for many years, how satisfying that must feel.

After some cans of lager and a nice baracue and some more chat we decided to call it a night around 23:00 two of the members of our group couldn’t spend the night so we were down to just the four of us myself Paul, Daniel and Jon I had my usual poor sleep no fault of the great roomy tent I spent the night in which was the Nammatj 2 made from the Kerlon 1800 which is currently the strongest fabric used in Hilleberg tents and has the stronger 10mm Dac poles this is a tent I will be considering in the near future.

We had our alarm clocks set for 7am and had breakfast which was provided, we packed away the tents and off we went, Daniel was talking about us going over to Scandinavia sometime which I would love too I even offered to pay Pauls flight to come with me, watch this space ;)

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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

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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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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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Great End Lake District Cumbria

Posted in Great End on June 28th, 2011 by David Murphy

Its the 29th June 2011 Myself, Paul my usual Wildcamping partner and Chris this will be my second Wildcamp with Chris on a Hill right next to our first one Great Gable.

I Planned two Routes both of which are from Seathwaite one would take us past Styhead Tarn and Springling Tarn which was 4.4 miles but we all decided to take the shorter Route along Grains Gill below.  

Steak

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Our Tents In The Mist

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Cloud Over Great Gable

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Out of the Breeze in Shelter

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Myself Paul and Chris

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Great End Looking Up Grains Gill

Scafell Pike from Great End

Looking Down to Springling Tarn from Great End

Great End
Great end.jpg
Great End from the top of Grains Gill
Elevation 910 m (2,986 ft)
Prominence 56 m (184 ft)
Parent peak Ill Crag
Listing Hewitt, Wainwright, Nuttall
Location
Great End is located in Lake District
Great End
Cumbria,  England
Range Lake District, Southern Fells
OS grid NY226084
Coordinates 54°27′50″N 3°11′38″W / 54.464°N 3.194°W / 54.464; -3.194Coordinates: 54°27′50″N 3°11′38″W / 54.464°N 3.194°W / 54.464; -3.194
Topo map OS Landrangers 89, 90, Explorer OL6
Listed summits of Great End
Name Grid ref Height Status
Round How NY218081 741 m (2,431 ft) Nuttall

Great End is the most northerly mountain in the Scafell chain, in the English Lake District. From the south it is simply a lump continuing this chain. From the north, however, it is appears as an immense mountain, with an imposing north face rising above Sprinkling Tarn (lake). This is a popular location for wild camping, and the north face attracts many climbers.

Alfred Wainwright wrote of Great End in his Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells: "This is the true Lakeland of the fellwalker, the sort of terrain that calls him back time after time, the sort of memory that haunts his long winter exile. It is not the pretty places - the flowery lanes of Grasmere or Derwentwater's wooded bays - that keep him restless in his bed; it is the magnificent ones. Places like Great End..."[1]

Topography[edit]

The imposing north eastern cliffs, riven by gullies, rise some 600 ft from the Esk Hause path. Their orientation ensures that the sun rarely reaches them, the gullies often retaining snow well into the spring. From the left when viewed from below the principal fissures are South East Gully, Central Gully and Cust's Gully (see below). To the west of the cliffs a ridge descends more gradually in the general direction of Sty Head. This is known as The Band, and it too sports a harsh gash across its features. On the western side of The Band is the deep ravine of Skew Gill, a tributary of Wasdale-bound Lingmell Beck. At the base of The Band the ridge continues as the complex top of Seathwaite Fell, replete with numerous tarns.[1] The largest is Sprinkling Tarn with its beautifully indented shoreline providing perfect foreground for views of the cliff.

Sty Head is one of the focal points of the District for walkers. The name strictly applies to the col between Great End and Great Gable at a height of 1,560 ft, but is now more generally given to the path which crosses it. This connects two of the most popular starting points for walks in the high fells, Wasdale Head and Seathwaite. Sty Head is also a walker's crossroads with other paths leading direct up Great Gable and following the outflow of Sprinkling Tarn up to Esk Hause.

Westward from the summit Great End makes a rocky descent toward the arms of Lingmell Beck. This flank is crossed by the Corridor Route, the popular path to Scafell Pike from Sty Head. Above the path are the subsidiary top of Round How (a Nuttall) and the tiny, beautifully clear tarn of Lambfoot Dub.[2][3]

The southward ridge to the Scafells crosses a shallow saddle and then climbs over Ill Crag and Broad Crag, a well blazoned path leading across the stony terrain to the summit of Scafell Pike. To the east of the first depression is Calf Cove, its easy slopes leading down to Esk Hause.

The summit has two cairns of very similar height, that to the north west being nearer to the cliff edge and having the better view. Northwards along Borrowdale the vista is unsurpassed, but the whole panorama is excellent. The heads of the gullies can also be approached for startling views down the face.[1]

Geology[edit]

The summit is formed by the laminated volcaniclastic claystone and siltstone of the Esk Pike Formation overlying the dacitic welded lapilli-tuff of the Lincomb Tarns Formation. The latter is revealed in the great north front.[4]

Ascents[edit]

Great End may be ascended from Sty Head Tarn via The Band (not to be confused with the more famous Band on Bowfell), from Wasdale Head along Lingmell Gill and Spouthead Gill, from Borrowdale via Grains Gill, from Great Langdale via Rossett Gill and Esk Hause, or from Eskdale. As an intermediate objective Great End may easily be climbed from the main path between Esk Hause and Scafell Pike, requiring only a detour of some 400 m.[3]

Cust's Gully[edit]

Cust's Gully at the western end of Great End's cliffs is named after 19th-century pioneer climber and sketcher Arthur Cust, a classical scholar from Yorkshire also known for his watercolour sketches of the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc. Cust's Gully is a Grade 1 rock climb, but a difficult obstacle for walkers ascending from Sprinkling Tarn. Cust's first winter ascent of the gully was recorded in 1880, although he is thought to have ascended it earlier.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Wainwright, A. (2003). "Great End". A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells, Book 4 The Southern Fells. London: Francis Lincoln. p. 2. ISBN 0-7112-2230-4. 
  2. ^ Blair, Don; Exploring Lakeland Tarns; Lakeland Manor Press (2003); ISBN 0-9543904-1-5
  3. ^ a b Richards, Mark: Mid-Western Fells: Collins (2004): ISBN 0-00-711368-4
  4. ^ British Geological Survey: 1:50,000 series maps, England & Wales Sheet 38: BGS (1998)

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Possible WildCamp Somewhere In the Lakes

Posted in Wildcamping Stuff on June 27th, 2011 by David Murphy

29th June 2011

But the Mountain is Top Secret Haha,

Live Blog as usual applies :)

 

Leave Comments tell me what you think :)

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Great Gable Lake District

Posted in Great Gable on May 21st, 2011 by David Murphy
Back to Pre Great Gable

Wildcamp on Great Gable 19th May 2011, I thought Its about time I posted this blog because of mounting pressure by fans lol, me and Chris met up at Seathwaite farm at 12.30pm I was five mins early Chris was about 20 mins late haha. We set off hiking the Sour Milk Gill Route which is approx 2.5 miles to the summit which passes the beautiful sight of a waterfall.

About 2 hours hiking and 3 hours of standing and talking we finally walked over Green Gable down Windy Gap and up the final push to Great Gable Summit, Chris was keeping intouch with the other Chris whom we were planning to meet later on the summit. We had arrived at the top and now it was time to find somewhere to pitch three tents this proved a bit of a challenge, walking over the summit with Scafell Pike in view we seen a grassy area where we proceeded to move rocks to make three areas, pegging out the tents came the next challenge some bent pegs later we had our two tents down and was just awaiting the second Chris. Not Sure on the time our third member arrived 6.30 maybe 7pm I started cooking my Steak (below)

During this time we had clear skies very little cloud great visability and there was mention of a dark cloud in the distance then in a very short time we were covered in fog and the winds had increased and that was the end of any plans of a sunset.

I regret not having any 360 degrees footage from the top just above us not having a photo of the three of us or even a photo of myself at the trig point, I am still amazed at how swift we lost visability my plan was to get my suppa over and take some more snaps.

We talked some and retired to our tents I cannot remember sleeping any as the winds battered the tents I was supprised I didnt get a soaking as Im accustomed to receiving. Morning came 4.30am I looked out the door and the fog hadnt lifted which was disapointing we packed up shortly later (I lost my Akto tent bag the wind just swept it from my hands) and headed off down Aaron Slack Route and we drove into Keswick for some breakfast. I feel I have made two new great friends and look forward to more Wildcamps with them in the future :)

Above left showing the route from Seathwaite campsite, above right the Wildcamp Spot.

Back to Pre Great Gable

Great Gable
Great gable.jpg
Great Gable from Wasdale. The cliff at centre is the Napes of Great Gable.
Elevation 899 m (2,949 ft)
Prominence 425 m (1,394 ft)
Parent peak Scafell Pike
Listing Marilyn, Hewitt, Wainwright, Nuttall
Location
Great Gable is located in Lake District
Great Gable
Cumbria,  England
Range Lake District, Western Fells
OS grid NY211104
Coordinates 54°28′55.2″N 3°13′8.4″W / 54.482°N 3.219°W / 54.482; -3.219Coordinates: 54°28′55.2″N 3°13′8.4″W / 54.482°N 3.219°W / 54.482; -3.219
Topo map OS Landrangers 89, 90, Explorer OL4

Great Gable is a mountain lying at the very heart of the English Lake District, appearing as a pyramid from Wasdale (hence its name), but as a dome from most other directions. It is one of the most popular of the Lakeland fells, and there are many different routes to the summit. Great Gable is linked by the high pass of Windy Gap to its smaller sister hill, Green Gable, and by the lower pass of Beck Head to its western neighbour, Kirk Fell.

Topography

The Western Fells occupy a triangular sector of the Lake District, bordered by the River Cocker to the north east and Wasdale to the south east. Westwards the hills diminish toward the coastal plain of Cumberland. At the central hub of the high country are Great Gable and its satellites, while two principal ridges fan out on either flank of Ennerdale, the western fells in effect being a great horseshoe around this long wild valley.[1]

Great Gable and its lesser companion Green Gable stand at the head of Ennerdale, with the walkers' pass of Sty Head to their backs. This connects Borrowdale to Wasdale, giving Gable a footing in both valleys. The Borrowdale connection is quite tenuous, but Great Gable is "the undisputed overlord"[1] of Wasdale in that it is paramount in almost any view up the lake. Once seen, the naming of the fell Great Gable requires no explanation.

The upper section of Great Gable has a roughly square plan, about half a mile on each side, with the faces running in line with the four points of the compass. The fells connecting and subsidiary ridges occupy the corners of the square.

Great Gable at the head of Wastwater. Yewbarrow (left foreground) and Lingmell (right)

The northern face is formed by Gable Crag, prominent in views from Haystacks and the surrounding fells. This is the longest continuous wall of crag on the fell and reaches up almost to the summit. Scree slopes fall away below to the headwaters of the River Liza, beginning their long journey down Ennerdale. There are few crags on the eastern slopes, although these fall steeply to Styhead Tarn, a feeder of the Borrowdale system. About 30 ft deep this tarn occupies a scooped hollow, dammed by boulders falling from the slopes above. It is reputed to contain trout and is a popular location for wild camping.[2] The southern flank of Great Gable falls 2,300 ft direct to Lingmell Beck, one of the main feeders of Wastwater. Right below the summit are the Westmorland Crags, and then a second tier breaks out lower down. These are Kern Knotts, Raven Crag and Great Napes, all footed by great tongues of scree. Finally on the west rough slopes fall below the rocks of White Napes to the narrow valley of Gable Beck, a tributary of Lingmell Beck.

From the north western corner of the pyramid the connecting ridge to Kirk Fell runs out across the col of Beck Head (2,050 ft). There is a small tarn in the depression, and sometimes a second after heavy rain. Both are blind, having no apparent inlet or ouflow.[2] Gable Beck runs south from Beck Head, while an unnamed tributary of the Liza flows northward. The main spine of the Western Fells continues along the north east ridge to Green Gable, dropping to Windy Gap (2,460 ft) as it rounds the end of Gable Crag. This ridge is rough and rocky, further worn by the boots of countless walkers. Stone Cove lies on the Ennerdale side while the rough gully of Aaron Slack runs down toward Styhead Tarn. The south eastern ridge provides the connection to the Southern Fells, across the pass of Sty Head. This is a major crossroads for walkers and climbers, the summit being at around 1,560 ft. On the opposite slope is Great End in the Scafells. Kern Knotts lies on this south east ridge, as does the small pool of Dry Tarn. The south western ridge gives to high level connection, dropping down Gavel Neese in the angle between Lingmell Beck and Gable Beck.

Geology

Lying on the edge of the Scafell Syncline, the various strata dip to the east. The summit area is formed from a dacite lava flow (Scafell Dacite), directly underlain by the Lingmell Formation. This tuff, lapilli tuff and breccia outcrops a little to the west of the summit. Around Beck Head is evidence of the Crinkle Member, welded rhyolitic tuff and lapilli-tuff with some breccia. A dyke of andesite and hybridised andesite porphyry is responsible for Kern Knotts.[3]

Wast Water seen from the summit of Great Gable, 4.5 km to the NE.

Summit and view

The summit of Great Gable is strewn with boulders and the highest point marked by a rock outcrop set with a cairn. There is a plaque set on the summit rock commemorating those members of the Fell and Rock Climbing Club who died in the First World War; an annual memorial service is held here on Remembrance Sunday.[1] The club bought a large area of land including Great Gable and donated it to the National Trust in memory of these members, and the plaque was dedicated in 1924 by Geoffrey Winthrop Young in front of 500 people.[4]

Due to its central position within the Lake District and great prominence the summit has some of the best panoramic views of any peak in the area. All of the main fell groups are laid out, serried ranks of hills filling the skyline, although surprisingly Wast Water and Windermere are the only lakes visible. A hundred yards to the south west of the summit, overlooking the Napes, is the Westmorland Cairn. This cairn was erected in 1876 by two brothers named Westmorland to mark what they considered to be the finest view in the Lake District. From here ground falls away into the profound abyss of upper Wasdale. Further cairns mark the top of Gable Crag. It is testament to the high regard that many walkers have for Great Gable that the summit has become a popular site for the scattering of ashes following cremation.[5]

Ascents

Great Gable's massive bulk from the slopes of Kirk Fell to the west

Routes to climb to the summit start from all of the main dales that radiate out from central Lakeland. From Wasdale the south west ridge up Gavel Neese provides the obvious, and consequently steep and rough, line to take. This can be finished either via Little Hell Gate, a well named and atrocious scree gully, or more sedately via Beck Head. The walk up Ennerdale is long, unless staying at Black Sail Youth Hostel and again Beck Head gives access to the summit area. Ascents from Borrowdale or Wasdale can also make use of Sty Head pass, before slogging up the south east ridge, or the scree filled Aaron Slack. Finally Gatesgarth (near Buttermere), or the summit of the Honister Pass road can be used as starting points, crossing the high hinterland of Grey Knotts and Brandreth to arrive at Windy Gap or Beck Head. Among indirect ascents, a popular alternative is to climb Sour Milk Gill from Seathwaite in Borrowdale, first ascending Green Gable before traversing Windy Gap.[1][6]

Other walking routes

Alfred Wainwright described the 'Gable Girdle', a circuit around the fell at mid height.[1] This links a number of existing paths, namely the north and south traverses, Sty Head Pass, Aaron Slack and Moses Trod. The south traverse climbs westward from Sty Head and provides access to the Napes and Kern Knotts for rock climbers. The route is rough but allows the ordinary hillwalker to view Napes Needle, Sphinx Rock and many of the famous climbing locations. The north traverse similarly runs beneath Gable Crag with more excellent rock scenery, arriving ultimately at Windy Gap. In the west the two traverses are joined by a section of Moses Trod, running up the southern side of Beck Head. "Moses" was a possibly apocryphal trader-cum-smuggler, based at Honister Quarry. His route contoured the

Napes Needle

fellside from there to provide access to Wasdale markets for his illicit whisky. Aaron Slack by contrast does anything but contour the fellside, but provides a fast way down from Windy Gap to Sty Head.[1]

Rock climbing

Great Gable has cliffs to the north (Gable Crag) and south (Westmorland Crags, the Napes, and Kern Knotts). The Napes are important in the history of English rock climbing: W. P. Haskett Smith's ascent of the remarkable detached pinnacle of Napes Needle in June 1886 (now graded Hard Severe) is thought by many to mark the origins in England of rock climbing as a sport in its own right, as opposed to a necessary evil undergone by mountaineers on their way to the summit.

Those wishing to climb Napes Needle should be warned that a safe descent is far more difficult than the ascent as there are no permanent anchors or bolts to abseil from. Down-climbing is the only way to get from the summit to the shoulder and gear on this second pitch sparse to say the least. A relatively simple abseil can be set up to get down from the shoulder.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Alfred Wainwright: A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells, Volume 7 The Western Fells: Westmorland Gazette (1966): ISBN 0-7112-2460-9
  2. ^ a b Blair, Don: Exploring Lakeland Tarns: Lakeland Manor Press (2003): ISBN 0-9543904-1-5
  3. ^ British Geological Survey: 1:50,000 series maps, England & Wales Sheets 29 and 38: BGS (1999) and (1998)
  4. ^ Connor, J (23 October 2007). "Poppycock". North West Evening Mail. http://beta.nwemail.co.uk/news/1.156053. Retrieved 2009-03-24.
  5. ^ Hewitt, Dave (ed.): A Bit of Grit on Haystacks: A Celebration of Wainwright: Millrace (2004): ISBN 1-902173-17-1
  6. ^ Bill Birkett:Complete Lakeland Fells: Collins Willow (1994): ISBN 0-00-713629-3

External links

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Possible Wild Camping next week on Great Gable

Posted in Main on May 14th, 2011 by David Murphy

Next Thursday 19th May I maybe doing a wildcamp on Great Gable Summit in the Lake District with a friend possibly three of us, (this hill looks like the hill on Close Encounters Of The Third Kind) this will be a tuff feat on the Akto as there is very little grass if any mostly rock and the akto relies on been pegged out in the four corners and four guy wires just to keep the tent standing.
Am currently trying something that will help in this situation.

We did this wildcamp see this post

Weather for Thursday looking good haha

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Pillar Lake District

Posted in Pillar Lake District on April 10th, 2011 by David Murphy

3rd Jan 2011 myself and Paul parked up somewhere in Ennerdale valley to hike Pillar and camp on the summit, I planned the location to park the car as less of a hike to the summit, but little did we realise the road was private so we had to leave the car a few miles future away than planned which meant when we set off on foot it ended up much later than we had anticipated.

Off we started hiking and we ended up pitching our tents well short of the summit as darkness was creeping in and agreed we wouldn’t reach the summit with the time we had left, so we pitched on a windy hole called Windy Gap little did we realise at the time.

There was no snow when we put down our tents but I was outside at around 3am replacing a peg in my guy wire and there was a canny covering horizontal snow hitting my face like needles, after awaking to snow inside my tent from leaving the top of the door open and my end vents open more than likely what else could go wrong well forgetting to fill up my fuel bottle before i left home and the horrible taste of washing up liquid in my drinking water it was a typical wildcamp for me.

Oh and when I got home my camera was broken it got soaked :(

Pillar
Pillar and Rock.jpg
Pillar from the east. Pillar Rock is clearly visible on the skyline on the right.
Elevation 892 m (2,927 ft)
Prominence 348 m (1,142 ft)
Parent peak Great Gable
Listing Marilyn, Hewitt, Wainwright, Nuttall
Location
Pillar (Lake District) is located in Lake District
Pillar
Cumbria,  England
Range Lake District, Western Fells
OS grid NY171121
Coordinates 54°29′49″N 3°16′55″W / 54.497°N 3.282°W / 54.497; -3.282Coordinates: 54°29′49″N 3°16′55″W / 54.497°N 3.282°W / 54.497; -3.282
Topo map OS Landranger 89, Explorer OL4
Listed summits of Pillar (Lake District)
Name Grid ref Height Status
Pillar Rock NY171123 780 m (2,558 ft) Nuttall
Looking Stead NY186117 627 m (2,057 ft) Nuttall

Pillar is a mountain in the western part of the English Lake District. Situated between the valleys of Ennerdale to the north and Wasdale to the south, it is the highest point of the Pillar group (some dozen fells clustered round it). At 892 metres (2,927 feet) it is the eighth highest mountain in the Lake District. The fell takes its name from Pillar Rock, a prominent feature on the Ennerdale side, regarded as the birthplace of rock climbing in the district.[1]

Topography

The Western Fells occupy a triangular sector of the Lake District, bordered by the River Cocker to the north east and Wasdale to the south east. Westwards the hills diminish toward the coastal plain of Cumberland. At the central hub of the high country are Great Gable and its satellites, while two principal ridges fan out on either flank of Ennerdale, the western fells in effect being a great horseshoe around this long wild valley.[2] Pillar is on the southern arm.

The main watershed runs broadly westwards from Great Gable, dividing the headwaters of Ennerdale and Wasdale. The principal fells in this section are Kirk Fell, Pillar, Scoat Fell, Haycock and Caw Fell, followed by the lower Lank Rigg group.

Pillar stands on the southern wall of Ennerdale, three miles from the head of the valley. Two tiers of impressive crags run the full length of the fell from Wind Gap in the west to Black Sail Pass in the east. The top tier fronts the summit ridge, a series of coves being interspersed between the buttresses. Below is a narrow terrace bearing the 'High Level Route' path and then a further wall including Pillar Rock, Raven and Ash Crags and Proud Knott. The lower slopes are planted with a broad belt of conifers, extending across the River Liza to the flanks of High Crag.

The southern flank of Pillar looks down on Mosedale, the more westerly of Wasdale's two main feeder valleys. From Wasdale Head village Pillar appears to stand at the head of Mosedale, but the valley curves out of sight, actually having its source on the slopes of Scoat Fell. The Mosedale slopes cannot compete with those above Ennerdale, although there is outcropping rock, particularly at Wistow Crags, Elliptical Crag and Murl Rigg.

The summit of Pillar is at the western end, immediately above the descent to Wind Gap (2,475 ft). This continues the watershed to Scoat Fell and beyond. A subsidiary spur branches off north west of the summit, passing over White Pike before petering out in the Ennerdale Forest. The eastern ridge of Pillar stretches for about a mile, gradually descending before the final upthrust of Looking Stead. This subsidiary top is listed as a Nuttall in its own right. Beyond is Black Sail Pass, a pedestrian route between Wasdale and the head of Ennerdale. Kirk Fell stands on the other side of the pass.

Pillar (left) from the top of Steeple

Geology

The primary rock types in the summit area are the plagioclase-phyric andesite lavas of the Birker Fell Formation. Bands of volcaniclastic sandstone and andesite sills are also present. Rhyolite and lapilli-tuff appear amongst the northern crags, with outcrops of the Craghouse Member on the north west ridge.[3]

Summit and view

The summit is surprisingly wide and grassy, patches of stones interspersed with short turf. An Ordnance Survey triangulation column stands beside a cairn and windshelter. At the northern edge of the plateau a further wind shelter marks the descent to the mountain rescue stretcher-box and the High Level Route.[2]

The view is excellent with all of the major fells except the Coniston range in sight. Loweswater and Ennerdale Water can be seen, together with Burnmoor Tarn. From the north windshelter is a striking view of the summit of Pillar Rock.[2]

Ascent routes

Pillar is usually climbed from Wasdale Head, by far the nearest road access. The simplest route involves taking the Black Sail Pass, the main foot pass between Wasdale and Ennerdale, to its highest point (around 545 metres), then ascending the mountain's relatively gentle east ridge. Greater interest may be obtained by branching off the ridge (at c. 640 m) onto the "High Level Route", a narrow path which traverses around Pillar's northern crags before approaching the summit from the north, affording good views of Pillar Rock. Many walkers based in Wasdale climb Pillar as part of the Mosedale Horseshoe, a circuit of the skyline one of Wasdale's side valleys, which also includes Scoat Fell, Red Pike and Yewbarrow; Kirk Fell may also optionally be included.

Pillar may also be climbed from Ennerdale. From the YHA youth hostel at Black Sail at the head of the valley, it is a fairly short walk (around 1.5 km and 300 m of ascent) to the summit of Black Sail Pass, from where the same routes can be followed as described above. As Black Sail hostel is five or six miles from the nearest public road, this approach is somewhat impractical to day-trippers (especially since the Ennerdale valley is itself remote from the main tourist centres of the Lake District), though attractive to those staying at the hostel. Alternatively, there are various paths up the mountain from lower down the valley which offer the possibility of closer acquaintance with the crags of the north face.

It is not unfeasible for strong walkers to approach Pillar from the Buttermere valley, which has the advantage of being more accessible than Wasdale from major tourist centres such as Keswick. It is first necessary to ascend and descend the Scarth Gap Pass between Gatesgarth and Black Sail, which then allows an ascent via Black Sail Pass as detailed above. The walk from Gatesgarth to the summit of Pillar and back involves over 1,200 metres (4,000 feet) of ascent, more if the High Level Route is taken.[2][4]

Pillar Rock

Pillar Rock from Robinson's Cairn

Pillar Rock is a large rocky outcrop surrounded by cliffs on the northern side of Pillar. When seen from Ennerdale it appears as a tall and thin column, hence its name. In the early 19th century it became widely known as one of the wonders of the Lake District, chiefly due to it featuring in William Wordsworth's poem The Brothers.[1]

You see yon precipice—it almost looks
Like some vast building made of many crags,
And in the midst is one particular rock
That rises like a column from the vale,
Whence by our Shepherds it is call'd, the Pillar.

Wordsworth, The Brothers

The first recorded ascent of Pillar Rock was made in 1826 by John Atkinson of Croftfoot, Ennerdale. His route, known as the Old West Route, is still classed as a rock climb, albeit one graded Moderate, the second lowest grade on the British system.[5] It is the earliest recorded rock climb in the Lake District (not counting Coleridge's inadvertent descent of Scafell in 1802); subsequent Lakeland climbers also concentrated on Pillar, and by 1872 four different climbing routes had been pioneered on the rock.[1] The easiest route to the top of Pillar Rock is now considered to be the Slab and Notch route, classed as a grade 3 scramble, whilst the classic route is the New West, classed as a Difficult rock climb. By 2007 over 90 climbs had been recorded, including 17 graded E1 or above.[6]

Pillar Rock has a topographic prominence of more than 15 metres, and thus qualifies for the list of "Nuttalls" compiled by John and Anne Nuttall in their book The Mountains of England and Wales (see also Hill lists in the British Isles).[7] It is the only summit on the list that cannot be reached without recourse to rock climbing.

Notes

  1. ^ a b c H.M Kelly & J.H.Doughty. "A Short History of Lakeland Climbing, Part 1", Fell & Rock Climbing Club Journal, 1936-37. Accessed 17 November 2006.
  2. ^ a b c d Alfred Wainwright: A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells, Volume 7 The Western Fells: Westmorland Gazette (1966): ISBN 0-7112-2460-9
  3. ^ British Geological Survey: 1:50,000 series maps, England & Wales Sheet 29: BGS(1999)
  4. ^ Bill Birkett:Complete Lakeland Fells: Collins Willow (1994): ISBN 0-00-713629-3
  5. ^ Stephen Reid. "Rock Climbing in Wild Ennerdale". Accessed 17 November 2006.
  6. ^ UKClimbing.com Databases – "Pillar Rock". Accessed 29 September 2007.
  7. ^ John & Anne Nuttall (1990). The Mountains of England & Wales - Volume 2: England (2nd edition ed.). Milnthorpe, Cumbria: Cicerone. ISBN 1-85284-037-4.
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Warnscale Head Bothy & Fleetwith Pike

Posted in Warnscale Bothy on April 10th, 2011 by David Murphy

On the 15th Feb 2011 me and my mate Paul (read his account of our trip) set off from Buttermere in the Lake District heading up to Warnscale Head Bothy, this nice little bothy is barely visible until you are right on top of it.

On trying to find the Bothy Paul whom had been here before took me up the wrong face and left me on the side of the mountain whilst exploring further ahead, I looked another direction thinking this place is bloody hard to find, like looking for a needle in a haystack.

I was about to give this up as a bad job weather crap soaking wet and we didn’t have much daylight left to find the place, we decided to look up the other face and there it was what a relief. On approaching the bothy I was praying we were the only ones there with this idea.

Opening the door we were welcomed to a small room with three wide bunks down the walls, a fireplace and a visitors book to fill in.

Warnscale Head Bothy

Warnscale Head Bothy

Warnscale Head Bothy

We proceeded to light the fire with the mountain of sticks and firelogs we had carried up, to make it catch a little better I threw on a little petrol out of my dragonfly stove bottle, it became apparent almost immediately that this is going to be a smokey night we were almost overcome by smoke on many occasion and that was about to get worse when Paul fired his barbecue up inside as it was still raining outside and it didn’t help when I knocked it over and had to run out for air leaving Paul to pick up the hot embers.

We were getting rather settled by this time jackets and trousers off drying over the fire and boots melting in the fireplace literally, our steaks cooking on the barby, I could go on ages talking about this night as its rare getting a good soaking and being able to dry your duds over a fire a luxury you don’t normally have in a tent.

On leaving the bothy in the morning we hiked up to Fleetwith Pike Summit to some great rare weather and nice views, a good day had by both of us.

Fleetwith Pike Summit

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Me and Paul on way to High Steet Lake District

Posted in Kidsty Pike & High Raise on April 4th, 2011 by David Murphy

:)

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On our way up to High Street Lake District

Posted in Kidsty Pike & High Raise on April 4th, 2011 by David Murphy

On the 4th April 2011 me and my mate Paul started hiking from Haweswater in the Lake District after Paul suggested The far eastern Fells would have the better weather,  it was raining when we left the car and winds very strong and times infact it became hard to keep our balance and actual had to stand still for short periods.

On reaching the summit of High Street we could see an obvious camp spot hoping the wall alone High Street summit would provide needed shelter from the wind, but the wind was blowing parallel to the wall so we kept on walking for a suitable location and finally settle for the spot below.

                 Wildcamping between kidsty pike and high raise, extreme winds and high rain.

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Hmmm yummy :P

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Me and Paul on our way up to High Street in the lake District

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 The trig Point summit of High Street

Getting ready to pack up the tent in the morning after a rough night, I cannot remember sleeping at all I was soaking wet, I had guy wire problems found myself outside no less than four times hooking them back up, the wind was just dragging them out the ground this hasn’t happened to me in my Akto before, first it was the side guys then the end one came undone and the whole side of the tent collapsed.

My bedroom ground sheet was letting in water from somewhere i thought it was the inner touching the outer tent but may have been the vents check my post here where I try and work out where the problem was.

Having a one for the road.

 

Kidsty Pike
KidstyPike.JPG
Kidsty Pike from the west
Elevation 780 m (2,559 ft)
Prominence c. 15 m
Parent peak Rampsgill Head
Listing Wainwright, Nuttall
Location
Kidsty Pike is located in Lake District
Kidsty Pike
Cumbria,  England
Range Lake District, Far Eastern Fells
OS grid NY447126
Coordinates 54°30′20″N 2°51′20″W / 54.50568°N 2.85552°W / 54.50568; -2.85552Coordinates: 54°30′20″N 2°51′20″W / 54.50568°N 2.85552°W / 54.50568; -2.85552
Topo map OS Explorer OL5

Kidsty Pike is a fell in the English Lake District, standing to the west of Haweswater Reservoir. It is a subsidiary top of Rampsgill Head, but has long achieved the status of a separate fell, thanks to its classic peaked profile. Wainwright followed this convention in his Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells.[1]

Topography

Two valleys run up westwards from Haweswater, above what was the village of Mardale Green before the raising of the lake.[2] Riggindale is the southern arm and runs straight with a classic "U"-shaped profile. Randale starts north-westerly, rising quickly before turning due west above approximately 1800 ft. Between these valleys is Kidsty Pike, the east ridge of Rampsgill Head.

The northern flank falls at a shallow gradient over grass to the high gathering grounds of Randale. In contrast, the southern side of the ridge drops over crag and scree to Riggindale, 1,500 ft below. The difference in slopes gives Kidsty Pike its appeal when viewed from Haweswater, or (for example) on the M6 motorway near Shap. From here, in profile the summit appears as an acute angled peak.

Rampsgill Head is only a short distance away, but eastwards the ridge continues for about a mile, dropping gently to Kidsty Howes above the lake. This rocky outcrop marks the final steep descent to the shore.

Ascents

The only direct route of ascent is from the road end at Mardale Head. The lakeshore is followed to the ruins of Riggindale Farm. Like the other houses in the valley, this was blown up by the Army as demolition practice while the waters rose.[2] From here, the old path up the ridge can be followed via Kidsty Howes.

Summit and view

The summit has a small cairn on grass, immediately above the Riggindale face. The higher fells of the High Street range obscure much of the view, although a section of Lakeland is visible across the Straits of Riggindale.[1]


High Raise (High Street)
High Raise from Rampsgill Head.JPG
Seen from Rampsgill Head, one km. to the south.
Elevation 802 m (2,631 ft)
Prominence c. 90 m
Parent peak High Street
Listing Hewitt, Wainwright, Nuttall
Location
High Raise (High Street) is located in Lake District
High Raise (High Street)
Cumbria,  England
Range Lake District, Far Eastern Fells
OS grid NY448135
Coordinates 54°30′47″N 2°51′04″W / 54.513°N 2.851°W / 54.513; -2.851Coordinates: 54°30′47″N 2°51′04″W / 54.513°N 2.851°W / 54.513; -2.851
Topo map OS Explorer OL5
Looking north from the summit to Wether Hill and Loadpot Hill.

High Raise is a fell in the English Lake District, standing to the west of Haweswater Reservoir in the Far Eastern Fells. Note that another High Raise is the highpoint of the Central Fells.

Topography

High Raise is on the main north-south spine of the Far Eastern Fells between Wether Hill and Rampsgill Head. Its eastern slopes drop to Haweswater and its western flank is the steep scree-lined side of Rampsgill.

The main ridge north to Wether Hill passes over the two intermediate tops of Raven Howe (2,345 ft) and Red Crag (2,332 ft), before dropping to the depression of Keasgill Head. This ridge is grassy but quite narrow and carries the High Street Roman road. There is a small tarn to the south of Red Crag. In the other direction the ridge turns a little westward across a narrow depression to Rampsgill Head.

East of High Raise, about half a mile away, is its companion Low Raise (2,473 ft). This broad top carries a tumulus of bleached stones, some of which have since been used to form a cairn and wind shelter. The stones do not appear native to their location. East of Low Raise the craggy bowl of Whelter Crags is gouged out of the hillside above the reservoir. Two ridges run north and south around it to the shore. The more extensive north-east ridge, Long Grain, curves around between Measand Beck and Whelter Bottom. Its top begins as a wide plateau before giving way to crags above Haweswater. The south-east ridge gradually narrows, becoming rockier before taking a final plunge over Castle Crag. This is the site of an ancient hill-fort and some earthworks are just about discernible. South of this ridge, separating it from Kidsty Pike, is Randale.

Summit and view

The summit of High Raise is stony, particularly in comparison to its neighbours, and a large cairn has been raised up a few yards east of the Roman road. The views westward provide a fine Lakeland panorama.[1]

Ascents

Ascents can be made from Martindale to the north or from Mardale via the south east and north east ridges. High Raise can also be climbed as part of a longer walk from Patterdale, Hartsop or Bampton, but other fells need to be ascended first. There are few good paths on the fell, other than the High Street. This is due in part to the loss of Mardale Green village when the lake was raised in the 1940s.

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Helvellyn Striding Edge and Wildcamping On Summit

Posted in Helvellyn Lake District on March 30th, 2011 by David Murphy

On the 16th Oct 2010 I left my car behind at a campsite where I camped the first night, I paid extra to leave my car a second night.

 

  Hole in the wall below

 

From then on you see the scary ridges of Striding Edge which for some reason my camera never left my pocket I think it was the fear of needing both my hands the whole way up, a big regret not getting some photos or video footage of the famous scramble.

 Some summit photos as u can see the usual poor weather.

 Before you ask that’s not my dog it was following me all over the summit it belonged to a gentleman, him and his son was also on the summit at the same time as me, I think it could smell my steak in my backpack :) 

 

Screenshots below of my satmap on way to Helvellyn

Checkout my Vid and thanks for viewing.

Helvellyn
Helvellyn(SimonLedingham)Dec2004.jpg
Helvellyn from the air in December. Red Tarn (centre) is flanked by Striding Edge (left) and Swirral Edge
Elevation 950 m (3,117 ft)
Prominence 712 m (2,336 ft)
Parent peak Scafell Pike
Listing Marilyn, Hewitt, Wainwright, Historic County Top
Translation Yellow upland[citation needed] (Cumbric)
Location
Helvellyn is located in Lake District
Helvellyn
Cumbria,  England
Range Lake District, Eastern Fells
OS grid NY342151
Coordinates 54°31′38″N 3°00′58″W / 54.527232°N 3.016054°W / 54.527232; -3.016054Coordinates: 54°31′38″N 3°00′58″W / 54.527232°N 3.016054°W / 54.527232; -3.016054
Topo map OS Landrangers 90
Listed summits of Helvellyn
Name Grid ref Height Status
Helvellyn Lower Man NY337155 925 m (3,035 ft) Nuttall
Striding Edge NY350149 863 m (2,831 ft) Nuttall

Helvellyn (Archaic: Helvillon, probably from Cumbric: hal (moor) + velyn (yellow)) is a mountain in the English Lake District, the apex of the Eastern Fells. At 950 metres (3,117 ft) above sea level, it is the third highest peak in both the Lake District and England. The traditional border of Cumberland and Westmorland lies along the Helvellyn Ridge.

[edit] Topography

The peak of Helvellyn is the highest on the north-south ridge situated between the Thirlmere valley to the west, and Patterdale to the east. This ridge continues north over Helvellyn Lower Man, White Side, Raise, Stybarrow Dodd, Great Dodd and Clough Head, and south leads to Nethermost Pike and Dollywaggon Pike.

The eastern side of the fell is geographically the most dramatic. Two sharp arêtes lead off the summit, Striding Edge and Swirral Edge, either side of Red Tarn. The knife-edged Striding Edge provides one of the best-known scrambles in Lakeland, while the Swirral Edge ridge leads to the conical summit of Catstycam.

Nestling between the encircling arms of Helvellyn's two edges is Red Tarn. This pool is named for the colour of the surrounding screes rather than its water and contains brown trout and schelly, a fresh-water herring. The depth of Red Tarn is now about 80 feet (25m), although in the mid-19th century it was dammed with boulders to increase capacity.[1] This was carried out to provide additional water to the Greenside lead mine in Glenridding and the water race is still visible as it crosses the slope of Birkhouse Moor.

Helvellyn from Red Tarn

A second tarn once existed in Brown Cove between Swirral Edge and Lower Man, but this now is reduced to a couple of small pools widening the stream. Brown Cove Tarn was another creation of the Greenside mine after a stone-faced dam was built around 1860. The dam is still in place, but water now leaks through the base and the extended tarn-bed is a smooth patch of luxuriant turf. A water leat passing beneath the north face of Catstycam to Red Tarn Beck can still be traced, although it is now in ruins.[1][2] Water from Brown Cove and Red Tarn unites beyond Catstycam to form Glenridding Beck, flowing on through the village to Ullswater.

The western slopes are relatively shallow and partially forested, with many gills leading down to the Thirlmere valley.

A panoramic view of the ascent of Helvellyn with Striding Edge on the left, then a steep scramble to the summit followed by a scrambling descent via Swirrel Edge on the right, leading to Catstycam.
The summit, looking north-west

The summit of Helvellyn takes the form of a broad plateau about 500 metres (1,640 ft) long. The highest point is marked by a cairn and a cross-shaped dry stone shelter; to the north is an Ordnance Survey [[trig point], slightly lower than the summit at 949 m (3,114 ft).

There is a subsidiary top, Helvellyn Lower Man, about a third of a mile to the north-west. Its summit is small compared to the plateau of Helvellyn and offers better views north-westward, as the ground falls steeply away from it on this side.

According to Ordnance Survey maps there is a bridleway along the full length of the Helvellyn range taking in a number of Wainwrights. This can be traversed by mountain bike and the usual route is South to North starting from Mill Bridge. This challenging six-hour circular route is 16 miles off road and 10 on road.

Geologically, the summit area and Striding Edge are formed by the Deepdale formation of the Borrowdale Volcanic Group. This consists of volcaniclastic sandstone with some intercalcated tuff, pebbley sandstone breccia, and lapilli-tuff. Underlying this is the Helvellyn formation of dacitic lapilli-tuff.[3]

[edit] Striding Edge

Striding Edge from Helvellyn

Striding Edge is a classic scrambling route on Helvellyn, linking the summit ridge of Birkhouse Moor to Helvellyn's summit by what becomes a sharp arête.

Striding Edge begins at Hole-in-the-Wall and then stretches for over a mile to the Helvellyn summit plateau. The initial part of the ridge is relatively rounded and has a good path running along the right hand side. This all changes upon reaching High Spying How, which at 863 m (2,831 ft) is the highest point on the ridge. At this point a narrow path continues closely to the top of the ridge which becomes increasingly narrow. Scramblers, however, will move to the top of the ridge and walk at the very top of the arête.

The side path continues until near the end of the ridge where it switches over to the left hand side. Scramblers are forced to descend a short gully down the last tower on the ridge. At this point the ridge joins to the main Helvellyn massif. All that remains is a walk or scramble up loose rocky terrain to reach the summit plateau around two hundred metres from the summit. Typically a cornice will form here in the winter and can represent the most dangerous part of the hike.

Striding Edge is a notorious accident spot among hikers and scramblers. Conditions on the ridge in early 2008 were described as the worst in thirty years by fell top assessor Craig Palmer. In winter conditions the climb from Striding Edge up to the summit plateau can involve an icy traverse of a dangerous cornice. Without an ice axe or crampons this presents a serious obstacle. Two walkers died after falling from the ridge in separate incidents in the following weeks.[4] Another walker died after falling from Striding Edge in May 2008.[5]

A 360 degree view from the middle of striding edge. Helvellyn is the highest summit just to the right of centre. Red Tarn is on the right and Ullswater and the village of Glenridding are visible on the horizon along the far left corner

[edit] Fell top assessors

The Lake District national park authority has two 'Fell top assessors' who ascend Helvellyn daily during the winter months of December to March.[6] Their job is to check the weather conditions at the summit and write a report containing information such as temperature, windchill, windspeed, snowdepth, and any dangers such as unstable snow or avalanche hazard and icy footpaths. This report is put on the Weatherline, which is a Met Office mountain weather forecast and is available on the internet, by telephone and at local shops and tourist information centres.[7] This information is important for people who go out winter hillwalking and climbing as it can help them plan their routes and to get an idea of the mountain conditions.

[edit] Camping on Helvellyn

Because of the picturesque scenery that Helvellyn offers, many people camp on Helvellyn throughout the year. Many campers will set up camp around Red Tarn as this gives the best views of Striding Edge, Red Tarn, and the summit of Helvellyn itself.

The weather should be taken into consideration when deciding to camp on Helvellyn. The weather can change suddenly, mist is also a problem at times. Although wild camping often is tolerated in the upland areas of the Lake District, camping wild is not legal without the permission of the landowner.[8] No trace of the campsite should be left: this includes litter, ground disturbance, and human waste.

[edit] History

Wordsworth on Helvellyn (1842) by Benjamin Robert Haydon

Helvellyn is strongly associated with the poet William Wordsworth, who used to climb the mountain regularly. Benjamin Robert Haydon's painting Wordsworth on Helvellyn epitomises Romanticism in portraiture. In a sonnet that celebrates both Wordsworth and Haydon, John Keats speaks of the former "on Helvellyn's summit, wide awake..."[9] Wordsworth wrote about the mountain several times. In particular he commemorated the death of the artist, Charles Gough, a tourist in the Lake District. Gough set out with his dog to cross Striding Edge to reach the peak of Helvellyn. He perished there and his dog stood at his side for three months before his corpse was found. A plaque commemorating this event can be found close to the peak.

The somewhat flat summit made the first British mountain-top landing of a plane possible, when John F. Leeming and Bert Hinkler successfully landed and took off again, in 1926. An academic, E.R. Dodds (1893–1979), Professor of Greek at the University of Birmingham, recorded the event, signing an old bill (receipt) to that effect, before they took off again. The event is marked by a slate which reads: "The first aeroplane to land on a mountain in Great Britain did so on this spot. On December 22nd 1926 John Leeming and Bert Hinkler in an AVRO 585 Gosport landed here and after a short stay flew back to Woodford".

The western slopes bear witness to historic mining activity. Helvellyn (or Wythburn) mine operated from 1839 until 1880, after which the land was acquired for the Thirlmere reservoir scheme. Four levels can be found along the course of Mines Gill, from where lead was extracted. Despite the sizeable workings the venture was never a commercial success.[2]

[edit] References

  1. ^ a b Blair, Don; Exploring Lakeland Tarns; Lakeland Manor Press (2003); ISBN 0-9543904-1-5
  2. ^ a b Adams, John: Mines of the Lake District Fells, Dalesman (1995); ISBN 0-85206-931-6
  3. ^ Woodhall, DG: Geology of the Keswick District- a brief explanation of the geological map. 1:50,000 Sheet 29: British Geological Survey (2000)
  4. ^ Walkers warned after fells deaths - BBC news
  5. ^ Tributes to 300 ft (91 m) fall walker Sid - Cumberland News
  6. ^ Helvellyn Fell Top Assessors
  7. ^ *Lake District weather forecast with daily weather report from Helvellyn December to March
  8. ^ http://www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/index/visiting/planningyourvisit/accommodation/wildcamping.htm
  9. ^ http://www.bartleby.com/126/27.html

[edit] External links

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Hike up Scafell Pike & Wildcamping Near Lingmell

Posted in Scafell Pike on March 30th, 2011 by David Murphy

Hike up Scafell Pike on the 16th September 09 from Seathwaite it remains to date the most challenging hikes i have done.

 

  

A 360 of Scafell Pike Summit may take a few seconds to load depending on your connection speed, when loaded click on the image to view larger size.

Next my Wildcamp near Lingmell on way back down

 

 

 

Scafell Pike
Scafell Pike.JPG
Scafell Pike viewed from Wastwater
Elevation 978 m (3,209 ft)
Prominence 912 m (2,992 ft)
Ranked 13th in British Isles
Listing Marilyn, Hewitt, Wainwright, County Top, Nuttall, Country high point
Location
Scafell Pike is located in Lake District
Scafell Pike
Lake District National Park, Cumbria, England
Range Lake District, Southern Fells
OS grid NY215072
Coordinates 54°27′15.2″N 3°12′41.5″W / 54.454222°N 3.211528°W / 54.454222; -3.211528Coordinates: 54°27′15.2″N 3°12′41.5″W / 54.454222°N 3.211528°W / 54.454222; -3.211528
Topo map OS Landrangers 89, 90, Explorer OL6

Scafell Pike (pron.: /ˈskɔːˈfɛl/) or /skɑːˈfɛl/[1] is the highest mountain in England at 978 metres (3,209 ft). It is located in Lake District National Park, in Cumbria.

It is sometimes confused with the neighbouring Scafell, to which it is connected by the col of Mickledore. The name Pikes of Sca Fell was originally applied collectively to the peaks now known as Scafell Pike, Ill Crag and Broad Crag, which were considered subsidiary tops of Scafell (which looks higher from many angles). The contraction Scafell Pike originated as an error on an Ordnance Survey map,[citation needed] but is now standard.

The summit was donated to the National Trust in 1919 by Lord Leconfield in memory of the men of the Lake District "who fell for God and King, for freedom, peace and right in the Great War".[2]

Scafell Pike is one of three British peaks climbed as part of the National Three Peaks Challenge, and is the highest ground for over 90 miles.

Listed summits of Scafell Pike
Name Grid ref Height Status
Ill Crag NY223073 935 m (3,068 ft) Hewitt, Nuttall
Broad Crag NY218075 934 m (3,064 ft) Hewitt, Nuttall
Middleboot Knotts NY213080 703 m (2,306 ft) Nuttall

Topography

Scafell Pike is one of a horseshoe of high fells, open to the south, surrounding the head of Eskdale, Cumbria. It stands on the western side of the cirque, with Scafell to the south and Great End to the north. This ridge forms the watershed between Eskdale and Wasdale, which lies to the west.

The narrowest definition of Scafell Pike begins at the ridge of Mickledore in the south, takes in the wide, stony summit area and ends at the next depression, Broad Crag Col, c. 920 m (3,030 ft). A more inclusive view also takes in two further tops: Broad Crag, 934 m (3,064 ft) and Ill Crag, 935 m (3,068 ft), the two being separated by Ill Crag Col. This is the position taken by most guidebooks.[3][4] North of Ill Crag is the more definite depression of Calf Cove at 850 m (2,800 ft), before the ridge climbs again to Great End.

Scafell Pike also has outliers on either side of the ridge. Lingmell, to the north west, is invariably regarded as a separate fell,[3][4] while Pen, 760 m (2,500 ft), a shapely summit above the Esk, is normally taken as a satellite of the Pike. The gloriously un-anatomical Middleboot Knotts is a further top lying on the Wasdale slopes of Broad Crag, which is listed as a Nuttall.

The summit of Scafell Pike, seen from neighbouring Broad Crag

The rough summit plateau is fringed by crags on all sides with, Pikes Crag and Dropping Crag above Wasdale and Rough Crag to the east. Below Rough Crag and Pen is a further tier, named Dow Crag and Central Pillar on Ordnance Survey maps, although also known as Esk Buttress among climbers.[5] Esk Buttress and Pikes Crag are well known rock climbing venues.

Broad Crag Col is the source of Little Narrowcove Beck in the east and of Piers Gill in the west. The latter works its way around Lingmell to Wast Water through a spectacular ravine, one of the most impressive in the District. It is treacherous in winter, as when it freezes over it creates an icy patch, with lethal exposure should you slip. Broad Crag is a small top with its principal face on the west and the smaller Green Crag looking down on Little Narrowcove. From Broad Crag, the ridge turns briefly east across Ill Crag Col and onto the shapely pyramidal summit of Ill Crag. Here, the main crags are on the Eskdale side, Ill Crag having little footing in Wasdale.

Scafell Pike has a claim to the highest standing water in England, although Foxes Tarn on Scafell is of similar height. The water body in question is Broad Crag Tarn, which (confusingly) is on Scafell Pike proper, rather than Broad Crag. It lies at about 820 m (2,700 ft), a quarter of a mile south of the summit.[6]

The summit ridge from Ill Crag to Mickledore is notoriously stony, the surface being composed in many places of fields of boulders. Paths are not marked by the usual erosion of soil, but by coloured marks on the rock following the passage of many thousands of booted feet. The summits of Ill and Broad Crags are bypassed by the ridge path, but it leads unerringly to the highest point. This bears an Ordnance Survey triangulation column beside a massive cairn, not now in the best of repair, but unmistakable from any distance, still six feet high and much greater in diameter. A little distance away is the lower south peak, a place to escape the crowds and marvel at the view over Eskdale.

Geology

Scafell Pike consists of igneous rock dating from the Ordovician geologically part of the Borrowdale Volcanics. The summit plateau of Scafell Pike, and that of other neighbouring peaks, is covered with shattered rock debris which provides the highest altitude example of a summit boulder field in England.[7] The boulder field is thought to have been caused in part by weathering, such as frost action. Additional factors are also considered to be important, however opinion varies as to what these may be. Clifton Ward suggested that weathering with earthquakes as a secondary agent could be responsible, while J E Marr and R A Daly believed that earthquakes were unnecessary and suggested that frost action with other unspecified agents was more likely.[8] To the north of the summit are a number of high altitude gills which flow into Lingmell Beck. These are good examples in Cumbria for this type of gill and are also biologically important due to their species richness.[7]

Ascent routes

The ascent of the Pike is most often attempted from Wasdale Head. This is at the north end of Wast Water to the west of the Pike, and is at about 80 metres above sea level. There is a famous climber's hotel here, the Wasdale Head Inn, made popular in the Victorian period by Owen Glynne Jones and others. On summer weekends, crowds of people can be found attempting this steep but straightforward walk. An alternative ascent from Wasdale approaches up a hanging valley whose head is at Mickledore, which is itself ascended, before following the path from Scafell to the Pike.

A view of the classic corridor route taken from Sty Head Stretcher box

A more taxing, but scenically far superior, approach begins at Seathwaite Farm at the end of Borrowdale, proceeding via Styhead Tarn, then taking the Corridor Route (formerly known as the Guides Route), a delightful walk along the western flank of the Scafell massif with intimate views of the fell, before joining the route from Wasdale near the summit. The return journey can then be made along a high ridge, taking in any or all of the neighbouring summits of Broad Crag, Ill Crag, Great End, Allen Crags and Glaramara. An alternative route from Borrowdale, longer but perhaps less taxing than that via the Corridor Route, runs from Seathwaite via Grains Gill and the high pass of Esk Hause.

File:Scafell Pike and Scafell.JPG
Scafell Pike (left) and Scafell (right), with the ridge of Lingmell in the foreground.

A further ascent may be made from Langdale. From the Old Dungeon Ghyll hotel, the route proceeds up alongside Rossett Gill (which perhaps has a more fearsome reputation than it deserves), past Angle Tarn, and then onto Esk Hause before joining a rocky path to the summit. Energetic walkers can vary the return route by ascending Esk Pike and Bowfell from Esk Hause and then descend Bowfell via The Band. Another variant which avoids simply returning down Rossett Gill is to head north at the Angle Tarn, over Rossett Pike to join The Cumbrian Way, and descend via Stake Pass adding a mile to the walk. The total distance is about 21 kilometres. Esk Hause is also accessible from Styhead Tarn, making another possible route from Seathwaite.

Another ascent can be made from Eskdale, the longest and most arduous way up but it has some very fine scenery. The route follows the River Esk as far as the Great Moss boggy plateau; walkers then have a choice of ascending steeply up to Mickledore, the low ridge between Scafell and Scafell Pike, or following the Esk to its source at Esk Hause. A third possible route up from Great Moss is Little Narrowcove, a steep ascent which emerges onto the ridge a few hundred metres north-east of the summit.

The view from Scafell Pike

A panorama from the summit of Scafell Pike, August 2007
View from the summit of Scafell Pike

As the highest ground in England, Scafell Pike naturally has a very extensive view, ranging from the Mourne Mountains to Snowdonia. On a clear day, the following Marilyns can be seen from the summit.

Data from the first 'external link' below.

North

East

South

West

References

  1. ^ Daniel Jones, Everyman's English Pronouncing Dictionary (13th ed.), p. 421.
  2. ^ Scafell Pike on UKNIWM
  3. ^ a b Richards, Mark: Mid-Western Fells: Collins (2004): ISBN 0-00-711368-4
  4. ^ a b Wainwright, A. (1960). The Southern Fells. London: Francis Lincoln. ISBN 0-7112-2230-4.
  5. ^ British Mountain Maps: Lake District: Harvey (2006): ISBN 1-85137-467-1
  6. ^ Blair, Don: Exploring Lakeland Tarns: Lakeland Manor Press (2003): ISBN 0-9543904-1-5
  7. ^ a b "Scafell Pikes SSSI citation sheet" (PDF). English Nature. http://www.english-nature.org.uk/citation/citation_photo/1001922.pdf. Retrieved 2006-11-10.
  8. ^ Hay, T (1942). "Physiographical Notes from Lakeland". The Geographical Journal (The Geographical Journal, Vol. 100, No. 4) 100 (4): 165–173. doi:10.2307/1788974. JSTOR 1788974.

External links

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