The Calf Howgill Fells

Posted in The Calf Howgill Fells on October 15th, 2011 by David Murphy

On the 15th October I set off to Howgill Fells to hike up to the summit of The Calf and Wild Camp the night myself. Good weather is forcast I am looking forward to a possible view of a sunset and a starry night.

calf

My 4 mile Route to The Calf 

 I planned to do this trip a few weeks ago but just got around to it, in fact this is a hill I wanted to do way back when I done Fell Head lets face it you’re not a keen Howgills hiker unless you have done the daddy The Calf right!
I set off in plenty time this time in fact I got there a bit to early 12 o’clock I started the satmap at 12.16pm the hike over to The Calf was easy till I started the ascent and quickly released my fitness wasnt as good as when I done Grasmoor, Grasmoor was steeper and harder on foot this was all grass-covered like all the Howgill hills not like the rugged lakeland hills.
It took me 3 hours and 30 mins to reach the top this is pathetic lol total moving time of 1 hour 52 as seen on the satmap screenshots means I had nearly 1 and a half hours resting haha but hey I told you I had loads of time.
It was now nearly 5pm still loads of time to pitch and prepare for the sunset, I seen plenty of hikers this time around usually don’t see many in the Howgills.
There is a 360 view on the summit but only a small band of horizon as the hill-top is wide in places not my favorite type of hill I prefer the small top hills imagine a pyramid type summit that way your 360 angle of view is great.
This view was hampered mostly by low cloud and haze yet no cloud at all above me which ment a starry night not my best but ok I stood around looking at the stars for a good few hours and a few brews of yorkshire tea later I decided to retire to my sleeping bag and read the paper I continued to sit with the door open a future few hours admiring the moon a few bright stars I could see from my bed and enjoying a bit of banter on my live blog.
I awoke around 3am winds had increased which probs what awakened me, I immediately opened the vent in the top of my door to check on the sky and was disappointed in the blanket of fog that surrounded my tent I had hoped the clear skies would have carried on till morning which would have guaranteed me the sunrise I so wished to see, I had my alarm set for 7am just incase but it wasnt to be I turned over and went back to sleep till around 8.30 I crawled from my sleeping bag packed a few things away fired up the msr dragonfly stove and rashers of Danish bacon was on the menu washed down with a brew.
It was time just to sit around for a bit to see if the rain would halt and it did eventually I packed up and headed off 10.27am on the 4 miles back to the car as you can see from the satmap screens it only took me 2hrs 5 mins total time and 1 hour 30 mins moving time.

Thanks for reading, your comments are very welcome.

On Route to Summit

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The Calf Trig Point 

Akto on The Calf Summit


My Sunset Just before it disappeared into the cloud

Tarn on The Calf Summit

Another shot of the Tarn

I like this one of the Tarn

 Really Cold Out here

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Looking Fed up for some reason lol

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Now Happy haha
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Danish Bacon Breakfast
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Route Up left and Route Back on right here you can see the time differences.

 

 

 

The Calf
The Calf summit.jpg
The trig point at the summit, looking towards the distant Pennines.
Elevation 676 m (2,218 ft)
Prominence 383 m (1,257 ft)
Parent peak Cross Fell
Listing Marilyn, Hewitt, Nuttall
Location
The Calf is located in Yorkshire Dales
The Calf
Yorkshire Dales, Cumbria, England
OS grid SD667970
Coordinates 54°22′03″N 2°30′51″W / 54.36742°N 2.51403°W / 54.36742; -2.51403Coordinates: 54°22′03″N 2°30′51″W / 54.36742°N 2.51403°W / 54.36742; -2.51403
Topo map OS Landranger 98

The Calf, at 676 m, is the highest top in the Howgill Fells, an area of high ground in the north-west of the Yorkshire Dales in the county of Cumbria. It can be ascended from the town of Sedbergh to the south, by way of Cautley Spout from the east, or up the long valley of Langdale from the north. The Sedbergh ascent is the most popular, and has the distinction of being on good paths all the way.

The summit commands an extensive panorama, although foreground detail is obscured by the extreme flatness of the plateau. A twenty-mile skyline of the Lakeland peaks can be seen, as well as the Yorkshire Three Peaks and many of the nearer Howgill Fells.

Calders at 674 m is about 1 km SSE of the summit of The Calf. It is classified as a Hewitt.



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Wild Camping On Grasmoor Lake District

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

David Murphy
Daves Wildcamping

My Route up Grasmoor

Grasmoor Summit Shelter

Hilleberg Akto Summit of Grasmoor

My Akto On Grasmoor

View of Crummock & Buttermere

View from Lad How on way Up to Grasmoor

View from to Grasmoor Summit

Waterfall on way back down

My Actual Route

 

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

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

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

Name

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

Topography

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

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

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

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

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

Geology

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

Summit and view

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

Ascents

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

References

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

External links

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Dale Head Lake District

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

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

Pre Dale Head Comments

My Route

 

Me On Dales Head Summit

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Buttermere

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

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

Topography

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

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

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

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

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

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

Geology and Mining

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

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

Summit and view

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

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

Ascents

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

References

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

Posted in Wild Boar Fell on June 28th, 2011 by David Murphy

On the 4th June 2011 me and Paul left to do a Wildcamp on Wild Boar Fell in the Yorkshire Dales, I left my car at Pauls at 3pm to jump into his and we arrived approximately 5.30pm. We both agreed the weather wasnt about to change in the time we were here low cloud and fog covered the summit we hoped on a break in the fog which didnt come apart from brief glimpses of the ground below us.

 

After pitching our tents near the end of Wild Boar fell named The Nab we talked till about 12.30am in a wind chill of around -2 degrees whilst gulping down our booze which Paul always Insists on me bringing, this time it was white rum and coke. Morning came we were up early as Paul needed to be back home I lay awake all night as usual whilst he slept like a baby and boy did he rub it in. No sign of any sunrise as per usual we packed up our damp tents and off we went, a good time was had, plenty of laughs even though the weather was crap.

 

Me and Paul on Wild Bore Fell camped near the nab.

My Akto and Pauls Terra Nova Voyager Superlite

Tuna Steak and Sweetcorn yum.

Just reached the Summit of Wild Boar Fell

Wild Boar Fell Summit

Me and Paul at trig point

Wild Boar Fell Summit

Another Wild Boar Trig Point Shot

Wild Boar Fell Summit Trig Point

Knocking Back The Booze

Drink on Wild Boar Fell Summit

 

Above the Start Point on the left and right our Wildcamp Location

Wild Boar Fell
Wildboar pic.jpg
The summit trig point
Elevation 708 m (2,323 ft)
Prominence 344 m (1,129 ft)
Parent peak Cross Fell
Listing Marilyn, Hewitt, Nuttall
Location
Location North Yorkshire/Cumbria, England
Range Pennines
OS grid SD757988
Topo map OS Landranger 98

Wild Boar Fell is a mountain (or more accurately a fell) in Mallerstang on the eastern edge of Cumbria, England. At 708 metres (2,323 ft), it is either the 4th highest fell in the Yorkshire Dales or the 5th, whether counting nearby High Seat (709 m) or not. (In fact neither of these are, at present, in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, although there are plans to extend its boundaries in the near future to include Mallerstang). The nearest high point is Swarth Fell which is a mile-long (1.5 km) ridge to the south, at grid reference SD754965. To the east, on the opposite side of the narrow dale, are High Seat and Hugh Seat.

History

The fell gets its name from the wild boar which inhabited the area over 500 years ago.[1] But it is unusual, for this area of Viking settlement, that its old Norse name seems to have disappeared, whereas the names of many of its features, such as The Nab, Dolphinsty, etc., retain their Norse origin.

In earlier times, probably up to the mid nineteenth century, the Millstone Grit, or gritstone, which forms the flat top of the fell, was used for making millstones. Some partly formed millstones can be seen on the eastern flank of the fell - and also on the corresponding western flank of Mallerstang Edge on the opposite side of the dale. Sand (composed of Millstone Grit) from the beach of Sand Tarn was used by local people to sharpen knives and scythes; they made "strickles" by sticking the sand to wooden blocks with tar.

A tusk, claimed to be of "the last wild boar caught on the fell", is kept in Kirkby Stephen parish church.

During World War II Wild Boar Fell was sometimes used for training tank crews from the army base at Warcop in the handling of tanks in difficult terrain.

Geography

Wild Boar Fell is a dramatic sight and a landmark for many miles around. Approached from the north it gives the misleading impression that it is a peak (see photo, above left). But from the south of the dale at Aisgill its true profile is seen, not dissimilar to Ingleborough, with steep sides and a flat top (consisting of a cap of millstone grit).

The classic route for walking up Wild Boar is via the bridle way from Hazelgill Farm, ascending west to High Dophinsty before following Scriddles ridge top to Blackbed Scar. Once there you are on Wild Boar Fell's table top plateau, a rather boggy expanse. The summit is marked by a trig point and Sand Tarn is about 300 m (1,000 ft) to the west, just below the summit.

The views from the top make a spectacular panorama. The Howgills, Pennines, the Lake district fells, the Yorkshire Three Peaks can all be seen and, on a clear day, there is even a glimpse of the sea at Morecambe Bay.

A common feature of many Pennine dales and Lake District fells are the groups of cairns on the high ground. There is a fine cluster of "stone men" on The Nab of Wild Boar Fell - and a smaller group on subsidiary peak, Little Fell (559 m, 1834 ft) at grid reference NY766008, 2 km to the north. There seems little agreement on when, why, or by which people such cairns were built. (One common suggestion, that they were built by shepherds as markers for paths, may explain some of the cruder "piles of stones"; but groups like those on The Nab surely need a more convincing explanation).

Wild Boar Fell, seen from Mallerstang in June, with wild flowers in the hay meadows  
The table top profile of Wild Boar Fell, from Aisgill  
The Nab, Wild Boar Fell  
Cairns on The Nab, Wild Boar Fell  
A panoramic shot along the eastern escarpment; Ann Bowker

References

  1. ^ A. Wainwright, Wainwright in the Limestone Dales, Guild Publishing, 1991 (page 12-16)

External links

Media related to Wild Boar Fell at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 54°23′03″N 2°22′27″W / 54.38411°N 2.37412°W / 54.38411; -2.37412

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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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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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Wildcamping Fell Head in Howgill Fell

Posted in Fell Head Howgill Fell on March 30th, 2011 by David Murphy

On the 11th September 2010 I decided to do a hike up to Fell Head Summit in Howgill Fell which is located somewhere between the lake district and yorkshire Dales, was a nice sunny day with a little low cloud at the summit I was as happy as larry, this was my first try out of my new Osprey Argon backpack and it didn’t disappoint.

 

Checkout my video below.

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