The Vault Regulars

Monday, February 25, 2019

A circuit from Crosby Garrett., and Nettle Hill.

Blue skies, the sun, what's going on, it's February. Fantastic, we rarely get days that start like this. Must be a shorts day and it was.
We started off walking through Mains Farm onto a bridleway which leads over the Settle to Carlisle railway line. The old Crosby Garrett station being long gone. It had opened in 1876 and closed in 1952. Not much left to see now but the station house is still there and is undergoing a full restoration.
The path or Ladle Lane as it's called is a muddy stoney one but not a problem, and passes through typical limestone country with limestone walls and barns.
When the lane turns sharp 90 degrees left there's a new stile to cross which follows the walls to the left of Wander Bank reservoir. Newclose Lane is crossed and at a small wooded area the wall is crossed and leads down to Potts Beck. The scenery so far has been expansive but now we followed the beck upstream. It's a beautiful valley with clean bubbling water. Limestone escarpment on the right and steepish hills on the left. Very pleasurable walking.

Dropping down to Potts Beck.
Apart from sheep this was a quiet valley. Just the Buzzard and Curlew for company. On the ground was the tell tale signs that a couple of mountain bikes had passed this way very recently.
Potts Beck
A stylish stile.
Potts Valley.
There's no habited properties in this valley just a few abandoned ruins and the odd barn/sheep fold.

View looking WNW along Potts Valley.
Just passed the above enclosures the path splits, one way towards Fell Head and the other straight onwards to the fell road. We took the fell road track but just short of the road we headed off up hill, contouring round to the cairn on Great Ewe Fell.
We stopped for a few minutes taking in the wonderful scenery which we were so lucky to be able to witness today.
No compasses needed, we easily stayed on the tops and picked out the next high points. Little Ewe Crag, Weather Hill, the cairn at the south west end of Nettle Hill.
Here we stopped for lunch and enjoyed the sun and the views to the south across to Mallerstang.

Heading off again aiming for the trig point of Nettle Hill Sheila asked "what's that beeping"?. I didn't hear it. Sheila has the ears and I have the eyes. 
Anyway, it soon became clear what the beeping was. My electric fence warning buzzer had picked up the fence ahead.
When we got to fence there was no stile, we looked left and right but no. We could see a gate away off, it was an option but I suggested digging a hole an going under it.
It as just a bit too high to straddle.
Like the Great Escape.
We didn't need to dig, we found a spot which looked possible to slide under. We did it with much joviality.

There are two tops to Nettle Hill, both the same height. The further one has the trig point. It's relatively new as trig points go, only being installed in 1961. Flush bracket number 10676. It is surrounded by an old shelter so we guessed that the stone was easier to acquire here than at the other top.
 Nettle Hill summit

It's a straight forward walk off the top sticking to the NE shoulder down to a couple of old Lime Kilns before the viaduct. 
Walking back through the village it was like we were the only two people here. Wonderful. 

Route, 11.20km.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

A Fergy day

Out for a short walk in Crosby Garrett we came across this beautiful MF FE35 in lovely daily working condition and well looked after by the owner. Built in 1960 in Coventry. Fitted with ROPS frame.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

A circuit on Birker Fell.

We had done a few jobs at our friends in Seathwaite, Duddon Valley and had a great time all round. It was now our last full day available for doing a walk so decided to do the one top on Birker Fell which i hadn't done and a couple of tops which Sheila hadn't done.
Weather wise it wasn't a bad day, chilly and overcast but calm. 
We parked at Windy Gate, an aptly named cattle grid on the Birker Fell road.
There's a wall near the grid which runs roughly north east to south west across the fell, there's no footpath but there are plenty of sheep tracks which make life just a little easier. On the outbound journey we more or less hand railed the wall until we got to Iron Crag, Sheila hadn't done this top. 
The views are extensive all along the route, Birker Fell is a huge tract of land and very undulating, an ideal place for beginners to practice compass work.

Just below the summit of Iron Crag there is a gate in the wall, so no need to climb over. The actual top is not the obvious first choice on the right of the gate but the very slightly higher top to the south. 
From here we did the very short hop onto Ox Crag.
We returned onto Iron Crag and then noticed a large swimming pool shaped cut out in the ground. It was grown over and why we didn’t notice it when we walked over it, but when you looked down on it from higher up it’s obviously man made. I later asked our friend if he knew about it and he seemed to remember something about it being where peat was cut and used many years ago at High Stonythwaite.
 It was only when I got home and downloaded my photographs that I noticed a second one. 

The first trench.
The second trench on the left. 
A large erratic on Iron Crag blocking our view of Harter Fell.

From the dip between Iron Crag and White How there’s a crag on a bit of higher ground. It’s not named on the map but I guess it’s just a rocky outcrop from its parent White How. We did it anyway. We had to stop at this point as the rain was too heavy for our windproofs and change to full waterproofs. In the few minutes it took to change gear we were quite wet. We watched the surrounding hills disappear. The Scafell group, then Bowfell, Harter Fell, Grey Friar. Its amazing just how fast the scene changed. The camera was put away. The rain eased after about 15 minutes to a light drizzle but the wind had picked up and the views worsened.

 View across the Duddon Valley from Great Worm Crag. White Pike and Caw on the left. 
Stickle Pike on the right.
 Looking out cross the Duddon Estuary with a bit of sun breaking through.

I had planned to go up to Green Crag but decided not to bother. We have done it before so we headed east from White How but stayed on the high ground as best we could. The terrain is a mixture of boggy tussock grass. Easy to come a cropper if your not careful. 
View to Green Crag from White How, between the showers.
Zoom view across to Devoke water. taken with iphone 6 hence pixelation.
Leaving Great Worm Crag it was interesting following the cairns which are marked by stars on the map. Not sure if there were prehistoric burials here. Worth checking out. Our last little top was Rough  
Crag and beyond here it’s a boggy route back to the cattle grid and the car. We didn’t expect so much rain, but it’s normal on our outings. An hour or so back in Seathwaite the sun came out and blue sky took over. You just wouldn’t believe it was the same day. 

Wallowbarrow crag, centre right. Iron Crag at the back.

Our route today which was a little over 8km. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Ling and Sale Fell in 30-40mph wind.

Not a nice day to wake up to, again low cloud, drizzle and no easing of the wind which kept us awake during the night. It’s our last full day in North Lakes so decided to do a couple of low tops.
We parked on the lane close to Eskin for our first top Ling Fell. The plan was to follow the Corpse road around the Fell and gradually work our way up to the top.  However, just as we entered the field there was a good path which looked to be heading straight up the Fell. It’s not marked on the OS map but it’s well used and it did lead straight to the trig point. It’s steep but easy enough. 
The wind was wild and approaching the top almost blew us down. It was difficult just to stand up and take a photo.
 Skiing back down from Ling Fell top.
 The OS trig point and benchmark.
Ling Fell top
Our next top was Sale Fell so we moved the car down to Brumston bridge where there is enough room to park 1/2 dozen cars or so. Again not on the os map but there is a path which handrails the wall up to the marked footpath. We took this and enjoyed the route up to a wide grassy path which leads all the way to the summit. It’s a wonderful Fell to explore if only the day was better. It was one of those days where the wind was boss, you couldn’t stop for more than a minute or two. I even had to lie down to take a couple of photos. 
There is no marker representing the actual top so we did all the high spots and checked the gps to make sure we had done it. This Fell is certainly one to come back and do again when the weather is more favorable.
Approaching the top of Sale Fell.
Looking back to Sale Fell from unnamed top marked as 335 metres.
The track from the cairn to Lothwaite is a good wide grassy one, probably remains from the quarry works. A runner made his way slowly towards us but veered off on another track.

We made it to Lothwaite and there was a bench. Great. What a great view. It was just a shame that it was too wild to stay and enjoy it for long.
View from Lothwaite 345 m. Across Bassenthwaite to Ullock Fell and Skiddaw in cloud.
Although this isn’t a tough walk it was a tiring one today being in a constant battle with the wind.
Our route, staring at the red dot and finishing at the chequered flag.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

A wet Catbells.

After yesterday’s lovely day we were full of enthusiasm to get up and out. I opened the curtains to see, well, nothing. The hill fog was right down and visibility was I guess about 100 metres.
Sheila made a brew and we stayed in bed.
We decided that the best option would be to go for a mooch around Keswick, we needed some supplies etc etc. Keswick was pretty quiet and we had a good chat with the staff in Alpkit about Iceland and dehydrated food. Lunchtime crept up on us, it’s always doing that, and always about the same time, strange that.
Then God forbid, the sun came out. It was very pleasant. Sheila said “why don’t we do Catbells seeing that we are here, it’s sunny and I haven’t done it”. “Do we have to” I said. So we drove to the foot of the hill where you can usually park up mid week, whereas you’ve no chance at weekend. How those folk who live there put up with some of the stupid drivers is beyond me. Why don’t the CCC make a bloody car park instead of making it so damned hard for folk. It’s a busy hill, it always has been. Today was no exception.
Then it rained, and it rained again harder. We set off, and got to the top of the first rise, we met half a dozen folk coming down, looking a bit bedraggled. Sheila then said, “do we have to go up that.” I must admit that in this light with the rain and the mist swirling round it did look daunting but I’d been up many times so I knew it as an easy ascent. I told Sheila that I call this Granny Hill because it’s so easy.
The wind was quite strong and gusting, making the rain lash too. At the base of the main summit rise people were being very careful descending as the rock was very smooth, slimy and slippery. There is an easier ascent on the left of the main rocky route. We took this as it put us in the lea of the wind. Some care was still needed in parts.
At the summit cairn it was dreich and the higher summits up to Dale Head and beyond were in the fog. It wasn’t a place to hang around enjoying the scenery, we took the usual summit photos and set off back down.
We only passed four other people on their way up which is incredible for this hill.
So Sheila has another hill to add to the list. Not that we are counting anymore.
Please click on the images to enlarge them.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Low Fell 412m, Fellbarrow 416m

We woke up this morning to sun bathing the ridge on the west side of Lorton Vale. We had originally planned to do this walk yesterday but the weather forecast was predicted to be better today. They were right.
Parking at a small lay-bye in Thackthwaite, we were the first. I got my rucksack out of the boot and put it against the fence while I sorted my camera out and secured the car.
Donning my sack and fastening the hip belt I found out I had inadvertently placed it in a pile of sheep poop which I now had all over my fleece and my hands as well as the sack. Luckily a beck was on hand so I was able to wash it off. I believe some people say this is good luck.
The path leaves the road in front of Thackthwaite Farm and joins a good green Lane onto the Fell side. This path has all the hallmarks of being an old quarry track but I can only see the one small quarry on the map. At the wall of the last intake field you go through a gate and can walk left or right, we went right. This is the most popular and I dare say the easiest way.

A steadily rising path with stunning views opening up behind you. Directly in front is Fellbarrow and we kept in mind the obvious tracks coming off the top, down to a wall and then crossing Meregill beck. This path is not on the OS map but I expect that it is used often by locals to make a good circular trip.
We had a bit of faffing around, de-layering, and we’re overtaken by three folk. The path zigzags it’s way upwards, going through two gates before reaching the watershed where the views south start to open up. All the tops of Buttermere and the Grasmoor group with some light dusting of snow are spectacular.
We stopped on a high point just beyond Watching Gill and enjoyed the view.
Up one more rise, over a stile and we were on the ridge to the top. This has to be one of the best views in the Lake District. The scene down Crummock Water is fantastic. Unfortunately the sun was in our face so not ideal to capture such a wonderful view at its best.
 After being blown away by the beauty we headed back to the top of the watershed where we handrailed the fence line to the top of Sourfoot Fell, Smithy Fell and then the steep pull up to the summit of Fellbarrow with its OS trig point.
From the summit there is a grand view of the west Cumbrian coast, the Solway estuary, the Isle of Man, Dumphries and Galloway and the tops of Skiddaw and Blencathra. Luckily for us there was little wind and although it was chilly we still lingered a while before descending by the track we had spotted on the way up.
A real fine day out. Please click on images to enlarge them. All taken on iPhone 6.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Warnell Fell summit trig point.

Not much to write home about, but a short walk from Caldbeck to Warnell Fell trig point. Freezing cold wind but great views across to Carlisle and the Dumphries hills.

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