BB0616 Thornthwaite Beacon

Thursday 22nd June 2006

A much more leisurely ramble this week in contrast to last week's sprint around the Fairfield Horseshoe. Don couldn't make it but Tony could, which probably accounts for the turnaround in speed! 

The BBC weather forecast at 8 a.m. had said that the rain would clear through by 9 or 10. Why I bother listening to these reports I really don't know. I'm sure the forecast for the Blue Peter garden is spot on, but any further north than London seems a bit more difficult to get right. In the event it rained until well into the afternoon, with strong winds on the tops - again!

We opted for a 'recce' of the 1st part of the QH2QH route from the Queens Head at Troutbeck to Thornthwaite Beacon, with a decision on the route back to be left until later if the weather improved. It's a pleasant stroll down the farm road and alongside Troutbeck Tongue before a beautifully engineered and gradual climb out of the valley and up towards the Beacon. Plenty of time to get an update on Tony's boots.

For anyone who isn't aware of the story so far, Tony has bought a bargain pair of boots from K Shoes Factory shop - 50% off plus other special Tony discounts with the only problem being that they didn't have his size. Not one to let a bargain of this scale pass him buy he bought a pair half a size too big and put an extra pair of socks on. Not a perfect solution as he discovered. So, what did he do? Answer - went into Shutty's (Kentdale Rambler in Kendal) and said to Mike "I've bought these boots but they're too big - any ideas?". He of course omitted to say "Sorry I didn't come here in the first place!". Anyway Mike sold him an extra pair of insoles (£5.50) and these are now 'on test'. He was also going to buy some proper socks but at £9 they were far too expensive. No wonder Shutty's is up for sale!

Back to the walk. We reached Thornthwaite Beacon. In fact, as Stan pointed out, it's Thornthwaite Crag according to the map, with the beacon being a feature upon it. Anyway it's got a very large cairn, behind which we could hide from the wind and have lunch (50 minutes past Tony's scheduled time - again!). It was still raining but seemed to be clearing a bit so we decided to return to Troutbeck via the Froswick / Ill Bell / Yoke ridge.

I do enjoy this ridge, which I've traversed numerous times over the years, and it's one of the places where I've observed most closely the environmental impact of walkers and runners. Stan and I remember it when there was only a faint track across it and, more recently, when it had become a virtually impassable bog in places as walkers walked further and further to one side to get around it. But now the footpath repair people have been on it and constructed a three foot wide path from just beyond Ill Bell, over Yoke and on down towards the Garburn pass. Personally we think it's overkill. All that was needed was a few strategically placed big boulders dropped into the bogs to act as stepping stones, but we're not the experts.


Ill Bell summit


The view from Yoket

Anyway a coffee stop was taken on top of Ill Bell, along with the requisite team photo, then it was over Yoke in rapidly improving weather before testing again our "Right to Roam" priviliges granted us by the CROW Act as we headed off straight down into Troutbeck. A couple of fences barred the way but were carefully crossed before joining the trail back to the Queens Head.


 The highlight of the day was saved until the very last. As we made our way down the farm track we spotted a badger heading straight for us (see photo). It was only when Tony's camera flash went off that it realised we were there and darted into the hedge. As we approached the spot we thought it had gone but then spotted it hidden in the undergrowth barely three feet from us. It quickly realised we were there and was off before we could get another photo. First time any of us had seen one in daytime, so a good end to a pleasant day.

 Bryan, 22nd June 2006


9.2 miles

Height climbed:
2,190 feet

Map reference:
See Map


Thornthwaite Crag, Froswick, Ill Bell, Yoke



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Slipper Strolls:



  • BB0631  Coppermines
  • BB0630  Relocation, Relocation, Relocation
  • BB0629  Stone Arthur and a Mystery Plume
  • BB0628  Knocking off Wainwrights.  Oh! Plus Skiddaw!
  • BB0627  Blencathra and the Mungrisdale Round
  • BB0626  The Deepdale Round
  • BB0625  Les Garçons de la Botte
  • BB0624  The Crookdale Horseshoe and then some
  • BB0623  Selside Pike revisited
  • BB0622  Round the Dunny!
  • BB0621  The Malham Experience
  • BB0620  Newlands Horseshoe
  • BB0619  Old Man Succumbs!
  • BB0618  Kentmere Horseshoe
  • BB0617 QH2QH High Street (the length thereof)
  • BB0616 Thornthwaite Beacon
  • BB0615  Fairfield Horseshoe
  • BB0614  High Street Racecourse
  • BB0613 The Coledale Round
  • BB0612  Well, Well, Well, Wansfell and Troutbeck Tongue      
  • BB0611  Carlin Gill
  • BB0610  Whitbarrow, Yewbarrow and a history lesson
  • BB0609  Clough Head and Great Dodd
  • BB0608  The Corpse Road and beyond
  • BB0607  Grim Fell!
  • BB0606  A Bit on the Side.....
  • BB0605  Angle Tarn with Surprises! 
  • BB0604  Hart Cragg via Dovedale
  • BB0603  Islands in the Sky with Brocken Spectres
    (or High Street via Gardiner's Grind)
  • BB0602  Holme Fell, Black Fell and Electric  Eyes
  • BB0601  Ingleborough
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