There's no stopping us now!
That was the thought in my mind as we set off. However it was not a gloat about our success
last week but the fact that the ABS braking light wouldn't go out on my
instrument panel! Fortunately however
the light did go out at Tony's and did not reappear until we got back to Kendal
The big fear this week has been thunderstorms but the MWIS
forecast was very bullish so we (Bryan, Stan, Tony and I) decided to tackle the
Kentmere Horseshoe clockwise from the Church.
The weather was almost autumnal with one of those atmospheric thin mists
lurking around but none-the-less warm and humid.
We set off gamely enough up the Garburn pass when Bryan said,
"Let's take the fell runner's short cut".
Well, you all know by now what that means. The direct route. Straight up.
Still we legionnaires were in good form until we spotted someone on a
parallel path taking a similar approach but at much faster speed. We wondered whether to put on a spurt but
noticed that he was dressed as a fell runner so did not come into the category
of "Other walkers shall not pass".
Nevertheless and despite the slope getting rather steep, after the guy
got ahead of us I asked Stan for permission to reel him in. "Permission denied," said Stan. "Look, you old fool, he's young, fit, has
local knowledge and long legs- there's no way you can catch him". Saddened but respectful of these wise words I
let him go only to discover shortly afterwards that once he was out of sight he
had to stop for a rest- it was all show.
Outmanoeuvred! Or perhaps not
because we never saw him again! Or
hardly anybody else for that matter which was a big surprise for such a popular
area at this time of year.
The short cut brought us up between Buck Crag and Sale Tarn Knotts
and it was a fairly easy stroll from there up Yoke and down the other side to
Ill Bell and ditto to Froswick. However
the route is terribly bespoiled by the earth works that have taken place to
create what really is a hiker's motorway. [ See
Motorway] We just hope
that it grows over sufficiently before too long to soften what currently is an
Ill Bell & Froswick
We didn't take in Thornthwaite Crag as Tony is pig sick of it by
now but took the traverse above Gavel Crag and Bleathwaite Crag before stopping
for lunch at Mardale Ill Bell. By now
the air had cleared and it was a lovely day with a breeze just on the strong
side of pleasant. Haweswater was, not
surprisingly, looking rather lower than last time we had seen it but not in
danger of exposing the ghosts of Mardale.
Tony was in splendid wild life spotting form. On the way up he found but couldn't catch a
frog, a cockchafer (or at least that's what he said it was- it looked like a
ladybird to me but apparently he has a cockchafer at home and knows about these
things), wild ponies on High Street and later claimed to have seen a hare
(although he first declared it to be a fox) but whatever it was, it was not for
having its photo taken.
From Mardale Ill Bell to Harter Fell looks an easy amble but Stan
warned that it wasn't and he was right.
Dropping down to the Nan Bield Pass was OK but the climb up to Harter Fell was
not what you want after a decent lunch.
Fortunately it was a relatively easy passage from there to Kentmere
Pike. Here we sheltered from the wind
and Tony started peeling an apple when Stan spotted the clouds closing in and
rain about to chase us from the other side of the valley where we had been
earlier. So we hastily departed and set
off down the hill for home. On another
day we might have taken in Shipman knots, especially as it's a Wainwright but I
don't know if anyone knew that at the time.
Anyway my knees were starting to hurt so I was glad not to have any
picture in the Nan Bield armchair
The path down kept disappearing and turning into beck which, being
wet, was a little tricky at times.
However we all safely descended (without being rained on). Indeed the weather improved again and
provided glorious views around this magnificent valley. After
passing a lovely little veteran Morris Truck, we finally reached the car with great thirsts needing
quenching but, this week, only by
Funnily enough, I found today harder than last week, mainly I
think because of the steep descents. In total it took us six hours,
including stops. Stan and Bryan bemoaned
the fact that they used to do it in little over two hours. Tony and I find it inconceivable that anyone
could move their body around that route so fast and as for the record of 1 hour
8 minutes or whatever it was, that just beggars belief!
And as for Wainwrights, it was a bit of a failure. Only six,
with several more having been only a short detour away! Another day perhaps but we really have had a
lot of exposure to this area lately and it's time to explore
Yoke, Froswick, Ill Bell, Mardale Ill Bell, Harter Fell and Kentmere Pike
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- BB0631 Coppermines
- BB0630 Relocation,
- BB0629 Stone Arthur and a Mystery Plume
- BB0628 Knocking off Wainwrights. Oh! Plus Skiddaw!
- BB0627 Blencathra
and the Mungrisdale Round
- BB0626 The
- BB0625 Les
Garçons de la Botte
- BB0624 The
Crookdale Horseshoe and then some
Selside Pike revisited
Round the Dunny!
The Malham Experience
Old Man Succumbs!
QH2QH High Street (the length thereof)
High Street Racecourse
Well, Well, Well, Wansfell and Troutbeck Tongue
Yewbarrow and a history lesson
Clough Head and Great Dodd
The Corpse Road and beyond
A Bit on the Side.....
Angle Tarn with Surprises!
Cragg via Dovedale
in the Sky with Brocken Spectres
Street via Gardiner's Grind)
Holme Fell, Black Fell and Electric