BB1314 : The Other Half

Wednesday 9th April 2013

Our last outing, BB1313, was around the fells on the eastern side of the Kentmere Valley. Today the objective was to visit the other half.  This seemed particularly appropriate for me as my Other Half is away visiting grandson Alexis & Co in Crete.

At first, it seemed that we might need to change plan, The aim was to meet by the Church but when we arrived we found the parking spaces taken by builders' vans and bags of cement. The church was being renovated.

Worse still, the field that is sometimes used as a car park, was shut.  However, a notice on the gate did suggest a house up at Green Quarter that has a camping barn and the possibility for parking.  In fact it proved a good venue (apart from one drawback, mentioned later) albeit at the princely sum of £3.

Green Quarter Dog


Kentmere Church renovations

Green Quarter cock

Looking up the valley

This led to a minor readjustment of route and we set off up the valley on the eastern side of the embryonic River Kent, climbing over The Tongue and then, whilst looking down on the Kentmere Reservoir and a group of deer, up the Nan Bield Pass.

The Other Half, with Kentmere reservoir

Mike approaching the Nan Bield Pass

Kentmere deer

The day was surprisingly sunny although lightly veiled.  There was a bit of a breeze but nothing like on recent outings.

Thanks to the car parking hiatus, we were much behind schedule so lunch was taken near the Nan Bield shelter, enjoying a view over Small Water and Haweswater.

Small Water and Haweswater

Tony with last week's Harter Fell behind

Kentmere west side from Mardale Ill Bell

Thereafter, we climbed up to Mardale Ill Bell, encountering various patches of sometimes deep and now slightly thawing snow.  Thornthwaite Beacon was next before turning south to tackle the Other Half, the western side of the range.

Comitibus :  Thornthwaite Beacon

Froswick with Ill Bell just visible

Time was ticking away so there was a debate whether to climb Froswick or take the runners' traverse.  I am proud to say that I was the only one to top the hill.  The others wimped out of the climb.

That is a total lie.  It was me wot wimped out.  At the start of the traverse, there was a very steep stretch that had to be crossed.  Further on, it looked like scree or at best loose rock.  However, immediately in front was a steep wide patch of virgin snow on which, if a mishap happened, could lead to a slide into a very nasty gully.  Bryan set off, making deep steps for the others to use. As soon as I saw Bryan seem to stumble a bit whilst blazing the trail, my mind was made up.  The late Iron Lady might not have been for turning but I was.

In fact my route (the way dozens of others had been, judging by the footsteps) proved not only to be much easier but also the faster.  After summiting then dropping down to the shoulder, I had to wait for those braver than me to catch up.  They accused me of running which was quite unfair. Wimp, yes.  Cheat, no!

Onwards then to Ill Bell where Tony wanted his photo taken as he can see that peak from his house.

Tony looks for his house

The source of the River Kent

In comparison, Yoke is a gentle saunter following which we took the runners' line down Hall Gill to the Garburn Pass.

We were now way behind schedule which had the benefit that the drawback of parking at Green Quarter turned into a boon for three of us.

Whilst Bryan led Mike and John down into the valley and up the steep climb back to the cars, Tony, Martin and I had a gentle saunter back to the Kentmere bridge where our chauffeurs collected us.

Kentmere reservoir and the Nan Bield Pass

Martin tries to spot the car

Sadly, by this time, most had commitments that precluded the logical stop at the Brewery in Staveley for a swift half.  Fortunately, John was able to manage his time constraints so after offloading Bryan and even Tony, we repaired to the Punchbowl at Barrows Green for the aforesaid drink.  

And then the other half, of course!  

And another!

Then home for a long distance chat with my Other Half.

Don, 10th April 2013

PS  Here is a welcome home present for Margaret.  Something I have not given her for a long time.  It's washing, Kentmere style.


PPS Martin has subsequently confessed that on their way home for important meetings, Mike "accidentally" turned into the Underbarrow Punchbowl where it was Happy Hour which he claims lasted only five minutes.

The Colour Supplement




Wednesday 9th April 2013

Distance in miles:

11.4 (Garmin gps)

Height climbed in feet:

3,196 (Memory Map / OS)


Mardale Ill Bell, Thorthaite Becon, Froswick
Ill Bell, Yoke

Other Features:



Bryan, Don, John Hn, Martin C, Mike, Tony


 BOOTboys routes are put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading bb1314

To discover which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing see
Which Wainwright When?

For the latest totals of the mileages and heights see: BB Log.


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