: The Big Teth
13th November 2013
skiers will recognise Les Trois Vallées
as being one of the classic French ski areas incorporating
the Courcheval, Meribel and Val Thorens resorts. On
a good day you can complete a full circuit of all three
is another three valleys circuit, a Westmerian one and
hence rather more local to us. This incorporates
Kentmere, Mardale and Longsleddale. These are
linked by the three passes: Nan Bield, Gatescarth and,
search as I might, a seemingly unnamed one. It
therefore falls to the BOOTboys
to provide it with suitable nomenclature.
I hereby declare this third pass to be known in future
as The Tetherer Pass. For the benefit of offcomers,
"tetherer" is old Westmerian for "three".
also declare the full round to be known as: The Big
skiing the Three Valleys, you would probably hope for
deep, crisp, pisted snow and glorious sunshine. On
the other hand, the The Big Teth is best kept for a
day when the weather on the tops is too fierce but you
still want to have an adventure and achieve a reasonable
total of distance travelled and height climbed.
day was right for The Big Teth.
speaking we should have started from Hallow Bank but
instead we parked in the farmyard at Green Quarter with
its charity honesty box. Yes, of course we paid!
back down Kentmere
we strode up the Kentmere Valley. We didn't expect
it to be a great day but it was greyer than we had hoped.
We knew that winds gusting up to 70 mph were a
possibility on the tops but expected this route to be
Ill Bell & Froswick across Kentmere
the higher we climbed the stronger the wind. Sometimes
it helped us up the climb. Sometimes it challenged
the balance somewhat. It was a relief to arrive
at the Nan Bield Shelter and even more so to discover
no one there. But not for long. We were
soon joined by four people who were working their way
from I forget where to Brotherswater, quite a challenge.
In admiration of their adventure we invited them
to join in the Comitibus photo.
Bield shelter on horizon
we were leaving, they were joined by a mass of other
folk who seemed to be part of the same group. Their
objective put our gale-averse objective somewhat to
drop down to Small Water, with its three one man and
his favourite sheep bolt-holes, then on to Haweswater
should have been in the lee but it didn't feel like
it and, what's more, the air got very damp and spitty.
Water and Haweswater
could see a white flag with some red on it and first
thought it was left by some Japanese tourist but soon
realised that there were quite a lot of them (flags,
not Japanese tourists- they seldom get beyond Beatrix
Potterville), presumably for a fell race.
the time we reached the bottom, there was a sailor's
trouser patch of blue and it was sufficiently dry and
gustless to have lunch. I don't like eating until
the climbing is out of the way and we had two more passes
to climb but needs must. Had Tony been with us, I think
we would have had to eat in the gale half way down.
I should explain, is in the valley of Mardale and lies
above (litterally) the village of Mardale Green which
was drowned after Manchester Corporation Water Works
secured a compulary purchase order in 1919
colours, lower Gatescarth
was Gatescarth Pass. We didn't expect this to be as
challenging as on one day a month it is open to motor
vehicles. It was challenging. Partly because
the surface was somewhat loose but principally because
the wind was now gusting with such force that at times
forward progress was temporarily impossible.
down Gatescarth Pass to Haweswater
face distored by gale
has an engine!
small digger provided a good opportunity to catch breath
and wonder what make it was. There was no driver today
over the top and dropping down Longsleddale, it seemed
a lot calmer.
Gill becomes River Sprint. Click for
though, rain started to set in. Fortunately, it
was not too heavy as we still had the third pass to
climb, Tetherer Pass.
the Tetherer Pass!
reaching its saddle we struck off left on the trail
that leads down to Green Quarter and the car. I
suppose, if we were purists, we should have followed
Tetherer all the way down to Hallow Bank but the prospect
of an earlier return to the dry of the car won.
in France, where they have enjoined a fourth valley
to the Three Valleys, The Big Teth now has a fourth
pass linked with it further down the Kentmere valley.
This starts and ends at the Hawkshead Brewery
in Staveley and is called the Thoushallnot Pass.
13th November 2013
(he of BB1317
on the C2C
fame) was sufficiently excited by the Biggles
reference last week to query whether I had
read his best book:
I have to confess that I haven't, nor have
I seen the musical.
did, however, name our two dogs after Biggles
and his friend Lacy (Flight Lieutenant the Hon. Algernina
also had a lovely cat called Gingersnap. No relation
to Flying Officer Ginger Hebblethwaite.
Don & Lacy
13th November 2013
climbed in feet:
(Memory Map / OS)
Bield, Gatescarth, Tetherer Passes
routes are put online in gpx format which
should work with most mapping software. You can follow
our route in detail by downloading bb1340 .
discover which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing
- although it may not be that up to date - see: Which
For the latest totals of the mileages and heights (ditto) see: BB Log.
have been gleaned from many sources although mostly
Likewise written comment.
otherwise, please feel free to download the material
if you wish.
A reference back to this website
would be appreciated.
.If I have
failed to acknowledge properly the source or infringed
copyright, then I apologise.
. Please let me
know and I will do my best to put things right.
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