: I Remember Ewe
early sunlight glinted off the Lion and
the Lamb high up in the distance away to
the north west of the lay-by on the A591
where we had agreed to meet, just outside
free parking, it was a welcome change and
one which would have pleased him no end,
but unfortunately Don was unable to come
out to play today, more of which later.
gathered, Robin arriving early and John
cruising in with a cheerful toot and a car
load of banter.
Why start so early? I'm not awake yet
Terry, Tony and Martin, our intrepid leader for the
day, piled out and geared up, Martin performing a restrained
"sat nav wiggle" to calibrate the all-important
software that measures our efforts.
set off in good weather, bright but chilly, soon walking
beside the now calm River Rothay where we were greeted
with the unusual sight of a caterpillar-tracked wagon
ploughing along the middle of the river, then up the
steep bank and out to dump its load of silt.
Boys Toys on
flood damage repair in the River Rothay
down river was a sizeable excavator, bucket quietly
poised like a huge heron waiting to feed the truck on
its return. Despite its serious purpose it all looked
like great fun; “… and he gets paid for doing that”
said Tony, itching to play in the river too.
we emerged from the back lanes to the village tourist
shops and art galleries, crossing to Easedale Road and
over Goody Bridge heading towards Easedale on a good
tarmac path that came to an abrupt end with a sign declaring,
rather unnecessarily it was agreed, that the path, now
dilapidated and boulder strewn, was unsuitable for cars.
Why not spend the money on repairing the path rather
than the sign? [Because
idiots like me have tried to drive up that track!! Ed.]
in the distance
Just look at my
followed the steep but sure track winding up to Helm
Crag, where half way up a jenny wren appeared but a
few steps ahead and then darted into the tangled bracken
with Calf Crag in cloud
back to Grasmere
climbed up to the southern end of the ridge and on to
touch the top of Helm Crag where Terry loudly exclaimed
with a smile – “eighty!” – [Sorry,
Terry- not yet, that's the wrong top; Ed.]
then immediately struck
up a conversation with a young couple and their six
year old daughter who were also Wainwright bagging
all three sitting very comfortably on the peak, the
little girl having climbed with greater ease than we
were able, it had to be said – but we must have given
them hope for the future!
short distance from Helm Crag is another perilously
protruding outcrop also known as The Howitzer (there
appear to be two Lion & Lambs on the ridge). We
discussed briefly the notion of climbing it because
it looked marginally higher than Helm Crag but all agreed
discretion was indeed the better part of valour, and
anyway, we could have lunch at Gibson Knott if we pressed
on, so on we went.
[Terry- you can celebrate now. This is the Wainwright
top of Helm Crag although it is the only one he never
actually summited for the same reason. Hope the
little girl was still with you; Ed.]
route to Gibson Knott the little jenny wren made itself
known again with a brief but most melodic outburst –
how can such a little creature make such a big noise?
The views down Easedale and Greenburn Valley were a
treat despite low cloud misting the air but fortunately
never obscuring the magnificent vistas.
was taken on Gibson Knott and not a moment too soon
so far as Tony was concerned.
it something in the sandwiches or possibly the tea that
caused the mirage?
through National Trust binos, there on the
distant horizon, thrusting up to the sky
through the mist appeared what surely could
only be… Blackpool Tower.
the Lion and the Lamb is surely the most
pointed-at fell in Lakeland so Blackpool
Tower must be the most observed landmark
from Lakeland fells. Even passers-by, surely
drawn to our laughter and exclamation, agreed
they too could see the Tower.
let it be known, but only in whispers, Blackpool
Tower is visible from Gibson Knott...
our phones over lunch for critical messages we learned
from Don that Margaret’s dentist had cancelled her appointment,
so they had gone to the pub, then for a walk, then to
the pub – how lucky is that? No trip to the dentist
and twice to the pub tended to dissipate earlier sympathies
expressed and it must be said, even created a degree
Over Blea Ridge
so onwards and upwards towards Calf Crag, the highest
point of the ridge at 1,762 feet in old money. Snow
was still lying thickly above 600 m as we could see
looking across to Sergeant Man and High Raise and with
the track becoming icy we discussed but dismissed the
need for micro-spikes.
now, the temperature was dropping fast, so we pressed
on with relative haste to Calf Crag passing Pike of
Carrs on our left. Underfoot it was very wet amongst
the reeds despite being high up on a rocky outcrop.
touched in at Calf Crag cairn we headed due west into
a bright sun with black clouds above, giving a rather
eerie light. Then sharp left to pick up the trail down
Far Easedale and along either side of Far Easedale Gill
crossing over the stepping stones at Stythwaite Steps
to the south path.
we were greeted by hardy, hefted Herdwicks of numerous
shades of grey [Fifty?
with some generally ignoring us and some scurrying away,
as they always do no matter how quietly one approaches.
spotted one he thought he'd seen earlier, had a Frank
Ifield moment and burst into song.
"I remember Ewe....."
led, inevitably, to recollections of The New Seekers
and the Shepherd's lament- "I
know I'll never find another Ewe."
so, avoiding as many puddles and rivulets as possible
that straddled the valley floor, we strolled back to
Grasmere passing a long gaggle of school children with
their teachers who had enjoyed getting "wetties"
(they said) in their wellies, having paddled up Easedale
to the waterfall.
at the layby we thanked Martin for his inspiring leadership
and cat-herding abilities, learned of the epic distance
and height we had travelled and so made a hasty bee-line
for the Travellers Rest for a well-earned pint.
raised his glass to his lips, looked lovingly at the
contents and once again burst into song.
You're the one who made my dreams come
don't think he was singing about the sheep.
Thursday 18th February 2016
18th February 2016
climbed in feet:
(OS / Memory Map)
Crag, Gibson Knott, Calf Crag
Robin, Terry, Tony
routes are put online in gpx format which
should work with most mapping software. You can follow
our route in detail by downloading bb1607 .
discover which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing
- although it may not be that up to date - or for the totals of the mileages and heights (ditto) see the Excel
file: BB Log.
can navigate to the required report via the Home
have been gleaned from many sources
from me and other BOOTboys. Likewise written comment.
I apologise if I have
failed to acknowledge properly the source or infringed
copyright. Please let me
know and I will do my best to put things right.
otherwise, please feel free to download the material
if you wish.
A reference back to this website
would be appreciated.
see which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing
may or may not be up to date!
For the latest totals
of the mileages, heights and Lakeland Fells Books Wainwrights see: Wainwrights.
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