15th December 2016
I awoke this morning to see the most beautiful full moon
about to set. It looked
like a promise to be a lovely
was similarly encouraged as he looked out to see the
skies anticipating the sun.
Bryan and I drove north, past Windermere, Rydal Water and Grasmere,
the sky continued to hint at glory. However, on
climbing Dunmail Raise (for the first
time since the flood repairs), we realised it was a false dawn. Parking at Wythburn
(by Thirlmere and FREE for the winter) where we met Robin and
Mike, we knew the mountain forecast of shrouded hills with no sun would prove true. But what about winds gusting up to 60 mph?
Bryan was on a mission. He had devised an expedition to
visit 8 tarns. Actually he is devising
an expedition for his serious walking group to cover 14 or more tarns and this
was to be part of his recce. The
prospect of it being very boggy and shrouded in cloud didn’t bother him in the
slightest. It meant it could only be better when the
event takes place. He even chose to
travel clockwise despite this having the potential to take us head first into gale
But did we let that bother
us? Of course not.
away from Thirlmere
The first objective was Harrop Tarn.
This required a steep climb on a good path
I say good path but
actually the rocks were very slippery.
The arborical cover gave us unfounded hope of a better than expected
of garments were shed.
The next tarn is unnamed on the OS map.
Actually there are two, one above the other
and, according to John and Anne Nuttall, they are known as Bell Crags Tarns. Bryan was taking his inspiration from their
book: The Tarns of Lakeland Vol.
The temperature had now dropped considerably
clothes went back on but walking
wasn’t unpleasant. It was just a shame
that whilst visibility wasn’t down to the danger zone, it was poor.
Bell Crag Tarn
Objective number 3 was Blea Tarn. Far less well known than its Langdale
namesake, this one is quite large but little visited.
We had tantalisingly brief views of distant hills and possibly even a
glimpse of what we presumed was Bassenthwaite but then the clag rolled in
Now we climbed up towards Standing Crag, passing more small
tarns en-route which have been given the names- yes- Standing Crag Tarns. Number
on, we could look back at these small tarns, the larger
Blea Tarn and, in the distance, could that possibly
be Bassenthwaite Lake?
Crag Tarns, Blea tarn and ??????????
South we trudged, climbing all the time,
the route being marked by old fence posts, one of which
holding some poor person's car keys.
Eventually we reached the
Ullscarf summit. Fortunately the gales
did not prove anywhere near as bad as predicted but still visibility was
limited. We carried on, searching for and following the posts.
Various small tarns were encountered but if they weren’t in the book,
they didn’t count. Unless of course
Bryan decided that they did. Eventually
two did count (as one). Number 5. Greenup
At the southern end of Greenup Edge we almost
lost Bryan in the swirling mist but fortunately his prize
florescent buff marked him out.
we met the Coast to Coast
path we didn’t take it. Instead we
skirted round just below Birks until we reached Brownrigg Moss tarn, a quite attractive
medium sized one.
Number 7 was near the top of the dreaded Steel Fell, not
that it strikes fear from this side.
This was in a very boggy area although well above the area marked
enticingly on the OS map as “The Bog”.
Fell (Rough Crag) Tarn
We were glad to descend to our eight
and final objective. Wythburnhead Tarns aren’t, to my mind, tarns at all but
somewhat broader parts of the stream.
The most impressive thing here (bearing in mind distant views were
scarce) was a huge drumlin.
to Wythburnhead Tarns
Objectives achieved, we could now descend above the
burn. Care was needed- the rocks were
slippery. Eventually we came to a bridge
where a decision had to be made. Cross
or not? Both sides descend to Stockhow
Bridge and the cars. However if you
should ever pass this way, I suggest you take the eastern bank in the hope that
the path is better established and less boggy.
It was now well after sunset (if there had been one) and a
planet, possibly Venus, was shining brightly in the south-western sky when we
entered the Traveller’s Rest. It had vanished by the time we left although a
lone planet was to be seen. Venus?.
The moon was starting to rise. At first it was clear but I was driving,
so couldn't take a photograph. Then
it hid behind hills. When at last we approached
Kendal and I could get the camera out, it could be seen but was somewhat obscured.
However by the time I reached home, it could
be seen in its full glory- a Moonrise as good as the morning’s Moonset.
Don, Wednesday 15th December 2016
15th December 2016
climbed in feet:
Harrop, Blea and 6 other tarns
shown: OS 1:25k
routes are put online in gpx format which
should work with most mapping software. You can follow
our route in detail by downloading bb1643 .
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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