Walk Date – 19th July 2016
Distance – 8.3 miles
Weather – hot, very hot and then extremely hot
Today is forecast to be a ‘mini heatwave’ day and, bearing in mind that heat + humidity + height = acute discomfort, we had to have a bit of a think about where we should walk today. Somewhere we could get to quickly, because we wanted to have an early start and get the ‘heavy lifting’ done while it was still reasonably cool, and somewhere that wasn’t excessively high and steep but which would still provide some good all round views. We plumped for Angletarn Pikes and Beda Fell via Boredale.
Here we are, parked up and ready to go along the little lane in Boredale. As the sign indicates the road is a dead end, it only leads to the farm at Boredale Head and from there it is simply a footpath up to Boredale Hause.
The lane starts by running alongside Beda Fell and although we have some shade from time to time you can already feel the heat.
A little further along the road veers away from Beda Fell and turns towards the bridge over Boredale beck.
Once across the bridge and past Nettleslack, that’s the house over there, the road continues up the valley below Place Fell.
Now that we are on the other side of the valley we can see the full length of the Beda Fell ridge. We’re making good progress along here, the tarmac gives a good firm footing and helps you to keep a steady walking pace.
A look back along the valley to view Hallin Fell. It looks as though Hallin Fell is joined on to the end of the valley but it isn’t as there are a couple of lanes and a beck between the two.
We’ve passed beyond the farm at Boredale Head, where the tarmac lane ended, and are now on the pleasant grassy path running along the valley bottom. Its best not to look at where it is leading you to and just enjoy this section while it lasts.
The gradient begins to increase slightly, as does the temperature.
Time for a drinks stop and a look back down Boredale where we spotted a group of campers just dismantling their tents. You might be able to pick them out, they are just above the arrow.
We are now approaching the steepest section and from here the grassy path becomes rougher and stonier underfoot. This is very warm work now, the temperature is increasing steadily and there is no wind, so the air is very still and humid. No sooner had you mopped your brow then it needed doing again. Not much further to go though and we do it in sections, something along the lines of – pick a point, get to it, mop the brow, repeat until you are at the top, so it isn’t too long before …..
….. we are at the top of the steep scree filled gully. As you can see its a jumble of rocks and stones so its difficult to get a firm footing, which is why I didn’t take a photo on the way up it, I just couldn’t find a firm enough place to stand. Its taken us just over an hour to walk the two miles or so from the car, so not too shabby a time given the heat and humidity.
Once clear of the gully you are on the flatter area just a little above Boredale Hause. Not only is it flat but, joy of joys, there is a lovely breeze. It may be a warm one, since its coming up from the south, but at least its moving the air around and making things feel better.
There are lots of fells on view up here, over on the right the big one in the shade is Saint Sunday Crag, and to the left of it is the long flat top of Fairfield, next to that is Hart Crag, and the last one, on the left of the skyline, is Dove Crag.
The path you can see going through the bracken over on the right is the most popular route up to Angletarn Pikes. For no particular reason we chose not to use that one today …..
….. and decided on this one instead. In the middle of the skyline is the north top of Angletarn Pikes and the path looks as though it is heading straight towards it. It doesn’t, and instead veers across to the left heading away from it. That sounds a bit of a daft way to go I know, but sometimes you fancy a change, and this path is likely to be much, much quieter than the usual one. When we reached the little banking where the sheep are we treated ourselves to a short break …..
….. from where we had a grandstand view of Place Fell and the path leading up to the summit from Boredale Hause. There’s no-one on it at the moment but no doubt there will be plenty of walkers making their way up from Rooking or Bridgend on the other side.
Big skies and big views.
These three fells were standing out quite well so I took a close up – beyond the green patch in the foreground they are, in ascending order, Arnison Crag, Birks and Saint Sunday Crag with its subsidiary peak of Gavel Pike. The Helvellyn range is just visible over on the right.
The RAF was out in force this morning. I heard the engines, but by the time the camera was out this was the fourth and last of them. I have no idea what type of aeroplane it is and I do wish they wouldn’t keep flying over the Lakes. The noise is thunderous, you have no idea where it is coming from, and when you do spot them they are so low that your heart is in your mouth in case they hit something, me for example!
The RAF goes off to annoy someone else, peace and quiet returns and I can get on with having a look over at the eastern fells above Glenridding. I bet there are some very hot and sweaty walkers over there today. By the way, we’re just across the road in what AW classified as the far eastern fells.
Short break over and we begin to make our way across to the Beda Fell path taking in this view down Boredale as we cross over. That’s what we’ve just walked up.
The north top of Angletarn Pikes is still in view as we drop down to cross the beck.
Below us on the slopes of Place Fell is the path coming up out of Boredale which we’ve just walked along.
Looking back from the path we’re using. As you can see its well used but you hardly ever meet anyone on it, well we haven’t whenever we’ve been on it.
We’ve reached the point where we now have to double back on ourselves and head on over to Angletarn Pikes. Here we’re looking over Bannerdale at The Nab, on the left, and Rest Dodd in the shade on the right.
No need to get alarmed at what looks like a steep climb, its just one of a series of small humps and bumps along the route …..
….. as you can see from this shot. The north top of Angletarn Pikes can just be seen on the right. The craggy lump on the left is Heck Crag, so named because when you see it all you can say is “bloomin’ ‘eck’. No it isn’t really, I just made that up.
Atop yet another hump and time for a look back down into Bannerdale. The line of fells on the skyline carries on all the way to High Street, though its not the sort of place you can go shopping. High Street is a fell named for the Roman road which ran across it.
On we go towards Angletarn Pikes with most of the humps and bumps behind us. The slightly higher north top is on the right with the south top just peeping out to the right of the conical shaped hillock on the left.
The view down into Glenridding as we cross over. The lower fell behind the village is Glenridding Dodd and the one behind that is Sheffield Pike.
This is almost the last little bit of the climb up to the north top so we are very nearly there.
So here’s the view from the north top with the path we chose not to take coming up towards us. The first group of walkers are the campers we saw down in Boredale, and the second group we saw as they were taking a break at Boredale Hause.
Brothers Water and its surrounding fells from the north top.
The view to the south west from the north top.
Looking south over the patchwork fields alongside Brothers Water.
That’s the south top, which we’ll be going across to in a minute or two.
The camping group arrives on the north top while we are on the south one. I expected them to come across as the view is lovely from the south top but they didn’t. I wondered if they knew what they were missing by not coming over.
Yours truly on the south top. You can tell how hot it is, I’ve got my arms out as well as my legs and that doesn’t happen very often, I can tell you.
The south top may be a little bit lower but it has this gorgeous view of my favourite spot, Angle Tarn. I could have stayed here all day just looking at it and the views. Here are a few of them …..
….. looking south …..
….. to the west …..
….. to the north …..
….. and to the east. There was no-one at the tarn, I suppose it was a bit too early yet for walkers to have reached it, but I expect it would pretty busy later on. Here are a few more views before we leave …..
….. on the centre horizon is the Helvellyn range …..
….. a view down into Patterdale with the huge bulk of Saint Sunday Crag above it in the centre …..
….. and the fells around Brothers Water, the high one on the left is Red Screes with Middle Dodd just below it. On the centre skyline are the two tops of Little Hart Crag with High Hartsop Dodd below it, and on the right skyline is Dove Crag with the tree lined slopes of Hartsop above How beneath it.
This is the area of boggy ground between the north and south tops of Angletarn Pikes. Surprisingly it was largely dry today but we used the pathways which skirted round it, just in case. Once we’re down we’ll use the low path over on the left which will lead us on to the connecting ridge between here and Beda Fell.
A look back at the south top as we pick up the path leading over to Beda Fell.
This is where we are off to next, a crossing of the long and undulating ridge of Beda Fell. We had something to eat and drink back on the south top so we’re good to go. It has just turned noon and it is now very hot, but there is still the breeze so that’s helping to cool us down a little.
I happened to notice as I looked back that Striding Edge was standing our very clearly in the sunshine so I took this close up of it. The path coming up from the bottom right is traversing the slopes of Birkhouse Moor and will come out at The Hole in the Wall, which marks the start of the route across Striding Edge. Over on the right is the pointed top of Catstycam.
The view down the long valley of Boredale to the farm at Boredale Head where the tarmac road ends and the footpath begins.
The ups and downs of ridge walking.
A look back at one of the bumps we’ve just descended. Each time we crossed one of these we seemed to lose a little more of the breeze so it became increasingly hotter as we went along.
We’ve reached the point where we doubled back a little earlier and get a good view of the head of Bannerdale.
Across Bannerdale we have a sunlit view of The Nab and Rest Dodd with the High Street fells behind them. We got the binoculars out but, yet again, there were no deer to be seen on The Nab. In this heat they were probably seeking some shade in those trees on the lower slopes, or even looking for some on the other side of the fell.
A look back at the route we followed so far and somewhere along here the breeze went completely and the heat became stifling. These are only small hillocks which you wouldn’t give a second’s thought to normally, but today something was different. We had plenty of water and other drinks, and all the usual ‘pick-me up’ snacks, but despite all the re-fuelling it didn’t seem to be getting through to the legs. They were getting heavier and more leaden by the minute and it required a lot more effort than usual to get across. We had our backs to the sun by now so that didn’t help and I found out later that the temperature this afternoon was around the 30C or 86F mark. No wonder we were wilting.
During one of our frequent drinks stops I took this shot looking across Boredale and the path we had walked earlier. I was thankful we had done it during the early morning and weren’t walking up it now.
On we plod across the ridge with this view to the north west on our left. If that little bit of Ullswater had been a lot closer I think I would have hurled myself into it.
Beda Head, the high point of Beda Fell, comes into view at last with the hope that maybe there will be a breeze coming up from the Ullswater side, a farmer with a bucket of water would have been acceptable. As it turned out neither option was available.
It was so good to sit and just enjoy the view, despite the lack of breeze or bucket of water. We can only see part of Ullswater but we can see the yachts on it. They were moving very well across the water so they had found some breeze from somewhere, we could only wish for some of it up here.
I don’t know why I’m smiling, my top is soaked with sweat, my shorts are sticking to me, and if I’d had a tea bag I could have made a cup of tea, so hot was the water in the bottles I was carrying. Keep calm and carry on sweating!
Hallin Fell in the centre with Ullswater on either side of it. Let’s be positive and bear in mind that it is all downhill now.
These were the only people we got close enough to say ‘Hello’ to all the time we were out. These two were enjoying the view across to Steel Knotts and Bonscale Pike beyond that.
Before we leave I take a look back from the cairn to The Nab, with High Street above it, and Rest Dodd behind it.
We’re looking down the home strait now, which is the white rocky area of Winter Crag. From there it will be straight down to the left where the path will bring us out alongside the building with the red roof way down at the bottom. This was hard going too, constant down hill and having to keep the brakes on all the way down, those white rocks couldn’t come soon enough.
The path disappears into the high bracken and so do we. Should we not come out at the other end here’s what to do, ring 999 and ask for the police and mountain rescue, and then tell them our position, which is somewhere in the bracken between Beda Head and Winter Crag.
Cancel the previous instruction, we’ve made it out of the bracken and on to the top of Winter Crag. By the way, the plod has now become a weary trudge, its unbelievably hot and I’m relieved that we didn’t attempt anything more strenuous than this today.
We can see the car, its just to the left of the building with the rusting red roof, and the path to it runs between the two walls which are separating the fields.
Just about out for the count I think. I had a sit down too, for about five seconds, before the red hot metal seat started to make itself felt on my legs and through my shorts. I sat on the rock which was marginally cooler but not by much. Come on, its not much further now, just a few hundred yards down an easy slope and we’ll be back where we started.
Phew, we’re back down and there’s the car, its probably as hot as hell’s kitchen inside it and opening all the doors won’t make a ha’porth of difference. Ah well, we can remove the boots and socks and let our feet cool off and enjoy the comfort of an upholstered seat for five minutes. Well they said it would be hot and it was. So we’re going home and do you know what we’re going to do once we’re there, have a drink of something very, very cold, then a shower, followed, of course, by a nice cup of tea. Ah, the English and their tea! This is definitely a walk which will linger in the memory bank.