Walk date – 19th July 2020
Distance – 6.5 miles
Weather – dull, cool and cloudy, strong north westerly on tops, poor visibility
A less than satisfactory start to today’s walk. Having parked up J switched on the gps and saw that an update was coming through. Normally an update takes less than a minute to download so we waited, then we waited some more, and after five minutes, during which the indicator still remained stubbornly on zero percent, we decided not to wait any longer. None of the menus could be accessed while the update was ongoing which meant no route map could be created, so today’s map is a D.I.Y. substitute. This is a new gps, bought in May this year, to replace the previous seven year old one that J used to use, so it’s very irritating that the damned thing is already playing up, especially given the cost of it, not to mention the price of the accompanying mapping. After a very lengthy phone call, which offered no solution to the problem, it will have to be sent back for examination and any necessary repairs so we will be without it for a few weeks.
Spout Force car park – Whinlatter forest track – Lord’s Seat – Broom Fell – Widow Hause – Graystones – Scawgill Bridge – Spout Force car park
The day started off bright enough as this shot looking back from the parking area shows. Ladyside Pike is on the left skyline after which comes the long sweep down across Swinside.
We set off from the parking area along the wide forest track which gives the leg muscles plenty of time to get thoroughly loosened up. Broom Fell soon comes into view.
We paused as J wanted to check how the update was proceeding, still on zero per cent, while I took a look back at Graystones.
Once across Aiken Beck the track begins to rise more noticeably and at this wooden post we leave it and follow the narrow track through the plantation.
A look back from the point at which we left the track …..
….. and a look ahead along the path through the trees. Its a steady climb and becomes very boggy over the last hundred yards or so.
Out of the boggy bits and on to the path coming over from Ullister Hill. The cloud cover is steadily increasing while visibilty is decreasing, so the Skiddaw group blends into one smoky blue-grey entity and becomes an indistinct mass on the skyline.
More cloud above as I turn to my left for this shot of the pathway leading over to Lord’s Seat.
Once clear of the trees the path winds its way upwards and some of the north western fells begin to appear, Grisedale Pike, over on the left, being the most prominent fell in this shot.
A closer view of Causey Pike on the left, Scar Crags to its right and Grisedale Pike over on the right.
Lord’s Seat ahead as J climbs the stile. We are both wishing we hadn’t bothered with shorts now that we’re beginning to experience the chill of the strong north westerly which we’ve just walked straight into.
A look back across the stile to the smoke grey north western fells.
A couple of quick shots from the summit, the view down to Barf …..
….. Bass Lake …..
….. and the iron post on the summit. That was as much as I could stand because it was so cold and windy so we dropped down a little way beyond the post and found a little rise to shelter behind while I added another upper body layer. My chilled hands were shoved into my pockets but there was nothing I could do about insulating my legs so they just had to put up with it.
The view along the Aiken Beck valley towards Whinlatter Fell from Lord’s Seat. The strong wind took my cap clean off my head and left it dangling over the back of my neck, it would have been gone for good if it hadn’t been firmly anchored by two very large hair grips.
A quick look ahead at the route over to Broom Fell and then an equally quick dash down to get out of the wind.
On our right as we descend we have a view of Sale Fell across the Wythop Valley.
The view back up to Lord’s Seat from the descent.
On our left the view along the Aiken Beck valley.
Broom Fell summit where it was even windier than it was on Lord’s Seat.
Grateful for some respite from the battering we huddled in the shelter and had a chocolate break. A lone walker came by with his dog and asked if we minded if he joined us. No, of course we didn’t mind, so he plonked himself down out of the wind behind the cairn and we had a bit of a natter. Turned out that he’d come up from Sale Fell, which isn’t very far away but its a steep climb, so no wonder he was sweating! While he and J were chatting about gps problems I took this shot from the shelter looking towards the north western fells …..
….. followed by this one looking across the stile toward the Skiddaw group.
We said our cheerios to the lone walker and set off down Broom Fell. Sale Fell below us and lonely Binsey over on the extreme right skyline.
Making our way over to Widow Hause where lots of tree felling has taken place over the past few years. The view from the green path over on the right used to be blocked by all the conifers which grew alongside it, obviously the view is much more open now as some of the following shots will show.
Dropping down to Widow Hause from where the views into the Aiken Beck valley are extensive …..
….. Whinlatter Fell on the far side of the valley …..
….. the view towards the head of the valley …..
….. and an impressive view of Grisedale Pike, Hobcarton Crags and Hopegill Head towering above Hobcarton Gill, with Grasmoor just appearing behind them.
Behind us there is no such grandeur, just the much lower tops of Ling Fell and Sale Fell, and over on the right is the little mound known as Burthwaite Heights, something of a misnomer you might think when viewing it from this point but it does have a bit of a drop on the other side of it.
At the fence stile we opt to veer to the left and take the grassy traverse route up Graystones. This route keeps the views and avoids the steep and dreary trudge which the right hand path offers. Here we have a view back across Widow Hause to Broom Fell and Lord’s Seat.
An unexpected shaft of sunlight lands on Lord’s Seat and brightens up the view for a few seconds.
The cloud cover is almost total now as I look across Lorton Vale towards the Loweswater Fells. The very chilly wind was still going strong so we didn’t hang around.
Descending Graystones with a view of Whinlatter Fell behind the Darling How farmstead.
Looking towards the head of the valley showing the route we’ve taken today.
Heavy cloud now over the north western fells.
Whinlatter Fell and Grisedale Pike from the descent.
Scawgill Bridge from the steep descent of Graystones.
Back down in the valley where we turn left and walk upstream beside Aiken Beck.
A little further along we cross the footbridge over Aiken Beck and climb the path back up to the parking area. Its a short but quite steep climb up a muddy, stepped path which we had to fight our way through as it was practically hidden by various trees, shrubs and very high bracken.
The stile at the top of the path from the beck is the last hurdle to deal with and then we have only a short walk back across grass back to the car.
Ladyside Pike and Swinside from the stile. The path veers left and leads to a metal field gate beyond which is the parking area. So we are almost at the end of today’s walk and it’ll be very nice to get back in the car and get some warmth back into our bare legs. This past few weeks it has felt more like autumn than summer.