23rd August 2013
Walk two from the short camping excursion to Stonethwaite. Eight octas of cloud on this one, but little in the way of wind or rain.
Scroll down for photos and a description of the walk....
Chapel House Farm Campsite
Tent packed, car left in the car park, I started the walk at 09:40hrs and headed for the bridge over the infant River Derwent at Peat Howe.
Two Peaks of Grange Fell
The footpath into the field is almost opposite the campsite entrance. Field two hosts a distinctive moraine ridge, over which the path progresses to Peat Howe.
The "Ford" crossing leads to Rosthwaite, stepping stones offering a pedestrian alternative.
After the previous day's exursions, the walk through finest Borrowdale was very welcome. Stonethwaite Gill joins in and Eagle Crag can be seen up the valley.
This wide area of pebbles and paths has no name on the map. Perhaps, "The Paddles" would be appropriate? Earlier, I met a couple from Boston, MA who were walking the Cumbria Way. How rewarding it was to impart my own knowledge of the territory to these welcome visitors. And it's was equally interesting to hear their tales and it was viewing "The Trip" that inspired them to book this holiday. The Bostonians bemoaned the lack of waymarkers on our fells and routes.
It would have been daft to pass the cafe without having tea and cake. Shame they didn't have any tiffin. The holidaymaker has set up on the spit with water passing either side. Just as well she has her phone with her, what would she be doing otherwise?
I would hazard a guess that my preferred guidebook writer didn't climb this one on a muggy day in August with the full range of pesky flies at their seasonal peak. It was more like a scene from Jurassic Park than the "delightful short climb" that Wainwright portrayed.
Cor blimey, it was hot and sticky! I suffered a few self-iflicted blows as the flies buzzed around me. Bloody nuisance!
Nothing has so far "gladdened my eye exceedingly" in the way it was promised.
Kings How Summit
The way across Grange Fell is clear and Brund Fell is en route to Watendlath.
On the way to Watendlath, light rain started to fall from the gloomy skies.
Ah well, at least there's a cafe at Watendlath and maybe they will have some tiffin.
Mr. & Mrs. Chaffinch
The rain didn't last and the next part of my walk is aiming for Dock Tarn and Great Crag.
On the way up to Great Crag, I passed a family of walkers. By coincidence, I'd met the three plus dog on the top of Scafell Pike the day before. It's easy walking up here and a really fine place to be when the sun is shining.
Great Crag Summit
More great excitement as another summit is reached. I've lined up Pike O'Stickle directly above the cairn.
This is quite a place when the landscape is frozen and less so when the skies are grey.
The descent route follows Willygrass Gill and then there's the very steep stepped path down to Stonethwaite Beck.
Easy, straightforward route back to the campsite.
The New Zealand Gate Catch
In order to make things a little more exciting, I have taken up Gate Catch Spotting. Here's one for starters, not perfect - there is a little wire ring missing. Do you have any favourite gate catches?
Walkers: Just me
Time taken: 6hrs over a distance of about 9 miles.
Route: Chapel House Farm at Stonethwaite, Peat Howe, River Derwent, Grange, Grange Fell, Brund Fell, Watendlath, Great Crag, Dock Tarn, Willygrass Gill, steep stepped path down to Stonethwaite Beck, Stonethwaite Bridge, Chapel House Farm.
Weather and Conditions: Dull, dull, slightly duller, less dull and dull to finish.
Greetings Count: The Americans, some other Jurassic explorers in the steamy woods, a few long faces at Watendlath and then the Scafell Pikers from the day before. It's always good to pass climbers on those steep steps and tell them how far they have to go!
Refreshments: Tea and fruit cake at Grange Cafe and coffee and rock cake at Watendlath Cafe, where' s the tiffin nowadays?
All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2013 ©
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