5th October 2015
50 Stones of Gray
Scroll down for photos and a description of the walk....
Quick! There's rain in the forecast. Here's one I've been wanting to do for long enough. This business of "climbing the Wainwrights" - well climb them then. Summit-hopping along the ridges is all well and good, but how many folk have climbed Graystones from any of Wainwright's starting points?
Graystones Ascent Up / Down
It's 900ft of ascent and straight up over a distance of three quarters of a mile. The last quarter of a mile is quite level in comparison to the first half mile - not for the feint-hearted. I dispute Wainwright's assertion that "it lacks excitement and is hardly worth the effort", do this and you will feel worthy of a small trophy or stitch-on badge. The first bit is immensely steep over loose slate scree.
More Up and More Down
I decided that I would eat my hat if anyone else was up there at the top before us.
The guarantee has expired, otherwise I'd be calling them back.
Molly on top of Graystones at 08:36hrs. 1,476ft asl
There are three high points and you can choose which one to take photos at, but according to the map, this one to the east is the highest. One other has a notable cairn and isn't the top.
We sauntered off to Kirk Fell and then returned via the top of Sware Gill, following sheep tracks.
Molly decides that we will walk through the forest on the way back, avoiding the steepest part of the descent.
This bit of forest is called Darling How Plantation. Apparently so named after a couple got lost in here: "Darling, how are we going to get back to the car?" Asked the young lady, and so it took its name. After following the track for long enough, I took a feint path into the depths of the woods. It lead to Aiken Beck and therefore Spout Force.
Not easy to get to and not easy to photograph. Perhaps seldom seen and really it should stay that way, there is nothing easy about our way in from above and even from downstream, it isn't straightforward.
Back at Scawgill Bridge
The rain is beginning to make a difference at 09:40hrs. Carpe Deim or Carpe Morning, at least. My hat survived.
Walkers: Molly The Dog and Me.
Weather: Dull, windy and leading to rain towards the end of the walk.
Time Taken: 1 hour and 40 minutes over a distance of about 3 miles.
All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2015 ©