~Catbells and Maiden Moor~
7th May 2011
This was an orgainsed walk for the Online Fellwalking Club's 10th Anniversary. One problem with walks planned in advance is the weather. After a thunderstorm the night before, I packed the waterproofs just in case. Meeting place was the Mary Mount Hotel, Borrowdale and I decided to walk from the campsite, about five miles away.
Catbells or Cat Bells (two words) on Ordnance Survey Maps
Scroll down for photos and a description of the walk....
Scotgate Campsite, Braithwaite
I'd had a good night's sleep after the thunderstorm. Grisedale Pike looms above Coledale. I would have had breakfast at the tent, but forgot the frying pan, so had to go in the cafe for a "Full English Breakfast", not to worry.
Newlands Beck Bridge
I walked along the old road which is host to much peace and quiet and a war memorial.
Kind of forgotten, but not really. Poppies in place, clean and looked after. Placed on the side of the road for everyone to see, only for the road to move.
These walkers were leaving Keswick and heading in the direction I'd come from. I don't care for large groups!
Catbells from Derwentwater
The water level is quite low and this meant that our boat to cross the lake, could not pick up at the Mary Mount. The weather looks promising, maybe I'm carrying waterproofs for no good reason.
TV Team on the Pier ~ Diarmuid Gavin
Well that's the first five miles done and there isn't really time to walk to the hotel, just to walk back again, so I await my walking companions.
Maiden Moor (l) and Catbells from the Pier
Here They Come!
Launch at Hawes End
20-ish of us travelled across the lake from Ashness Bridge to Hawes End, that's my annual cruise over with.
Our Group on Catbells
We are the Online Fellwaking Club, we walk, take photos and tell each other about it. Every now and again we invite members to a group walk. Roger Hiley (l) and Ian Smith lead the party.
On the Up
Catbells suffers from over-popularity. It's always been popular and now more so with the arrival of tv programmes on the Lake District and the increase in tourism. By all means climb this fell, but then leave it alone, others will take care of matters. The only other time I climbed Catbells, I set off very early and saw nobody on the walk over the ridge.
It's a long ridge, next up is Maiden Moor and then High Spy (both behind the camera). Skiddaw is over the other side of the valley.
This bawdy group gave other walkers little opportunity for photos.
We took lunch at Hause Gate and somewhat inevitably the rain arrived, this is what happens when the OFC get together. Six walkers, myself included decide to tough it out and head for Maiden Moor. The rest will descend back to the foot of the fell and back to the hotel.
Looking back at Catbells through the rain. The Ridge Route to Maiden Moor is 1.5 miles from Catbells with 720ft of ascent.
Me on top of Maiden Moor
We found the appointed summit in an area of lumps and bumps. The plan was then to find the route down via Nitting Haws. That's the third "Haws" today, after Hawes and Hause. Nomenclature! None of them denote ladies of ill repute.
Nitting Haws offers exceptional views, better when the weather is a little brighter.
We descend on the old drove road towards Cockley How - shown here by the boulder on the right.
Cockley How - Split Boulder
Our route down is featured on High Spy 6 in AW - North-Western Fells. There are many good routes up to the ridge, but many folk start at Catbells and walk the whole ridge and don't experience these paths.
We walked into Grange, over the bridge and along the road back to the Mary Mount Hotel. Folk went their separate ways and met again in the evening for a meal and presentation.
Peter founded the OFC back in April 2001 when the foot and mouth debacle was in progress. Internet forums were relatively new and fellwalking relatively old, so to bring the two together was a fine achievement. I've been in the club for just over four years and I've had the pleasure of meeting many like-minded individuals. It was great fun getting together in this way. Membership is free and open to anyone and everyone, you'll need a computer. After the meal it was back to the tent.
Walkers: The OFC.
Time taken: I was on the go for about 9 hours and covered 5 + 6.5 miles. Lake distance not counted.
Route: As described!
Weather and conditions: Bright start, clouding over and giving way to persistent rain - that doesn't happen too often on these pages.
Greetings Count: Off the scale.
Richard's Refreshment Review: We had a good three-course meal at the Mary Mount. Drinks a bit pricey, but that's the way nowadays.
All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2011 ©