Lake District


North Yorkshire

North Wales



About Summiteer

~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

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

Newlands Beck Bridge

I walked along the old road which is host to much peace and quiet and a war memorial.

War memorial

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.

Portinscale Bridge

Portinscale Bridge

Walking Group

Walking Group

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.

Diarmuid Gavin

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!

Hawes End

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.

OFC on Catbells

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.

Catbells Summit

Catbells Summit

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.

Catbells Crowd


This bawdy group gave other walkers little opportunity for photos.

Hause Gate

Hause Gate

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.

Maiden Moor

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.

Intrepid Six

The Intrepids

Borrowdale View

Borrowdale View

Nitting Haws offers exceptional views, better when the weather is a little brighter.

Drove Road

Drove Road

We descend on the old drove road towards Cockley How - shown here by the boulder on the right.


Cockley How - Split Boulder

Ellers Beck

Ellers Beck

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.

River Derwent

River Derwent

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 Burgess

Peter Burgess

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.

Mankini Man

Don't ask!

All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2011 ©

Take me back to the start ....

Take me home....