Sunday, 18 November 2018

Wainwright’s - Base Brown and Green Gable

Both of us had climbed Green Gable on numerous occasions, but Base Brown was yet another of the “only one of us had climbed it variety”. 

Parking at Seathwaite we headed up the side of Sourmilk Gill. 

The steep path up the side of the gill meant height was gained quite quickly and the views soon opened out.

Looking back along along Seathwaite from just above the intake wall.

At the top of the gill we carried on along the main path until it flattened out and then struck diagonally east up the hillside towards the hanging stone, a large boulder that juts precariously out over the crag guarding the northern approach to Base Brown.

The Hanging Stone

The view along Seathwate towards the Helvellyn range from just below the Hanging Stone

Passing under the crag we were still in deep shadow and it was cold, but as we traversed around to the east side to outflank it we came out into bright sunshine.

Easy walking took us to the summit, but despite the sunshine a cold wind meant we had to huddle behind a rock in the shade for our coffee.   Ahead the way onto Green Gable was clear and we could see a few people making their way towards its summit.

The summit of Base Brown

Green Gable with Great Gable just peeing over its top. Viewed from the summit area of Base Brown

The view back towards Base Brown from the Green Gable path
We were making good time so we decided to head off route to a rocky top just above the Gillercombe Head path, which gives good view down into Ennerdale.  I am glad we did because the views were stunning.

The view down Ennerdale towards the coast with Pillar on the left and Haystacks, High Crag and High Stile on the right. The hills, center right in the far distance may possibly be Great Borne and Herdus? 

Dragging ourselves away we soon found ourselves on the Summit of Green Gable; again the views down Ennerdale were stunning. 

The valley of Ennerdale (center), with the lakes of Buttermere and Crummock Water (right)
We only had a short break before moving off to pay our respects to two airmen who lost their lives as a result of an accident here during the 2nd World War on the 9th of August 1943.

The aircraft, an Avro Anson Mk1 (Serial No DL222/A2) flew into the hillside in bad weather while on a night-time navigation exercise (three others also crashed that night)!  Three of the aircrew survived, but sadly Sgt W Panasik (Polish Air Force) and Sgt E. A. Loppe (Royal Canadian Air Force) did not.  

We found the crash site quite easily and like many of these places there is no memorial. In fact there wasn’t even a poppy, which surprised us given that Remembrance Sunday was only last week.  I suppose that may be due to the fact that the memorial on Great Gable is usually the main focus.

Crash site with the summit of Green Gable behind
Moving on we made our way down to Windy Gap and then steeply down the screes of Aaron Slack to Styhead Tarn.  From here it was a nice wander down to Stockley Bridge.  

Stockley Bridge with the sun just going down behind Seathwaite Fell.

From Stockley Bridge it was a gentle wander along the track to Seathwaite and our start point.

139 of 214 completed, 75 to go.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Wainwright’s - Great Dodd, Watson's Dodd, Stybarrow Dodd and Hart Side

Of these two hills, Great Dodd was one of the “only one of us had done it variety,” while Hart Side was a new one to us both.

Parking at High Row we headed along the coach road for 600m or so before picking up the Bridleway alongside Groove Beck.  Crossing over Matterdale Common it was pretty icy in places and to say there was a biting wind would be an understatement. The views were great though.

Great Mell Fell and Little Mell Fell from Matterdale Common just before Randerside.

Great Dodd from the cairn on Randerside

A quick break at the cairn on Randerside left us chilled to the bone and it took a good stomp up onto the summit of Great Dodd to warm us up.  

Moira approaching the summit of Great Dodd with Blencathra behind

The windchill on top was really uncomfortable and I ended up with frozen fingers before I could even drag my camera out of its bag.  As a result we did not hang around and headed off in the direction of Watson's Dodd.   

The little lump on the right is Watson's Dodd

In the lee of Great Dodd we were sheltered from the wind and within ten minutes we had to stop and strip off a couple of layers.  Another ten minutes later and everything was back on again as the approach to the summit of Watson's Dodd.

Watson's Dodd summit cairn

Next stop was Stybarrow Dodd.

Stybarrow Dodd summit cairn. 

Hart Side (middle left) from the wall close to the summit of Stybarrow Dodd. The wind was from the wrong direction to enjoy the shelter of the wall today.  It would make a grand place for a break otherwise.

As there was very little shelter out of the wind we headed straight off towards White Stones where I knew there was some rocks just below the summit where we could have our lunch out of the wind.

We could have cut the corner off and headed straight for Hart Side, but instead we nipped over to the summit of White Stones.

Cairn a few yards from the summit of White Stones. Hart Side is the lump on the left

Making our way across to Hart Side the wind was bitter and blowing straight from the north. I was pleased we had packed our winter kit despite the forecast blue skies.

Birkett Fell from the summit of Hart Side

Great and Little Mell Fell from the northern cairn. Our start point was at the trees just right of center and followed the broad ridge on the left

From the summit we then headed for Birkett Fell and with the wind to the side now a much more comfortable walk.  The views from here along Ullswater were stunning – what a cracking viewpoint.

Birkett Fell with Ullswater beyond

We were tempted to drop north east directly down the fell, but in the end took the less direct route using the wall leading towards Brown Hills as a handrail.  This made for a slightly longer walk but it was nicely sheltered from the wind.

Ullswater from the wall. It was so sheltered here we could walk without jackets on.

Easy if rather boggy walking led down to the farm at Dowthwaite Head where we then followed the road back to our start point.

Wainwright’s  bagged: Great Dodd, Watson Dodd, Stybarrow Dodd and Hart Side, but having already done the others on previous walks we only get to tick off another two.

That’s 137 completed leaving 77 Wainwright’s left to go.