Posts tagged 'Hallin Fell'

The Keeltappers and Grunters Social Club 2011 Wildcamp Weekend – Part 3 – Sunday

Posted by on July 14th 2011 in Great Escapes, Testing for review, Wildcamping

Saturday night was dry but a little more chilly than Friday, with a cool breeze coming from over the tarn. I woke briefly at first light and saw some Red Deer on the slopes above us, but unlike back in 2007 they didn't wait for me to get the camera out. I'd been warm enough with the flysheet open all night, but Mike had been cold again despite being fully-dressed in his bag. Again, sitting in the sunshine while demolishing a decent breakfast and lashings of tea was the cure.

 

Almost ready for action

 

One last shot of the island

 

By the time we'd struck camp the sun was well up and it was clear that it was going to be a hot day. The short pull up to the eastern shoulder of Angletarn Pikes afforded us a fine view of the tarn:

 

Angle Tarn

 

Once over the shoulder we got great views - on one side Heck Crag and Bannerdale, on the other Place Fell and Glenridding:

 

Bannerdale and Heck Crag

 

Glenridding and Place Fell

 

We plodded on past Heckbeck Head and up to the first cairn where the view of the ridge ahead opens out. Mike was clearly afflicted with some sort of madness, maybe the thought of going home had caused delirium:

 

The ridge to Beda Head

 

We parted company where a good path led off and down to the right - Mike had to be back at the car by noon and so would take the valley route, I wanted to walk the rest of the ridge. After our farewells the walk along the saddle and up the final rise to Beda Head was a doddle:

 

Looking back along the saddle to Heck Crag and Angletarn Pikes

 

Beda Head and the last bit of up

 

Beda Head cairn

 

Hallin Fell and Eastern Ullswater from Beda Head

 

That was enough high stuff for me. I descended the craggy northern ridge until I got to Nickles where a track led off to the right, down a steep bracken-clad slope. I was almost back at valley level when I noticed Mike dawdling along the Howe Grain road so I yelled to him and he waited a few minutes for me to reach the road.

We finished the walk together and after reaching the cars just before noon Mike reached into his car-boot and played his aces - he had a boxful of beers that had stayed ice-cold all weekend, thanks to the superb cool-box that he was testing/reviewing for Adam Smith / Go Outdoors. Needless to say, I had to help him to consume them, it's what friends are for.

Goodbyes were said again and we went our separate ways. It had been an excellent adventure - I'd had a great time in good company. 14.3 miles, seven Wainwrights visited (four that I can tick off the to-do list) and a couple of nights out might not be much for some folk, but it's good in my book.

Thanks, Mike.

 

Scots Pines at Knicklethorns

 

To be continued...

The Keeltappers and Grunters Social Club 2011 Wildcamp Weekend – Part 1 – Friday

Posted by on July 12th 2011 in Great Escapes, Wildcamping

I managed a reasonably early getaway on Friday but still arrived at the M6 in time to be caught up in a major snarl-up near J12. After being backed off the slip-road by the Feds I lost a lot of time detouring cross-country to J14 so it was still a race to get to J40 before mid-afternoon. After a stop for a quick bite at the Penrith Little Chef I set off again for Howtown and eventually parked up near the church at the top of the twisting road:

 

The Church of St. Peter, Martindale

 

With Mike not due to arrive for an hour or so I grabbed the camera, stowed the rest of the gear in the car and strolled up the easy slopes of Hallin Fell. I started off in warm sunshine but within minutes it was hemping it down and I was thoroughly soaked. No matter, I spent a while at the top rain-dodging and taking a few pics. I'd imagine that on a clear day the views from the top would be excellent but this wasn't such a day. I did have the place to myself, though, which was unexpected as the fell-top is usually a popular place:

 

Rain over Martindale

 

Looking along Ullswater towards Pooley Bridge

 

Looking across Ullswater towards a distant Little Mell Fell

 

Moody skies over Angletarn Pikes

 

The Obelisk atop Hallin Fell

 

On the way back down the rain eased a bit and the southwards view opened up. My camera-skills don't do the vista any justice whatsoever:

 

Martindale, Boredale and surrounding fells

 

A few minutes after I'd returned to the car Mike signalled his arrival with a two-fingered salute. After a more customary handshake I changed into proper (dry) walking attire and we shouldered our contra-lightweight loads to head for the hills.

Passing the church we skirted crags and waded through sodden bracken along a thin trod that led towards Gowk Hill. The rain had set in and Mike was soon regretting his decision to wear shorts. At the first wall we stopped for a breather before nipping up to the neat top of Pikeawassa, the summit of Steel Knotts:

 

Pikeawassa

 

Me "bagging" Pikeawassa

 

Despite him not being a "bagger", Mike was pleased to get to the top

 

Back at the wall Mike started acting a bit strange. I think he needs professional help:

 

"Look! Up there! Two Swedish blondes!"

 

From the wall the view up the valley was excellent with clouds grazing the fell-tops and ridges:

 

Looking over Martindale and into Bannerdale

 

We continued along the path towards Gowk Hill, skirting Brownthwaite Crag and heading for the derelict buildings at the watersmeet at the head of Fusedale. After squelching around for a while we found a fairly well-drained level area and set up camp for the night as the rain started to ease. We shot the breeze as evening fell and the midges rose... there was much talk of Sudocrem, Swedish blondes, sea-kayaks and work (or lack thereof) - basically, we put the world to rights. After watching the clouds obscure a fine sunset we retired for the night:

 

The first pitch

 

Mike's crapper 🙂

 

To be continued...

The Keeltappers and Grunters Social Club 2010 Patterdale Meet – Sunday

Posted by on February 11th 2010 in Great Escapes, YHA

After a good sleep we woke to overcast skies and low cloud. Frank and Mike left soon after breakfast - Mike needed to be home for his Sunday dinner, and Frank was on a promise.

I considered my options... I didn't have time for the walk that I had intended to do on the Saturday, and I wasn't entirely sure that the steamer would be sailing anyway, so I headed to the north side of Ullswater. Approaching the NW corner of the lake I spotted a familiar campervan in the car-park - it was Phil, chilling with a newspaper and a smoke, and considering what he would do with the day. As I left him he seemed intent on getting on the water to do some pike-fishing.

I said my farewell and drove a short way up the Dockray road to get a feel for the weather. It was going to be a grey day...

Ullswater and St. Sunday Crag from the Park Brow on the Dockray road

 

Gowbarrow fell was the obvious target. I left the motor in the NT car-park and made my way up to the open fellside above Aira Beck, with the bands of cloud clearing occasionally to allow more views back to Ullswater and Glenridding:

Ullswater from the slopes of Gowbarrow Fell

 

Further up the clag was constant and the tangle of paths was confusing so I needed to pay more attention to navigation. After finding many a false summit I reached the top and managed a pic just before the sleet started:

 

The top of Gowbarrow Fell

I beat a hasty retreat down to High Force where I mingled with the sightseers to get a snap of the falls before getting back to the car:

 

High Force, Aira Beck

It was nearing time for lunch, and I just didn't fancy sitting in the car to munch the remains of the food-stash. I studied the map and took a chance on a little top that I'd noticed before but had never considered visiting - The Knotts, just outside Watermillock. I parked up on roadside to the west and scrambled (trespassed?) up a steep wooded slope for five minutes to reach a barrier of gorse and a barbed-wire fence. No matter, I just walked alongside the fence until I found a section that collapsed, and then it was a two-minute stroll to the top.

And what a fine top it is. Not so low as to feel surrounded by fells, and not so high as to feel detached, it has soft grass, a significant cairn and is a fine place from where to view the fells around Howtown:

 

Hallin Fell and Ullswater from The Knotts

 

After lunch I descended northwards on a fair track that led me to a caravan park, so I legged it down their driveway to the road to avoid trespass hassles. It was an hour well-spent.

I was feeling good and I still had time for one more short walk. The only other Wainwright nearby and still to be ascended was Little Mell Fell. It's not the most photogenic of places, so the only pic I took was of the top which is fairly devoid of features. I walked a small loop around the summit, searching for views, but there was little to see through the mist. The whole round-trip from The Hause took just under an hour:

The top of Little Mell Fell

 

And that was it. I changed my boots back at the car and went home.

It had been a great weekend, in good company, and I was pleased that everybody got to do a bit of what they liked. Bagging-wise, I'd been up four Wainwrights, of which two were new to me.

Unlike the others, my Sunday dinner wasn't waiting for me, and I wasn't on a promise 🙁

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