Thursday, 18 May 2017

Far Eastern Fells part 1


I am onto my third book from Alfred Wainwright Far Eastern Fells book 2 and as I break the book down  into where I want to start the first mission from the book, I find out it will also include walks from the book The Outlying Fells by AW this book I have been working through also on previous walks.
So it's 2017 and the first mission of the year was going to be in February,  between the towns of Ambleside and Windermere and base camp was to be the Troutbeck valley,
I was planning to go to the Lake District for the 24th of February but storm Doris got the better of me, so I left it till the 26th arriving late Sunday afternoon at Troutbeck and parked up for the day on Green Gate, 
My only companion on these missions is Sam the dog, so we set off on a small walk around Troutbeck village to get my bearings and explore the area. I had planned to stop at Green Gate for the next three nights sleeping in the back of the van. so this evening I got my portable fire out and my supply of logs and had a lovely night sat around my open fire.

Wansfell 7.79 miles

This morning I set out from Green Gate to walk to Ambleside as part of a circular walk so I set off up Green Gate to Troutbeck village, the weather was a dry morning but a grey overcast sky. from the village, I found my way onto a bridleway, known as Robin Lane and I started to get my first views as I looked over the stone walls, the lane climbed higher, and Lake Windermere came into view, I paused to admire the view.

On I went till High  Skelghyil farm came into view, I made for the farm and passed through  it and onto Skelghyil woods, lovely woodlands of mix broadleaved trees, I made a short detour to Jenkins Crag where I rested and took the view in through the trees, but with low cloud covering the fells it was a pitiful view.
But the view also gave me a better understanding about the glacier that carved out the Windermere basin and it was a large one, being fed by a major feeder, glaciers from Great Langdale, Rothay, Rydal, Stock Ghyll  met and flowed into the north basin of Windermere, 
Back on the path, I carried on through the woods and came out into the bustling town of  Ambleside and being Monday morning people were out shopping. 

Windermere north basin
I knew this town, having been here several times now on my adventures, The street I was looking for was Stockghyll Lane, I found it with the river running alongside it so I started to follow it to Stock Ghyll Force, all along here and up to the waterfalls there was once 12 mills that once stood along here, they produced bobbin, paper, fabric and corn, I left the road behind and entered into some woodland, still following the Stock Ghyll, the woodland floor was covered in the young shoots of daffodils with only the odd one coming into flower, it would have been nice to have seen them in flower,
I came to Stock Ghyll Force making my up to the viewing platform to view the waterfalls.

On I went leaving the woodlands behind and out into the open, heading for Wansfell Pike and as you climb Ambleside comes into view down in the valley, I reached the summit of 482 m, but with low cloud covering the summits of the surrounding fells the view was poor, but Lake Windermere was in view and that made up for it.

The next section of the walk was to follow a wall to Baystones, so far I have been on my own on this walk only seeing the odd person from a distance. I came to Baystones at 487 m and then I headed off the fell to head for the track known as Nanny Lane, this lane then took me back to Troutbeck village and the end of the walk. 

Troutbeck Tongue 7.52 miles

On a cold winters morning I set out from Green Gate into Troutbeck, the sky was overcast and grey but it was breaking up to show some blue, On my through the village I passed three springs of St. John's, St. James' and Margaret's Wells until I came to the end of the village and went down hill to the valley bottom.

A small road took me first along the valley bottom giving me my first view of the tongue that sat lower than the surrounding snow capped fells of Ill Bell and Yoke, I left the road for a farm track and started the climb not up to the tongue, but up a separate valley known as Hagg Beck. Since being in the valley I have been following the old Roman road what takes you up to the High Street.
This track took me the full length of the tongue and then finding another path that starts to climb up to the tongue, giving great views around and to the head of the valley.

Valley head
And the path passes two Bronze Age burial cairns, and then I passed another two more cairns, what a great place to be buried with the view of the head of the valley and the surrounding fells.
As I carried on following the path up to the summit the views just got better till  I reached the summit cairn at 364 m, and the full view south down Troutbeck valley comes into full view with Lake Windermere on the horizon just magnificent I sat there having a break taking it all in.  

The Tongue summit

The weather was changing I could see storm clouds moving towards me, so I made my way down a steep path back to the Roman road but not before I was caught in a snow shower.
Back in the valley, I retraced my route back to Troutbeck and the end to another good walk.

Sour Howes and Sallows 5.14 miles.

A frosty sunny morning I left Green Gate for my last walk from the Troutbeck valley, As I climbed the track out of the valley I could see that the weather was going to be unsettled with low cloud on the fell tops constantly on the move, I took my time with the steady climb also stopping and looking up and the valley to enjoy the view,
I left the track for a path to the summit of Sallows at 516 m, but with low cloud the view was disappointing so I moved on to Sour Howes but the weather never improved has I reached my next summit of Sour Howes at 483 m.

Sour Howes

From the summit all the major fells were covered in a low cloud,  but south the length of Lake Windermere the sun was breaking through, I started my descent back to the track that I came upon, And then retraced my steps back to Troutbeck.

The Tongue 
And the end to a little nice walk and it was only 11.45 am so back at the car and that is Troutbeck done so two small walks left to do and both were at Windermere town so I drove to the town and parked up and went for stroll around the shops and something to eat.

School Knott 

The weather had improved to a sunny afternoon with showers, this next walk should only take an hour to explore this area, so I parked up on the edge of the housing estate there are some wonderful views to the Langdale Pikes as I set off across the fields to a lane at Higher Lickbarrow and Old Dommer and then another path to School Knott and to the top.
I spent some time relaxing before retracing my steps back.

The view from School Knott

Orrest Head

I have so been looking forward to this small walk, originally planned to do circular walk, but with time against me because of the daylight and the weather, so I planned to walk up there and back using the same paths.
This was the view that changed a young Alfred Wainwright in the 1930's aged 23
From his autobiography book Memoirs of a fellwanderer.
We emerged from the shadows of the trees and were on a bare headland and, as through a curtain had dramatically been torn aside, beheld a truly magnificent view.
Because of this he fell in love with the lakes and wrote his pictorial guides and changed the lives of so many other people. Like myself, I went through the trees to the bare headland but did not get the view because the weather had changed has a another shower came, but I did get the chance to take one photo and that was my next mission when I come back later on the year for Kentmere.
Ill Bell northeast ridge.

And that is it to this winter mission with plans to be back in late May I will try Orrest Head again.