May 29 2010

Walk 9: Twin Peaks

Baugh Fell from Garsdale Foot

route: knoutberry haw & tarn rigg hill from garsdale foot
Date: 29th may 2010
distance: 6.2 miles
ascent: 1,638 feet
time: 4 hrs
walkers: dave, graham, leanne, sandra & simon

We met at The Moorcock Inn on the A684, before proceeding along the same road towards Sedbergh. After a short while we took a little road to our right, and followed that, slowly, as we neared our starting point of Garsdale Foot. We had to open a couple of gates as we went and soon came to a fork in the road that we had been looking for, and finally, after taking the right hand fork, we had arrived. We jumped out and hastily prepared for the off. The temperature wasn’t that cold, but for some reason everyone seemed in a rush. Personally I felt a little flat today and I was sure that this would be a day of going through the motions, rather than loving every minute. Maybe that sounds a bit drastic, but it was only to be expected that on certain days I wouldn’t feel as enthusiastic as others. I guess this was the danger of planning the dates for all the walks at the beginning of the year.

We were soon on our way, although I had a little slight confusion over the location of a wall that seemed to be on my map but didn’t seem to be there in reality. We walked a little out of our way looking for it but we soon realised it wasn’t there, so we turned around. As we did we could see that the wall was in fact, the one right next to our start point, and this led to much leg pulling from the others. I don’t mind too much, as I know they are only messing about, or at least I hope they are. Rather than return to our start point we decided to climb slightly and take the corner off, and as we reached the top of a tiny little crest, we could see the wall in front of us. The reason this wall was so important, was the fact that it was simply a case of following it all the way to the top. No chance of getting lost or missing a footpath, just keep the wall to our right and walk. As we began to follow the wall it climbed and then turned to the right around a little sheep pen or something. We paused for a breather and looked back. The sight was fabulous, as we had a nice view of the Howgill Fells. The day wasn’t brilliant but they could be seen through the intermittent gloom and I was more than impressed with them. We had seen them from the top of Great Coum but this was our first close up look at them, and I couldn’t wait to take them on later in the year.

From here, the boys pushed on as the girls stopped to powder their noses. We had the choice of walking up Ringing Keld Gutter or up to the side of it. The latter whilst offering better walking also meant for stronger winds, so we remained within the relative shelter of the small beck. The going was a little slower here and after 20 minutes or so we stopped and had a chat whilst L’Autobus caught up. The beck then started to head away from the wall so we climbed out of it and stuck to the wall to keep things nice and simple. The only moments of slight concern came as we encountered a couple of boggy patches and had to manoeuvre our way around, through or over them. One way of doing this, was to clamber along a fence that was joining two sections of wall. At least that is what those with shorter legs did. Those of us with longer legs took one big stride.

From here the climb kicked up a bit and we began to huff and puff a little more. The break was timed perfectly as it started to drizzle, so we put on a light waterproof top before carrying on. Beaky had long since disappeared over the ridge as I reached the top, to find G sat using a jink in the wall to shelter from the wind. Wu Tang and Ramblo soon followed and we had five minutes rest whilst debating where Beaky had got to. The general consensus (and the obvious one) was that he had carried on to the top of Knoutberry Haw. We went in search, still following the wall, and sure enough, there he was next to the trig point, pacing up and down to stay warm. With another peak in the bag, we took our snaps and compared this top with the others we had managed so far. The feeling was it wasn’t the best, but the overcast damp weather had a lot to do with that. The weather makes such a big difference when trying to rank peaks or walks for that matter.

We set off for Tarn Rigg Hill after a minor blip in team morale. Some members, who shall remain nameless (Wu Tang & Ramblo) were unsure if they wanted to go on and were thinking of turning back. The rest of us pointed out that in order to complete the Yorkshire tops tick list, we would only have to come back at a later date, and that swung it. To keep things fun and enjoyable, we all guessed how long we thought it would take us to travel the distance between these nearby tops. Nobody had the correct guess of just under 14 minutes, in fact nobody had under 20 minutes, but the game had helped to raise the spirits once again. The top was undefined so we picked out where the GPS indicated was the high ground and that seemed to be backed up by the naked eye. We had a group chat about where we should go from here. I fancied having a stroll over to West Baugh Fell Tarn but nobody else seemed too keen. In the interest of group harmony I sacrificed that, and agreed to just retrace our steps back to the car. In all honesty, that is what I wanted to do, but I thought whilst I am here, why not take a look around. I didn’t take too much persuading to head home, and instead I made do with a couple of quick pics of some the East Tarns through the murky conditions.

After asking the team what they thought of our current location, we set off to retrace our earlier steps, taking care from time to time to avoid small hazards.

We were soon back at the trig point at Knoutberry Haw and shortly after we arrived at the step in the wall G had used for shelter earlier. We decided that we should use this as a place to eat and after each finding a spot we unpacked the sarnies. G showed off his award winning Cornish Pasty as the rest of us tucked in to our home made stuff. Normally we would eat half way through a walk, but with this one being quite short and the fact we had made good progress, we thought we better eat now.

We finished eating just as the drizzle returned, so we wrapped up and set off. The descent was pretty straight forward, and the only real thing of any note was a dead sheep we saw, although the smell alerted us to it before we saw it. We turned to look back and we all commented how quickly things seem to disappear behind you when you are going downhill. The same ridge that seemed to take an age to reach on the way up was soon long forgotten as we made our way back to the cars. We quickly dried off and changed before heading off to Sedbergh for a beer. Today’s walk, hadn’t been the longest or the best. Maybe I had made my mind up on that before we had even set off, rather than it being a nightmare all the way round. I enjoyed my beer, and as I reflected on the two peaks we had ticked off, I came to the conclusion that no matter how flat I had felt before, during, or after, I had still enjoyed it and wouldn’t have swapped the day for anything. Maybe today had shown me that there would be days I didn’t really fancy it, but it also showed me that the effort was worth it. I tucked that in the memory bank should I ever need it at a later date. No doubt I would…

Sir Edmund


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