Date & Time: Saturday 15th July 2006. 11.15 am start.

Location of Start : Hollins Campsite, Boot in Eskdale, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 178 011 )

Places visited : Boot, Gill Force, Low Birker, Kepple Crag, Great Whernside Crag, Crook Crag, The Pike, Green Crag, and back via Low Birker Tarn, a cool off at Gill Force pool, and a second cool off at Brook House.

Walk details : 8.02 mls, 2250 ft of ascent , 5 hrs 30 mins.

Walked with : Angela and John, Jo (Hall) and John (Paterson), Ann and the five dogs.

Weather : Hot and sunny, good visibility again. A real delight even if a little over warm at times.

The Memorial chair in the woodland glade before Low Birker Farm.

 

Today we met up with several other members of the Online Fellwalking Club two of whom, Angela and John, we had not met before.

They were camping at Hollins Farm in Boot in the Eskdale Valley. This is a delightful site and very centrally located for the western Lakes, so it was an ideal location from where we could walk directly onto the fells without having to drive any further.

Taking the unpaved road opposite the terminus of La'al Ratty railway, we crossed the valley past St. Catherine's Church.

   
The old mineral line bridge helps us cross the River Esk
A gem of a woodland glade on the way to Low Birker

This un-named tarn amongst the trees was a totally unexpected retreat from the

world outside. It is hidden behind a curtain of pines and

was full of dragonflies, peace and quiet.

Who ever Claire was, she can have no better memorial

to remind her family of her rather short life.

- - - o o o - - -

Right: We pause briefly above Low Birker Farm

as we leave the valley and the cool of the trees behind.

Climbing steadily on the path through the Juniper, we get our first view of Scafell, and the other high fells of the area.

Click here or on the image above for a fuller valley panorama

The ruin of the old Peat House at the top of the path up from Eskdale.

Beyond is the valley of the Esk as it makes its way west to the sea.

Occasionally we could hear the sounds of the railway as another train signalled its arrival at Dalegarth terminus.

Time for a slight diversion from our desired summit of Green Crag.

This side of the larger summit of Harter Fell was the minor peak of Kepple Crag.

Angela and John were on the trail of un-bagged Birketts,

Lake District hills of a "certain stature"

so it was off towards their first summit of the day.

 

This is slightly more rugged country but great walking amongst the crags and streams that make up theses fells above Eskdale.

 

Here Ann and John leave a slightly boggy area

in favour of the climb to the top of Kepple Crag.

Huge skies with vapour trails galore as we pause on Kepple for a team photo.

Jo, John P, Ann, Angela and John hiding behind.

Our route would now take us across to the left end of the rocky skyline and an interesting ascent more or less along its length.

   
John choosing a place to cross the small stream
The girls try and pose without bursting into laughter.

No paths up here

and even if there were, they would have been hidden in the bracken.

" Hey you lot . . . this way's ok "

   
Big skies and a pinnacle
John tops out on Great Whernside Crag, another Birkett climbed.

Great views across to the Scafells, Esk Pike, Bowfell and Crinkle Crags.

The summit of Green Crag, from The Pike.

The Pike was not a Birkett, but it looked a nice shape so I climbed it anyway !

 

Angela and John are seen crossing to the last ascent

and the others are ahead

possible even on the top by now.

 

Chance for Ann to sunbathe

while her lunch in my rucksack catches up.

Near the top now, and fine views west over Devoke Water.

The Isle of Man was visible but it hasn't shown well in the photo.

Harter Fell was possibly on our agenda,

but in view of the longer ascent route of Green Crag, and the abnormal heat, we decided not to include it today.

The Walna Scar Track climbs between White Pike (with the quarry) and Brown Pike to the left.

Its always interesting to see familiar sights from different viewpoints.

They were not sunbathing but chatting !

Ann, Jo and the long eared Jodie on Green Crag summit with Black Comb behind and to the left.

The reverse photo shortly afterwards found us enjoying those sandwiches of which I talked previously.

Green Crag may only be 172 on the list of 214 Wainwright Fells, but it commands a fine view.

A hat and the highest point in England.

The hat was to provide the only shade up here in the midday sun.

Mission accomplished, it was back down and head for the campsite.

Below was low Birker Tarn which we had to pass on the way.

   
Cotton Grass, and Jo forgetting what she was going to say !
The dogs meanwhile were enjoying a cool dip in the mossy pool.

The still waters of Low Birker Tarn

perfectly reflecting the blue skies above.

Back to the valley edge and a view down to the village of Boot above the fields in the centre of the picture.

Behind are Whin Rigg and Illgill head, showing their softer southern slopes in the afternoon sun.

The deep pool next to Gill Force on the Esk River looked delightful on the way up.

On the way back it looked even better and three of us decided on a swim to cool off.

This was me, joined by Harry mid-stream

( photo by Jo before she and John P also took the plunge.)

 

There now followed a period of re-hydration at Brook House !

Thanks also to Hollins Farm for their hospitality and use of their car park during the day.

Please check out their web site if you want a good family campsite.

 

 

- - - o o o - - -

Technical note: Pictures taken with a Canon IXUS 400 Digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed . . . after a swim in a cool Lakeland river.

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Previous walk - 13th July 2006 Castlerigg and the Keswick Railway Path

Previous time up here - 6th September 2004 Green Crag and a swim at Doctor's Bridge