Date & Time: Tuesday 16th January 2007. 10.15 am start.

Location of Start : The Newfield Inn, Seathwaite, Duddon Valley, Cumbria Uk. ( SD 227 960 )

Places visited : Seathwaite, Park Head Road, Stickle Tarn, Stickle Pike, Park Head Road (return), Caw, Pikes, Green Pike, back to Seathwaite.

Walk details : 7 mls, 2300 ft of ascent , 5 hrs.

Walked with : Sean and his dogs (Angus and Casper) Ann and our dogs (Harry and Bethan).

Weather : A clear, crisp, beautiful winter's day.Ooccasionally a slight but cold southerly breeze .

The Newfield Inn, Seathwaite, in the Duddon Valley.

 

At last a fine forecast after what seems like weeks of rain and stormy weather. Chance to really get out and enjoy the the fells properly again.

In the Autumn we enjoyed a delightful visit to Stainton Pike down in the south western part of the Lakes, not a major Wainwright Peak, but one of the many that feature in his Book 8, the Outlying Fells. Today we were aiming for four more, Stickle Pike and Caw certainly, but our exact route would be at the suggestion of our local guide and friend, Sean McMahon. These would be new fells for us today.

First we had to set the alarm to be up to for an earlier than normal start (for us that is).

The first light as it colours the sky over Great Gable and the Buttermere Valley

Mist on the lake, almost perfect reflections and early light on Loweswater itself.

Reflected beauty at the lake shore.

Sunrise behind Mellbreak, from the Grange Hotel gardens.

Sean lives near Barrow in Furness and so we arranged to meet at the pub in the Duddon Valley - good move (see later) !

   
The Newfield Inn, Seathwaite, our meeting point.
Ann and Sean, and the four dogs ready at the start of the walk.

Frost on the fields as we look over to Wallowbarrow Crags with Harter Fell behind.

Climbing the old miner's road, we gain height. Bowfell and Crinkle Crags are now visible at the far end of the Duddon Valley.

Turning a corner on the way to Stickle Pike we glance back and see our first view of distant Scafell.

Ahead, the old track took us past Brown Haw, the large fell on the left.

Looking back along our track.

The two mile walk south from the village was over in no time as we enjoyed the wonderful winter colours along the way.

Back to civilisation briefly as we cross the Kiln Bank road and start the climb up Stickle Pike itself.

Stickle Tarn, difficult to photograph into the strong morning sun.

Now where were those dogs ?

Might have guessed . . . . . Angus leads the swimming group into the calm waters of Stickle Tarn.

No wonder Sean manages all those swimming pictures of Angus on his web site !

Sean's not over-amused by Harry's disregard for dry clothing.

Neither was I when Angus repeated the same trick next to me a short time later.

Climbing to our first summit of the day we had uninterrupted views south over Great Stickle and the Duddon Estuary.

Turning the other way the summit cairn formed a lovely foreground for the high fells.

Close up this time, a view of Green Crag in Eskdale, with Pillar, Scoat Fell and Red Pike in the distance . . .

. . . and Scafell, Scafell Pike, Harter Fell and Esk Pike behind the cairn.

The Four Musketeers

Angus, Harry, Casper and Bethan. Great company for each other and for us.

Photo Shoot for the Hiley Dogs

   
Angus strikes a majestic pose
Casper however prefers to take in the view.

Our next objective was to reach the highest peak in this group. Caw is on the left, above the Stainton Ground Quarries.

We retraced our steps, first back down to Stickle Tarn, its reflections perfect again before the dogs made it to the water.

Harry first in this time.

   
Recently visited Stickle Pike
and our route up towards Caw.

From Stickle Tarn we had re-traced our outward journey along the old miners road.

From here Caw was a flattish path across to the right, then a steady climb up the rocky hillside on the right hand sky-line.

Evidence of the recent rains on the flatter parts of the walk.

The locals were not particularly phased by our arrival, and stood and watched as we all passed.

Sean was the fifth to the summit today.

The forecasted good visibility had held all morning. Here we look north from Caw's Trig Point up the coast past Sellafield.

The view of the central fells was eye-catching to say the least.

From Caw we continued a short distance north east, towards the high ground of the Coniston Fells, in order to reach the rocky, slightly greener outcrop which delights in the name of Pikes.

A small pool next to the path provides a foreground for the high fells of Dow Crag, Buck Pike, Coniston Old Man, Brown Pike, and White Pike.

Pikes is the central of these three summits.

Low afternoon sun is now forming longer shadows on the Scafell peaks.

Mickledore, the narrow gap between Scafell and Scafell Pike, is highlighted by the lengthening shadows.

Time to drop down and back to the village ~ We just need to find a gap in the wall ~ Somewhere here there's a gate.

An old tree and cleft rock form a quiet subject for a photo.

Not for long though !

From here it was a good, if slightly damp path, down the fell side to the old miners track and back to the village.

   
Seathwaite Church ~ a brief visit at the end of the walk
to see the grave of the Reverend Robert Walker.

 

The Clipping Stone at the Church Entrance, a memorial to a respected local character of old.

So ended a fine walk in the South Western fells.

Minor summits, compared to the lofty fells of Lakeland's centre

but excellent walking nevertheless.

 

By way of appreciation, and to slake the thirst after our walk

Ann and I adjourned to the Newfield Inn to sample the ale

and to admire the old pub.

 

Sean reminded us to look out for the rather fine Duddon Slate flag stones used in the bar.

They have a wonderful marbled stripe, and are particularly distinctive of the Duddon Slate quarried on the hillsides above the village.

On the way back we crossed the railway bridge at Eskdale green and noticed a rather sad looking railway track bed.

   
La'al Ratty's route north looking decidedly unloved.
Don't panic ~ they're only doing some winter maintenance.

 

- - - o o o - - -

Technical note: Pictures taken with a Canon G7 Digital camera.

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

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Previous walk - 15th January 2007 Crummock Water and a Broken Gate

A previous time up here - A new Fell for us today - Thanks Sean !!

Check out Sean's report and pictures here.