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Date & start time: Thursday 12th March 2009. 11 am start.

Location of Event : Howtown Boat Landings, Ullswater, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 444 198 )

Places visited : Howtown, Steel Knotts, Pikeawassa, Wether Hill, Loadpot Hill, Arthur's Pike, Bonscale (and it's towers) then back down to Howtown.

Walk details : 8.5 ml, 2580 ft of ascent, 7 hours 40 mins.

Highest point : Loadpot Hill 2,201ft ( 671m) Higher than Wether Hill by just three feet !

Walked with : Bill, Sherran, Angie, Jill, Ann and the dogs, Bailey, Harry and Bethan.

Weather : Windy, overcast, occasional sunny spells, dry ... although there were no guarantees of that.

There's usually a space or two to park near the jetty . . .


We met up with Bill, Sherran, Angie and Jill who were staying at the Troutbeck campsite near Great Mell Fell.

However we decided that the Howtown Fells would be worth visiting today

as they offer a good walk but would be a little less exposed to today's potentially high winds.

The wooded hillside of The Knotts over the Howtown jetty as seen from the start of our walk.

We took the lane away from the main road and crossed the stream on this low arched stone bridge.

Snowdrops and crocuses add a nice splash of colour.

As we climbed the front of Steel Knotts we looked down on the jetty,

just as the steamer pulled in on one of its scheduled runs of the day.

Bailey watches as Sherran tackles a slightly tricky patch of steep ground. Perhaps if we had taken the proper path it would have been easer !

The route home from Bonscale Pike descends the fell opposite. We'll come back that way later in the afternoon.

As we climb, the view of Howtown bay expands.

The wind is strong enough, even at lake level, to produce interesting swirls and eddies on the surface of the water.

A pause for breath on the steep climb up Steel Knotts.

Ann, Bill . . . and the snow topped Glencoyne Valley in the background.

Onward and upward and the view expands to include the rest of the lake, down to Pooley Bridge and the wooded Dunmallard Hill.

Fast moving clouds roll away and give us a really nice period of sunshine.

Below is the new Martindale Church on the hause below Hallin Fell. The old one is hidden in the valley below and to the left.

The four ladies standing on Pikeawassa, the rocks at the highest part of Steel Knotts.

Bill and I discuss the route ahead.

A short descent from Pikeawassa and we are on to the ridge that leads up towards Wether Hill.

We've just climbed over a stone stile which is built very neatly into the structure of the wall.

The Nab at the head of the damp Martindale Valley.
Just below the last climb we cross through an old wall.

From my slightly elevated position there's a good view to the head of the valley.

To the left, High Raise, then Rampsgill Head and the Knott, with Rest Dodd and the ridge to the Nab on the right.

The path now climbs steeply but diagonally up the fell side.

The steady gradient makes the ascent easier but as we climb, so the strengthening wind makes it more difficult. You can't win can you !

Hats, gloves, everyone well wrapped up as we near the top.

The long distance visibility is not the best but the dappled sunshine makes each view back different from the last.

A panorama of the Helvellyn Range . . .

from Fairfield and St Sunday Crag, round via Dollywagon, Nethermost, Helvellyn, Catstycam, Whiteside, Raise and finally Great Dodd.

Angle Tarn Pikes in bright sunshine against the backdrop of snow topped Fairfield and St Sunday.

Not a lot on the highest point of Wether Hill . . .
. . . but there is a cairn just off the path at it's northern end.

Not marked on the map but there is a definite pool, a small tarn on the ridge walk across to Loadpot Hill.

We're looking for a sheltered spot for our late lunch. The ruin on the fell side ahead will fit the bill nicely.

One mention of lunch and the pace quickens !

All that remains of Lowther House Shooting Lodge

Originally a wooden bothy with a stone gable and fireplace, time and the weather have taken it's toll on the structure.

Still, it's the only shelter for miles and a delightful place to stop.

" Smile Bethan "

She's not so confident as usual in this strong wind.

From Loadpot Hill we follow the Roman Road again and head for our next summit, Arthur's Pike.

The weather entertains us along the way . . .
. . . and Bill tries to capture the effect for his album.

High contrast photos as we zoom in on the sun's rays.

Harry's not bothered and waits for us to catch up.

In the distance, Penrith seems to be enjoying an extended period of sunshine.

The cairn on the summit of Arthur's Pike, our fourth Wainwright summit of the day.

Below is another cairn on the edge of the slope . . . this is the one you can see from the valley below.

Winter trees surround the Sharrow Bay Hotel, on the small peninsular below.

Afternoon tea there is a delight (apparently) but needs to be booked well in advance . . . so not for us today.

Contouring round to our last summit, we cross the top of Swarth Beck.

Bill offers Sherran a steadying hand up from the wet, moss covered rock.

Sunshine again as we climb the last section up to Bonscale Pike.

Over the rise and we are greeted with this view of the Bonscale Towers,

two stone pillars built on the steep fell side overlooking Howtown Bay and the diminutive Hallin Fell.

The ferry leave Howtown heading for Glenridding as Angie and Bill pause briefly for their photos of the towers.

From the opposite side the picture is quite different . . . now the view extends as far as the eye can see.

Close up of the upper tower . . .
. . . and the squarer, more substantial lower one.
Jill stops for a photo . . .
. . . but Angie seems to be having difficulty taking her's.
On the summit . . . a bad hair day for Angie
and a bad hat day for Jill !

The skies are a little more grey and less settled now as a wintery shower passes over the Helvellyn Range.

This one just missed us but the next brought us a brief period of light rain, the first and only shower of the day.

The end of the walk is in sight now as we contemplate the steep descent back down to Howtown.

We need a gate back to the roadside . . . not this one
but the next . . . joining the public footpath past the caravan.

Time for a quick dip in the lake to celebrate their return.

I think this is where we came in.

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with with my Cannon G7 or Ann's Ixus 75 Digital camera.

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

This site best viewed with . . . A sheltered spot on the fell to pour a cup-a-soup . . . without it blowing away !

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© RmH.2009 # Email me here # or leave me a Guest Book Entry

Previous walk - 7th March 2009 Hen Comb with Gary and Sheena

A previous time up here - 11th October 2003 Howtown and Bonscale Fell


Late Entries:

Friday Evening we all got together for a meal at Luca's Restaurant in Keswick

Jill, Angie and David, John, Neil at the top, Sherran and Bill, myself and finally Jo to the right.

[ Photo and nearest place setting both belong to Ann.]

- - - o o o - - -

Bill sent me a few of his photos of the day too.

The start at Howtown Ferry landing.
Harry finds a patch of snow in a high gully.
Harry again . . . on a mission !
Ann in contemplative mood at the end of the day.