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" Barrow Fell in the Snow "

Date & start time: Saturday 13th January 2013, 12.30 pm start. ( NY 229 232 )

Location of Start : The road end beyond the Coledale Inn, Braithwaite, Cumbria, Uk.

Places visited : Braithwaite, High Coledale Farm, Barrow Door, Barrow, Barrow Gill & back.

Walk details :  2.75 mls, 1090 ft of ascent, 2 hours 40 mins.

Highest point : Barrow Fell  1,494ft - 455m.

Walked with : Maggie, Ian, Ann and the dogs, Harry and Bethan.

Weather : Morning snow falling in a gentle breeze.

" Barrow Fell in the Snow " at EveryTrail

[ Alter the settings to zoom or change the Map, use Everytrail to download the Gps route ]


From the sublime to the ridiculous as the weather changes from mild and wet to cold and dry,

from inversions to top down cloud and from lovely sunsets to a covering of snow.  

That snow was forecasted and duly arrived about the same time as Ian also arrived at our cottage for a pre-arranged walk.

A quick confirmation phone call meant Maggie could drive in from Penrith in time to join Ian and ourselves

on a walk to one of the lower, more accessible fells, the higher ones being singularly unattractive today.

An initial roll call of those on the walk (Ann, Maggie and Ian) . . . wouldn't want to lose anybody in mist or a whiteout !

We're on the track that leads up from the Coledale Inn and out onto the fell.

The fourth member of the group was myself . . . don't forget me if your counting numbers.

Marked on the map as a reservoir, it is normally grassed over and hidden like a tele-tubbies house,

but they are doing work on it at present and the grass covering has been peeled back.

The snow however is trying hard to cover it over again.

At the head of the track, High Coledale Farm is now derelict. It has great views down over Braithwaite on a fine day.

It would make a great house to renovate, but I don't suppose you'd get planning permission nowadays.

From here on up we are on open fell and green paths . . . if you can find them.

[ Pictures today will be more white-screen than wide-screen by the way ! ]

Two seconds earlier Harry and Bethan were enjoying a roll in the snow.

I can often get them to sit for a photo but what's the command for keep rolling over ?

The snow wasn't deep but it was slippery so we took the opportunity to gain a little help from some footwear accessories.

We use the red Kahtoola Microspikes but today Maggie has brought some Ice Diamond grippers.

Maggie's new footprint . . .
. . . and mine after the spikes have been fitted.

Line astern, the only one without spikes is Ian . . . the dogs have their own built-in kind.

Barrow Door, the high ground between Stile End and Barrow.

I walk on just a little further in order to try and see round the corner.

My picture looking the opposite way.

Ann, Maggie and Ian start the climb to Barrow to the left . . . Stoneycroft Gill on the right leads down to Catbells, just visible ahead.

Ian, coping well in the snow but taking care on the steeper parts.

The fell behind him is Outerside . . . everything else is hidden in the cloud and snowfall.

A wider shot as we look back from a point much closer to the summit of Barrow.

Does it look cold ?
Ian's purple camera comes out to record the moment.

A fellow walker we met on the top very kindly offered to take a group photo on the summit.

He was on the last section of the Coledale Round which had included Grisedale Pike, Ill Crag and Outerside

but he had started a lot earlier before the snow had set in.

A summit photo of Harry, enjoying his ninth birthday out on the fells today.

Time to make out way back down from the fell.

This is the notch on the way down the front of Barrow, though it is difficult to see clearly.

See what I mean !

From the notch, which is also the site of old mine workings, we branch off to the left and head back down to the valley below.

The route we used on the way up and the farm we passed, can be seen alongside the small stand of trees in between the dogs.

We carried lunch all round today so we thought we'd eat it before we got back to the car.

This wall at the bottom of the slope would do nicely as a place to stop.

Just a short walk down into the small ravine below, with Barrow Gill to cross at the bottom.

The snow on the way down here was rather wet and claggy

and as a consequence it was balling up under our feet

making walking more difficult. 


Ian was doing better without any spikes

so we remove ours and walk down without.


Maggie suffered a little less  because her grips were less aggressive

but it was still a problem


Once by the river, Ann chose to put her's back on

to give her better grip on the loose stones and wet rock.

(sound complicated but wasn't really)

Full circle . . . back out onto the track to High Coledale Farm that we used on the way up.

The notch on the descent of Barrow and the wall we had lunch behind can be seen high on the left.

- - - o o o - - -

No re-hydration stop today as we had just had lunch so we said our goodbyes to Maggie and headed back over Whinlatter Pass.

Winter wonderland  but the blue skies are a function of the windscreen tint rather than the weather !

Swinside Houses on the way down the western side of the pass.

These were old Forestry Commission houses and I believe they are now privately owned and available for holiday lets.

Oh yes . . . did I mention it was Harry's birthday . . . time for a cake and candles.

The recipe for non-dairy, vegetarian birthday cake for dogs is available.

[ Please send your request written on the back of a five pound note to Loweswatercam @ Loweswater, Cumbria, UK.]

- - - o o o - - -


One of Ian's pictures he described as "Behind the scenes at Loweswatercam" ... brilliant.

Check out Ian's pictures of the day here.




Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon Sureshot SX220 or my Canon G10 digital cameras.

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

This site best viewed with . . . a warm fire and a birthday cake to share

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Previous walk - 12th January 2013 - A West Coast ~ St Bees Sunset

A previous time up here - 6th June 2011 Barrow 1st for Ann and Ian

Next walk - 21st January 2013 - Local and Calvert