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" Low Fell after the wet New Year "
Date & start time: Friday 2nd January 2015, 1.50 pm start.
Location of Start : Roadside in Thackthwaite, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 148 235 )
Places visited : Thackthwaite, Watching Crag, Low Fell, back via round sheep fold.
Walk details : 3.4 mls, 1275 feet of ascent, 2 hour 30 mins.
Highest point : Low Fell, 1,387ft - 423m.
Walked with : Ann, Jo and our dogs, Amber, Harry and Dylan (Jodie stayed at home)
Weather : Clearing after a poor morning, but still a strong and cold residual wind.
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Jo and Hilton were up for the New Year, which we enjoyed in the warmth of the Kirkstile Inn.
After several days of work for me, which resulted in missing all the late Christmas snow, the first day for a decent walk would be Jan 2nd
when the New Year rain clouds moved south and sunshine returned to the north-western fells.
The recent rains have been draining off the fields and fells carrying along with it the last of the autumn leaves.
Today we take a familiar route up onto Low Fell so that Jo can at least claim one summit whilst up in the Lakes on her New Year holiday.
Sunshine, which has been missing from the fells over New Year, has encouraged us out today
and it now shines on Dodd and Pen, two spurs of the Whiteside / Hopegill ridge, as we climb above the trees.
Mellbreak appears above the fields and forestry.
Nearly to the top of the fields and on to the fells . . .
The skyline bas broadened to show the clouds drifting slowly south and east, away from the central fells.
Behind us the Hopegill fells are clear but there's no clarity over Skiddaw as the cloud is still down over there.
An old iron gate and fence, with a more modern wooden kissing gate.
They are all redundant now as the wire fence up and down the fellside has long since rusted away.
Out onto the flat moorland alongside Watching Crag where Dylan and Amber have chance for a fast run-around.
The Buttermere valley is misty but we could just make out the form but not the detail of Brandreth and Great Gable in the far distance.
Closer to hand there's a hint of colours on Grasmoor and Whiteside.
That colour is spreading across the sky as we make the steep climb to the next stile.
Cresting the top of Low Fell and a burst of sunshine reflects off the cheeks of my two companions.
"Are they reflecting off mine ? "
Okay . . . the sunshine reflects off all four of my companions today !
Pause for photo-shoot on Low Fell summit.
The reason for the bright sunshine . . . the bright sun . . . in the clear gap between Blake Fell and an errant cloud.
Low Fell southern top approaches.
Since we reached the ridge, and particularly here on the end of Low Fell, we are hit by the full force of the wind . . .
and after the weather front has passed south, a particularly cold wind too.
No photos on the top but Jo takes one for us while Ann and I shelter behind the viewpoint cairn.
Rather than drop down the steep southern end we decide to drop down to the left from the viewpoint
and this takes us back to the fence line that follows the green dotted pubic footpath and the fence line shown on the map.
We're dropping off the side of the fell on what must be one of the steepest slopes to carry a public right of way.
Actually after a short way we take advantage of the "open access" rules rather than the "public right of way" regulations
and take a gentler, diagonal line down towards the old pine tree out of sight below.
This brings us down to the circular sheep fold on the bluff above the pine tree.
It is not really visible from the high fell above or from the road below, so to view it needs a specific diversion.
It is worth the effort as the view from here is of the Buttermere Valley
from Loweswater and Crummock Water in the foreground to Great Gable in the distance.
There are thirteen Wainwright tops in this photo today . . . many more on a clearer day.
Parts of the sheepfold are in quite good condition but much is missing.
Our path continues on down, avoiding the wet and slippery areas by the reeds and puddles.
The Scots Pine stands firm against the march of time and more importantly the recent high winds.
The sun is setting behind the Loweswater fells as we descend . . . so the valley loses its sunset colours too.
As the poor weather moves away so the central fells stand out the clearest they have done all day.
The recently painted Vicarage stands out but those distant views are fading fast.
Close to home now . . . we'll fetch the car later !
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Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon Sureshot SX220, or my Nikon P520 digital camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . tea, Christmas cake and the spare car keys.
Previous walk - 25th December 2014 - Rannerdale at Christmas
Another circular sheep fold - 28th August 2006 Great Calva and mighty Mungrisdale Common
Next walk - 3rd January 2015 - A Mosedale Wander