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" Barrow Fell with Jen "
Date & start time: Saturday 21st February 2015, 10.30 am start. ( NY 230 232 )
Location of Start : Roadside above the Coledale Inn, Braithwaite, Cumbria, Uk.
Places visited : High Coledale, Barrow Door, Barrow summit, back across Barrow Gill.
Walk details : 2.8 mls, 1150 feet of ascent, 1 hour 45 mins.
Highest point : Barrow Fell. 1,494ft - 455m.
Walked with : Ann Jenna and our dogs, Harry and Dylan.
Weather : Winter sunshine, snow on the surrounding summits, cloud on the highest ones.
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Last Saturday arrived all too quickly and before our daughter set off for home we had chance for a morning walk
provided we didn't drive too far . . . we chose somewhere close to home with good views
that didn't take too long to climb to the summit.
It had to be a walk which would find us back at home before lunchtime . . .
There's Spring in the air and the snowdrops are having another good year
covering our garden and the local lanes and woodlands with their soft white blooms.
We've parked at the head of the road leading up from the Coledale Inn in Braithwaite.
The road up to the ruined High Coledale Farm also leads to the local service reservoir, so is in quite good condition.
It is a gentle climb up and the views back improve as we climb.
The sky is clear but the high fells create clouds of their own probably making walking conditions up there much less comfortable.
Jenna and Ann . . . our lovely daughter used to be smaller and lived at home . . . now she's grown and flown the nest !
Hold your cursor over the picture to see what I mean.
The final trees on the fell shelter the desolated ruins of the old High Coledale Farm.
It was finally abandoned within the lifetime of some of the local residents who still remember it as a working farm.
Blease Fell and the climb to Blencathra summit, the top being shrouded in snow of late.
Lower down to the right is Latrigg . . . looking benign unlike the day we experienced a howling gale when we were there recently.
Ahead . . . Causey Pike . . . as seen over Barrow Door.
To the right is not Outerside but Stile End, the minor summit at the north eastern end of the Outerside Ridge.
Up in the clouds, in fact in the cloud all day today, was the summit of Grisedale Pike.
The High Coledale track has narrowed to a path as we climb up alongside Stile End.
The path has become incised into the turf as numerous feet (and much running water) has dislodged and washed out the soil.
Opposite is the broad outline of Barrow . . . we were quizzical about all the paths through the bracken on the fellside.
The far one off to the left was quite straight and steadily graded. Could it be an old mine track rather than one made by the sheep ?
Causey Pike, climbed by us last Saturday, as seen from Barrow Door.
There's a fresh dusting of snow compared to that day when we climbed to the summit.
We'd travelled round the corner to see the view . . .
and now it was time to double back and climb the final short ascent to the top of Barrow.
This young lad, Christopher, was very chatty and enjoyed talking to the dogs
while his Dad climbed the last few feet to the top to join him.
A brief moment with only three people in view.
Flip the lever and the Nikon zoom picks out the viaduct above Keswick in close-up detail.
That looks like the Camping Club site on the grass on the left . . . no wonder it is occasionally evacuated when the lake level rises.
Beyond Keswick is Great Mell Fell
and that white looking cloud in the distance is in fact snow on the Pennine Hills.
Distant Helvellyn, less distinct now as the sun has gone in for a moment
We're looking over the summit of Catbells and though it is not clear here, there were four or five people on the summit.
Our summit had a few more folk now as we turned for one last look at Causey Pike.
Talking of people on summits . . .
A large group seen earlier climbing up the front of Causey Pike were on their way again after a brief stop on the summit.
Heavier cloud has shrouded Crag Hill (Eel Crags) but it was still sunny on Sail in the middle.
Those man-made hairpins on the Fix the Fells path up Sail stand out even worse in the snow.
I wonder if they will do the decent thing and take the bulldozer back up there and fill them in in favour of a pitched path ?
We turn our back on such things and head off down the front ridge of Barrow,
staying in the sunshine and getting slightly warmer as we descend.
The un-named minor hause, the bump on Barrow Fell, with Swinside to the right.
This is the top of the Barrow and Uzzicar Lead Mine workings. The fellside down to the right are testament
to the amount of lead tailings which were tipped down the slopes. They prevent the re-growth of vegetation on that side of the fell to this day.
[ On returning home I read Ian Tyler's book "Lakes and Cumbrian Mine Guide" which hints at five levels of workings
and water leats across the fellside c1890's. Maybe those 'paths' were miners tracks and water channels after all.
More info here from Portsmouth University Geography Department.]
Looking down across the mine tailings on the western side as we head down to cross the Barrow Gill valley below.
The sunshine is beautiful and the views across to Binsey are really clear.
Could that be Grisedale Pike summit out for the first time in the day . . . if so it was very brief.
The start of the steep gorge that has been cut by the river . . . we follow the path which crosses over at the head of the ravine.
If you have a couple of hours to spare this makes a great short walk into the fells
Add the snowy tops and the sunshine and Jenna returned happily to Sheffield after lunch back at the cottage.
- - - o o o - - -
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 . . . a reference book on Lakeland Mines to read when you get home.
Previous walk - 16th February 2015 - Harter Fell with Jenna
A previous time up here - 13th January 2013 - Barrow Fell in the Snow