The Mob are out again, this time for an "A" walk
which takes us up through the crags to a classic Wainwright
top but using a less frequented route.
An prompt start was to our advantage as the poorer weather
came earlier than expected,
especially as high up on the fells the upland location emphasised
the apparent change of season from mild autumn to cold winter.
The Mob today numbered ten folk as we headed
out from the car park at the start of the Coledale Mine track
We don't actually walk in two lines, it's just
what happened when I asked everyone to spread out for an initial
The village of Braithwaite below us as we head
up the mine track.
High cloud is gathering over the Helvellyn Range
. . . that's not due here till 3 o'clock if the forecast is
Our pre-walk talk was delayed a few minutes
until we had rounded the first corner and saw our route laid
Richard, who led this walk, pointed out Crag
Hill (Eel Crag)at the head of the valley
and Tower Ridge, the rocky central outcrop that
we aimed to climb today.
Tower Ridge is the triangular outcrop of rock
that rises above the grassy rake, seen climbing diagonally across
the face of the fell.
Crag Hill has two summits and two names. Technically
Eel Crag is the right hand end,
with Crag Hill being the left hand, rounded
and higher summit of the same fell.
( Photo by Jo Hall, with thanks)
Having all but reached the Coledale Mine, we
cross the river onto the start of a rising track that would
ultimately lead up to Coledale Hause
The major reason for its size and importance
at this point was as a mine track leading to the upper levels
of the old mine.
As we head up the track we can look across to
the remains of the Force
This was originally started as a lead mine in
1839 but became important for zinc and finally barytes before
it finally closed in 1991.
It is now in the care of the National Trust,
who occasionally offer above-ground tours for the general public.
We start to gain altitude rather more quickly
as we climb towards Force Crags and the waterfall.
Looking back down the valley with Peter and
Sue in the picture.
Down in the valley the two symmetrical lakes
are modern settling ponds, built to catch any metal pollution
seeping from the old mine.
Further up we stopped for a quick coffee at
the point where we intend to leave the track and head up towards
Conveniently the stop coincides with 11am on
this Remembrance Sunday, so we also pause and observe a minutes
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Our route now heads upward once again, crossing
the rough ground towards the crag with the 'v' notch high above
The track we left is now far below us and can
be seen in the lower part of the photo.
On the side of Grisedale Pike opposite are the
surface workings and tracks associated with the upper levels
of the Force Crag Mine.
To our left a dry upland corrie under Scott
and the ridgeway climb from there to Sail Fell
that we'll be walking later.
It was about here that we realised Richard was
actually taking us up the rocky outcrop itself rather than the
grassy rake to the side.
To be fair, he had described it exactly as such
in the introduction, but I for one thought he'd find a grassy
route up through the rock.
No, it was the full monty . . . a rock scramble
up the ridge . . . however steep it was it wasn't anything we
hadn't experienced before.
Scrambling up between the crags, a pause for
breath allowed us more extensive views across the valley
which now included the summit of Grisedale Pike,
with it's head in the cloud for the first time today.
As we climbed
the cloud base lowered as the bad weather had arrived
The first drops of rain
(or heavy mist) started to dampen the rock.
As a result two of the group had decided it
was time to peel off and seek less vertiginous ground, so they
made their way back down together.
The rest of us continued on but the climb was
now needing the extra care that well placed hands and feet would
The mist started to include occasional drops
of rain and then gradually held more consistent moisture !
As we neared the top of the climb the cloud
obscured the distant views
and we crossed a faint snow line, all that remained
of a winter shower from recent days.
The ridge was successfully climbed and that
feeling of slight euphoria from completing a challenging route
was nicely warming inside.
Fortunately the rain had also eased as we made
the flat top of the fell . . . somewhere up here is a trig point
We followed the curvature of the fell towards
the highest point and sure enough there it was.
A quick photo by Jo of the summit party on the
top of Crag Hill.
Visibility was sufficiently good that we didn't
lose orientation, so we headed off towards the correct descent
path to Sail Fell without problem.
The exposed top of the summit and subsequent
ridge line we were open to the full gusts of the westerly wind.
Add to that a light but steady sprinkle of freezing
cold rain and our waterproof clothing was being appreciated
to the full.
Ahead now and the ridge towards Sail has a few
crags of its own to contend with
but a path diversion took us around these without
Once again looking back at the way we had come.
As the path dropped slightly to the sheltered
side of the ridge we were protected from the weather.
This made a good spot to stop for lunch . .
. a bit of a view . . . no wind to blow the sandwiches and sit
( Photo by Peter B, with thanks)
Onward and upward once more, but the path by-passes
the true summit of Sail Fell.
I diverted slightly to take the photo and to
watch the others heading off into the cloud . . . time to catch
From the top of Sail the path becomes a wide
machine made track
which zig-zags horribly down the fellside towards
The direction of the track was so unnatural
that many of the group avoided the largest of the bends.
Ahead of us was the ever clearing view of Outerside,
Stile End and Barrow, fells that we would pass on the way down.
We turned left before Scar Crags and headed
down via High Moss on the Stonycroft Gill track.
The path junctions at Barrow Door.
We declined on climbing Barrow today and instead
turned left at this point and headed directly for High Coledale
[ Few photos for this last section due to
keeping hands nicely warm in my gloves and the camera tucked
away in the dry]
The ruin buildings of High Coledale that were
passed on the way down.
Richard leading the way to the old farm track.
There was a slight debate about where to end
the walk, but we decided that the Coledale, despite being dog
really wouldn't appreciate eight wet walkers
and two wet dogs who were happy but slightly tired at the end
of the five hour walk.
Anyway, we hadn't finished the walk as the cars
were on the other side of Coledale Beck.
The small footbridge down by the small Church
was well decorated and well maintained and gave us easy access
to the Whinlatter Road
and the car park just a short way up the hill.
Thanks Richard for an interesting walk.
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Technical note: Pictures taken
with my iPhone 11pro mobile phone camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built
up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with
. . . someone who has walked the route before.
- - - o o o - - -
Go to Home Page .
. . © RmH . . . Email
11th Nov 2023 - Honister
Vintage Car Event
previous time up here -
11th April 2021 - Four
Seasons Causey Pike
25th Nov 2023 - Siddick
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