Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Seathwaite and Great Gable

Seathwaite farm, set in the southern extremity of Borrowdale valley was the start of this walk today and has the unusual award of being the wettest inhabited place in England. This location is well known amongst serious walkers as the starting point for many of the high Lakeland mountains including Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England. The seemingly tranquil place gets upset by the constant footfall of walking traffic, particularly as it is an option for the national three peaks challenge ( climbing the highest mountain in Scotland, England and Wales for charitable causes within 24 hours). It can of course be even more hectic for the farmer........

Barn gate

On leaving the farm, Taylorgill force soon becomes apparent while the route continues to the left and crosses the stream at Stockley bridge. The path then climbs into the picture from the left behind the trees in the centre of the photo.
The view below is taken from the opposite direction from the previous photo looking back towards the valley....

The walk continued up to Sty head pass (488m) where i stopped for lunch, as once again because of cloud cover I started this walk late. There is a first aid / stretcher box here which has historical significance in that it is the only remaining example of such an item in the area. This concept was thought up in the 1930s prior to mountain rescue teams to assist injured climbers at this outpost. These days, its use is of interest only as equipment disappears and it is an alternative winter shelter !!

For the walkers amongst you, last time I climbed Great Gable I used the more conventional route from Green Gable to the north and moved on to Kirk Fell in the west before returning to Sty head via Climbers traverse.
This time I wanted to re-visit a part of Climbers traverse and ascend from there. This route is famous for the pioneers of rock climbing and some unique geological features......

After about 30 - 45 minutes of trying to keep to the path and climbing over large rocks and boulders that seemed to block the path, I came to a 45 degree angle scree shoot called Great Hell gate......

I was supposed to carry on and find Little Hell gate with more rock features on the way such as Napes needle and the Sphinx ( if you've never seen photographs of these two things before, I recommend you look up Google images for both). However, as the time was marching on, this would probably have to wait for another visit, so in the meantime, it was time to enjoy the view towards Wastwater, the deepest lake in England.... famous for the training of divers...

Proceeding up the side of the scree shoot, I spot the summit area in cloud in this Lord of the Rings country...

One of the locals is a bit bemused by my choice of route........

"What are you doing using this route on my mountain?"

I soon arrive into cloud with not a lot to see except this profile of a Wiltshire walker that I met up with on the descent to Sty head. The summit was soon reached where there is a memorial of the fell and rock climbing club dedicated in 1924 to the soldiers of World War 1. There is a memorial service held up here every November....

The cloud didn't lift, so I descended the mountain to see what was underneath it, by the more usual route down to Styhead tarn...

The "resort" of Sty head tarn is famous for wild camping  ( a few tents in the distance by the shore), Art work and painting leisure interests.....

.......   and a relaxing swim after a hard day on the mountains !! ...........



  2. Another grand post, a beautiful area. Can't stand the thought of it in summer but I'll get back for a week or so this winter.

  3. these mountain landscapes are really beautiful! it reminds me of my home, fog and animals freedoms, it is always nice to walk with you!

  4. Very beatiful walk in the mountains, I'm very happy because I may see a little bits of your walks up and down..., and you founds beautiful landscapes and the animals remains thinking "what is he doing by here?" :)
    Have a good day

  5. I love that walk, can be on the wildside but very impressive. Your pictures say it all xx

  6. Well, since I found this jurnal...I wait daily for your journey!
    What a beautiful stories...and from here,(Romania), i can feel the breeze of mist (we have like 100 degrees, ha ha)
    Images are really beautiful!
    See you tomorrow!

  7. great photos...beautiful view
    and if you like tall things...
    thanks for comment...nice blog you have

  8. Hey J on Tour - cool blog and great fotos - love it when those mists roll in......

    thanks for dropping by travels with persephone!

  9. another set of lovely photos with interesting story, the man in the mist is great as well as the perfect reflections in the lake and last but not least, a happy dog :-)

  10. Have a wonderful weekend, Jay!
    Best wishes from Romania!

  11. What a great photo's of a beautiful surrounding. Like your blog very much. I think these are great promoting UK images.
    Thank you for your interest.


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