This was even yet another walk in the series of Yorkshire Dales 2000 foot tops, and, yet another that’s not in the (administrative) county of Yorkshire, although once in the West Riding, always in the West Riding.
We all met by the playground in Tebay. The population of this walk grew in the preceding few days and, as well as me and Bruno, there was Our Kid, John Jocys and Viv, Rick, Stuart and Pedro. Pedro was the black and white collie-cross which appears in a few of the pictures. Pedro was specially interested in Bruno’s bottom for some reason and regularly got into bother for it. But that’s just dogs y’see. they like that kind of thing….
Anyway, after a short tussle with the kissing stile at the Church (tip: Use the gate…), and a brief introduction to Tebay’s Industrial periphery, we embarked on a route which follows a roughish course along the intake wall with a grand view of the M6 and , after a bit of contouring, drops into Carlin Gill, which we followed upstream to a notice board.
The notice board said that the BMC and English nature had agreed that people would not climb Black Force or the grassy arete alongside it between March and June 2009 so as not to upset some raptors which may be nesting in the vicinity.
We decided that if the raptors nested there last year, they might try to do so this year and so, opted instead for the steep and grassy ridge up on to Fell Head in front of us. This was not a specially easy option. There were bits of it which were unfeasibly steep. Steep? Don’t talk to me about steep…. Anyway, after a while we reached a path which we followed to the left for a while. This was just putting off the moment when we would have to resume the steep grass – which we did. But it soon relented and not too much later we were all stood in the nithering wind at the little summit cairn on Fell Head. Job done.
As it was much too draughty here for comfortable sitting around , we dropped down into a cosy nook for lunch and then down beside a gill to Blakethwaite Bottom. (Have I ever mentioned what a grand wild camping spot this would be, by the way?)
Another short but steep climb took us up on to Uldale Head and some moors, tussocks and wild sphagnum brought us eventually back to the start.
What happened to the spring? Personally, I was freezing most of today.
But the walk was a fine little expedition in good company and we didn’t get lost.
We did 12 miles and 2200 (ish) feet of climbing – some of it at an acute angle. There were a lot of people out today, including several dozens in high vis jackets, poking around or just gazing at the slope failures in Carlin Gill, and a large rambling group who chased us up the first bit of Fell head, then disappeared and re-appeared somewhere else as we came down. One or two looked a bit puzzled by the fact that we were descending towards them from an unexpected angle.