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Monday, 20 September 2010

More Birkett Bagging Beyond Buttermere

bruno sneaks up.....
Actually, it was quite near Ennerdale.
But anyway – I’d set off to bag Swainson Knott and it’s two little satellite hills Ponsonby Fell and Stone Pike, when, as I was driving towards the starting point, I noticed Flat fell.
I didn’t have the map for Flat Fell, but it was an easy bag from the road – half an hour did it.  It was about 2km and 140 metres of up – mainly the crossing of a deep peri-glacial channel. I noticed, though, that due to the sogginess of the ground today, both of my feet were soaked after this short jaunt.
I then bagged Cold Fell – another small Wainwright outlier during which I got a really good view of Sellafield Nuclear Power Station and Armageddon Repository, and that my tootsies were now even wetter.
Bruno suggested lunch in the car. So that’s what we did. I had Lancashire Cheese and Tomato and Bruno had Dog Dribble. Is that cruel?  I just dont care mwwwwwuhahahah…
hut circle
After this we paddled off to outflank Ponsonby Fell. This involved a long outward leg on some bridleways, one of which crossed Worm Gill. Worm Gill, it turned out was in a bit of a bad mood and was having a rage. The crossing point was flowing fast at just over knee-deep. This would have been disastrous for keeping everything else other than the wet socks dry. Upstream, though, the beck is braided into four smaller streams and only one of these was almost knee deep. The others were shallow. Nevertheless, the feet could not, now get any wetter.
crossing point worm beck
At Scalperskew Farm, they were bringing in the gimmers and one of the dogs, I noticed only had three legs. Not only that but the scruffy little pooch wasn’t even a “proper” sheep dog – it was some kind of poodle/terrier/collie/alsation/greyhound/sheep cross. QAnd it was barking and biting the tyres of the shepherd’s ATV.
When the shepherd drove across a cattle grid, the poor tripod couldn’t get across and had aa bark at the gate at the side. I let him through and he dashed off after the ATV with remarkable efficiency.
Ponsonby Fell was quickly bagged, followed by a barbed-wire defended Stone Pike, which has a sheepfold on top for the sheltering behind whilst drinking coffee and scoffing ginger cake. And then it was Swainson Knott, with it’s cairn made of what appears to be cow bones.
The sun came out for the return up by the River Calder (?Calderdale!) and, it has to be said, that this little dale is remarkably beautiful and a bit wild.
calder dale
When i got back to the car, two constables from BNF’s Sellafield Police Force were posted next to my car. They check out all badly parked cars, apparently. They were very friendly, though and allowed me to attack their boots with my groin before driving off laughing. (Actually, that last bit didn’t happen…)
worm gill and river calder junction
Today was 11 miles and 2200 feet of upness. I’ve only put up a map of the Swainson Knott bit of the route. Anybody intent on following this route should note that the descent from Swainson Knott to Calderdale was a trespass and was defended by particularly6 spiky barbed wire fences. Nothing stops The Pie and his Superdawg, though.
Three Birketts and Three Wainwright Outliers ticked. (some overlap exists)
swainson knott

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