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Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Cold Fell… where it was cold actually…

brunthwaite viewpoint

Cold Fell is a boggy, soggy, heathery lump at the very top end of the Pennines. It is, in fact the very last Pennine you would come across if you were walking up the length of the Pennines. After this, it’s Hadrian’s Wall.

And another thing about Cold Fell is that it’s part of the RSPB nature reserve Geltsdale. This is a Good Place if you’re a hen harrier or a black grouse. Geltsdale also goes by the name of the King’s Forest of Geltsdale, an ex-hunting forest belonging, at one time, to the Scottish crown.

And it’s got an ancient cairn on the top which has been fashioned into a big, neat cairn and a small and scruffy wind shelter just big enough for three people and a small dog.

cold fell 005

lichen flowering

And so it was today that three people and a small dog sploshed up from the car park at Clesketts into that familiar Pennine Driving Drizzle and into the sheltering arms of the Cold Pike’s Cairn. The three were, of course, me, John and Brian and Bruno.  We only stayed long enough to scoff a butty and a mars bar and to take a pic of some lichen which was flowering on the stones. I suppose that this is exactly the kind of weather that lichen likes. It seems likely.

knipes in the cairn

brian outside the cairn

Lashed by a bit more driving drizzle, we descended a different way over a windy and drizzly moor to better visibility and an old tramway which lead back to where we’d started.

kings forest of geltsdale

It was all very damp and the Belted Will public house nearby was firmly closed.

We did six and a half miles. Longer walks are available when there’s more daylight and less precipitation. It’s always going to be soggy underfoot, though.

Onwards and upwards…..



Al said...

Glad to say when I was up Cold Fell in July it was bakin hot!Cracking view to the north in good weather, not wanting to rud it in or anything! I walked your route in reverse, I think. Were they still working on the cottage below the tramway?
It was my only ascent,(them Marilyns get you to the parts others don't reach) have you been up there before? Looks like you had a good do dispite the mistiness.

Mike Knipe said...

We went clockwise... I think the cottage must be finished - no work going on, cars parked, lights on, smoke from chimney...
Apparently, this was my fourth trip up this hill. I found a compass up here once!

Dawn said...

Certainly looks soggy and damp, Mike.

4 Winds said...

An impressive amount of kit you're both wearing/carrying there!

afootinthehills said...

Sounds exactly like the days we've been having.