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Sunday, 14 September 2014

Navigational Challenges in Eskdale Part 1.5

a bit of rocky contouring
It was some time on Tuesday afternoon that me and the dog managed to get ourselves organised and on our way to Eskdale. And several hours later we turned up at Fisherground campsite where we met various helpful staff who were very nice about my plans to stay for five nights, but not actually be present for the whole five nights and to leave a tent and the knipemobile there whilst I went off for a wander.
lucky waits to go to bed
I put up the akto, installed the sleeping bag and all that stuff and went off in search of the ablutions, but by some peculiar navigational oversight – probably due to a mis-read grid reference or something, I was recovering from some kind of reverie on the perimeter road - involving a female Australian pop-singer - when I suddenly found myself in the main bar of the George IV (King of Prussia) with a pint of foaming ale in my fist and a sighing dog under the table.
harter fell from dow crag
The next morning, it being a Wednesday, we set off in search of a small car park near Wha House (this could be misread by North-Easterners as meaning “Our House and, just to be clear, it wasn’t “Our House”, but somebody else’s, although I wouldn’t mind living there myself as it happens)  and plodded off through some steep and deep bracken up a path which leads ultimately to the top of Harter Fell. But that’s not where we were going – oh no…  The handle on the dog’s new expensive Ruffwear hearness came in handly for crossing the new fence that they’re building and we marched Southly across a dried-out bog to Target #1 for the day – Dow Crag – a small but rocky tor with a lovely view of Harter Fell which looked very steep and quite hard from where I sat.
crook crag and green crag
After this delight, we threaded a way through crags up to the excessively steep and rocky Crook Crag and thence a search for the elusive Great Whinscale – another rocky top which appears to be in two or three places at once, so I visited all of them in no special order, just in case.
low birker tarn
Broad Crag was a long way over there ----->; and reached by a bit of craggy contouring and then, when sense eventually prevailed, a vague and probably normally damp path which took us within close reach of Broad Crag. Broad crag is indeed quite broad and is ideal for enjoying a second lunch and a bit of a snooze.
We returned to the squishy path and followed it, fairly inaccurately down to Tarn Crag and the little oval of Low Birker Tarn which, I might add (in practise for next week’s Druridge Bay North-East Skinny Dip) is suddenly very deep indeed but, luckily, not specially cold. Lucky just watched. There’s Lucky isn’t it?
eskdale from kepple crag
A traverse of more knobbly bits (of landscape) produced the final upward lurch of the day – Kepple Crag. Kepple Crag was the third Birkett of the day and the one with the finest view of Eskdale in..Eskdale.
We descended by devious ways through crags and steepenings and by some kind of peculiar but probably simple navigational transgression, I suddenly and inexplicably found myself sitting in the beer garden of the Woolpack Inn with a pint of shandy in my hand and a puzzled but very tired dog tethered to the table.
This pretty much brought the walk to an end.
lucky likes the tent

Lucky likes the tent and spent the hours between doggy teatime (about half six) and doggy breakfast time (about eight the next morning) snoring and farting on a woolly blanket  and underneath my Berghaus down jacket thingy. Even opening the tent doors didn’t produce the usual dash for the outside which has been my experience with previous dogs. And I had to drag him out at 3:00 am for a pee.
Well, it was dark and I wasn’t about to go out there by myself innit?
More later – I would have put a map in this post, but I’ve just noticed that the trace of the route effectively spells the word “pillock”, albeit with only one “l”. Must have been the wanderings on Great Whinscale.


Quinn said...

If you don't mind a suggestion, re Lucky's aromatic tendencies: I use a product called Probios for all kinds of digestive issues, in all kinds of animals. Can't hurt, and might be worth a try. Tent must start feeling a bit...close?

Dawn said...

Looks fantastic Mike

AlanR said...

You must have been quite delirious, fancy missing out the bar tops of Boot Inn bar and Brook House Inn. I would get that compass re-calibrated.

Meanqueen said...

You got lucky with that dog. He's a beaut.