Monday, 24 November 2014

Birkett Common Second Go - and Wild Boar Fell

Due to being seriously put off from bagging the very lovely Birkett Common on Dawn and me and Lucky’s camping jaunt the other day by some pretty duff weather, me and the pooch decided to return to Kirkby Stephen to have another go.
The knipemobile was parked in a patch of mud on the newly rebuilt minor road across Wharton Fell and wandered off to collect our top.
erratic on birkett common
Birkett Common, it turns out, is a rather nice Carb limestone top littered with a few lake-District type erotic boulders and some lumps which would only really qualify as “stones”. And it has a very nice view of the Upper Eden valley as well.
on the way up...
sunny howgills
and misty mallerstang
Having got this off my chest, I wandered up the long ridge which eventually ends up at the top of Wild Boar Fell. This was covered in hill-fog but over to the West, the Lake District was all shiny and golden in lovely sunshine and soon, the Howgills too shrugged off their fluffy mantle and shone proudly in the sun. Wild Boar fell, meanwhile hung on to it’s cloak until we’d got to the summit area when the mist lifted suddenly and we were bathed in the golden glow etc and so on.
near the top
This was in stark contrast to the last time me and Lucky were on this ridge – when we crossed it against  with Dawn on a wet and windy Wednesday a week (ish) ago. Conditions today were, in fact quite civilised and this way is quite a good route for climbing or descending Wild Boar fell
trig point damage
It wasn’t warm, though. In fact it was nithering. We lunched at the trig which some hungry hiker appears to have had a big bite of, and then splodged through the bogs back to Eastern edge – the one with the lovely view of Mallerstang.
It was here that my camera stopped working. I struggled to get that last picture – taking out the batteries and warming them up only to be foiled time after time by the cold and the lack of electricity in them.
mallerstang from the eatsern escarpment
Eventually, whilst the pooch whinged, shivered and complained, I finally got the picture and we headed off back down the long ridge in double-quick time.
On the way home, I also bagged Ash Fell – a summit with a trig and two tumuli and a stupendous view of the Northern part of the Howgills, just as the sun began to set. My camera wouldn’t let me take any more pictures, though, so, with a grumpy heart and Lucky’s last winalot biccie safe in my pocket, we returned over the Pennines back to Pieland.
Note self: Try to remember that this route would be quite good as a walk between Garsdale head  and Kirkby Stephen train stations. Just sayin’…
Nuther note to self: Get some spare batteries for the camera, idiot….
We did about 9 miles.
wild boar fell


Andrew said...

Nice view that into Mallastrang. I remember taking a short cut along that minor road over Wharton Fell (in the car) a couple of years ago. It was rather narrow,rough going and interesting in places, especially when we met another vehicle!

Dawn said...

Well done Mike, nice one!

Al said...

That there Birkett Common was the first hill I climbed outside the Lakes...aged approx 7. As a family we used to go down by the beck and play...I decided it would be exciting to make a solo ascent, the shouting from Mum and Dad and finally chasing from Dad only spuring me on to a sprint to the summit!
50 years on it seems like only yesterday.
Thanks for the reminder Mike!!

Mike Knipe said...

No worries on that road now, Andrew, its got all new surface and passing places - just the last steep bit at the mallerstang end is a bit narrow.
Dawn - Ta! I found another camping spot btw... just past the train tunnel...
Al - Oddly enough I saw two small sprogs on their bikes on the road and it reminded me that when I was about 5, me and my brother wandered off. We had a full police search, though!

Chrissie said...

You know, Lucky has a lovely smile :)

Caz.P. said...

Like reading about your adventures Mike. As I read though I can hear another Mike's voice. You're not that Mrs ' arding's lad in disguise, are you ? Ha ha.

Mike Knipe said...

Caz - Me and Mr Harding only share a Lancashire heritage. I have all his records, though!