Thursday, 10 June 2010

A-Walking: Sedbergh Switchback

Our three expeditions this week (Sunday, 6th June) each took place in the Howgill Fells area of Cumbria. The A-Walk set off from near Bridge Cottages on the A683, the B-Walk started at Cross Keys and the C-Walk commenced at Rawthey Bridge.

After leaving the A683 road {SD 716 981}, the intent of the A-Walk was to visit Green Bell, Randygill Top, Yarlside, The Calf, Calders and Winder before arriving at our final destination in Sedbergh {SD 657 921}.

We left our drop-off point at about 11.00 am. There were eleven people in the group: JB, JPB, PB, RB, MC, KF, CH, CL AM, LM and RW. PB led the walk.

From the A683 road we set off along a footpath that led us uphill in a north-north-westerly direction towards Murthwaite {SD 714 986}. We continued in a roughly northerly direction to reach a minor road near Stonely Gill {NY 711 002}. We now climbed up to Grere Fell {NY 702 005} and from there navigated a route up onto Green Bell {NY 699 011} (1976 feet) - see the picture below. At this height, we were now in quite misty conditions - accompanied by light rain. Because of the mist, it would have been quite difficult finding the trig point without a GPS.

Green Bell
We moved off from the trig point on a south-westerly bearing and made our way across Spengill Head {NY 695 007} and Stockless {NY 693 005} before climbing up onto Randygill Top {NY 687 000} (2038 feet). After admiring the view (the mist was now starting to lift), we descended from the high ground in a south-easterly direction - stopping at some peat haggs {SD 690 997} for a short lunch break. From our lunch location we had some good views of Kensgriff - see the picture below.

After lunch we had a gentle climb up onto Kensgriff {SD 688 993} before descending to the Saddle at {SD 687 989}. Another very steep climb now took us up onto Yarlside {SD 685 985} (2090 feet). This was undoubtedly the 'killer-climb' of the day - and involved an almost vertical ascent!

Once we were up on top, we made our way south across Yarlside and then descended in a westerly direction into Bowderdale {SD 681 982}. After crossing Bowderdale Beck we had another hard climb up to the tarn at {SD 671 974} where we stopped for our tea break. By now, the visibility had improved substantially and we were able see The Calf on the horizon to the south-west of our tea-stop location.

The Calf
Following our short break, we made our way to the trig point on The Calf {SD 667 970} - see the above picture. At about 2220 feet, this was the highest point on our route. From here we made our way on a bearing of 156° over Bram Rigg Top {SD 669 965} to Calders {SD 671 961}.

We descended from Calders in a southerly direction and walked across Rowantree Grains {SD 669 953} in the direction of Arrant Haw. However, our path took us along the east side of the high ground. We were now progressing down-hill towards Winder when we overtook a large group of walkers from York.

At the track junction {SD 658 937}, we decided not to visit the summit of Winder and, instead, took the path to our left which took us down the east side of the hill. We continued in a south-westerly direction along our descent path, eventually arriving at Lockbank Farm (see the picture below) and, beyond it, Howgill Lane {SD 652 923}.

Lockbank Farm
Turning left along Howgill Lane, we followed the road in an easterly direction to the car park in the centre of Sedbergh {SD 659 921} where our coach was waiting to take us back to Teesside.

Despite the weather conditions that we experienced today, we had an interesting and exciting adventure in the Howgill Fells. Use the buttons below to see where we went, how we did and some of the photos




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