Occasion : An afternoon walk with David and Jennifer Hall, Ann and the dogs.
Start Time : 3.45pm Friday 11th June 2004
Place : Lords Seat, Broom Fell, Graystones and Spout Force, from the Whinlatter Road.
Walk details : 5.2 miles, 1800 ft of ascent, 3 hrs 45 mins including a visit to the falls.
Weather : Overcast with two sharp showers, nice sunshine to finish. A coolish breeze on top.
Our walking companions, David and Jennifer Hall with Ann as they pass Darling How Farm.
We parked at the Spout Fall car park and walked the forestry road past the farm and up the valley that skirts behind Whinlatter Fell. The river here changes its name three times in the course of the map, from Whit Beck to Aiken Beck and finally to Drycroft Gill where it rises under the summits of Knott and Whinlatter.
Plants of the forest
Forestry equipment is always intriguing as it appears quite normal from a distance, but then close up all sort of appendages and "Heath Robinson" devices seem to sprout forth in order to tackle the particular needs of harvesting trees in difficult terrain.
This digger has a specialist grab and a cable winch for hauling logs, plus an extra strong protective cage in case he drops any of them on his head!
Oh yes . . . Broom Fell in the background.
Our route took us back along the skyline on the second half of the walk.
The end of the track and start of the real climb.
We took advantage of the forestry road up behind Whinlatter Fell then cut up along the stone wall to the left. A quick stop to remove unnecessary clothing and to get out the trekking poles ready for the ascent.
Climbing steadily along the wall we soon gained height.
Behind us the bare hillside where the forestry clearance had been going on. Over the wall the cleared woodland has begun to green but already has a new planting of conifer for future harvesting. The washed out fells in the distance were not a trick of the light but warning sign of an approaching shower.
As we made the ridge it was waterproofs for us but the dogs didn't seem mind the rain.
The light and shade here held deep contrast of greys as the rain shower passed over us and on towards Skiddaw. The cloud base could only have been a hundred or so feet above us.
After the rain the visibility was never quite as good but our view of the distant Western and Central Fells more or less returned as the shower moved way.
Click here for a full panorama
Broom Fell Summit - two shots looking east to Lords Seat and west to the sunshine over the coast at Workington.
The Cairn is remarkably large for some reason but in need of a little renovation to secure the upper stones. Perhaps a step ladder (or even an ironing board) would be a useful addition to reach up to reset the top properly.
A gradual descent along the ridge to the delightfully named Widows Hause where the forestry ends and we climb a rickety stile and strike up a short but steep grassy ascent to the final summit of Graystones.
Holly and Harry adding colour to a greyish day.
Whinlatter and Knotts in the middle distance and the Helvellyn range in sunshine beyond.
Do I detect eyelids starting to droop as Harry relaxes on our last summit ?
He is growing fast and has plenty of energy but still appreciates a brief stop now and again to recuperate ready for the next section.
Lorton Valley with Melbreak (darker profile) on the left
the Loweswater fells in the centre distance and Low Fell to the right.
Down now in a big way.
Nearly 900 feet of 1in3 descent here to the valley below following the old wall of Darling How Plantation. Last time we walked here we used this as an ascent and walked the route in the opposite direction. Walking it this way seems a much easier option.
Scawgill Bridge carrying the Whinlatter road over Aiken Beck
Spout Force waterfall is a short distance upstream along a reasonable path.
However the last part of the path takes you up through the trees but is well worth the climb as you end up on an elevated viewpoint overlooking the falls.
Afterwards we back-tracked, crossed the beck and climbed a similar path back to the farm road to end the walk.
Click here for David Hall's Website
Technical note: Pictures taken with a Canon IXUS 400 Digital camera.
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