Date : Monday 6th Sept 2004
Location : Green Crag, Eskdale Valley, Cumbria.
Occasion : A walk with Ann and the dogs.
Walk details : 4.9 miles 1600 ft of ascent
Weather : Fine and sunny but with some cloud on the distant high fells and westward towards the coast.
The Fell forecast was poor for the north and west of the Lakes and a trip up the valley confirmed the fell conditions.
Consequently a change of plans saw us travelling out to the west and south, ending up in Eskdale and Green Crag.
Our route started at Doctor Bridge just up the valley from the village of Boot, then over to Low Birker Farm.
From there we climbed steadily upward using the old "Peat Road" which zig-zags up through the farmland, an area of Juniper bushes, through bracken and eventually on to the open fell side.
Ann, after one of the turns on this beautifully graded track.
As we climbed the long distant views up and down the valley steadily expanded to reveal the surrounding fells.
A local outside the now derelict "Peat House"
From the top of the track we had extensive views northward through the gap to the The Wasdale Fells.
The highest hills are the Scafell range and to the right of them are Bowfell and Crinkle Crags with a slight cover of cloud.
Ahead our first view of Green Crag summit.
The dogs have found yet another pool to cool off in the heat.
A reasonable footpath leads on past Low Birker Tarn and skirts the low lying Foxbield Moss before starting the final ascent.
A lone Oak tree adds interest to the bracken covered slopes.
The climb up between Crook and Green Crag.
In the distance is Devoke Water and the high ground of Yoadcastle Fell.
Out towards the coast the clouds seemed to be gathering and casts a shadow on the lower parts of the Eskdale Valley.
No such problems further north however.
High cloud on the Scafells was occasionally touching the peaks but the weather seemed fine.
The summit of Green Crag looking south to Morecombe Bay.
Visibility was so good that with a small pair of binoculars we could make out the Tower at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, and even the seafront buildings stood out some forty miles away.
Harter Fell to the left and the Coniston Fells in the distance.
As we climbed we met only two other people despite the ideal climbing weather. They had lunched near the summit but they had found the top unpleasant as it was covered by a large swarm of flying ants.
The summit rock pool full in dead insects.
We didn't suffer the same insect problem fortunately, but the rock pool did confirm their story. However we did find this discarded item of rubbish. Was it from a visitor or dropped by a local after a duty free holiday? Who knows !
Leaving the top we crossed northward to the adjacent Crook Fell.
This was the view looking back to Green Crag.
Heading north the central fells were like a magnet to our eyes.
The cloud was drifting over each of the tops in turn, giving them alternate shadow or sunshine.
This side of the hill though was not a regular path and the mile across the moorland towards the Harter Fell route was covered in short lived sheep tracks and knee high heather . (It was commented that Ann found it a little taller than "knee high")
Just occasionally there were small evergreen pine trees far from the forest edge, saplings presumably growing from seed dropped by feeding birds. Nature at work !
Having reached the Harter Fell path we took the left hand branch which headed back down the valley towards the car.
Behind us our last view of Harter Fell before we made the valley floor.
Descending fast, the central fells were disappearing from view.
Valley bottom again as we pass Penny Hill Farm and back to Doctor Bridge.
The right of way footpath passes through the farm yard but they have sensibly opened up a permitted path, one field back, so as to offer the farm a little more privacy and to allow the visitor to pass just that little bit further from the farm dogs.
To cool off after the walk I managed a swim in the pool under the bridge and considering the amount of water in the river it was remarkably warm. There was a chill in the air however which encouraged us into the Burnmoor Inn for an excellent supper before returning home.
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Technical note: Pictures taken with a Canon IXUS 400 Digital camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed . . . after a meal at the Burnmoor Inn.
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