Date & Time: Tuesday 17th October 2006. Midday start.

Location of Start : Muncaster Mill car park, Cumbria west coast, Uk. ( SD 095 977 )

Places visited : Muncaster Mill station, Muncaster Tarn, Muncaster Fell, Ross's Camp, Irton Road, return via single tickets on the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway.

Walk details : 5.44 mls, 980 ft of ascent , 3 hrs including lunch but excluding the train ride.

Walked with : Ian and Cory Smith, Ann and the dogs.

Weather : Very hazy and overcast but dry and warm.

 

Our start point was Muncaster Mill, but today we arrived by car and left on foot

but we would return here by train at the end of the afternoon.

   
Delightful shaft of sun light as we climb up through the woods.
Mature woodland and flowering Japanese Knotweed.

The track up the side valley from the mill climbed steeply up onto the lower slopes of Muncaster Fell.

Damp at first , it improved to become a green track through the woodland.

   
Looking back down to the main road.
Looking up the track towards the open fell.

Our route briefly touched the main road as it rounded Muncaster Castle but then took the country lane up onto the fell.

This is believed to be the route of the old Roman Road, from the Roman village at Ravenglass along the high ground towards Hardknott Fort.

A south westerly view from the lane, over to Stainton Pike and Yoadcastle in the vicinity of Devoke Water.

A slight diversion took us to the shores of Muncaster Tarn, a man made lake but delightful nevertheless.

Our route now took us alongside the forestry

until we reached the open fell side,

where Cory led the way off to the left

and headed towards the summit cairn.

 

Looking back to where the previous photo was taken, down at the edge of the forestry.

In the haze we could make out the Ravenglass Estuary and further south, Black Combe (seen in the picture below).

Ian, as cheerful as ever, chats to Ann and myself as we climb the last few yards to the top.

Cory though, had other plans - a first ascent of the southern wall of Muncaster Fell - the direct route !

   
Its a long way down for me , or up for him.
Getting the feel of the rock as he starts the ascent.

 

   
Climbing steadily ensuring three points of contact at all times.
Sorted . . . !

Muncaster Fell ~ the direct route ~ conquered !

After the euphoria of the climb we settled for an easier descent . . . walking north east across the open fell top past Hooker Moss.

Hooker Crag and our trig point can be seen further back to the left .

The bracken is turning fast, and so is Ann, trying to find a short cut down to the original Roman track.

Next stop Ross's Camp.

A 19th Century cromlech

was in fact a flat stone table, built in Victorian times,

as a serving table for those venturing onto the fells for the local shoot.

Drinks and Lunch were presumably served to the Gentlemen, maybe even Ladies, who climbed onto the fell for grouse or other wild game hunting during the 1880's and presumably up to the time of the first World War.

The view up Eskdale and Miterdale from Ross's Camp.

The Esk and the Mite are the two rivers that flow either side of Muncaster Fell.

They almost join up, but the Mite heads off for Scafell's south western slopes near Burnmoor Tarn,

the Esk towards Upper Eskdale under the slopes of Bowfell and Esk Pike.

Today their geography was rather hidden in the haze.

   
A substantial path climbs over the last part of the fell,
and starts it's descent past some richly laden Rowan trees.

 

Our route now turned north, skirting the top of Muncaster Fell and seemingly directing us through the grounds of Forest How.

They have kindly re-assured us by clearly marking the route that there is a bridle way which skirts round their delightful property.

In return for their efforts and consideration, may I say that it looks a great place to stay as Forest How is a Guest House and B&B.

 

Irton Road station and the end of the walking section of our route.

The Eskdale Railway started life as a wide gauge mineral line and Irton Road was the first proper station built for passengers.

It was converted to narrow gauge by Bassett-Lowke, a model train enthusiast, in 1915.

Click here for the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway web site.

Cory gives the signal for the train to halt at this request stop.

   
A brief Irton Road history, displayed in the waiting room.
The loco "River Esk" hauling our train today.

The up train headed by the "River Irt" on the passing loop as we board at Irton Road.

Moving fast now, back down the line towards Ravenglass.

"Free range" pigs grub about in the forestry, clearing the undergrowth extremely efficiently it seems.

This is becoming a more common sight as people re-discover the traditional farming ways of old.

   
Back at Muncaster Mill and time to leave the train.
A whistle, a puff of smoke and she's off to Ravenglass without us.

A few days later, we were able to meet up again with Ian and Cory

as the OFC Wining and Dining section held another select meet at the Yew Tree Restaurant in Seatoller.

Fellow members included Mike Smith , Nigel and Jill B, Ron Hannaford . . . .

Cory and Ian, John Paterson, Ann and of course myself (behind the camera).

We spent an excellent evening

chatting and enjoying the excellent local (?)

South African based menu !

( English by day ~ African by night )

 

. . . the evening only coming to an end

when we were asked to move on by the Bill

or was that the John !

Note : A word of advice for visitors, Muncaster Mill is now privately owned and is no longer open for viewing.

The car park, adjacent to the station, is however fully available for "Park and Ride" opportunities as we found today.

Click here for more Webshots photos of the walk from Ian himself.

 

- - - o o o - - -

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 with . . . a famous rock climber after his first ascent of a new route !

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Previous walk - 15th October 2006 Harter Fell with Terry, Jo, John and Jill

Previous time with the Smiths - 14th April 2003 Black Combe with Ian, Cory and Megan