Date & Time: Wednesday 26th March 2008. 11.30 am start.
Location of Start : Town Head, Grasmere, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 332 096 )
Places visited : Town Head, Steel Fell, Calf Crag, Gibson Knott, Helm Crag and back underneath Raven Crag, the southern end of Helm Crag Fell.
Walk details : 5.75 mls, 2250 ft of ascent, 6 hrs 10 mins including lunch and scrambles.Highest point : Steel Fell 1,811ft ( 553 m)
Walked with : Jo, Jack, Matthew, Ann and the dogs, Jodie, Megan, Polly, Harry and Bethan.
Weather : Overcast until the cloud came down then we didn't see much !
" Crufts on Tour " at the start of the walk
The Green Burn Round is a walk that includes four Wainwright Fells, Steel Fell, Calf Crag, Gibson Knott and Helm Crag.
Our Grandsons wanted a fell with a scramble at the top so Helm Crag would be a suitable one for today, after all a certain guide book author commented on the summit characteristics as being a bit of a climb, and one in fact he never quite achieved. Perhaps they could manage it today.
We parked at the small roadside parking area just down from Town Head, alongside Raise Beck.
The ascent of Steel Fell is straight forward, you start at the bottom and go straight forward till you get to the top, about an hour later !
On the way up we passed Helm Crag which would be the final fell of today's round.
The Howitzer Rock and someone already on the summit of Helm Crag.
On the way up the boys enjoyed a couple of small scrambles, the rest of us walked up the normal path.
Ahh . . . the first snow of the ridge . . . I wonder what I can use this for ?
Delayed by a snowball fight, the boys and Harry lag behind, as Ann, Jo and I make steady progress up the fell.
Unfortunately the cloud was making steady progress down the fell to meet us.
We make the summit in good time, but it didn't look quite right.
A wave of the magic trekking pole and the fairy godmother turns the cairn into the right one,
and in so doing transposes ourselves and the dogs 50 yds to the left and twenty feet higher up to the top of Steel Fell.
From Steel Fell, our highest point today, the walk takes on an undulating nature as it crosses towards Calf Crag and then down the ridge to Helm Crag.
We follow the fence to start and cross some large snowy sections of the ridge walk.
Navigation is relatively easy here despite the mist, just follow the fence.
Jo stops for a drink - Champagne with ice it looks like ?
We're on course, following the damp path and find the unnamed tarns half way along the ridge.
Harry tries out the frozen tarn as the others appear out of the gloom.
Did somebody say " biscuits" ?
Onward and upward to the summit of Calf Crag.
It's gone two, so this would be a good place for lunch.
Usually we try and find somewhere with a view. Today we settle for a "potential view" down Far Easedale and hope for a change in the weather.
That clearing in the weather never came, so we progress onwards. Part way to Gibson Knott we passed this icicle which someone had placed in a wayside cairn. The fact that it has survived must mean the temperature is still near freezing.
Navigation along this stretch of the fell was a little tricky as the path descended more than I remember between Calf Crag and Gibson Knott. It was always possible, of course, that the path we were following would take us down into Easdale Valley, despite none being shown on the map !
The dogs make for the high ground of Gibson Knott.
And encourage us up for a summit photo !
Whoops ! . . . . But here's the real Gibson Knott summit a short way on.
Never trust a dog that hasn't got a map and compass and doesn't know how to use it anyway !
Abrief gap in the mist and another top is revealed . .. . a summit rock like that one can only be one place . . . Helm Crag.
Walking this section of the ridge we got talking to two lads who were walking the Coast to Coast path.
They were a little behind schedule due to the weather but seemed to be going well. However they subsequently sent us this kind email :
Meanwhile where were our boys ? ( Clue, look at the picture above )
The Howitzer Rock - impressive even in the mist.
Jo expressed a desire to touch the top of the rock at least once, but perhaps on a less damp and slippery day. Despite encouragement she politely refused the summit attempt so we had to find another way of fulfilling her dreams, without the danger of the climb.
The Lion and the Lamb and the Dog, at the other end of the summit ridge.
- - - o o o - - -
There just remained the short but rather circuitous route past Ghyll Foot and Helmside till we could cross the infant Green Burn, and then retrace our steps to the fell gate. A short road walk took us back to the car at Helmside bridge.
- - - o o o - - -
Technical note: Pictures taken with my Cannon G7 or Ann's Ixus Digital cameras.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . A very large towel to dry the rock so Jo could climb Helm Crag !
Previous walk - 25th March 2008 Grisedale Pike in the snow
A previous time up here - 19th June 2007 Helm Crag with The North Face