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Date & start time: Saturday 17th January 2009. 11.25 am start.
Location of Event : The Devoke signpost on the Birker Fell Road, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 171 977 )
Places visited : Rough Crag, Water Crag, outflow, White Pike, Yoadcastle, Woodend Heights, the Boat House at Washfold Point, Seat How back to the car.
Walk details : 5.8 ml, 1500 ft of ascent, 4 hours 15 mins.
Highest point : Yoadcastle 1605 ft ( 494m )
Walked with : Jo, John, Ann and the dogs, Jodie, Polly, Harry and Bethan.
Weather : Sunshine and a breeze, but less sunny with a cooler, strengthening wind as time went on.
The signpost at the start of the bridle way to Devoke Water
The weather forecast predicted rain and 70 to 80 mph winds after dark, so Jo, John, Ann and myself made sure we planned a walk
with sufficient time at the end to avoid the problems. This circuit of Devoke Water was to be a first for both John and Jo.
After a damp, low cloud start in Loweswater, the skies started to clear
and by the time we reached the start of the walk it was blue skies all the way.
Seat How on the left of the track as we walked up the rise.
This would be our sixth and final fell summit on the return leg of our walk .
The walk is basically an anticlockwise circuit of the Tarn following the skyline.
At this point we turned right and started the gentle climb to Rough Crag.
Harter Fell was now clear of Green Crag, and the sunshine was highlighting the fells beautifully.
Name that fell ?
From this side it looks a gentle rounded lowland fell,
but from the other side it forms the dramatic upland structures of Whin Rigg and Illgill Head . . . the Wasdale Screes.
Looking west to the Irish Sea, Devoke is regarded as the largest of the upland Lakeland Tarns. It's almost a mile in length.
However, the haze and poor visibility today meant that we could not see the Isle of Man a further 28 miles out to sea.
Bethan climbed the rock to try and get a better look !
Our first AW Outlier top in the form of Rough Crag.
Below is the boat house on Devoke Water which would feature in many of our views today.
At the second top now, Water Crag.
Jo and John, and to the left, myself with the dog treats.
Three of us . . . and Ann makes four.
You may notice the cloud starting to form on the high fells in the distance but we're still enjoying the strong sunlight.
The falls on the outflow to Devoke Water.
The unusual walls built to surround the bottom pool was the subject of speculation for a short while.
Maybe when the gap was filled, the stream would flood back formed a plunge pool for dipping the local sheep?
Harry seemed to enjoy looking at the waterfall.
The waters from the lake flow out and down the Linbeck Gill. They join the River Esk in the valley below before escaping to the sea at Ravenglass.
A short walk back upstream led to a crossing point of the stream
John shows how it's done . . .
Two poles makes crossing the slippery stones a lot easier and safer for the girls too.
The outflow level is controlled slightly by this unusual metal weir. I think it is designed to keep fish in the lake.
[ Devoke Water is stocked for Brown Trout and fishing rights are owned by the Millom Anglers apparently ]
Our next landmark is the cairn on the high ground above the beck.
- - - o o o - - -
3,000 years ago this area of windswept fells were probably forested with oak, but they have been long since felled and are now used for sheep grazing.
" The area was once a large bronze age community. Over four hundred hut circles have to date been discovered,
in all there are more than 1,200 prehistoric remains in the area."
[You may gather I haven't counted them all myself . . . the internet is a wonderful resource for information ! ]
- - - o o o - - -
Strong sunlight at the far end of the lake illuminated Seat How and the boat house.
The view expands as we climb and I've included the cloud covered Harter Fell.
The contrast of light and shade is wonderful.
At White Pike now and we have a distant view of Kirk Fell and it's neighbour, the cloud free Great Gable.
Time for a brief lunch spot in the shelter of White Pike summit rocks.
Ann asks Jo what John is doing . . . He's adjusting his "over-layering" was the reply !
Over lunchtime the weather has slowly deteriorated as the promised bad weather appears on the distant horizon.
However it's a slow change and we're still hopeful of staying ahead of the rain.
From White Pike we make our way across a relatively simple path to Yoadcastle.
John's behind which is unusual . . . something about stopping to adjust his trekking Pole !
Yoadcastle summit, the highest point on today's walk is an extremely windy place, though the photos hardly show it.
Below is the small summit tarn and in the distance the cloud is getting lower on the central fells.
Unusually the cairn is not on the highest point, but on the most prominent summit as seen from the boat house below.
The boat house at Washfold Point seems in good order
but the accommodation at the rear has unfortunately fallen into disrepair and is no longer habitable.
We all go over for a closer look.
One last climb now as we make our way up Seat How.
The path climbs directly up the front, apart from the last easy scramble through the rocks at the top.
Ann stops for a last photo of the lake, crouching to keep steady in the wind.
We find an alternative route down from the summit
and head back to the cars parked next to the fell road.
Perfect timing, we end the walk as the first rain drops start to fall.
John made his way home via the southern road around the Lakes, but we just had to stop off in Eskdale on the way back.
Too early for a meal out but there was an alternative on offer . . . !
- - - o o o - - -
Technical note: Pictures taken with with my Cannon G7 or Ann's Ixus 75 Digital camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . Cream Tea at the Bower House Inn
Previous walk - 14th January 2009 Barrow from Braithwaite
A previous time up here - 30th April 2007 An early summer circuit of Devoke Water