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Date & start time: Saturday 4th July 2009.11.30 am start.

Location of Start : Seathwaite Farm, Borrowdale, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 235 122 )

Places visited : Seathwaite, Stockley Bridge, Grains Gill and return.

Walk details : 5.25 mls, 1975 ft, 10 hrs including one big stop.

Highest point : The Ruddy Gill path junction above Grains Gill 2850 ft ( 865m )

Walked with : Myself and the dogs, Harry and Bethan,

with marshalling colleagues plus 15 teams totaling around 60 challengers.

Weather : Cloudy with occasional light showers and low cloud, but brightening towards the end.

A Six Peaks Water Aid Charity Event Organised by Water Aid in Yorkshire

with technical assistance from Global Challenge UK.

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 WaterAid 6 Peaks Challenge - Scafell Pike

Map created by EveryTrail


I was out in support of a Six Peaks Challenge event, assisting the participants walking up to Scafell Pike, the highest of the English Peaks.

They were walking the six highest UK and Irish hills, including Snaefell on the Isle of Man and the two highest Irish Peaks, Carrantuohill and Slieve Donard.

They had climbed Snaefell and Snowdon and would be heading north after this, hoping to complete the round (incl ferry crossings) in 3 days.

The start of this section at Seathwaite Farm.

Today was a midday start for a change, so we collected our equipment and team sheets from the organisers without the need for a torch !

John (in red), Gill, Paul, Malcolm and I set off up the fell together

though we would eventually spread out along the route in order to assist the teams if required.

Stockley Bridge . . . You wouldn't think this was destroyed in the 1966 flood and had to be rebuilt.

Archive photos are available here courtesy of Ann Bowker and Owen Jones

The wooden bridge over the upper section of Grains Gill.

Harry is shaking himself after a dip in the river.

The narrow section of the climb nearing Great End.

No sunrise colours today due to the later start.

Looking back, the visibility is a little hazy but it could be worse. Showers were forecasted for this afternoon.

Down the valley are the tops of Maiden Moor, Castle Crag and King's How, with Derwent Water and Skiddaw in the background.

The warm climb over as we reach Ruddy Gill (note the reddish colour change in the rocks)

Plenty of people up here already on the Styhead to Esk Hause path.

Our day's climb is complete as we settle and establish Camp1 at the path junction a few hundred yards further up.

A dog's eye view of Great Gable from our vantage point.

" Where are you going now ? "

Well . . .we are working after all and there are people to see, teams to check up on and forms to fill in . . .

and you two don't seem to be very handy with a pen !

The shelter proves useful to store my gear and keep the dogs and myself away from the rain which is now gradually engulfing us.

The teams pass on a regular basis, complete in this case, with a plastic blow-up sheep mascot.

Swirling clouds cover the fells for a while and the challengers won't be getting much of a view from the summit

but there are signs of it clearing, as with this break in the clouds at Gable's Windy Gap.

A change of location for the downward leg in order to encourage the teams down Grains Gill rather than the Styhead route.

It's teatime now I'm informed . . . so tea is served.

" You've had yours ! "

In between teams, there's chance to look around,
This is the major gully on Great End behind me.

Walking a short distance I get a panoramic view of Sprinkling Tarn.

The wet weather is passing and the clouds are lifting.

I can see the next team coming down, so time to get back to the path.

My red shelter can be seen alongside the cairn.

On the same small tarn, Bethan in reflective mood.

Another brief outing and we climb the rocks on the opposite side of the deepest part of the gorge.

Bethan is full of confidence but Harry's legs are unusually short as he looks nervously over the edge.

Time to think about taking the shelter down as the bulk of the teams have passed.

They are on their way down to Seathwaite . . . then on towards Ben Nevis for a climb starling at 5am tomorrow morning.

Blue skies and sunshine return as the evening draws on.

It just remains for us to follow the last team down.

- - - o o o - - -

WaterAid is a worldwide Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) dedicated to the provision of safe, clean water and sanitation to the world's poorest people.

Should you wish to join in on a future fundraising event

please click on their web site and get involved.

Should you simply wish to make a donation click here


And a final thought . . .
. . . a polite notice to all participants.

Apparently the farmer was woken a few nights ago by a noisy group at 4 am . . . who parked right outside his bedroom window rather than on the roadside.

He was not best pleased . . . and told them so in no uncertain terms !

A midday start means a later finish, but I did manage to catch the last of the evening light as I made my way back down Buttermere Valley.

- - - o o o - - -

Stop press: Water Aid Six Peaks results.

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with with my Cannon G7 Digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . a light, late supper . . . now what shall I have . . . mmm ?

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Previous walk - Thursday 2nd July 2009 Four go for a Swim

A previous time up here - 2nd April 2009 The Classic Scafell Pike Round ( Chance to see the view with the sun shinning )

Next walk - Sunday 5th July 2009 Low fell with David