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Middle Fell in Wasdale

Date & start time: Sunday 28th February 2010, 10.45 am start.

Location of Start : Roadside at Greendale in Wasdale, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 144 056 )

Places visited : Middle Fell, Greendale Tarn, Glade How, Buckbarrow and back to Greendale.

Walk details : 5.5 mls, 1850 ft, 4 hrs 45 mins including lunch.

Highest point : Middle Fell, 1,908ft ( 582m)

Walked with : Gary and Sheena, David, Ann and the dogs, Tim, Harry and Bethan.

Weather : Overcast with a cold breeze.



Middle Fell in Wasdale

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Five members of the Online Fellwalking Club gather for a walk in Wasdale overlooking "Britain's Favourite View"

that of Great Gable and the Scafells from the shores of Wastwater.

Middle Fell is a lower summit but is still a great Scafell viewpoint, however today's skies makes that view a bit more grey than usual.

Sheena with Tim, Gary, David and Ann . . . pictured at the start.

I'm not in there and no surprise . . . neither are Harry or Bethan.

The dramatic crags of Buckbarrow seen behind the hamlet of Greendale.

A darker moment as we start the climb

. . . or perhaps the sky was suddenly brighter over Scafell and the camera got confused ?

A wider panorama as we gain height . . . we had started our climb at the white house on the right below.

Spread out across the lake is the full panorama of the Wasdale Screes.

[ Click here or on the image for a larger view ]

The Greendale Gill as it makes its way down from the tarn high above.

We declined the valley route in favour of climbing the spur directly up towards Middle Fell summit.

This way we kept the best of the view all the way up.

Buckbarrow crags with the hazy Cumbrian west coast in the distance.

Dramatic grey skies to the east make the snow on Haycock really stand out

Reaching the snow line, Sheena gives in and plays snowballs with Harry and Tim.

Weaving our way upward through the gentle twists and turns of the Middle Fell path

we suddenly reach the large cairn and the summit climb was complete.

Time for a few photos.

Ann catches me mid-click but David is just admiring the view before taking his photo.

What was in the viewfinder ?

Why . . . a couple of posers on Middle Fell, with a background of Yewbarrow, Kirk Fell and the high dome of Great Gable.

To the right, the classic view of the Scafells over Yewbarrow and Wastwater.

Zooming in on the distant Brim Fell / Coniston Old Man ridge with Dow Crag appearing as a gentle summit to the right of it.

The summit just evident above Illgill Head must be Harter Fell.

Leaving the summit and heading north in order to find a sheltered lunch spot

to get out of the gentle but rather cold breeze.

Ahead is the Haycock and Scoat Fell ridge with plenty of snow on it too.

Ann skirts the snow covered fell side to avoid having to put on her micro-spikes for such a short distance.

Lunch with a view.

No pictures of lunch . . . just a photo of the view !

Zooming in on a frozen Greendale Tarn.

We passed on climbing Seatallan in favour of a direct approach to Buckbarrow.

This meant a simple contour across the fell side high above the tarn.

A side view of Middle Fell showing that not quite all of the tarn is frozen.

That last triangle near the outflow appears to be free of surface ice.

Sheena contemplating the route ahead.

We're aiming for that tiny cairn mid-picture before dropping down to Buckbarrow summit.

Buckbarrow is another Wainwright summit that you almost climb down to attain.

Closer now and zooming in on Black Combe away to the south west.

Keeping an eye on the different types of vegetation meant that we could keep out of the boggier sections of the route.

Recent weather had not been cold enough to freeze the ground which actually meant that the walking was very soft and pleasant.

No name on the map but this rock deserves recognition.

It looked like the large domed head of a gorilla or perhaps a dog with a tall hair-do.

The cairn on Glade How where the ridge of Seatallan climbs slightly to define the start of Buckbarrow.

The cairned summit of Buckbarrow and the Scafells are once again clear of the Middle Fell spur

that we had climbed at the start of our walk.

The best viewpoint however is from the outcrop down below us.

That is the top of Long Crag, the apparent summit of Buckbarrow from the road below.

A slight diversion back towards Middle Fell . . .
. . . brings us over to Joss Naylor's cairn.

An unusual cairn, rebuilt by Joss and completed on the day that the Queen Mother died apparently.

It marks a small outcrop of rock and was possibly a shepherd's mark of some sort rather than a path or summit cairn.

From here the route is straight down the steep fell side . . .
. . . making our way down towards Greendale Gill.

Another rebuilt sheepfold, but of unique design, adorns a open patch of ground above one of the Greendale houses.


Following David posting of this walk on his Lake District Walks site,

I received this excellent email from Martin Roberts . . . thanks Martin . . . RmH

I can answer your question re the odd shaped shelter at Greendale, pictured on your Buckbarrow walk . . . It was Joss.

This extract is from page 138 of the new Keith Richardson book "Joss".

Quite a dab hand as a waller is Joss by all accounts - he lives just down the hill as you will know.

I've copied this to Gary and Roger for info.

Regards Martin.

Back down at the bridge and it's a short road walk of a hundred yards back to the car . . . brilliant.

Just in time to escape the valley before a snow shower totally hides the top of it from view.

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon 75 or my Canon G10 digital camera.

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

This site best viewed with . . . a pint of "Dizzy Blonde" at The Screes at the end of the walk.

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Previous walk - 27th February 2010 Fellbarrow Extended

A previous time up here - 19th Feb 2008 An afternoon on Middle Fell

Next walk - 1st March 2010 Dale Head and the Mines