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Bakestall and a cold lunch
Date & start time: Sunday 7th March 2010, 1.30 pm start.
Location of Start : Roadside at Peter House farm, Bassenthwaite, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 249 323 )
Places visited : Skiddaw House track to Dash Falls, Dead Crags, Bakestall, Cockup and home.
Walk details : 4.5 mls, 1550 ft, 3 hrs 20 mins including lunch.
Highest point : Bakestall summit 2,208ft ( 673m).
Walked with : Ann and the dogs, Harry and Bethan.
Weather : Hazy sunshine suddenly turning cold as we stop for lunch.
The weather recently has included lots of winter sunshine but occasionally it throws a surprise.
Saturday had included quite a lot of low cloud but suddenly late in the afternoon the sun burst through
underneath the western clouds and shone a brilliant sunset orange onto the tops of the fells all around the valley.
At Ayres Rock they would set out tables and serve champagne to the tourists . . . but not here and not tonight.
- - - o o o - - -
Next day, Sunday, we packed lunch and our gear and drove over to Bakestall Fell
in order to completed the northern section of our third round of the Wainwright Fells.
The walk started at Peter House Farm where we parked at the start of the track to Dash Falls.
Even down here there's still some snow left in the shelter of the walls.
Generally though the thick snow has melted away from the lower fells.
Leaving the tarmac road at the stone signpost and heading up the valley.
The track climbs past Dash Falls, the waterfall in front of us at the head of the valley.
Dash Beck drains the area between Little Calva on the left and Dead Crags, Bakestall and Skiddaw on the right.
Looking back the wide, almost symmetrical nature of the valley below is a geographer's delight.
Binsey is the rounded fell in the distance.
We have climbed the start of the slope to Bakestall, leaving the original track to continue on towards Skiddaw House.
In the distance is the snow covered ridge of Blencathra, the northern slope of which are a lot less rugged than those overlooking the A66.
Lonscale Fell is the darker sharp arrete on the right
but in the distance lies Clough Head and the extended ridge of the Helvellyn Range.
The slope steepens as we near the top of Bakestall.
Navigation is easy up and down this end of the Skiddaw massif as there is a bold, well maintained fence line to follow.
A beautifully sunny but rather hazy day on this Sunday is changing now
as cloud is spreading over the summit of Skiddaw.
The sunbeams shine out but on this northern side we are enveloped in shade which makes the breeze feel colder.
At the turn of the fence we reach one of the two Bakestall cairns.
That cloud is lowering all the time and we cross to the more westerly summit to complete our climb.
Ann wrapped up against the cold as we stop for a brief lunch.
The summit of Blencathra can be seen behind but it was soon to disappear completely.
Taking a direct descent route more or less north we head down the fell
crossing several large areas of snow.
The gully between Bakestall and Skiddaw is full of drifted snow.
We crossed low down but had to be careful of a stream that was somewhere just below the surface.
Across and onto the greener grass of Broad End, heading for the delightfully name summit . . . Cockup.
From the flat coll we regained our view of Bassenthwaite Lake stretching north past the final north western fell of Sale.
So that's the summit cairn ?
Badly arranged . . . you could say a bit of a Cockup.
Memories of cold hands, hats, gloves and scarves are left behind
as the sun returns to the lower slopes of the fells.
The return to the car . . .
looking back that biting cold seemed just like bad dream on a different day.
- - - 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 rucksack with easy access to the hat and gloves pocket.
Previous walk - 2nd March 2010 Silver How in the snow
A previous time up here - 23rd October 2005 Bakestall via Whitewater Dash
Next walk - 9th March 2010 Lily Tarn and Loughrigg Fell