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" Great Carrs Remembrance "

Date & start time: Sunday 11th November 2012, 9.30 am start. ( NY 022 027)

Location of Start : Three Shires Stone, Wrynose Pass, Little Langdale, Cumbria, Uk.

Places visited : Great Carrs via Wet Side Edge, on towards Swirl How, Brim Fell and Coniston Old Man.

Walk details :   8 mls, 2825 ft of ascent, 6 hour 5 mins including lunch.

Highest point : Coniston Old Man, 2,633ft - 803m.

Walked with : Jo, Maggie, Neil, Peter, Ed, Ann and the dogs, Amber, Harry and Bethan.

Weather : Promise of a cool but clear day . . . and without any rain . . . nice !

 " Great Carrs Remembrance " at EveryTrail

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The Lakeland mountains have unfortunately been host to many plane crashes over the years

none more poignant than those where aircrew have died whilst serving their country at times of war.

Great Gable has a famous memorial to those members of the Fell and Rock Climbing Club who lost their lives on the battlefields of Europe

during the First World War.  Great Carrs holds a different kind of memorial, to eight airmen who died in an air crash at this spot during their active service in the latter years of World War II.  

Today, seven members of the Online Fellwalking Club chose to climb Great Carrs for their "Act of Remembrance" on Remembrance Day.

- - - o o o - - -

With a nine o'clock meeting time in the South Lakes it was an earlier start than normal (for us).

It was a beautiful morning and as Jo, Ann and myself drove down the Dunmail Raise road towards Grasmere.

There was a beautiful cloud inversion . . . where the cold air of the valley was holding the mist close to the ground.

Loughrigg Fell stands out in the sunshine . . . above the cloud layer which shrouds Grasmere and its hidden lake.

A view of Nab Scar across the valley . . . a quick photo as we climbed up Red Bank in the car.

Down the other side into the Langdale Valley.

The mist isn't quite so thick but it is still a lovely sight.

We drove through Elterwater Village this time and turned into Little Langdale.

Our walk was emerging ahead as we could see Wetherlam and Swirl How ahead.

The cloud didn't extend up the valley this far so our first fell, Great Carrs, is looking good in the sunshine too.

Rich colours as we look across Blea Moss towards the Side Pike and the Langdales in the adjacent valley.

We arrive (more or less) on time and meet up with Neil, Peter and Ed for the start of the walk today.

Last one in . . . Harry by the look of it !

Our seventh member of the group, Maggie, started her walk from the Fell Foot Farm area earlier this morning.

We passed her car which was parked lower down so we should meet up somewhere on the fell in a short while.

Behind us, a larger group of ten lads with two leaders had parked their minibus and were following us up the fell.

That first boggy area is always a good wake-up call for the walk.

The wider viewpoint.

The rise and fall of Wrynose Pass . . . from the cloud of Grasmere on the right to the first hairpin down on the left.

Our cars are parked somewhere about the middle.

The track climbs upwards along the fellside

which gives us great views down

to Wrynose Bottom (if you pardon the expression)

and the second climb up to Hardknott Pass in the distance.

The distinctive peak of Harter Fell is bathed in sunshine too.

A bit of a zag and then a zig (it's a zig-zag on the way down) and we reach the high point of Wet Side Edge.

At this point there's a large cairn slightly to one side . . . if you pass it in the way down then you've gone too far.

Time to keep our eyes open for the seventh member of the party, Maggie, who should be ascending this way.

We've a picture of Harry on this island a few years ago . . .
. . . either he's grown or the island has shrunk !

" I wish they'd stop bothering about pictures of themselves on islands and get on with the walk."

"There is a time constraint you know."

Okay . . . but we are on time . . . don't panic Amber !

Little Carr's Hell Gill ravine . . .
. . . and Jo looking down at the view of the Greenburn Valley .

The full spread of Wet Side Edge . . . funnily enough it didn't really live up to its name . . . even this year !

As we climbed we could look south at the now distant cloud inversion

that extended right down the length of Windermere to the coast.

Someone seems to have dropped a Great Britain map over the edge of the fell.

As we climbed to the summit of Great Carrs the cloud started to build slightly

but the effect was quite intriguing.

We've caught up with Maggie, or to be technically correct she was ahead and she's walked back to meet us.

We arrive at the Great Carrs Memorial . . . a last patch of sun before the cloud sets in around us.

A lonely spot on a quiet day

Some of the wreckage of an old Halifax Bomber still remains on Great Carrs and it has been gathered as a memorial to those that died.

Eight crew members lost their lives,

seven of them from the Royal Canadian Air Force, serving alongside the British RAF during the war.

We arrived with ten minutes to go before the planned time of eleven o'clock

when so many people all round the country would be joining together to remember the fallen,

those that gave their lives and also those that have been injured, in the service of others.

Our small group were joined by ten members and two leaders of the Morecambe and Heysham Scout Group

who before the minutes silence, laid a wreath to mark the occasion.

The silence observed, it was time to break out the flag and have their photo taken.

A grey morning now as the clouds had enveloped the top of the fell but the weather did not spoil the occasion one little bit.


Their wreath and detail from their card.

Molten metal, a sad reminder of the air crash that day.
We leave the memorial for others to visit during the year ahead.

- - - o o o - - -

With a fine day in prospect we decide to extend the walk, setting off first up to the summit of Swirl How.

Ann and Ed take the lead, closely followed by the dogs.

Down below us, scattered on the scree in Greenburn . . .
. . . traces of the old airframe of the Halifax Bomber.

Peter checks out the view from just below the summit of Swirl How.

As we walk on towards Brim Fell the cloud comes and goes revealing to our left, the water of Seathwaite Tarn.

Hold your cursor over the picture to reveal the full view.

Moving back to the left side we reach Great How Crag and look for a view down the eastern side of the ridge.

Coniston Water, Levers Water, Bethan and Harry.

The mist has cleared completely now and we get uninterrupted views of Levers Water from Little How Crags.

A wider shot looking back at our walk so far.

The other fells are Grey Friars to the left, the Crinkles and Bowfell in the background with Pike O'Blisco to the right.

Looking further right . . .

The dappled sunshine illuminates Great How Crags and Wetherlam, with Levers Water enjoying the sunshine.

Silhouettes again as I look south into the sunshine.

The three lads and Maggie pause at Brim Fell cairn . . . not far to Coniston Old Man now.

 A line of cairns would suggest the route if there was snow on the ground

but today there was no problem with navigation.

The southern side of Harter Fell as seen from the Levers Hawse area.

Looking across to the dramatic crags on the south side of Dow Crags.

Below and out of sight is Goats Water, another classic glacial cirque, corrie or Cwm.

Bright sunshine out to sea and over the Duddon Estuary.

Coniston old Man Trig point as Ann and Jo walk the final yards to the summit.

Looking over the edge . . . Low Water and Levers Water below.

We didn't linger long at the top as it was crowded with summit huggers all having their lunch.

We continued on a short distance to find "a lunch spot with a view" for ours . . . a view of Coniston . . . that would do nicely.

Post-meridian relaxation . . . with the full spread of Coniston Water set out before us.

Lunch over . . . it was time to pack up and go back to the cars.

Jo's picture this one . . . but a great one of Ann at the summit, wrapped up somewhat against the cool lunchtime breeze.

[ Thanks Jo . . . I'll send any copyright fees I get direct to you ! ]

My attempt at a summit photo . . . looking forward now to the return walk with the Scafells in our sights ahead.

The classic view as we leave the summit, of Low Water and the ascent path from Coniston Copper Mines.

This view never ceases to delight though I've not climbed to the Old Man summit this way, only descended by it.

Ann has used it for ascent . . . but many years ago . . . before we met.

Back via Brim Fell summit again.

The weather was becoming overcast now as the afternoon sun was losing its intensity.

Our group was a little spread out but we're all heading the same direction.

Some go left for the view of Seathwaite Tarn, others right for the view of Levers Water.

From a middle route I could see the offshore wind farms above Caw and Stickle Fells.

Dow Crag left behind now as we traverse below Swirl How and the memorial on Great carrs that we stopped at on the way out.

Just before the cairn on Wet Side Edge we turn right and head back down to Three Shires Stone and the cars.

Back to the road . . . Peter's already back at his land-rover and has his Kelly-kettle alight.

I must admit it was the first time we ended a walk with a fresh cup of hot cappuccino served at the car.

Cheers Peter !

- - - o o o - - -


After the walk on Remembrance Sunday Ed emailed the Royal Canadian Air Force
about the Act of Remembrance and inlcuded a link to our website here at Loweswatercam.

Yesterday He got a reply from the Canadian Minister of National Defence, Peter MacKay.

Dear Mr. Harrison:

Thank you for your email about your walking group's Act of Remembrance for the Royal Canadian Air Force crew who died at Great Carrs in 1944. I am touched by your observance.

I join all Canadians in expressing our appreciation for the tribute paid to these young RCAF members by your group and by the Morecambe, Lancashire Scouts.

The photographs you included depict a tragedy of war, a reminder that humanity must always strive for peace.

Please allow me to thank you and your fellow hill climbers for remembering the sacrifices made during the worst conflict the world has ever seen and for honouring those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Thank you again for writing. I wish you all the best.

Sincerely, Peter MacKay
Minister of National Defence

- - - o o o - - -



Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon Sureshot SX220 or my Canon G10 digital camera.

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

This site best viewed with . . . time to stop and Remember.

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Previous walk - 30th October 2012 Low Fell with Sharon and Gary

A previous November memorial walk - Sun 8th Nov 2009 Gable Remembrance Day 2009

Other pictures of the day from Pete (video), Edmund, Maggie, and Jo.

Next walk - 24th November 2012 Alan's Castle Crag 214