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" Kentmere Pike from Sadgill "

Date & start time: Saturday 6th April 2013, 11 am start.

Location of Start : The road end, Sadgill, Longsleddale, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 483 057 )

Places visited : Wren Gill Quarries, Brown Howe, Kentmere Pike, Shipman Knotts & back.

Walk details :   7.1 mls, 1950 ft of ascent, 6 hours 20 mins.

Highest point : Kentmere Pike 2,397ft - 730m.

Walked with : Jo, Ann and the dogs, Jodie, Amber, Harry and Bethan.

Weather : Sunshine & blue skies, clouding slightly after lunch.

" Kentmere Pike from Sadgill " at EveryTrail

[ Alter the settings to zoom or change the Map, use Everytrail to download the Gps route ]


Today's walk starts at perhaps the furthest away from home of any of our Lakeland walks.

We met up with Jo at Rheged outside Penrith, and drove on down to Shap and then turned into Longsleddale to reach our start point .

On the way down we stopped at Shap summit to see the memorial stone at the top of the famous road climb.

The roads are clear but there's still snow about on the roadside.

From the layby we can see the distant Pennines still have a good covering of snow.

The Memorial Stone at Shap summit.
The closer detail.

St Mary's Church in Longsleddale.

In 2009 this small community raised a large sum of money to have it re-roofed, repaired and redecorated.

Clear blue skies above and a measure of snow on the tops gave the prospect of good walking ahead.

Sadgill and our parking area at the end of the tarmac road is still a little further away . . . in the narrower part of the valley.

Room here for probably ten cars, but today there were only four, two of which were almost matching !

The iconic stone bridge over to the (cheerful?) Sadgill Farm.

'Sad' derives from the Old Norse saetr, which means upland pasture, and gill- from the Old Norse geil- ravine.

The road continues as the old mine track to the Skew Gill Quarries

and becomes the mountain road over to Haweswater . . . the Gatesgarth Pass.

Buckbarrow Crags overlook the right hand side of the valley . . .

. . . Goat Scar overlooks the left.

An old reservoir (the stone dam can be seen in the photo) is now totally clogged with pebbles and rock and no longer features as a lake.

Looking back along the length of Longsleddale as we start the climb at the head of the valley.

One or two people about but generally it was very quiet and peaceful up here today.

The sun's warmth and the heat generated by the climb is dissipated by the first of many road side drifts of snow.

Harry and Bethan take the chance to cool their tummies !

Looking back at Goat Scar from above the first waterfalls.

Turning to see the upper falls . . . where Skew Gill and the un-named Gatesgarth / Branstree rivers join.

That's Branstree ahead . . .

with the road to Haweswater climbing to the left and the bridleway to Mosedale and Swindale setting off up the valley to the right.

Wren Gill Quarries come into view as we round the next bend.

Our off-road adventure starts as we exit via the gate.

Having never been to the quarries before, this was all new.

We followed our instincts for a route as many of the paths were hidden under the snow.

Behind, the snow covered bulk of Tarn Crag in the eastern Sleddale Fells.

A deep ravine carries Skew Gill down through the quarries

but Harry has already found the grass covered incline that will take up through the mine complex.

Harry had been standing on an old bridge now occupied by the ladies.

Pity Amber wasn't facing the other way . . . this photo would have been as symmetrical as two books and their bookends.

The warmth of the day meant that heavy clothing was shed in favour of light fleece or tee shirts.

The open entrance to an upper quarry . . .
. . . and a tunnel entrance can be seen at the base of this cliff.

On some flat ground, an old mine building can be seen . . . complete with some old machinery.

It turned out to be an old, heavy duty, six cylinder engine . . .
. . . too heavy to remove for scrap I imagine !
The quarries often followed the ravines upward . . .
. . . leading to problems with water in the workings !

Today this meant rather nice iced waterfalls cascading over the sheer cliffs of the quarries.

Two stone pillars - use unknown till I read the mine website.
I crossed over to see the larger open quarry on the adjacent stream

Apparently the pillars supported a wooden leat (waterway) diverting the river away from the workings and the waterfall, carrying the water

they could have presumably used as a source of power.  Later a tunnel took the water through to the second open quarry at which time

a Pelton wheel system and that old engine may have replaced the water as a source of more reliable energy production.

Crossing back from the open quarry, I find myself on the opposite side of the river from Ann and Jo.

They found a higher crossing point  . . . and we continued our way up the fell.

Further detail about the slate quarry can be found on the Cumbria Industries web pages.

Looking back at what was becoming an increasingly snowy panorama.

Leaving the quarry area, the snow covered tops of the Pennines are once again in view.

Navigation on a normal day would be easy as Kentmere Pike sits at the head of this wall.

However, today there's a fair amount of snow on the ground and the going was far from easy.

We cross over to the Brown How ridge . . . aptly named today as the snow cover was less, the brown of the grass showing through

and this will make the climb a little easier all round.

Our change of route also brought us over top a higher set of workings and an old mine buildings here on the fell side.

An entrance tunnel with wind blown snow drifts inside.
Looking out at Jo and Ann still in the sunshine.

A long addit, the flooded floor stopping further exploration.

There was a distinct sound of flowing water in the form of drips and splashes emanating from somewhere further round the bend.

Looking back now and time to return to the bright sunlight . . .

The wind blowing the snow through the artificial cave has left lovely snow sculptures for us to enjoy.

Following up the brown of Brown Howe.

Close up of the Pennines and the forestry around Shap and in the Eden Valley.

Wind-blown snow features on the steep side of the gully.

Facing east, the wind must have been rushing up these fells during the recent snow storms.

The wall and subsequent fence line that we planned to follow is over on the next part of the fell now.

Beyond it the high tops of Yorkshire . . . the snow covered peak may be Whernside.

Zooming in on the one beyond . . . Ingleborough.
They'll have a nice view if they can look down.

The ground levels out now as we climb closer to the ridge.

Still hollows to cross . . . filled with snow.
The fence along the Kentmere ridge is now in view

Big skies . . . big sun . . . sun glasses were the order of the day and were being used to good effect.

The weather was changing slightly (as forecasted) as there was cloud building from the west.

Once up on the summit the familiar views of Yoke, Ill Bell and Froswick were laid out ahead of us.

Winter scenes but fortunately not winter conditions today as the sun continues to shine.

The snow had built up around the walls to the point that they were almost covered.

Lone walker and his dog walking down from Kentmere Pike.

It turns out that he was the chap whose footprints we had seen in the snow, climbing up the fence line in a direct ascent of Kentmere Pike.

Where we had diverted towards Brown Howe, he had continued on, going straight up, and apparently it was hard going in deep snow.

Moving on but looking back . . . mind you don't fall over if trying this for real !

The top end of the Kentmere Round comes into view . . . Thornthwaite Beacon lost among the skyline of the snow-topped peaks.

Jo crosses the last few yards of snow to the summit of Kentmere Pike.

Note the ski tracks of two skiers on the left of the photo.

Time to find a nice dry seat to enjoy our lunch  . . . here just over the wall that crosses the top of the Pike.

Summit dog . . . too big to sit comfortably on the trig.
The wall led up . . . and it leads down the other side.

Before we left the top we wandered over a short distance west

to catch a glimpse of Kentmere Reservoir down there in the valley.

A close up of two Ravens before they flew off.

Perhaps we could have left them a piece of sandwich but we had already finished our lunch.

While the zoom lens was out . . . a close up of Windermere and Morecambe Bay.

Heading down . . . the snow lessening as we lost altitude.

Ahead was our next summit of Shipman Knotts, seen here on the right at the end of that long streak of snow by the fell wall.

While Jo and Ann took the direct path towards Shipman Knotts, I headed slightly left to catch the view from Goat Scar

seen here above the girls heads.

This is the reverse of the earlier photo of Goat Scar from the waterfalls in Longsleddale.

Our outward route up the Gatesgarth Pass road can be seen below.

The rounded snow covered peak is Branstree.

Looking south this time, down Longsleddale.

Centre picture but rather indistinct are the cars parked at Sadgill.

I rejoined the main path and the girls who were waiting at the stile.

Getting down off the ladder stile for the dogs and myself was easy today !

Two photos of the same stile

when we crossed it

on the OFC walk

back in 2006.


[ The link to the full set of pictures

can be found at the base of the page.]

Shipman Knotts summit dogs.

The summit itself is not over-endowed with a major cairn or trig point so this will have to do.

Perhaps everyone should have sat on the wall as that is now technically the highest point.

It is downhill all the way now . . . back to the long valley . . . Longsleddale.

Making our way down . . . a last view of the summit from below.

We climbed 'down' to the Shipman Knott summit (apart from the last few meters of ascent) but it would be a more formidable climb up

had we been doing the round in the opposite direction.

One last leg of the walk . . . down off the fell . . . heading down to the Kentmere to Sadgill track seen below.

This is one of the classic green roads over the fells

but is now closed to motorised traffic and is being repaired by the National Park.

Some fine pitched stone repair on the steep section down into the Longsleddale Valley itself.

A view of Sadgill Bridge once more and the cars parked at the road-end.

Back at base at the end of a lovely walk.

Now to find somewhere nice for a meal on the way home . . . let me think ?

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon Sureshot SX220 or my Canon 1100D SLR digital cameras.

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

This site best viewed with . . .a pint and a plate of good food at the Watermill  Inn at Ings

[ Fish and Chips for the girls and an unusual Savoury Bread and Butter Pudding for me . . . sorry no photos.]

Go to Top . . . © RmH . . . Email me here

Previous walk - 4th April 2013 - Blake Fell with Jo and Alan

A previous time up here - 6th May 2006 The Kentmere Round with the OFC

Next walk - 8th April 2013 - Wasdale and Pottery -2-