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" Sunshine on The Cockups "
Date & start time: Thursday 30th January 2014, 1pm start. ( NY 252 339 )
Location of Start : Roadside near Orthwaite, near Bassenthwaite, Cumbria, Uk.
Places visited : Brockle Crags, Great Cockup, Little Cockup, back beneath Orthwaite Bank.
Walk details : 3.3 mls, 975ft of ascent, 2 hours.
Highest point : Great Cockup 1720 ft ~ 526m
Walked with : Ann and our dog, Harry.
Weather : Sunshine all the way (we'll ignore the cold wind, and the need for hat and gloves)
[ Alter the settings to zoom or change the Map, use Everytrail to download the Gps route ]
The predicted fine weather has come true, but the sunshine is very localised
as the strong, cold easterly wind brings cloud and gloom to the Central fells.
We opt for travelling a little further out and consequently enjoy a great little walk.
Ahh . . . the joys of a better forecast coming true for this part of Cumbria.
The day has dawned fine and dry though there are clouds over the high fells at the top of the valley.
Big Yellow Orb peeping out behind one of those clouds.
The winter sun is low in the sky and we re-stocked the bird table, as we do each day.
Back in the house I noticed the silhouette photo potential as our breakfast guests arrived.
Here the squirrel is joined by two of probably a dozen or more garden birds.
Long sharp front teeth make light of opening hazel nuts.
You can see the claws on his feet too . . . great for climbing trees and the overhang onto the bird table.
A change of angle and a change of exposure allows a little more colour to enhance the photo.
A male Great Tit on the top feeder, and female Great Tit and a Blue tit hang on the peanut feeder below.
(Thanks to Richard ... well spotted in the sunshine ... Rmh)
That reminds me . . . it's time for our breakfast !
Household and garden chores done (chopping a few of those logs from yesterday), it was time to jump in the car and head for the hills.
We had thought to climb Dodd on the side of Skiddaw but it looked grey under the shadow of the Skiddaw clouds
and the view up into Borrowdale to the central fells was distinctly gloomy . . .
. . . so we changed our plans , turned left at Bassenthwaite Village
and headed towards the Back o'Skiddaw fells, away from those clouds in the picture, parking here near Orthwaite.
Object achieved for now . . . a walk in the sun !
Hopefully the only cockups in our day would be the two Cockup Fells that we now set off to climb.
A short walk back down the road was required as there is no place to park at the Dash Farm track turning itself.
A cold night has resulted in patches of ice on the puddles in the track.
Ann pauses for a photo part way along the track . . . hat and gloves and warm trousers are the order of the day.
In the far distance is the waterfall of Dash Falls.
A small quarry along the track has been used for building stone for farms or gravel for tracks locally.
Looking closely, we can imagine all aspects of geology and landforms on the fells around us.
The stone is Skiddaw Slate with fault lines implying moving geology over the millennia.
Above is the layer of surface stone that shrouds the area and shows us the thin nature of the moorland top soils.
A prominent pathway leaves the track and we set off along it, heading up towards the top of Brockle Crags ahead.
Harry finds a stick to carry, as we start our ascent.
The green track undulates slightly but heads ever upwards.
The view from this minor top, the first of the two Brockle Crags.
Below us the water of Bassenthwaite Lake spreads widely across the valley.
Looking to the hills across the face of the other half of Brockle Crags.
There seems to be the potential for quite a bit of snow on the back of the high fells.
Dash Farm and the falls at the head of the Dash Beck Valley.
Dark grey skies over Burn Tod . . . a lovely but unexplained name for a fell.
However we are walking in sunshine . . . or more correctly taking a seat on a boulder on the flanks of Great Cockup.
A pile of stones on the top of the approach ridge surrounds a hollowed out grouse butt,
a shooting position used by those who once chose to shoot moorland birds up here for so-called 'sport'.
Close up you may get a better idea of the depth of the hole in the ground.
" Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink "
The easterly winds are forming cloud over the fells and there's a definite edge as the high ground ceases.
The sun's position matches that of the boundary and consequently produces interesting sun-beams.
The high ground reached with minimal effort considering the near thousand foot climb.
The view from the top of Great Cockup.
Harry stands by the cairn.
There's certainly a lot more snow on the back of Skiddaw and Skiddaw Little Man than there is on their western flanks.
I imagine it will be a very cold, almost arctic place up there today.
Heading back down towards the ridge and on to Little Cockup.
The sun beams are slowly changing.
I cut down to check out a line of three or four other grouse butts on this side of the fell.
Little Cockup is just the small grassy outlier to the ridge.
Unlike the main top it does not make the Wainwright list of 214 fells but is still worth a visit for the view over to Over Water and to Binsey.
Leaning against the wind (slightly).
Harry looks down on Over Water and the associated Chapel House reservoir.
Looking back at Great Cockup where we were earlier.
There are traces of snow on Little and Great Sca Fell.
Don't get confused with Scafell and Scafell Pikes (England's highest). They are further south, at the head of Borrowdale.
A lonely stand of Scots Pine on the Castle How rise.
Back to the fell gate.
Our return path has skirted the fell and followed the wall down to the gate.
Ann sets off on the short road walk back to the car.
The two other walkers cars have gone.
I hope they had as enjoyable a walk as we did.
Driving back we stop for a photo through the woods alongside Bassenthwaite Lake.
Our original objective, Dodd, is still in shadow. I think we chose a good alternative.
Great Cockup, our recent summit . . . is still enjoying the sunshine.
- - - o o o - - -
Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon Sureshot SX220, or my Nikon P520 digital camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . sunglasses, suncream, swim wear . . . well lets not get carried away !
Previous walk - 29th January 2014 - Mellbreak Pinnacles View
A previous time up here - 10th April 2006 One Cockup after another - or "Making a Meal of it".
Pictures from the summit of Skiddaw before the clouds rolled in, can be found here on Maggie Allen's site.
[ She was on Skiddaw at around 11.15, the visibility was extremely poor on the plateau but her other pictures are beautiful ]
Next walk - 3rd February 2014 - Mill Beck, Buttermere