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" Low Fell and the First Snow "

Date & start time: Saturday 21st November 2015 midday start.

Location of Start : The red phone box, Loweswater , Cumbria, Uk ( NY 143 211 )

Places visited : Thackthwaite, Low Fell, Low Fell southern top, Foulsyke and home.

Walk details :   3.3 mls, 1250 ft of ascent, 3 hours including lunch.

Highest point : Low Fell, 1375 ft - 423 mtrs.

Walked with : Paula and Sue, Tom and Abigail, Ann and our dogs, Harry and Dylan.

Weather : Lovely winter sunshine after the snow clears the air.

© Crown copyright. All rights reserved. Licence number PU 100034184.

 

The first snow of the winter fell last night

and our daughter who is up with the grandchildren suggests a Low Fell walk. 

With clear visibility and a little snow on the top, Low Fell was a great place to be to get those all round, winter views.

The story starts the night before.

Around midnight it cleared and the moon came out on what was a rather cold, damp evening.

Before heading to bed I stepped out with the camera to see the views

and sure enough, there was the first snow of Winter on the tops of the high fells.

[ a passing aircraft appears like a shooting start in this ten second exposure ]

In the morning all is revealed.

The sun was up and the skies clear . . .

. . . it was just topping out over Rannerdale to reveal the snow on the top of all the fells.

A while later, with the bags packed and a small flask for lunch we were ready for a walk.

Low Fell was the request . . . starting with a group photo at Thackthwaite (taken on my camera by a kindly fellow walker).

Tom, Abi, Sue, Paula, Ann and myself . . . the boys, Al and Mark, were out on a cycle tour to the coast and back.

As we walk up through the fields the view opens out again.

Abi is intrigued by a tree stump . . . it blew down in the gales eleven years ago now but is still alive.

She bends down to pick up some leaves . . .
. . . and declares that we have reached the snow-line.

The snow is well and truly settled on Skiddaw, even Lord's Seat has a reasonable covering.

Looking around, that's Ladyside Pike dressed in white, plus the almost saddleback shape of Hopegill Head summit.

The foreground peak with the diagonal white line is Dodd of the Whiteside ridge.

At the apparent head of our valley

the fells of Haystacks, Great Gable, Scafell Pike and Kirk Fell almost blend together.

A wider view as we leave the fell gate behind and head up the curved track onto Low Fell.

This is an old footpath, possible a coffin route to the old Mosser Church.

It zig-zags at the head of the valley as we draw level with Fellbarrow on the opposite side.

Level ground again as we reach the top gate close to an old sheep fold.

I cross over to Watching Crag

to see the first views down to Crummock Water

but my eyes were in fact attracted by Hopegill Head

and a sheep on the next part of our ridge.

Here's looking at you . . . (note that diagonal line up Dodd again).

I did stop to catch a non-summit view however . . . the first snow on Low Fell.

Click here or on the photo above for a Loweswatercam 360 degree annotated panorama.

Zooming in on Crummock and the high fells.

. . . and on the summit party as they made their way along the path.

Over one of several stiles along the path.

The stile is easy, the dog gate hopeless for larger dogs due to a wrongly positioned fence wire.

The final steep ascent towards the summit.

. . . and we are there . . . on top of Low fell.

Paula and family plus Sue, ourselves and the two dogs.

Hang on . . . we seemed to have gained one from somewhere !

'Oscar' and his owners Jess and Will were walking the ridge too and we happened to meet at the highest point.

It's lunchtime . . . so we find a sheltered spot for lunch away from the cool north western breeze.

"Nice hat" Thomas  . . . "Anything for me ?" says Dylan

Two photos from Paula . . . of Abi . . .
. . . and myself.

Oh yes . . . and a third from Ann of our two companions.

We ate on the grass bank on the distance and one stile later we are nearing the southern summit.

Ann looks back at along the ridge and at snow covered Skiddaw in the distance.

South summit rocks and a white-Whiteside.

A classic summit photo, this time at the south summit cairn . . . everyone wrapped up against the cold wind.

The path leads onward and downward towards the viewpoint at the end.

I hang back to catch a wider view of the Buttermere Valley.

This is the cairn we can just make out from our kitchen window, far below.

Harry and Dylan at the snow-peppered cairn.

Ann contemplates the view as we start our way down the steep southern end of Low Fell.

There is a path but it is sometimes difficult to find.

Tom hangs back to check out the rocks . . . once the dogs have finished posing.

Igneous rock . . .
. . . with some lovely lichens.

Tom is sitting an exam in Geology later this week once he gets home.

- - - o o o - - -

 

The descent from Low Fell is always steep at this end.

 

Sometimes we cut back to the fence and the round sheepfold

on the front of the fell.

 

Sometimes zig-zag our way down the slope

and find a way through the bracken.

 

Today we seem to have taken a line much closer to the fence.

 

Either way you do it, at this end you join the path

at the base of the slope by a small stile.

 

- - - o o o - - -

Whichever way, the path you are on will lead you around or down to the Scots Pine.

 

The afternoon sun has found a hole

in the slightly overcast sky

and now shines rich and bright on the tree,

 

casting lovely contrasting shadows

across the trunk and branches

of this ancient sentinel of the valley.

 

 

- - - o o o - - -

 

Harry and Dylan have to substitute for the horses

that we often see at this point of our walk.

 

- - - o o o - - -

 

Looking down on Godferhead, Foulsyke, Wood End, the Vicarage

and our cottage at the end of the central curved wall.

As we descend further, the high fells start to slide down behind the trees of Whinny Ridding Woods.

A last view of Grasmoor's top until we clear the trees once again.

That just happens to be the cover of our new 2016 Calendar

which believe it or not, we still have a few copies left for sale.

The Vicarage and their fine view up the valley.

[ Jump back here to order your very own 2016 Loweswatercam Calendar ]

The oak tree at the gate has remarkably held onto a lot of its leaves despite the recent gales.

It provides some bright autumnal colours to the valley.

This is where the horses are today . . . lower down, out of that cold breeze.

A final photo of one of our local farmers preparing his flock for the start of the new farming year.

It's time to put the tups to the ewes and start the farming cycle all over again.

- - - o o o - - -

 

Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon Sureshot SX220, my Canon 1100D Digital SLR or Paula's iPhone.

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

This site best viewed with . . . got to be that first snow of Winter.

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

Previous event - 18th November 2015 - Vale of Lorton First Responders

A previous time up here - 28th September 2013 - Low Fell in the Sunshine

Next Walk - 25th November 2015 - Holme Woods with Mary ( yet to be published )