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" Barrow Fell with Jo and Snow "

Date & start time: Saturday 16th January 2016, a midday start. ( NY 229 232 )

Location of Start : Road end above the Coledale Inn, Braithwaite, Cumbria, Uk.

Places visited : High Coledale Farm, Barrow Door, Barrow Fell and back via the farm again.

Walk details :   3 mls, 1125 feet of ascent, 2 hour 45 mins.

Highest point : Barrow Fell 1,494ft - 455m.

Walked with : Jo and Amber, Ann and our dogs, Harry and Dylan.

Weather : Dry snow, overcast with good visibility . . . but going downhill as we climbed uphill.

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This was a case of snowy conditions under foot and reasonable walking weather in prospect

which was pushed away by a cold wintery shower which was building to the west as we climbed. 

A simple route so no navigation problems, except the initial one of finding our way to the start of the walk !

The anatomy of a Loweswater sunrise.

Up at the crack of dawn . . . but with the shorter days this turned out to be a more leisurely 8.20am start.

As the sun rose behind the high fells so it lit up a slightly mackerel sky

Great Gable was looking serene but cold in the morning light.

Minutes off sunrise at our end of the valley and the sun cast a more general light onto the low, blanket cloud.

The pink beams of the morning sun streak cross the upper face of Great Gable.

The natural lace of adjacent trees close to the cottage.

- - - o o o - - -

Still, after a good breakfast, we packed a small rucksack and headed out for Braithwaite via Whinlatter.

Above the snow line now as we drive over the pass . . . looking towards the Visitor Centre entrance.

(Don't panic . . . I stopped the car and got out to take these !)

Looking back . . . from a hundred yards further on.

The trees held the snow beautifully . . . like a classic winter wonderland.

This side of the pass seems to have been better gritted than the Lorton side.

A snowy mantle on a roadside branch.

They've cleared trees in the last year or so near Cottage in the Wood and now the view extends all the way across to Skiddaw.

The classic viewpoint of Knoble Knott adds Bassenthwaite Lake and Binsey (away to the left) into the photograph.

- - - o o o - - -

Storm Desmond dealt quite severely with Braithwaite and caused quite a bit of flooding.

Significant quantities of mud were washed through the village and inundated many houses and the shop.

One casualty was the parapet of the little packhorse bridge that takes the road past the church and up towards the Coledale Inn.

While it awaits repair the we had to drive around to the village shop (sadly also flooded at the time)

and take the back road between the houses up to the pub.

After heavy use and much erosion, the council have repaired it and for the first time in its life it sports a new tarmac surface all the way to the Inn.

From there we continued up the original road and parked near the gate at the top.

Unusual navigation complete . . . the walk starts here.

Ann and Jo start up the track to the ruined High Coledale Farm, which climbs alongside the Barrow Gill ravine.

The track also gives access to the water board (covered) reservoir . . . the rounded structure in the field opposite.

Normally it looks like a green Tele-Tubbies house . . . today it blends into the scenery.

Looking across at Great Mell fell and the distant Pennines, areas also heavily covered in snow.

With the bigger lens still on the camera Causey Pike looks like no distance away.

We are aiming for Barrow Door, the hause in front of it, then take we plan to take a left to the summit of Barrow.

Between there and Causey are a lot of steep contour lines down and even more steeper ones up the other side to the distant summit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Picture by Jo.

Taking a more laid back look through the normal lens as we pass the old farm and head up the flanks of Stile End.

You can see two groups of people ahead as they start on the gentle, traversing climb up to Barrow Door.

Ahead too you can see the darker nature of the sky . . . a precursor to poor weather on the way it seems.

Behind us the sky has become a lot more overcast and Skiddaw less distinct. 

Walking conditions were reasonable as we headed up towards the hause.

The rutted path had been filled with snow but also compacted down by the passage of many feet

. . . walking was straight forward (technically and navigationally).

Yeah . . . posers !

All done without the aid of extra clothing or special equipment.

At the hause the dogs walk on ahead and we follow to get a view of Causey Pike.

But despite their anticipation we're not going THAT way . . . we're going THIS.

Time for that left turn and take the path towards the summit of Barrow Fell.

Climbing up from Barrow Door.

Ann, Jo and Amber (plus a fellwalking family of three behind).

Time to grab a summit panorama before the crowds turn up.

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

Harry and Dylan near the summit.

Hold your cursor over the picture and go "woof ".

A kindly fellow walker captured a summit photo of us.

The extra gentleman is Chris, a colleague of mine from George Fishers

who reached the summit at the same time as us but from the other direction.

Oh No !   Someone's photo-bombed the occasion !

Not really . . . the extra chap behind was a friend of Chris's . . . also on the summit today. 

He was the one following us up from Barrow Door with his family.

On the way down now . . . microspikes on but they are occasionally balling up with compacted snow.

Despite the ground conditions these Swaledales are finding something to eat under the snow.

Surprising to see them up here . . . but perhaps this is classed as low ground compared to the higher fells behind.

Jo stands before the little bump on the ridge that's marked as 'Cattle grid' on the map.

The grid is in fact on the road far below but the words spread across the map and reach the point on the fell

where we turn and start our secondary descent into the Barrow Gill valley and down to the car.

There is evidence of old mine workings up here . . . the notch in the ridge being a fault line in the strata which held a vein of lead and silver.

No lead or silver here just the gold of a golden retriever . . . Harry with a wintery covering of snow.

The ravine leading down to Braithwaite which we need to cross.

The path down and up the other side is slightly higher up the valley, at a point where the crossing is easy.

That's Jo already walking up the other side.

There be reindeer . . . almost.

A male Roe Deer breaks cover from the gorse bushes near the ravine and sets off across the bracken covered fellside.

He seemed to be on his own . . . and a little lost in these cold winter conditions.

Back on the water board track and nearly back at the car.

We're not a little lost in these conditions . . .

we know exactly where we are heading . . .


- - - o o o - - -


A warming bowl of soup is on the cards,

ordered from the menu at The Coledale Inn


- - - o o o - - -


Post script:    The pub believe that the bridge repairs

may start within the week and the easier access to the Inn

will once again be restored. 

If you fancy a visit in the mean time, please don't be put off

by the alternative access road.

It was so nice I forgot to take a picture until it was nearly all gone !

By the look of the glass behind, that pint has nearly all gone too . . . a good day  out on the fells.

- - - o o o - - -



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

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

This site best viewed with . . . a warming bowl of soup at the end of a snowy day.

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Previous walk - 14th January 2016 - Low Fell and the 1st Snow of 2016

A previous time up here - 25th December 2007 Barrow Fell with Gareth

Next walk - 16th January 2016 - Sale Fell in the Snow 2016