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" A brief encounter with Gasgale Gill "
Date & start time: 12th June 2020. 3.30 pm start.
Location of Start : Lanthwaite Green car park, Crummock, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 159 208 )
Places visited : Gasgale Gill, up and back.
Walk details : 1.75 mls, 625 ft of ascent, 50 mins.
Highest point : At the fallen boulder underneath the start of the high Gasgale Crags.
Walked with : Myself and our dogs, Dylan and Dougal.
Weather : Overcast with a slightly cold north easterly breeze.
© Crown copyright. All rights reserved. Licence number PU 100034184.
Gasgale Gill, as well as being a good local walk, has sufficient geography and geomorphology to keep a classroom of students busy for weeks.
It offers studies in geology, landform erosion, flood damage, waterfalls, path migration and glaciation.
It also offers a nice walk to stretch the legs and keep the dogs happy for another day.
Despite the overcast nature of the day, there were fifteen or so cars at Lanthwaite Green car park
at half three in the afternoon, as I parked up and started my walk.
The clouds were touching the tops of the High Stile Ridge but the weather was dry.
Despite the large number of cars in the car park there were hardly any people about.
The walk heads up the valley seen here and my return track contours on a higher path over the flanks of Whin Ben (to the left),
dropping down the first green swath closest to the river, to end the walk back here at the car.
Meet the locals . . . the Herdwick lamb sporting its delightful white sunglasses at this time in their lives.
The sun is shining in places and casts colourful light and shade patterns on the more northern end of Low Fell.
Dylan forges ahead doing the route finding, Dougal hanging back to make sure I'm not left behind.
It was impossible to get two faces looking through the bridge rails at the same time, despite all my encouragements !
Grasmoor behind was much more amenable as it stayed still for the whole of the photo time.
It is hard to imagine the Liza Beck as small as it is today, being a raging torrent in the 2009 floods and a river that wiped out the two footbridges here,
significantly widening the channel to the size that we see today. A gravel-trap pond in the far distance of the first picture was breached
which send a wall of water and boulders down the valley all the way to the River Cocker.
After a spring of low rainfall the area is parched but that hasn't stopped the deep rooted foxgloves from providing a colourful display.
More foxgloves which often thrive in disturbed ground of course.
Looking back at the footbridge and distant Low Fell as I make my way up the old path close to the river.
Various floods over the years have altered the line of the path
but after the bank opposite collapsed the path this side became impassable and a new one has developed higher up above the river bed.
As the river emerges from the narrow gap between Whiteside and Grasmoor it has developed a waterfall.
Technically then the Liza Beck has been contained in a "hanging valley" due to glacial action
which over deepened the main valley and subsequently allowed the creation of Buttermere and Crummock Water.
Beautifully clear water but cold all year round, as the water hasn't had chance to slow down and warm itself in the sun !
The scenery beyond the boulder suddenly widens to reveal Hopegill Head and Sand Hill.
High to the left are the deeply incised Gasgale Crags that line the edge of the Whiteside Ridge.
We turn and retrace our steps a short distance, then take the top path back towards Lanthwaite.
This path contours high above the river and will avoid the rock step that we climbed on the way up.
Dougal too close, Dylan too far away . . . but at least the general direction of the path ahead is clear from where he is standing.
A quick whistle and Dylan returns, then together we round the bend and regain our view of the main valley.
We descend from the flanks of Whin Ben, down through the bracken,
on a path that occasionally zig-zags to mitigate the steepness of the slope.
The 'new' bridge . . . I think this is where we came in.
A short walk back across the flatter slopes below Grasmoor.
The line of rushes (reeds) is an artificial water channel that presumably used to supply water to Lanthwaite Farm.
This is a winter picture showing the dark line of the water channel but more importantly the round enclosure and earthworks
to the left of that channel (when viewed from this direction). Lanthwaite Green has evidence of not only medieval sheilings (summer farms)
but also of earthworks, cairns and cultivation possibly going back to the bronze ages.
Back now to the car park and only three of the fifteen cars are left and one of those is mine !
I'm sure I didn't see that many folk on my brief visit to the wilds of Gasgale Gill.
- - - o o o - - -
Technical note: Pictures taken with my Panasonic Lumix Gx8 Camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . a keen eye for a loose boulder (then the sense to avoid it).
Previous walk - 9th June 2020 - In Hadrian's Footsteps
A previous time up here - 29th October - Gasgale and Whin Ben
Next walk - 18th June 2020 - Garden wildlife and Port Carlisle