Monday 28 March 2011

Walk 46
8.5m / 2450ft ascent
Time taken 6 hours

174. Ullscarf 2382'
        Calf Crag 1762' (Previously visited)
175. Steel Fell 1814'

Route taken on 28th March 2011 by Phil G4OBK, XYL Judy and friend Geoff

Our last day of a three night break staying at Keswick. We wanted a moderate walk which would still allow time for the drive home, in our case back to North Yorkshire and for Geoff back home to Malvern.

Ullscarf LDW-075 and Steel Fell LDW-146 had not yet been climbed so I worked out a route from the Wythburn Car Park at the south end of Thirlmere.  Car parking there proved to be free - the money machine was not in service through the winter, presumably due to the lack of people likely to park there and the national parks decision to employ seasonal staff.

Harrop Tarn with Tarn Crags behind
Judy & Geoff at the ladder stile
We left the car park at 0928z on the road which is seemingly not as shown on the 2005 1:25000 OS Map - we were walking some distance west of the road as shown on the map. I couldn't work this out - maybe my GPS was having a bad day.  A bridleway took us up to (the shallow) Harrop Tarn and continued up Mosshause Gill on a most enjoyable route. There were some enormous erratic boulders on this route including the Binka Stone. We climbed a ladder stile (pictured) at NY 304136 and made our way over access land (no path) between Standing Crag and Tarn Crags to the top of Ullscarf, a flat topped uninspiring fell, so uninspiring indeed that I did not take an photograph there when we arrived at 1122z after a steady walk of  3 miles and climb of 1800 feet.
After a 30 minute rest and radio stop we set off for Calf Crag - a summit we climbed the previous May when we were walking Wainwright's Coast to Coast.  As "Chief Navigator" I got this part of our walk badly wrong today and we climbed higher then we needed due to my lack of concentration. After following the wall which runs along the top of Greenup Edge we continued on to the top of Birks (This is not to be confused with Birks near Patterdale) before realising that we had a scramble to get back down to cross Brownrigg Moss and ascend up to Calf Crag. Geoff had his own ideas about the descent and went off to the right, we kept left and met again at the top of Calf Crag. Was he miffed that I had gone wrong with my navigation so went off his own way? He didn't say!  We would have done right to follow the route we had taken from Greenup Edge up to Calf Crag when we walked the C2C. We crossed, so why I felt going up over Birks was a good idea I still do not know.

The ridge walk from Calf Crag across to Steel Fell

After another 30 minute break on Calf Crag LDW-154 where we had lunch, we were off to the last summit of the day Steel Fell, a mere 40 minutes away.  A defined path existed on the ground and we had excellent views en-route across Dunmail Raise to the Helvellyn range. 

Judy (XYL) and Phil G4OBK/P on Steel Fell LDW-146
A 20 minute stay, more contacts, and we were soon heading off down the steep path back to Steel End and the car park after another cracking walk.
Geoff walks off Steel Fell into Thirlmere...

For Wainwright's On The Air I made 25 contacts on VHF (2m FM) which included a contact with Terry G0VWP,  our friend from York who was on the summit of Whitfell LDW-032,  when I was operating from the summit of Steel Fell.

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