Cutting It Short On The Caldwell Fells

14th February 2011

Today I simply picked on the wrong day to walk, yes I was heavily relying on the weather but somewhere in the back of my mind I knew at one point or another I was going to take a soaking, I thought I might dodge the heavy rains predicted & be back down off the fells before they took hold. I couldn’t of been more wrong, the heavy snow  took hold short into the walk on the ridge  (Miton Hill) in between Carrock Fell & High Pike, this I thought at the time ‘its just a shower’ it’ll pass, my view changed constantly on this short ridge section so here I was more than confident  the snow & blanketed low cloud would soon clear.

My route today would of taken in an estimated 12 miles & four, possibly five new Wainwrights: Carrock Fell, High Pike, a possible (Great Sca Fell) Knott & Great Calva then a descent down to the Cumbrian Way & back through the upper Mosedale Valley, I knew quite early on into this walk I’d be lucky to get away with all these peaks, what I didn’t expect was to be back at the car so early.

The weather again today beat me, but never the less being away from Lakeland for over 2 weeks I feel a little less begrudged at the days failings.


Wainwright Guidebook

The Northern Fells

Geologist, mineralogists, archaeologist, rock – climbers and foxs : all these are provided for. What is there for the ordinary walker? who simply ascends hills because he likes doing it? well Carrock is a delightful climb, as rough as one cares to make it. In the northern area of Lakeland it ranks next to Blencathra for interest and excitement and beauty of surroundings ‘; in reason it has its own special reward for bilberry addicts: there are acres to graze up upon. Let others tap rocks with hammers, and dig holes, and prospect with pans, and scale precipices if they wish; heaven for the walker with no special scholarship is at hand in the lush green pastures around the summit.     But visit the cairn, of course, for yet another of  Carrocks manifold attractions is its glorious view.


Ascent: 2,319 Feet, 707 Meters
Wainwrights: 2 Carrock Fell & High Pike
Weather: Very Varied With Gusty Winds, Heavy Snow Showers Mixed With Sleet & Hail & Heavy Sun Showers Towards The Latter Of The Walk, Lows Of 3° Highs Of 5°
Parking: Apronfull Of Stones, Mosedale
Area: Northern
Miles: 6.9
Walking With: On my own
Ordnance Survey: OL6
Time Taken:  

Map and Photo Gallery



Hitting Carrock Pike’s east ridge from Apronfull Of Stones, prospects of a great walk look more promising.


Further Gill Sike from the steep grassy ascent.


And looking back down the path, you can just make out the roadway & Stone End Farm nestled under the tree on the left.


Nearing the Carrock Pike summit now & I guess from here on in I’d lost most views towards the West & surrounding Lakeland, It also had got notably colder so here I put the hat & gloves on, not in contrast back down the fell side a hundred meters or so I was eating Satsuma’s, something I hadn’t  done since October last  year, I think there’s definitely some wishful thinking towards spring in there somewhere.


The first of the two substantial summit shelters on Carrock Pike, It was here I knelt down out of the wind & took  of my jacket & put on my Berghaus Fleece out my pack, The wind here was biting cold.


Carrock Fell summit cairn & shelter.


Round Knott from my descent off Carrock Fell, & somewhere in the cloud towards the right is my next target High Pike, but first there was quite a bit of bog to negotiate.


Miton Hill & High Pike coming into view.


Looking back on Carrock Fell.


Miton Hill summit cairn, the path from Carrock Pike to here was well trodden & very boggy, In the end I gave up trying to find routes around the bogs I found it more fun just to trench through, I was lucky & escaped with only one slightly wet boot.


‘Get the camera out quick before it disappears’ Again the path here is prominent, snaking its way all the way up to Drygill Head, before I knew it I was back in the cloud again.


Drygill Head, this section of the path towards the left of the picture is littered with once ‘Open Mine Shafts’ the gully to the lower right is my route off the fell (this was unbeknown to me at this present moment in time) And part of the the old Driggeth Mine workings. In Wainwrights Pictorial Guides the mines are listed as ‘open shafts’ but this is going back to the 50’s when you just knew never to step foot near one of these openings in the ground, now they are fenced off from the modern world, sadly while marvelling at one of the fenced off shafts I forgot to get the camera out.


High Pike summit Trig Point & Shelter, its  not very often you would find a memorial so high up (or at least I have seen many) so I took a walk back to have a read,.. it read


He Is A Portion Of That Lovliness That Once He Made More Lovely.  Mick Lewis 1944 Age 16 Yrs. Very Poignant.

This aside it was decision time for me for now the weather had deteriorated dramatically enough for me to contemplate a turn around.


I can just make out a second shelter to the centre right in this picture, it was a 3 minute walk from the Trig Point to this second shelter & in those 3 minutes I had made my mind up.


Not as disappointed as first thought I now make my way through the Driggeth Mine workings.



What a contrast, within 20 minutes of leaving High Pike summit I was now walking in glorious sunshine, it wasn’t to last.


I’d just made my way down this steep section of grass flanking Drygill Beck when I stumbled upon this old mine shaft, by the way as you can see it started snowing again & all thoughts of ‘should I make my way back up the workings & carry on the walk’ quickly disbanded.



With the camera flash on.


Next time I have a moan about work be sure to remember the men & women who worked these mines Paul, In all honesty the camera has done a great job of making the mine shaft look tall enough to stand up in, but in reality it was little more than 4 feet in height.


Carrock Beck, I think I’d lost count at the amount of times the path crossed this beck!


Looking back up to Drygill Head and my route out, the weather clear sky was brief to say the least.


While the views  lasted, the prominent peak is Carrock Fell.


Carrock Beck Ford.


The snow had stopped but then came the rain again, my apologies for the rain specs on the lens.


Sound advice


And again within minutes it was beautiful again!


At the time this picture was taken I figured I’d been through most elements known to man, here I was taking yet another battering from high winds & heavy sun showers, in fact the wind was just as fierce on the valley floor as it was on the the mountain top’s, I just couldn’t make the days weather out!


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