I Can See The Sea…

24th July 2011

Three Lakeland fells that have been biting at my boots for the past few weeks are as follows, Grike, Crag Fell & Lank Rigg, these solitary outcrops of rock lie on the far western landscape of Lakeland, not quite in the sense of inaccessible but for me it meant a three hour drive to get here, three hours isn’t much but it can, & did get tedious, I had Elbow in the CD player & me; there biggest fan had to turn them off after a repeat  listening of there new album; Build A Rocket Boys on continuous loop, In the end I settled for  peace & quiet & a little road noise.

Today’s fells would take me as close to the west coast as my guidebook’s would take me.

The scenery however can & will take you away from the tediousness, this morning the sea was a bright sparkling blue with not a cloud in the sky & a little morning nip in the air, something that reminded me of my childhood while holidaying in north Wales, endless scorched guaranteed summer days was the norm back then, now we are lucky to get a week of sun out of July & August, the guarantee of sunshine went  with the eighties.

Today was an exception.


Wainwright Guidebook

The Western Fells

-Alfred Wainwright And The Buried Treasure Of Lank Rigg:

The only exciting experience in the lonely life of the Ordnance column occurred on a glorious sunny day in April 1965, when it was a mute and astonished witness to an unparalleled act of generosity. In an uncharacteristic mood of magnanimity which he has since regretted, the author decided on ‘this summit’ to share his hard won royalties with one of his faithful readers and placed  a two-shilling piece under a flat stone : it awaits the first person to read this note and act upon it. There is no cause to turn the whole top over as though pigs have been at it – the stone is four feet from the column. If the treasure cannot be found at this distance it can be assumed that a fortunate pilgrim has already passed this way rejoicing. The finder may be sufficiently pleased to right c/o the publishers and confirm his claim by stating the year of the coins issue. If nobody does so before the end of 1966 the author will go back and retrieve it for the purchase of fish and chips. It was a reckless thing to do anyway.


Ascent: 1,900 Feet, 580 Meters
Wainwrights: 3, Grike, Crag Fell & Lank Rigg
Weather: Clear Blue Skies, Very Little Wind, Highs Of 19° Lows Of 15°
Parking: Cold Fell Road, Calder Beck
Area: Western
Miles: 7.5
Walking With: On my own
Ordnance Survey: OL4
Time Taken:  

Map and Photo Gallery



Blakeley Rise Stone Circle.

Or The  Kinniside Stone Circle as it is more commonly known now-a-days. This Stone Circle lay of the Ordnance maps up until-just after the First World War, when a group of workers decided to re-claim this site by finding every stolen Stone (local farmers took the stones to use as gate post and building materials) and re-seat every stone back into its  original place, they did a grand job of the restoration & yet every time I read this story I cant help but feel tickled.


Having left the car by the roadside (not a five minute walk from the Stone Circle) I picked up the old mine track, the track lay just of the roadside & was easily spotted from the car, this particular area is a lot different to how you would expect it to look after taking a look at your map, the wooded area is no longer there after the  regeneration of the hillside.


And here how it looks now after the trees have been cut down, tortured is a word I would use, it really is such a sad site. The fells in the distance are Knock Murton & Blake Fell.


The mine track continues across this Loggers track & onto the plush pastures  of Grike.


I decided to follow the fence to just before where you see the trees on the right of the old mine track, I’ in fact could have made much more use of the track seen right but today I wasn’t feeling particular springy in scaling the barbed wired fence, as the ground underfoot was dry enough to walk on I stuck with my plan (and my general laziness)


My last fell of the day, Lang Rigg.


Grike summit cairn with the west coast in the background.


And Grike’s hugely impressive summit shelter.

Looking towards the Lowes Water Fells & a small glimpse of the head of Ennerdale Water


The Telecommunication Tower situated in-between Grike & Crag Fell, yes a blot on the landscape but it must have its use or it wouldn’t be there I guess.


After leaving a small rock on the summit of Grike I now head along this small ridge & take in the views of some of Lakelands pinnacle fells the grandest being Pillar seen here just above the woods.


A close up of Pillar, Steeple, Scoat Fell & Haycock far right.


Crag Fell summit cairn.

It was here I felt like a millionaire among the mountain world, Like dollar bills scattered along the hill side, boy like I wondered & gawped in pure awe at the beauty before me.


Ennerdale Water, Bowness Knott & the whole High Stile Ridge incorporating LtoR Great Borne, Starling Dodd, Little Starling Dodd, Red Pike, High Stile, High Crag & finally Haystacks & best of all I can say I have walked that ridge & it will remain up there with the best of them.


A close up of Bowness Knott & Great Borne, with a peak of the Grasmore fells just behind.


Its not very often I will take of my pack after such a short walk- sit down & breathe it all in. You just cant help yourself on the top of Crag Fell.


The impressed look.


After spending what seemed like a eternity on the summit of Crag Fell I now head in a southerly direction & try to pick my route off Crag Fell, as you can see there is a faint grassy-well worn path I am following that will lead you down to the woods & hopefully out again at the other side, my eye had spotted a marker to aim for, this being the stone wall you see in the left of the picture, I would pick this wall up & continue up until the wall heads left, here I would take a right & Whoap summit bound.


I guess my head was still in the clouds when I took a dive into the slurp of the forest floor, in all essence it probably looked funny to an outsider me disappearing up to my shins & then comically falling (both hands stretched before me) into the mud & bog, my left leg was soaked, my right knee the same, as for both hands, a blokes backside only has one use when ones hands are dirty.


I went a little of piste as I walked through the Forrest, I left the comfort of a stone track to try & pick the wall up as best I could, here looking like I’ve picked up the machinery track, it was all fair & well & lead me out right where I wanted.


Grike from the steep ascent up Whoap.


And together with Crag Fell, what such contrast in weather from my last weeks walk among the eastern fells.


Whoap’s solitary summit boulder with the north west fells in the background.


After leaving Whoap I now head for the col seen centre & take in the grassy slopes of Lank Rigg. Typically speaking in conversation it would be pronounced Lan-krigg!


Spectacular views from the summit of Lan-krigg, here towards the western fells, & like thousands before me, there was no site of Wainwright’s Two Shillings, in fact I couldn’t find a rock within four feet of the summit..


Lank Rigg summit Tarn.


After leaving Lank Rigg summit I now double back on myself back down towards the col & pick up a stone path that will lead me out onto the valley floor.


Looking back up the shallow valley with Whoap (L) & Lank Rigg (R), after just crossing the River Calder my walk it seems is almost coming to an end which is such a shame as a day as blessed as this.


Commanding views as I reach the Cold Fell Road, here towards the west coast with Dent (L) & Flat Fell (R)


The cold Fell Road & car bound, its much easier to take in a snail’s pace as I did along this road, the fells are out in all there glory as to is the beautiful clear blue sky.

Ever been somewhere where you just don’t want to leave? where one more hour just isn’t enough, when your having the best game of hide & seek? & you still haven’t been caught & all the gang are ‘where’s Paul’ & then suddenly your mum calls you in for tea? today was my game of hide & seek, today was my best game of skilly all out & I didn’t want to go home.


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