Three men and a Whippet

17th April 2021

Although Rod and I had walked with David separately last October it was the 12th September 2020 when we last walked together, on that day we walked the Whinfell Ridge from Huck's Bridge. We were on the cusp of Autumn and the leaves on the trees were about to turn and after enjoying the walk so much we all agreed that we would return in one months time when we could enjoy Borrowdale in all her Autumnal glory, it never happened.

Travel restrictions meant we were to walk locally, while I explored the Bowland Fells, David kept to the western edge of Lakeland and Rod explored North Yorkshire and its surrounding countryside until restrictions became tighter when we were forced to walk from home which for me was the hardest time made more difficult given that it was Winter but in the end we prevailed and once we had the green light to return we pencilled in this date and this walk.

Eight months ago David introduced us to Calva who as you have probably guessed from the title of this walk is a Whippet. Calva (named after Great Calva) is no ordinary Whippet at just 8 months of age he has already started a journey that will see him cross Lakeland through to his senior years by which time he'll know and love Lakeland like the back of his paw, just like his dad.

Wainwright Guide Book Five
The Northern Fells

-Carrock Fell

The fell is massive, occupying the north east corner of the high country "back o' Skidda" where it overlooks the Border and the valley of the Eden.


Ascent: 1,711 Feet - 521 Metres
Wainwrights: 2, Carrock Fell - High Pike (Caldbeck)
Weather: Bright Throughout, Slight Chill at Height. Highs of 14°C Lows of 2°C
Parking: Roadside Parking, Apron Full of Stones
Area: Northern
Miles: 6.4
Walking With: David Hall, Rod Hepplewhite & Calva the dog
Ordnance Survey: OL6
Time Taken: 4 Hours 30 Minutes
Route: Apronful of Stones - Further Gill Syke - Carrock Fell - Round Knott - Miton Hill - Drygill Head - High Pike (Caldbeck) - West Fell - Carrock Beck - Apronful of Stones

Parking Details and Map
Nearest Post Code: CA7 8JS
Grid Reference: NY 353 633
Notes: Apronful of Stones is the name given to the area around a mile north of Mosedale hamlet. If travelling from the direction of Mosedale roadside parking can be found to the left just past Stone Ends Farm which will appear on the right. The parking area isn't tarmaced but a grass clearing to the left will give the parking spaces away. Apronful of Stones provides excellent access to Carrock Fell and High Pike amongst others and parking is free.


Map and Photo Gallery


The view I'd taken for granted.
I'd missed this view of Blencathra so much I couldn't but help snap a cheeky photo as I drove along the the A66 towards the junction for Mungrisdale.

Meet Calva the 8 month old Whippet.

We had arranged to meet at 07:45 for a 08:00am start and I arrived at the roadside parking to find David and Calva already there. After only seeing pictures through our regular emails I was really excited to meet Calva in the flesh.

I'd packed some party sausages which I thought I'd treat Calva too along the way starting here at Apronful of Stones but on opening the packet the sausages went everywhere which caused Calva's little eyes to light up and within seconds he was hoovering them up until they were gone. If ever you want to make an instant impact with a dog you've never met bring along party sausages, they'll be your best friend for life.

Looking up the steep path towards Further Gill Syke.

Rod soon turned up and it was Calva's turn to get all the attention again which he loved, I think by now we'd all forgotten about it being 6 months since we last saw one another - today was all about Calva. David explained that this was probably going to be Calva's longest walk and we were all interested in how he would cope, well lets get that bit out of the way because Calva coped impeccably and had us in stitches for the best part of walk.

From Apronful of Stones we left the cars and started the steep ascent towards the base of Further Gill Syke situated just where the trees are in the picture. Despite there being a slight frost underfoot it's warming up pretty quickly at which point I felt I'd made the right choice wearing shorts today.

Mountain dog leads the way.
At 8 months old it was actually Calva's nose which led the way, the fact that it was very steep underfoot never deterred Calva's infection for a 'good sniff' when ever he wanted. The best thing we could do was let him, after all this is his playground.

Further Gill Syke.
The path is about to get steeper as we approach the base of Further Gill Syke. It won't do any harm to stop here while Calva has a good sniff or chews on a twig while we get our breath back.

Bowscale Fell East Ridge and the Mell Fells from Carrock Fell.
After reaching the top of Further Gill Syke we stopped to get our breath back then continued towards the summit while taking in this splendid heathery view over Carrock Fell. I can really recommend a visit here when the heather turns come September.

Come on Dad!
One thing Calva will have to get used to is our regular stops for photos and get our breath back breaks hence why this morning we've already been over taken by two couples. This of course isn't our usual way of walking the fells but there's so much catching up to be done we can actually afford to stop and while we were at it, enjoy the sunshine.

Rock art.
Found east of the summit mounted on a rock spur - clever and wonderful at the same time.

Calva on Carrock Fell summit.

From the rock spur we rejoined the path and passed a woman with her Labradoodle which took an interest in Calva and likewise. As it turned out the woman's friend was waiting for her at the summit enjoying the views and sunshine. They went on to explain that Carrock Fell was only their second Lakeland fell they'd climbed after Blencathra last weekend and were really enjoying themselves.

As Calva helped himself to some water the woman had laid out for her dog we explained the (pretty straight forward) route to High Pike which they where visiting next. It's Round Knott next for us.

Distant views of Skiddaw from Carrock Fell summit.
With Coomb Height, Knott, Bowscale Fell north ridge, Mungrisdale Common, Great Calva, Lonscale Fell and Skiddaw not forgetting the River Caldew below.

High Pike (Caldbeck) and West Fell.
After descending Carrock Fell...

Heading for Round Knott with Knott (L) and High Pike (R) in the distance.
We made an 'as the crow flies' approach towards Round Knott by following a faint path over heathery ground which Calva's long legs coped really well with.

Calva looking at Great Calva.
"so I've got a fell named after me Dad" "not quite son"

Mungrisdale Common, Lonscale Fell, Skiddaw, Great Calva, Coomb Height and Knott from Round Knott summit.
Incredibly we managed to keep our boots and paws dry crossing the usually boggy section between Carrock Fell and Round Knott.


Carrock Fell and Round Knott from Miton Hill.
We left Round Knott around the same time the two women arrived, had another quick chat then left them to it. By now we were stopping so regularly either putting the world to rights or playing with Calva the women overtook us and faded into the distance.

Calva's piercing eyes.
Along with his placid temper are enough to melt anyones heart.

Crossing the top of Drygill Head.
With High Pike seen right.

"We'll just stop here Dad"
While I pose for more photos.

High Pike (Caldbeck) summit.
The two women arrived well before us, still we had another good natter at the summit all the while people came and went including this fellow holding his hands on his hips who had just ran up the summit. It was only 11:00am and with glorious skies above we decided to walk over to the second shelter and break for an early lunch.

Views down towards Low Fell (L) and West Fell (R)
We broke for lunch and also enjoyed three cupcakes that Penny our 2 year old grand daughter helped to make with my wife Paula which were scrumdiddlyumptious. After lunch I took Calva for a little play around the grassy summit but within 5 minutes he'd tired me out so we just sat there on the grass enjoying the sunshine.

Descending High Pike (Caldbeck) for West Fell.
On a day like today this walk has it all, the best part that we all agreed on was this lovely grassy descent from High Pike all the way over West Fell below.

The views aren't too bad either.
Here looking back on Drygill Head and High Pike.

Carrock Fell from Howthwaite.
With Great Mell Fell seen in the hazy distance.

Almost back at the cars at Apronful of Stones.

With the comforts of West Fell behind us we joined the road close to the Ford over Carrock Beck by which time the afternoon sunshine felt pleasant on the neck all the while being passed by cyclists who came and went while we dawdled our way back to Apronful of Stones. It was much busier when we got back but the place still felt silent as we talked over the sound of passing cars or the odd bleat from distant Lambs.

We could have easily covered this walk in half the time or thereabouts but when you have a new team member who's as cute as button and you haven't put the world to rights for months, well all that takes time and what finer way to do it.


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