Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Bowscale Fell

Bowscale Fell

Distance: 6 Miles

Highest Point: 702m

The forecast, always a consideration for any walking destination, seemed to suggest that it would be dry. We parked up in the 'Township' of Bowscale and set off up a good bridleway on access land. It was a gradual up. Although a little cloudy, visibility was good and patches of sunlight illuminated farmhouses in the valley and the steep-sided Carrock Fell.
Soon the route steepened, as the bridleway climbed the fellside. We crossed over Drycomb Beck without difficulty and continued upwards. A wall of crags appeared in front of us and we scanned the scene to pick out where our footpath would take us. As with all fine views, the glacial Bowscale Tarn lay hidden in a bowl until we were almost upon it. We had been brought to the 'teardrop' top where Tarn Sike was emptying the tarn. Not another soul was about. The breeze was gently rippling the tarn's surface. A large boulder sat begging to be sat upon, and we duly obliged it. A great spot for a photo and to break open the flask for a warming slurp of coffee. It was a little nippy.
FP from Bowscale Tarn

We didn't linger too long, having spotted a small path that snaked its way up Tarn Crags towards the horizon. This was our route. We crossed Tarn Sike and made our way up the path that Wainwright called a 'grassy rake'. It was quite steep and in places I was pleased to be able to use my hands for a little extra security when the path looked a little slippery.

Bowscale Tarn
The higher we climbed, the more impressive the tarn below us seemed. The water appeared as a fine blue and the 'teardrop' was clear in the hillside vessel. Very soon we were at the rim of Tarn Crags. We headed south, following the edge of the crags before joining a clear track up the rounded ridge to a pile of stones that marked the edge of the Bowscale Fell summit plateau. I think it would be fair to say that it felt a little 'baltic', and we lost no time in putting on gloves and pulling our hats down a little further over the ears. We made our way the short distance to the summit, a low, 'C' shaped windshelter, passing a couple of chaps on the way. The thought was there, even if it was rather ineffective. We paused for photographs and continued along the ridge towards Bannerdale Crags to seek a suitable lunchspot.
Bowscale Fell summit wind shelter
We continued past the ridge (on our left) that would lead to The Tongue, and joined a footpath at NY334302 that would take us down into Bannerdale. Several people were out on the ridge, taking advantage of a fine day.
Towards Bannerdale Crags with Blencathra rising up in the distance

The footpath was clear and we soon stopped for our lunch with a good view of Souther Fell and Bannerdale Crags and the valley below. It was still chilly, but at least there was less wind and the sun was shining.
Bannerdale & Souther Fell
From here, it was all downhill. We had fine views and the pathway took us gently down into the valley. A footbridge at NY356302 enabled us to cross a watercourse, and from then on we had the River Glenderamackin on our right.

The Tongue
It wasn't long before we reached the village of Mungrisdale and passed the still functioning phone box. I don't think our walking boots were going to trouble any shy, red squirrels, but there were none to be seen on this occasion.
Sign at Mungrisdale
After a quick circulation of the village, we headed back along the road to Bowscale. (The only road walking of the day.) The sun was already low in the sky, and it wouldn't be long before it would be setting.

Here we were in mid November, and we had had a wonderful walk. Our companions for the day, AJ & SE, had really enjoyed the change of scenery and 'fresh' air.








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