1.THE KNOTT from the foot of CORNEY FELL ROAD



Date - 25th January 2009 Distance - 7.5 miles
Map - OL6
Start point - 1. Gateway foot Corney Fell road (SD 115945)
2. Muncaster Castle car park (SD 097966)


Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
The Knott 1086 383 SD 1431 9517
Hooker Crag on Muncaster Fell 757 415 SD 1120 9832


The Walk

It was quite a long drive to the start so we had to be up early and were off soon after 08.00.

As Dad headed on the A590 Barrow road, Tetley said, "we know this route well. I have lost count of the number of times we have been this way for walks."

So after turning off at Greenodd, we continued on past Broughton in Furness to Duddon Bridge.

"Is it right up the Duddon valley?", asked Little Eric, who was not as familiar with the route.

"Not today pal", replied Shaun. "We cross the bridge, then shortly turn right to up the Corney Fell road."

Or so the thought because as Dad turned off, Allen called out "the sign reads 'road closed'."

"Oh no, not again", called out Grizzly. "Recently we were prevented from walking by the A591 just north of Grasmere being closed."

"And despite Dad explaining to the police lady that we were only going to the road on the west side of Thirlmere, she was adamant the road was closed."

Dad said, "The fell road very high and is probably closed due to snow and ice. It is only sensible to abide by the sign."

"What will be do then", said Little Eric, disappointedly."

"Just use the main A595. It is a roundabout route , but nevertheless will get us to the start in good time", replied Tetley.

Reaching the far side of Corney Fell, Dad turned right as if to go up the road, parking in the gateway just a few yards to the right.

Then quickly ready, we snuggled down in the rucksack and off he strode.

"We continue along the main road for a short distance the turn right at Broad Oak and follow the good track to Stainton Farm."

There we used the footbridge over the rushing beck and then crossed the ladderstile.

Setting off by the wall to the left, after about 100 yards, Shaun called out, "we're going in the wrong direction."

"Your right lad. I'll backtrack and try again."

"Before doing that Dad", said Allen, "a picture looking to the fells is a must for the story of our adventure."

"So what can we see?, asked Little Eric.

Allen replied, "in the centre front is The Knott, our first objective. To the left is Birkby Fell and White Pike. Then right is Woodend Height and the pointed top of Yoadcastle."

Grizzly added, "they are on the some of the fells on the circuit of Devoke Water. We climbed them in 2005."

At the farm we saw the farmer and Dad asking the way. He pointed out the stile on the footpath, but then said, "it will be much easier to just walk along the farm track. I am quite happy for you to do that."

Dad replied, "thank you", and then strode off making good progress to the gate in the wall. Beyond the terrain was rough tussocky moor, making for harder going, but with determined steps he plodded steadily on to reach the summit.

"Yippee", cheered Allen. "That's another Wainwright Outlier ticked off."

Dad was just about to get us out for our obligatory photograph, when the wind suddenly got up and the hail came down.

Tetley looking towards where the weather was coming from said, "Dad, the sky is leaden and out to sea it's as black as I have ever seen it."

"There's going to be a storm", replied Dad. "Do not get out lads, instead you must snuggle right down inside the rucksack and I will cover you to keep you dry."

Poor Dad was not so lucky. There was no shelter, so all he could do was huddle down as best as possible by the rocks and wait the storm out. It seemed never ending and indeed took nearly an hour to pass. But, pass it did and then we scrambled out and settled to have our photo taken. Still very windy, Dad said, "I'll have to place this stone in front of you Tetley, as you are liable to blow off."

"Oh Dad", called out Little Eric. "We all feel so so sorry for you. Unsurprisingly you are absolutely soaked", as we noted the water literally dripping off his coat, and watched him wring the water out of his gloves.

Now the plan was to climb Stainton Pike seen here from The Knott. As can be seen to the weather had already improved significantly and thankfully Dad's clothing was to completely dry out.

Dad descended and headed for the wide ravine that had to be crossed to reach the snowbound areas. The rough ground was wet and Dad used the grassy tussocks to make progress, but then ahead he could see that the water was lying on the surface and running across the ground. "It's not feasible to get through there without sinking", said Grizzly.

"You are right lad", agreed Dad. "Let's leave climbing it for another day."

"Fine", agreed Shaun, "it's not going anywhere."

So just returned via our ascent route.

In one field there was a large number of black-faced sheep who were inquisitive and so Dad snapped off a few shots. "Hmph", grumped Allen. "there goes the sheep picture free story again."

"Wouldn't have minded if they were Herdwicks", went on Tetley. "But have to say these do have nice faces, if not as smiley."

Reaching the car, Grizzly asked, "are we still going to climb to Muncaster Fell."

"Yes lad, we have plenty of time , having abandoned Stainton Pike."

"Where do we start the climb from?", asked Little Eric.

"From the car park for Muncaster Castle", replied Allen. "It's just a few miles further along the A595."

The castle was closed, but is an interesting place to visit and there is a World Owl Centre there too - www.muncaster.co.uk.

"Ready for the off, Shaun instructed, "we go back along the road a short way then go left on the track called Fell Lane."

This climbed steadily the gradient not letting up for a while. Once clear of the woods, Tetley called out, "there's the summit with its trig point."

Soon we were there and quickly scrambled up on to the top of the trig point, where despite the wind, hung in for our picture.

"Please take a shot of the summit area with the fells behind", said Grizzly. Then saying, "the mountain immediately to the right of the trig point is Harter Fell and further right are the Birker Fells. To the left the snow covered mountains are the Crinkle Crags."

"What wonderful views all round", said Allen, "even taking into account Sellafield."

Straining his eyes Tetley said, "sadly not clear enough to see the Isle of Man."

Reluctantly we had to leave, Dad making a careful descent to reverse our outward route, passing again Muncaster Tarn.

"Wow", breathed Little Eric, "how beautiful."

We are proud to say that Dad got this photograph shown by Dianne Oxberry during the weather forecast on NW Tonight that evening.

"What an contrast to the weather when we were on The Knott. We'll not forget climbing that in a long time.", said Allen.

We were soon at the car, but not before Dad took this of White Pike, The Knott and Stainton Pike where we had been earlier. "How benign it looks now", mused Shaun.

Well it had been quite and exciting day and a walk of contrasts in many ways. We were the lucky ones as we settled on the back seat of the car to have our sandwiches and cake, while Dad had that long 65 miles drive home.

"We certainly have the very best Dad in the world!!", stated Tetley.


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