JEFFREY'S MOUNT, WHINASH & BRETHERDALE from ROUNDTHWAITE

 


Summary

Date - 17th February 2009 Distance - 8.5 miles
Map - OL7/OL19 Start point - Layby on Roundthwaite road (NY 611029)

 

Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Jeffrey's Mount 1240 378 NY 6040 0241
Casterfell Hill 1204 367 NY 5965 0210
Belt Howe 1339 408 NY 5881 0208
Roundthwaite Common 1427 435 NY 5827 0247
Winterscleugh 1522 464 NY 5764 0286
Whinash 1545 471 NY 5707 0371

 

Preface

So after the walk with Uncle Bob on Sunday, we were having a quiet rest today and enjoying tea and biscuits. .

"It was a lovely walk", said Allen. "And the discovery of the tearoom in Feizor was a bonus."

"I heard Dad telling Uncle Brian all about it", replied Grizzly. "I am sure they will be going together sometime soon."

"Can I have another mug of tea please, Shaun?", asked Allen.

"Sure pal. Pass your mug over."

"That's your third", laughed Little Eric. "You certainly take after Dad." Then after a pause, "where's Tetley?"

"Don't know, but I am sure he will be along very soon, as like you Allen, he does not like to miss out on tea", replied Shaun.

A few minutes later he trotted in. "Thanks", he said to Shaun as he passed him a steaming mug. After drinking about half and having a couple of biscuits, he said, "I bring news of a walk tomorrow with Uncle Eric for company."

"Ooh great", cheered Little Eric. "Where are we going?"

"I recall on our countless journeys north on the M6, Dad commenting about the hill called Jeffrey's Mount near Tebay, and saying that one day we would climb it. Well, tomorrow is the day that ambition will be realised. It is at the eastern end of the ridge on the north side of Borrowdale, and the plan is to walk the whole length and return via Bretherdale."

"That will mean that you and I will have done both ridges that enclose the valley", said Shaun.

"Here's to tomorrow, and the best Dad in the world", cheered Grizzly, raising his mug in salute.

 

The Walk

The day was cloudy but dry apart from a few spots of rain around lunchtime, and being much milder than of late we took a picnic lunch.

Picking up Uncle Eric in Kendal, we took the A685 that leads to Tebay. After passing the narrow road up the Borrowdale valley, the A685 runs under the slopes of Jeffrey's Mount. Just before crossing the M6, a narrow road branches left to Roundthwaite, where a lay-by provided space to park.

While Dad and Uncle Eric got ready, we looked about. "That's a nice view over the motorway to the Tebay with its brightly painted houses", commented Tetley.

Uncle Eric is an expert on railways, so there was a little delay starting off, as he explained the layout of the now long gone station etc. at Tebay, while also watching the trains passing through.

"Thank you", said Allen. "That was most interesting Uncle Eric. I have made a note to tell our 'Railway Bear' pals, when we get home."

Allen did, and we have decided that it would be nice to include a picture of them. They are all members of different Heritage Railways, and they can be seen with their respective membership cards.

So from left to right -

Chuffer (Embsay & Bolton Abbey Railway)
Scooter (Bluebell Railway)
Dunstan (Aln Valley Railway)
Dale (Wensleydale Railway)
Higson (North Yorkshire Moors Railway)

Shaun was looking at the map. "walk on along the road, then quite soon a bridleway goes off left. That's our route."

This climbed to a gate. "Once through we leave the bridleway and go left on that cart track ascending the fell."

Climbing steadily, punctuated with stops on the way to watch the trains, the track led unerringly to the cairn at the summit of Jeffrey's Mount.

"Great", said Dad. "Now when we pass on the M6, we can have the satisfaction that Jeffrey's Mount has been climbed."

"I wonder who Jeffrey was?", mused Tetley.

Dad replied, "somewhere at home I have a book about the M6. The author refers to the fell, saying that history is silent about who Jeffrey was."

"Come on pals", called out Grizzly. "Time for our first picture of the day."

Before getting back in the rucksack, we took a moment to take in the view behind us. Grizzly said, "the hills in the foreground are the ones we will climb today. More distantly, the fell directly above Shaun's head is Castle Fell and that to the right clothed in trees is Mabbin Crag on the ridge on the far side of Borrowdale."

Allen said, "Grizzly, Little Eric and I have not climbed them."

"I know", said Dad. "I promise I will take you to them, so that you can all eventually complete the Howgill Fells challenge."

"Thanks Dad. You are so good to us", replied Allen.

"That's a superb view of the Lune Gorge with the with railway and M6 sweeping through", said Little Eric.

Shaun commented, "the map shows the track petering out halfway up Jeffrey' Mount, but as not only did it continue to the summit, it seems to continue as a clear route over all the succeeding fells. That will make navigation easier."

So, over grassy moorland that for the most part was dry with just the odd boggy patch in the dips, the path meandered with gentle climbs and descents over the succeeding summits. They were flat and rather indefinite, the GPS helping to pin point the actual top.

The first of these was Casterfell Hill. "This seems to be the summit according to the GPS. No real cairn here, just some moss covered rocks amongst this patch of long grass", pointed Tetley.

"Ok lad", said Dad, "I'll plant my stick to better mark it for the picture."

Just minutes later, Allen said, "look there are some of the wild horses that roam these fells and the Howgills." Totally unconcerned about our presence they stood quietly as Dad took some pictures.

The next summit was Belt Howe. This was unmarked too, and we sat on the grass at the highest point. "There's a superb view down into Borrowdale with Mabbin Crag and to the right Ashstead Fell", said Grizzly.

Settled again, Dad and Uncle Eric strolled on. A gentle descent followed by and equally gentle climb brought us to Roundthwaite Common.

"Huh", said Allen. "No cairn again." As we scrambled out to sit for our picture he went on "I wonder what this triangular fenced area with a barbed wire top is in aid of."

Peering inside Shaun said, "there is no apparent hazard. Now puzzling."

By now it was around 12:30. Uncle Eric said, "I think this would be a good place to have our picnic."

"Ooh yes", agreed Allen, rubbing his tummy in anticipation.

Then setting off again, after a gentle walk of half a mile or so we arrived at the penultimate summit, Winterscleugh, our patience being rewarded with a fine cairn. "Great", cheered Tetley. "Come on, let's sit on top."

There's another super view of Borrowdale", called out Shaun. "It is actually crossed by the A6 the valley ending to the west just beyond the dwelling of High House."

Getting snugged in the rucksack, it was onwards to the final summit of the day, Whinash, having crossed an unnamed spot height at 454m halfway.

"Nothing to mark it again", muttered Tetley.

"Dad, will you get the flag out then to brighten the shot, and mark the completion of all the summits on this ridge?", asked Grizzly.

From here we continued to follow the faithful path and descended to a track called Breasthigh Road.

As Shaun had intimated, we could now see the A6 road at Hucks Bridge. Before the building of the M6 this was the main road to Scotland.

Shaun said, "our return route is along the Breasthigh Road."

This track is open to all vehicles and in consequence very churned up, so making it rather hard going. It led us through beautiful Bretherdale with its rushing beck fed off the hills.

Peering into the distance, Grizzly called out, "look walkers. The first ones we have seen all day. I am not surprised as I reckon the ridge we have walked is pretty unfrequented."

The 'road' ended at Midwath Stead, a tiny group of houses some of which were under renovation. It was good to see that this tiny community was growing.

At the junction, Shaun said, "we go right."

This climbed to Bretherdale Hall, where soon after Shaun once again gave us instructions. "It's right here along the track to Bretherdale Foot, and then we continue on over the fields to come to Dyke Farm."

This was reached after a steep ascent across a field. Dad had reached the house before Uncle Eric, and while waiting for him, chatted to the lady of the house.

During this he remarked, "the footpath from here goes left."

"Yes, but you are welcome to use our drive. It will save you a steep climb on Pikestone Lane."

"Thank you", replied Uncle Eric.

While chatting on, Dad threw the rubber ring for their dog Molly. She had a great time!!

So saying our goodbyes, we walked the drive to Pikestone Lane. There Shaun said, "it's right.

This descended to Roundthwaite, where we joined the road we had walked this morning to the car.

"That was a super walk", said Tetley. "A grand day out."

"Indeed", replied Uncle Eric. "It is good to have done this ridge and ticked off all the summits."

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