Date - 22nd February 2009 Distance - 6.5 miles
Map - OL6 Start point - Torver (SD 285945)


Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Walna Scar 2037 621 SD 2577 9634
White Pike (Seathwaite) 1962 598 SD 2491 9556
White Maiden 1995 608 SD 2543 9570
High Pike Haw 1161 354 SD 2635 9491



"Do you think we are going out tomorrow", asked Grizzly, putting his mug of tea down to take another biscuit from the tin.

"Don't know", replied Tetley. "Guess we better go and ask Dad"

"I'll go", piped up Allen, draining his mug. Then as he trotted out of the room he called out, "will you refill my mug please, Shaun."

"Ok pal. After all you have to live up to your tea belly reputation", he said with a laugh.

"Yes lad, we are walking" said Dad. "The plan is to climb to Walna Scar, so getting on with the catch up on the Outlying Fells, for Grizzly, Eric and yourself. And as well, we can do the two other summits that are part of the Birkett challenge."

"That's great", cried Allen, as he rushed off to tell the others.

After Allen had reported back, Tetley said "one tends to think that the fells in Wainwrights Outlying book, are of much lesser height, and whilst that can be said about quite a lot, some like Walna Scar are actually over 2,000ft, so we were in for quite a climb."


The Walk

Our starting point was Torver. The last part of our journey being alongside Coniston Water. "What a lovely drive, seeing the views of the lake and surrounding hills", commented Tetley.

It was rather cloudy as we set off. Shaun advised on the route. "Go along that narrow road that passes Scarr Head, and continue on the bridleway that climbs up to eventually reach the Walna Scar Road."

Grizzly said, "the Walna Scar Road is not a road as such, but a wide track that links Coniston with the Duddon Valley. It is open to vehicles, which have caused damage to the surface at times."

Along the way we met a lady with her dog and unsurprisingly Dad stopped to chat. She noticed us and was interested to hear about us. So Dad explained about our adventures and how we love to be out on the fells and in the countryside. . She thought it great Dad took us on the walks, and told us that she too is a collector of Teddy Bears.

Dad walked on, passing a building called Tranearth. Peering at the map Allen said, "there are three large enclosed areas. They have the names Matthew Tranearth, Frank Tranearth and Fleming Tranearth."

"Historically members of the family that farmed here with their individual areas if ownership perhaps?", mused Little Eric.

Climbing steadily on we soon now reached the old Banishead Quarry. It's deep excavation is now a small tarn with a waterfall at one end.

Still not on the Walna Scar Road, Dad climbed on until Torver Bridge came into view. "It carries the Walna Scar Road over Torver Beck", said Shaun. "That is where we will finally join the road."

Raising his eyes beyond the bridge, Allen said, "we are heading up into cloud and mist that is covering Walna Scar and the ridge."

"Then, it's a good job we have Shaun and Dad to guide us safely to the summits and back down out of the mist", replied Grizzly.

From the bridge we continued climbing steadily for about three-quarters of a mile to the top of the road.

"We should strike left", called out Shaun. "It is just a short climb to Walna Scar our first summit."

Soon, Little Eric called out, "there's the cairn. Come on pals let's settle on it for our picture."

It was windy as evidenced from Grizzly's scarf. You might think to that the visibility was not bad, but we can assure readers that it was severely limited. "What a shame", commented Tetley. "On a clear day the views would have been superb."

Tucked out of the wind in the rucksack once again, Little Eric said, "What's next."

"White Pike", replied Shaun. "We just follow that clear track for about half a mile."

Dad strode on the route being pretty flat, and as the huge cairn loomed out of the mist, Grizzly said, "here we are."

We quickly scrambled out and onto the cairn, Shaun giving Little Eric a ride on his back.

And, here we are in close-up.

"Ok", said Grizzly, as we snugged down in the rucksack, "Now for White Maiden."

"It's about a third of a miles roughly ENE", stated Shaun, looking up from the map. "I bet if it was clear we could probably see the cairn."

So with the wind howling around, we took a path that led off from White Pike. Soon though Dad said, "we are not going in the right direction, in fact somehow we seem to have got onto the path back to Walna Scar."

"Just goes to show how disorienting it can be in mist, to find the right path", said Tetley.

"If we cut off to the right, that will get us back on track", advised Shaun.

He and Dad were quite correct and soon we were at the cairn on White Maiden. "It's been windy up on this ridge, but here it is just horrendously strong", called out Allen.

The wind blew continuously, so we quickly dashed out for our summit picture...

...and then just as quickly dived back into the rucksack.

"Phew", breathed Little Eric. "I'll be glad to get off this summit."

"Too right lad", agreed Dad.

Shaun instructed, "we need to follow the wall down for a while, then drift away left. We will need to be careful as Dropping Crag is the danger here."

Fortunately Dad had picked a good route, with just one section along a ledge and then down into a stream, but once that was over it was easy to the valley.

We love the Herdwick sheep that roam the Lakeland Fells. "That one is posing for his picture", pointed Grizzly.

"Just High Pike Haw to go, to complete the summits for today", said Little Eric enthusiastically.

Dad walked on, having we thought correctly noted the summit grid reference, but after a while, Allen said, pointed away from the direction we were walking, "is that not the summit over there."

"Oh darn", replied Dad. "You are quite right lad. I misread the grid reference."

"Should have gone to Specsavers", muttered Shaun with a laugh."

Soon now the rocky top was achieved. "Picture time again", cheered Grizzly.

"What a different day now we are out of the mist. Much less windy too", commented Allen. He went on, "I'm hungry. Time for lunch."

"Your always hungry", laughed Tetley. "But I agree pal."

As we sat eating our sandwiches etc., we looked about. "That's a fine view of Coniston Old Man", said Grizzly.

Lunch over and snuggled down in the rucksack, Shaun said, "our route is that clear path heading NE."

After the first steep descent, we stopped to look back to High Pike Haw.

At times the path became less distinct, but nevertheless Dad was able to come to the footpath that would lead us back to Torver. Going right we continued the easy descent, until we came to the rather wide Bull Haw Moss Beck.

"Hmm", said Little Eric. "This might be a bit of a problem."

Looking about Dad pointed, "there are the stepping stones that are shown on the map."

With nimble feet we were soon across. Looking back, Tetley said, "the Walna Scar ridge is still shrouded in the cloud and mist."

The path soon became a track that presented a bit of difficulty for a time, as it was in a stream and the rocks were slippery.

"Be careful, Dad", said Little Eric.

"I will, lad"

Soon then we came to the house of Low Torver Park, where Dad stopped to chat to the occupants. They were interested to hear where we had been. Walking on we took the track left to Scarr Head, from where it was just a short way on the narrow road to the car.

"Thanks for a good day", said Allen, "despite the at times stormy conditions on the ridge."

"More Birketts ticked off, "cheered Grizzly, "and a catch-up on the Outlyers."

Heading home, Tetley said, "I guess you are going to stop for refreshments."

"Oh yes. We are going to Sam and Jane's Hat Trick Cafe at Low Newton", replied Dad. "And of course you can come in too."

He had the lovely BLT sandwich, followed by gorgeous apple apricot and chocolate crumble. Jane again very very kindly made Dad custard to have with this (normally it is served with cream). Pot of tea too, of course.


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