Grizzly completes the Wainwright Fells


Date - 24th June 2009 Distance - 9 miles
Ascent - 2290ft
Map - OL4 Start point - Green Head (NY 286371)


Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Brae Fell 1923 586 NY 2887 3516
Little Sca Fell 2083 635 NY 2895 3421
Great Sca Fell 2135 651 NY 2913 3389
Knott 2329 710 NY 2961 3298
Burn Tod 1952 595 NY 2827 3286
Frozen Fell 2050 625 NY 2873 3323



Allen rushed in breathlessly calling out, "Grizzly, Grizzly, I've got something important to tell you."

"All right" he replied, "but just sit and catch your breath first."

He did, and after we had all gathered round, continued.

"Dad, has just been speaking to Uncle Eric, and we are walking tomorrow. But, it is where we are going that will please you in particular Grizzly. The walk is to be in the Uldale Fells taking in Brae Fell and Knott."

"Oh, I've waited ages to do this walk", cried Grizzly. "It means I will finally complete the Wainwright challenge, so joining Dad, Shaun and Tetley."

"It will be a good summit bagging day for Uncle Eric, as besides ticking off Brae Fell and Knott, he will also bag Great Sca Fell", said Tetley.

"Yes", chimed in Shaun. "It will be a cause for celebration.

"Roll on tomorrow", called out Little Eric. "A momentous day for you pal."


The Walk

We were up early, and all lent a paw to make the picnic, which was then safely stowed in Allen's rucksack.

We heard Dad getting his gear loaded, Grizzly saying, "come on pals let's get settled in the car."

We called out "goodbye", to Uncle Brian.

"See you lads", he replied. "Have a good day and take care."

The plan was to drive to Uncle Eric's, where we decamped to his car for the onwards journey. This was to and then north on the M6.

Passing the Keswick turn-off, Allen said, "where are we going?"

Dad explained. "it will be an easier route if we leave at the next junction and take the road towards Wigton. After a while we will turn off left to pass through the very pretty villages of Hesket Newmarket and Caldbeck."

As we passed through Caldbeck he remarked to Uncle Eric, "It's years since I have been this way. I must bring Brian. He will enjoy it."

He did too, just a week later, and you can find out all about it in Archie & Cheviot's story.

Shaun was now peering at the map. "We need to take the first narrow road left. This leads to a junction at Green Head. The parking is on the wide verge by the junction."

Although the roads continue left to Holborn and right past Burblethwaite, there is nowhere to park a car beyond in either direction.

It was a perfect and warm summer day with just a few clouds, so we were thankful for the cooling wind. As Dad got ready, we made ourselves comfortable in his rucksack. As you can imagine Grizzly was eager to be off.

Facing us looking south was the wide and steep expanse of Brae Fell. Grizzly said, "the name means 'the broad hill'."

"A very apt description", replied Tetley.

Shaun said, "we take road right that climbs slightly passing the house called Holborn. There it becomes a track and we follow this nearly to the ford of Charleton Wath."

Brae Fell reared up the to the left, and taking a path in a groove we began the steady ascent of its slopes.

"What's that over there", enquired Little Eric.

"Binsey", replied Tetley, knowingly. "We nicknamed it Wheelie", he continued.

Allen piped up, "it is one of my outstanding Wainwrights."

"Yes, I know", replied Dad. "We will be climbing it with Uncle Eric, so you and Little Eric will be able to tick it off."

"Thank you!"

"That's an extensive view north to the Solway Firth and the mountains of Southern Scotland", pointed Shaun. The tallest is called Criffel."

As can be seen Uncle Eric was a little way behind, as he cannot go quite as quickly as Dad. "We must wait for him to catch-up", said Little Eric.

Then after looking at the views north once again, Dad and Uncle Eric recommenced the climb. Once again Dad got ahead, and reaching a brow he stopped to let Uncle Eric catch-up once more.

The view had now opened up ahead, so we stood looking in awe at the high fells. "Worth a picture Dad", insisted Tetley.

For Little Eric's sake Tetley described what we could see. "The dark forbidding crags are Dead Crags rising to Bakestall (2208ft), then to the highest point Skiddaw (3053ft), and then beyond Skiddaw Little Man (2837ft), and further left the tip of Skiddaw Lesser Man (2674ft)."

"We seem to have got a little too far to the right", commented Shaun.

However soon we picked up a clear track that led all the way to the summit. Uncle Eric, Allen, Little Eric and of course Grizzly bagged it.

As we all jumped out and climbed up onto the large cairn, Shaun called out "get the camera out Dad."

We paused a while to take in the fine views all around, Allen voicing our thoughts. "How lucky we are to go to such wonderful places."

Shaun said, "we just follow that clear track, and then leave it right a short distance to the cairn on Little Sca Fell, and then just a further short walk to Great Sca Fell's summit."

"We have all been to these tops before", said Little Eric, "but will you take our pictures again to record summiting them today."

Left is Little Sca Fell that is actually a Birkett summit, and right Great Sca Fell that is both a Birkett and Wainwright. Uncle Eric is not doing the Birketts, but Great Scar Fell was another Wainwright ticked off for him.

"Diana Whaley suggests name probably means 'the hill with the sheiling'. A sheiling is a hut or collection of huts once common in wild and lonely places in the hills and mountains of Scotland and Northern England", informed Grizzly.

Then after our picture at Great Sca Fell, Grizzly encouraged, "come on pals, let's get back into the rucksack. I can't wait to get on towards Knott,"

Apart from the boggy ground and peat hags in the depression, this was a simple walk of three-quarters of a mile and 250ft of ascent to the summit cairn on Knott, seen here with the backdrop of Blencathra and to the right across the valley Lonscale Fell.

"Yippee", cheered Grizzly. "My last Wainwright summited. I've done it! Completed the challenge." Then after a moments thought, "it has taken me just a week under 5 years." Then for all our benefits he went on, "if you are wondering the name means, 'the craggy, compact hill', probably from the Old Norse 'knottr'."

We all called out "well done pal", and then gave him a hug, before scrambling onto the cairn for our picture. Uncle Eric, Allen and Little Eric also bagged the summit.

"You must have your picture taken on your own with the book open at the page for Knott, to mark the achievement", said Shaun.

We now had to impose on the good will of Uncle Eric, diverting to climb two Birkett tops, that were outstanding. We had asked him on the drive up, and he had readily agreed.

"Thank you Uncle Eric for your forbearance" said Tetley, as we made to walk on to the first called Burn Tod.

Shaun said, "from here we have to head west along that descending path, then continue tramping over the rough moor to the summit."

This is marked by a single quartz stone. Tetley found this was nice and convenient to lean against, while Dad took the picture.

To get towards the second summit, Frozen Fell, Shaun said, "it is necessary to contour back along the fell, below the summit plateau."

We were getting hungry, none more than Allen, who soon said, "that looks like a convenient place to have lunch."

There was a great view down to Trusmadoor. As we were munching our sandwiches, Little Eric said to Dad, "that will make a good photograph."

Allen set the scene this time. "The fell rising to the left of the gap is Great Cockup with the small lake of Overwater behind. To the right the rising ground is Meal Fell."

"We climbed them on our last expedition here with you, Uncle Eric, in May last year", commented Little Eric.

"That's right, and today I have got the rest of this group of fells done", he replied.

All refreshed, we scrambled back into the rucksack and set off again. "We have to follow that narrow path along the side of the fell, and then contour left across rough ground to the undistinguished flat top of Frozen Fell.

"There is nothing to mark it", commented Allen, as Dad navigated to the grid reference for the summit. "Can you plant your stick so us to sit by please."

Grizzly told us, "if the name is taken at face value, it may refer to the mainly N or NW-facing slopes of the fell."

The last summit of the day, Tetley saying, "that is all the tops Birkett and Wainwright done in this area."

Shaun instructed, "if we climb east we will regain the path between Knott and Great Sca Fell."

This was then followed over Great & Little Sca Fells, Allen commenting, "we have effectively done these two tops twice!"

At Little Sca Fell, Shaun advised, "we take that path left towards Lowthwaite Fell. We do not need to visit that summit as it is already bagged, so we should keep low on the path and where it turns away left, drop to the path above the gill."

This led down eventually to Charleton Wath, where we crossed the ford and retraced our outward route along the track and road to the car.

"A super walk", said Allen. "Thank you Dad and Uncle Eric."

Grizzly said, "thank you, Dad. I am over the moon to have completed all the 214 Wainwright tops, and can't wait to get home to tell all our pals."

"Without a doubt a grand day out", agreed Tetley.


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