Date - 21st September 2010 Distance - 8.4 miles (1), 1.6 miles (2)
Ascent -
1850 ft (1), 600 ft (2)
Map - OL5
Start point - (1) Layby at Peter House Farm (NY 249 323).
(2) Verge parking on Orthwaite road (NY 2524 3388)


Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Sale How 2185 666 NY 2761 2862
Hare Crag 1765 538 NY 2772 2988
Little Cockup 1296 395 NY 2617 3371



During 2021 we were continuing the project to rewrite and enhance our original stories of 2008-12. This adventure was rejected for a story in 2010, due to lack of pictures. However we have now decided to write an account, to revive our memories of the day. We have been able to enhance the number of pictures by using a few from other walks in the area that are relevant to this story. Also the narrative can be written, thanks to Dad writing a precis of each walk within the spreadsheet records.



Allen, Grizzly and Tetley were huddled over the laptop.

"That was a lovely walk we had with Uncle Eric last week round Skelwith and Tarn Hows", said Allen, as he navigated to the pictures Dad had taken.

"There are some stunning shots, especially of the Langdale Pikes and of Tarn Hows", went on Tetley, as they scanned through.

"Plenty to make a good story, and more memories to look back on in the years to come", replied Grizzly.

Shaun and Little Eric arrived, Little Eric asking, "what are you looking at, pals."

"The pictures from the last walk. Lots of good ones for our story", replied Tetley.

"It was a super walk and such great views", said Little Eric. "Oh how fortunate I am to go with you on the walks."

Allen was eyeing the flasks in Shaun's paw. "You bring tea! Just the ticket as I'm gasping for a cuppa."

The mugs were soon charged and Grizzly had got the biscuit tin for us to dig into.

Shaun said, "there is a day free for a walk next Tuesday, and I have looked at the forecast. It is to be dry with some sun at times. We need to come up with an idea to put to Dad."

"Being on our own, we could do some hills", mused Tetley. "Perhaps tick off some of the remaining Birketts."

Grizzly brought up the outstanding list. "There are those behind Skiddaw. It would be good to finally get them done and it will mean we do not have to go along that track again."

"Sale How and Hare Crag?", said Allen.

"Yes pal", replied Grizzly. "There is also Little Cockup, that is in the same general area. It was inadvertently missed out when we were doing some of the Wainwrights in Book 5 with Uncle Eric. Maybe we could do that as well. It will mean starting from a different point, but that is not far from the other start point."

Tetley had got the map and spread it out so we could assess this. "We will start from Peter House Farm for the first two, like we did when climbing Great Calva. And here just a little way further on is the point to park for Little Cockup."

Allen drained his mug, and picking up the map said, "I'll go and see what Dad thinks." Then as he trotted out he called, "will you refill my mug please."

"What a tea belly", laughed Grizzly. "It will be his third mug. He really does take after Dad."

He soon returned, saying "thanks Shaun", as he took the steaming mug. "Dad likes the idea and is agreeable to doing all three."

"Great", cheered Little Eric. "Dad is truly the best in all the world."


The Walk

We awoke to find the weather was to be as Shaun had said, dry and warm with some sun.

An early start in view of the distance, so we had packed the picnic the night before, so all we had to do was stow it carefully in Allen's rucksack.

As we heard Dad slam the boot shut for the last time, we dashed out and settled in the car. We were on the road by 08:00 and it was up the M6 to junction 40, then west on the ever so familiar A66.

Tetley said, "the mist is down on Blencathra, which will mean it will be on Skiddaw too."

"Well we are not going as high so the fells we have to climb should be clear", replied Allen.

We took the A591 at Keswick, to pass Dodd Wood and under the slopes of Ullock Pike, to soon take the right fork on the narrow Orthwaite Road, parking once again in the layby opposite Peter House Farm.

"The signpost points our route", said Shaun. "We have to walk to Skiddaw House to start the ascent of Sale How."

So just after 09:30 Dad strode off passing through the gate along the Cumbria Way and also the access to Dash Farm and Skiddaw House.

There are a few gates on the track and at one Dad was just in time to open it and save a lady and gentleman in a 4x4 the trouble.

We got a smile and thumbs up! Tetley mused, "I wonder if they are the same people who passed us on the Skiddaw House track when climbed Great Calva with Uncle Eric?"

"Aww", pointed Little Eric. "That sheep family are posing for you Dad."

"Huh", grumped Allen. "That's the sheep picture free story gone again."

"Well Dad did not take any on the one last walk", replied Grizzly.

At the junction left is to Dash Farm, but our way was clearly signed right.

The track soon brought us under the imposing Dead Crags that form the lower slopes of Bakestall. "That's a very atmospheric shot for our potential story", called out Little Eric.

The track soon climbed above Whitewater Dash waterfall. "After the recent rains, they make an impressive sight in spate", commented Shaun.

"Ok", said Dad, "Time to stride out as it is still 2 miles or so to Skiddaw House."

"At least it is a good track as vehicles us it for access", commented Allen.

As Dad marched on quite soon Tetley pointed, "there are our objectives. Nearest is Hare Crag with Sale How behind."

"Hmm", said Little Eric. "Sale How is good terrain, but not so Hare Crag. It could be hard work, Dad."

"Aye lad, but I am well used to it after so many walks."

So keeping a steady pace, we arrived at Skiddaw House. Once a shepherds house it is now owned by the Youth Hostel Association.

Shaun called out, "we take that path right immediately before the building."

This climbed steadily and led unerringly to the summit of Sale How. "The top is rather flat", commented Shaun. "That rocky bump, perhaps just beyond the highest point, is a good place for our picture."

Dad replied, "the GPS shows the same height at either location."

Grizzly said, "according to Diana Whaley's book the name may be 'the hill where the willow grows, or 'the hill above the bog'."

"There is certainly bog with streams running off the slopes", commented Allen looking up from the map.

Settled again, Shaun said, "we just descend to north flank towards Hare Crag."

It was not a steep as we had expected, but there are large areas of tall heather, so Dad had to be careful. In the valley there is more of the same, but due to this is was not boggy. "That's a compensation", said Dad.

Reaching the confluence of a beck and the infant river Caldew, Tetley pointed, "that boulder sticking out will make crossing the river easy."

"Yes thank goodness", replied Dad.

Now through more heather we ascended the south flank of Hare Crag. A vague path came in from the left that had descended from Skiddaw.

Shaun said, "the highest point to me seems to be at the Skiddaw end."

"Agreed", replied Tetley. "That's where we will sit for our picture, amongst the heather."

Off again we walked east to where there is a cairn at a lower height. "I'll record this grid reference too, just in case", said Dad.

The following day, Shaun measured the map accurately, saying, "the summit was the first point as we thought."

"What a wonderful view of Great Calva that we climbed two months ago with Uncle Eric", pointed Little Eric. "The double summit can clearly be seen."

Looking down, Shaun said, "there is a path running past that ruined sheepfold."

This descended heading east allowing good progress towards the track. After a while Dad said, "I am going to deviate off the path so we can regain the track a little further north in the direction we are going."

As Dad marched on back to the start, Allen pointed, "that's a super view across to Binsey."

Dad was really striding out explaining, "I want to give us plenty of time to climb our final objective Little Cockup."

And about 40 minutes later we were back at the car.

"Great. Good to get those ticked off at last", cheered Tetley.

"Look", pointed Grizzly. "A John Lewis minibus. We must tell Craig, our John Lewis bear, we have seen it."

"Uncle Brian has told us that there is a hotel in the Lake District for the exclusive use of partners", said Grizzly. "It is the Ambleside Park Hotel. Maybe some of the guests have come here for a walk in the countryside."

Allen had his note book out, and as Shaun read out details of the walk from the GPS, he wrote them down.

"Why are you doing that?", asked Little Eric.

"Because the GPS will need to be reset to record the ascent to Little Cockup", Allen replied.

Meanwhile Tetley was looking at the map, "we have to drive about 3/4 mile further towards Orthwaite, and park on the verge where the bridleway leaves the road."

Soon there, Shaun instructed, "we follow the bridleway through the gate then immediately leave it to climb left by the wall."

After crossing the lower slopes of Orthwaite Bank the ascent eased Grizzly pointing right, "there's the pointed top of Little Cockup."

After crossing a beck, a path materialized above the wall along the lower slopes.

Soon Shaun called out, "now we want that path right ascending the fell."

After a little while Dad said, "this is steeper than it looks. Still onwards an upwards."

The path skirted right of the highest ground, so as we neared the top, Dad struck left the gain the small summit.

"Ooh good, a cairn", cheered Allen, as we all scrambled out for our picture.

Then we took in the views all around of the Uldale Fell all of which we had of course climbed.

"That's Over Water", pointed Tetley. "That is where we started from on the walk with Uncle Eric to climb these fells, where we inadvertently omitted this one."

"Well finally it's done", replied Grizzly. "This area is now completely done as far as Birkett Fells are concerned."

So settling back in the rucksack, we returned by the same route.

"A good day", said Grizzly. "Thank you Dad as always."

"Yes", agreed Shaun. "We are ever closer to completing the Birketts."

As we headed home, Tetley said, "are you going for refreshments, Dad?"

"Yes lad, we are stopping at Greystone House in Stainton for tea and cake."

It was well deserved too.


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