Date - 11th January 2014 Distance - 5.25 miles
Ascent -
Map - OL5 Start point - Stone Ends (NY 3538 3375)


Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Carrock Fell 2174 663 NY 3417 3364
Round Knott 1978 603 NY 3343 3372
Miton Hill 1991 607 NY 3293 3410



It was another miserable afternoon, the rain lashing against the window, but we were snug and warm. More importantly, Grizzly & Shaun had arrived with the cakes and tea.

"I have made fruit scones and chocolate brownies", announced Grizzly.

"Scrumptious", replied Allen in delight as he went to get the mugs and plates.

Soon the tea was poured and we were tucking into the cake, Tetley saying, "the chocolate brownies are absolutely delicious."

Looking out of the window, rather mournfully, Little Eric asked, "have you looked at the prospects for the weather at the weekend, Allen?"

"I was about to do it, but then the tea and cakes arrived, and you know what a tea belly I am, just like Dad." But now putting his empty plate down, he picked up the iPad and then quickly brought up the Met Office app. "Hmm, well looks to be OK for Saturday."

"The Lifeboat shop is shut at present, so hopefully Dad will be free", said Tetley. "Has any one got any ideas about where to go?"

"It would be good to go on the fells", suggested Grizzly. "While not intending to repeat all the outstanding Wainwrights for you Little Eric, Dad has said that he will do some, so that you will be able to say that you have completed all the fells in at least some of the seven books."

"Well already there is only one walk remaining in book 3 Central Fells, but if I remember Dad wants to leave that until spring", was Little Eric's reply.

"You're right", agreed Shaun, "but book 5 Northern Fells and book 6 North Western Fells, are the others Dad had in mind."

"Well then what about book 5", suggested Little Eric.

On the iPad again, Allen quickly brought up the list, and said, "there's Carrock Fell that we last climbed in 2007."

Tetley interrupted saying, "I am sure that there are two Birkett tops, along the ridge towards High Pike, that Little Eric has not done either." Then thinking a few seconds, said, "they are Round Knott and Miton Hill."

"Correct" agreed Shaun. "The first requires a deviation off the main ridge path, but the second lies exactly on it." Getting and opening the map, he pointed, "for Carrock Fell we will start just past Stone Ends Farm, to make the ascent. There seems to be little point in climbing High Pike as we have all summited that, so after crossing Miton Hill, we would descend from the Red Gate to the road and then walk along it to the start."

"Sounds like a plan", agreed Allen, who draining his mug of tea, picked up the map saying, "I will go and see what Dad thinks." Heading out of the door he chided, "and don't eat all the cake, Little Eric, as I fancy another another piece of the delicious brownie."

"Sorry pal", said Little Eric, "but where you take after Dad for tea, I take after him for cake."

Laughing Grizzly said, "we will have to call you 'Cake Stuffer', then like Uncle Bob calls Dad."

We waited patiently for Allen to return, it being quite a few minutes. "Sorry I have been so long, but Dad was on the phone. However the good news is Dad likes our idea, and said that he really wants to get up on the hills more regularly."

"That's great", enthused Little Eric, passing Allen his plate with a piece of chocolate brownie."

"Thanks pal. Oh and Dad says he is going to see Kim in Grasmere afterwards, so if he wants Southey can come along. When we last climbed Carrock Fell, he went to Greystone House for a snack, and bought our little pal, who was named after the fell. So Dad thought it might be nice if he wanted to be able to say he had climbed it."

Needless to say, neither needed a second asking.


The Walk

The quickest way to the start was via the M6 to Penrith then west on the A66, a route we have taken so many times over the years. Soon the bulk of Blencathra loomed ahead, the higher parts under cloud. Just before, we took the right turned signed Mungrisedale. We had been along here not long ago, when we parked at the village to climb Souther Fell. Today Dad continued, the road being very narrow through the village, and on to the tiny hamlet of Bowscale, carefully taking the corner and squeezing through between the farm buildings. After crossing Mosedale Bridge, the small cluster of houses of Mosedale was next.

Passing the junction, Shaun called out, "we have been left along that narrow road up the valley to its very end and parking on the track of the Cumbria Way."

"That's right pal", interjected Tetley. "That was when we were mopping up a few outstanding Birketts, back in August 2011."

"Goodness me, how time flies!", exclaimed Grizzly. "I did not think it was so long ago now."

"We ticked off Little Lingy Hill and Coomb Height", said Tetley. "Also Dad took us up to High Pike, hence the reason we do not need to visit it again for Little Eric's sake."

Passing Mosedale Moss to the right we soon came to Stone Ends Farm, where just beyond there was parking on the verge.

"There are a lot of cars, Dad", remarked Shaun.

"Quite", replied Dad. "I am really surprised, and wonder what it is all about." Then taking note of some of the people standing by the cars, "they all seem to be farmers or country folk, so perhaps there is some hound trailing going on."

As Dad pulled in, Allen called out, "look, there are some hounds up on the fell side, and was that a hunting horn I heard."

As Dad was getting ready, a gentleman passed by, and his walkie talkie, suddenly burst into life. We overhead a message that the hounds were moving off south-west, and suddenly as if by magic, people were leaping into their cars and heading off down the road, leaving just the few vehicles belonging to walkers.

Dad said, "this puts me in mind of my great great grandfather John Bateman, who mum said went hunting with the famous John Peel, who is buried in nearby Caldbeck."

In the background, the shafts of sunlight can be seen falling across Great Mell Fell, seen below in a zoomed shot, which we think is quite atmospheric.

The forecast had been for dry weather overnight, but once again our actual weather confounded the forecasters, with heavy rain and more rain too on the journey up that had fallen as a light covering of snow on the higher parts of the fells. But, as far as the walk was concerned it was thankfully dry, but cold with quite a strong wind, and mist coming and going on the higher parts of Carrock Fell and the ridge.

As Dad finished getting ready, we looked across to the steep fellside. Tetley said, "look Carrock & Southey. Can you see where those two ladies are climbing. Well that is our route up too. It is called Rake Trod."

"Ooh it looks steep", said Carrock worriedly.

"Never fear pal, we have had steeper climbs, and Dad is very sure-footed."

"I'm ready", called out Dad.

"OK", replied Shaun, as we got ourselves settled in the rucksack.

"Where shall I go?", asked Carrock.

"Come and snuggle down next to me", said Grizzly.

Dad strode off, across the rough ground, then up Rake Trod, climbing steeply left across the face, to then turn uphill and ascend steeply a ravine to the right of Further Gill Syke. Pausing to catch his breath at one point, we had this view looking down the ravine, with the narrow band of the road, distantly below.

Soon the top of the ravine was attained and with a much easier gradient we followed the good path lightly covered in snow.

"It looks really wintry now", remarked Allen.

A succession of rises followed as the path meandered across the rocky ground. "Are we getting there yet?", asked Carrock, who was anxious to get to the summit of his namesake fell.

"The one ahead is I think the last", replied Dad.

And sure enough he was right, as the shelter and summit cairn came into view. The two ladies who had preceded us up the fell, were getting ready to sit in the shelter for some refreshment.

This actually suited us, as it left the cairn free for us to settle on and have our picture taken. "Yippee", cried Carrock, "I have done it! I can't wait to tell my other pals all about this adventure when we get home."

This clearly illustrates how the weather kept changing, as this shot was taken just four minutes later, with the sun out and there is some blue sky.

Here we are in close-up. From the left, Allen with Little Eric, Tetley, Shaun with Grizzly, and Southey with little Carrock.

More or less from now the ridge was clear of cloud, and Southey asked "where do we go now?"

"We head down to the ridge, and then deviate off to the left, to our next objective Round Knott", Shaun told him.

The ridge path was wide and clear, and as we got nearer to Round Knott, a narrow path forked left to it.

This was soon attained and Dad having taken our picture, we then walked on to rejoin the main ridge path, where looking back we had a great view of Carrock Fell. "Will you take a picture for me, so I can show my pals?", asked Carrock.

"Sure thing", replied Dad.

The cairn on the summit can be seen, as can the path descending like a snake to the ridge, while over to the far right is Round Knott the rock outcrop being its summit.

Walking on Shaun said, the crest we can see just ahead is the final summit, Miton Hill which the ridge path crosses."

Just a minute later this was reached and the summit cairn was situated just a few yards to the right of the path. "Photo time again", cried Tetley.

So that was the summits done for today, and our pal Little Eric had bagged another Wainwright and three Birketts. Of course this applied to Carrock and Southey too.

"Right, we continue along the path, descending to the dip, which is the Red Gate, where we leave the ridge and take the path right to descend", advised Shaun.

This was taken soon after we joined the path.

"Why is it called the Red Gate?", asked Southey.

"I do not really know, but perhaps because of the red colour in the rocks. In the 19th century, all around this area there were mines, that extracted many different kinds of minerals", Dad replied.

Rather a rocky path at first, it became a bit more grassy as we descended steadily to stride across Carrock Beck, the course of which can just about be made out in the dip.

Very soon after the beck crossing, the path soon joined a good surfaced track. "This would have been the track to and from one of the long disused mines on the slopes of High Pike", Dad told us.

This was now followed all the way down to the road. Looking back Allen said, "The clouds have come in again and they are very black, so maybe we have timed getting off the fells just right."

Turning right, shortly the beck was rushing down to our left. "That's the Carrock Beck again", said Allen. "You would not be able to stride it like you did up the fell."

This crosses the road via a ford, that was perhaps to deep to cross without getting wet feet, if the indicator was to be believed. So then, just as well there was a footbridge!

From which there was a nice view of the beck looking upstream.

There was a path that cut off a loop in the road, so Dad took advantage of this, to then stride on to the car. Now it looks like we have got away without any sheep pictures this time, but sadly our luck ran out as this one posed for Dad on the walk to the car.

It had been too cold really to stop to eat on the walk, so we now quickly decamped to the car, and had a belated picnic. Dad took the opportunity to have a sandwich too, before setting off for Grasmere.

We took the lovely road through St John's in the Vale, under the slopes of High Rigg and Naddle Fell that we climbed not so long ago.

Arriving at the Wordsworth Hotel, there was no sign of Kim, but Dad was told she was coming on soon. Meanwhile with us in tow, he sat in a corner of the bar, to have a ciabatta roll with Brie bacon and tomato, a bowl of chips and tea. It was very filling and Dad could not finish all the chips.

"Are you not well?", Allen asked.

"Cheeky", Dad replied.

He got chatting to a gentleman who with his wife had come over from Howarth, to have lunch to celebrate their wedding anniversary. He told Dad that he used to fell walk, but sadly cannot do it now for lack of breath. So, he was interested in where we had been today. Somehow Dad mentioned that we lived in Morecambe, and he told Dad that they used to bring their caravan to Hest Bank, which is very close by.

A few minutes later Kim came in, showing some guests around, so did not see Dad, and he did not say anything in the circumstances. Then a little later she noticed us, saying "hello", and a little chat followed Then a little more later at reception, when she told Dad that she had bought walking boots. With someone else for company she then said they had considered doing Causey Pike yesterday. But had decided against it as the weather was poor.

A wise decision we thought.

So wishing her well, we took our leave and it was on home, after a good day out.

Thanks Dad as always.


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