Date - 12th June 2014 Distance - 7.5 miles
Ascent -
Map - OL6
Start point - Corney Fell Road summit (SD 14973 89632)


Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Great Paddy Crag 1745 532 SD 1504 9085
Buck Barrow 1799 549 SD 1520 9104
Kinmont Buck Barrow 1754 535 SD 1468 9097
Burn Moor 1780 543 SD 1516 9243
Whit Fell 1881 573 SD 1588 9298
Plough Fell 1470 448 SD 1620 9116
Stoneside Hill 1384 422 SD 1459 8926



All was well. The tea and cake had arrived courtesy of Shaun, Grizzly and Little Eric.

"What's the cake today?", called out Allen as he and Southey went off to get the mugs and plates.

Grizzly replied, "Little Eric has done some cherry & coconut slice, while I have made apple and cinnamon scones, and there is raspberry jam and cream too."

"Ooh sounds just scrumptious", cried Southey. "You two really do spoil us, but we do so appreciate it."

"That's OK", chipped in Little Eric, "if you enjoy our baking that is all that we can wish for."

Shaun meanwhile had poured the tea. "I have chosen the Kenya tea for a change, as we are a but short of the Connoisseur until Craig from Rington's comes next week."

"It's quite delicious", replied Allen, having taken a sip.

"Lovely cakes, too!", said Southey. Then just about to take another bite he stopped, saying, "where's Tetley?"

Shaun replied, "he will have gone to see Dad, to find out if a walk is on with Uncle Eric."

"I wonder if the decision might be to do one of the two remaining Outlyer walks I have to do?", said Little Eric.

"Perhaps, but you must remember that Uncle Eric has more still to climb, and he might want to so some of those", said Allen.

A few minutes later Tetley, arrived, and despite Little Eric's excitement to know what the decision was, Grizzly insisted, "you must have your tea and cake first."

Thank's pal", replied Tetley, accepting the cake charged plate, and steaming mug.

Then after a little while he put the plate down, saying, "those cakes were truly delicious. Thanks both!" Taking another sip of tea he then said, "right to business. A walk is on, although the weather forecast is a bit suspect with regard to mist, but nevertheless Uncle Eric has suggested we do the walk to the summits from the top of Corney Fell."

"Yippee!" cried Little Eric, "that is one of the Outlyer walks I have to do." Then after a moments further thought, he went on, "there are some extra summits that Wainwright does not include, but are on the Birkett list. I wonder if Uncle Eric will be agreeable to doing those too, especially Plough Fell which is rather out on a limb."

"Stoneside Hill too, as that is in the opposite direction towards Black Combe", added Allen.

Tetley replied, "Dad has thought about this too. Obviously it would be good to get the Birketts done as well, meaning no return visit would be needed, but it will be entirely up to Uncle Eric, if he wants to do them."

"Quite right too", agreed Shaun.

"Here's to Thursday", cried Southey raising his mug.


The Walk

We had got up early, and packed the picnic, as we were making and early start, it being one of the longer drives to the start. As we heard Dad slam the boot of the car shut, we quickly dashed out calling goodbyes to Gladly and Uncle Brian. Our pal was busy helping Uncle Brian with the Daily Telegraph crossword, as he does every morning.

The route was very familiar, along the A590 to Greenodd, then taking the road that skirts round Broughton in Furness, and so to Duddon Bridge. Now generally we turn right just before this, along the Duddon Valley, but today we crossed and then where the main road turned sharp left we kept ahead the road being clearly signed Corney Fell.

"We were up here last July", remarked Tetley, "when we did that lovely walk past Frith Hall and through Ulpha Park."

"Oh yes", agreed Shaun, "but we only went a short distance to park in the lay-by opposite Duddon Hall. Today we are going all the way to the summit."

"We should have been able to see the fells we are to climb, but as was feared they are shrouded in mist", said Grizzly.

"Does that mean we will not do the walk?", said Southey with a worried tone in his voice.

Our pal Southey has only been walking with for a short period, and as a consequence is not anywhere near as experienced as the rest of us, so Shaun reassured him saying, "all will be fine. Dad and Uncle Eric have the maps, GPS and compass, so there will be no problem with navigation. What will be the shame is that we will not get the views, as we did when we walked these fells before in October 2007."

Just before the cattle grid, there is a small parking area to the left, where we met Uncle Eric, and we called out "good morning", to him.

"Hi Lads", he replied, "nice to see you all."

The mist was such that we could not see Stoneside Hill, that was to be our last summit, which is only about a third of a mile from the road, and in fact the visibility was more like 50 yards.

As Shaun had said however, there was no question of not going and we soon got settled in the rucksack, while Dad and Uncle Eric got ready for the off.

"OK", said Shaun, "we cross the road and walk up the path/track by the wall."

With the mist little could be seen ahead, but we include below this picture taken in 2007, to illustrate what the view would have been. To the left is our first objective, Great Paddy Crag, with behind and right the rocky pinnacles of Buck Barrow.

Pausing for a minute or so, a convenient rock provided a seat for Uncle Eric, Dad snapping his picture, which also illustrates the extent of the visibility.

We strolled on Shaun, quoting from Birkett, "we pass the outcrops of Peg Crag and Little Paddy Crag, until the rocky bastion of Great Paddy Crag looms above."

From not seeing this to seeing it was eventually but a few yards, as Uncle Eric said, "this must be it."

Although there was to be little climb to the summit, we could not see it. Uncle Eric then said, "do we go up the bouldery slope?"

Shaun was quick to reply, saying "Birkett says to bear round to the right and then cut back left."

This was in fact what the now more narrow path did, crossing right under the slope then rising half left up the grass. Once the short climb was done, we turned left, and soon came back to the wall, where just beyond a tiny cairn is wedged into triangular rocky niche.

"Come on", called out Little Eric, "time for a picture pals."

Southey complained , "my fur's all wet."

"It's the mist", replied Allen. "But getting a bit wet is something you will have to put up with at times on the walks. I am sure the mist will lift off later and you will soon dry out."

"We have had to contend with all kinds of conditions over the years", went on Tetley. "Snow, hail, ice, rain, and strong winds too."

"Ooh yes, like the day we went to Ladyside Pike", said Little Eric. "The wind blew Dad over a couple of times. When we got home and he told Uncle Brian, his reply was 'well it must have been strong to blow you over'."

Uncle Eric now checked the map saying, "we now need to head roughly north for Buck Barrow."

Dad got the compass out and checking the bearing pointed, "it's that way, then."

Without the map, GPS and compass navigating the route today in the mist would have been almost impossible and foolish. They were absolutely essential today, but even in good conditions taking them is important for safety's sake.

We walked on, and then after a little paused again, as Uncle Eric, said, "Wainwright refers to a band of grey boulders that encircle Buck Barrow, which have to be crossed before making the short scramble to the first top."

It was not long before these loomed out of the mist, and soon the short climb had been done. Here Uncle Eric said, "this is not the highest point. We must go on further over some more boulders and amongst some low crags to reach it."

After a minute or so, Tetley called out, "that must be it, that pointed rock with the cairn."

Checking the GPS, Shaun said, "yes, that matches the grid reference we have."

"Come on", called out Southey, "that convenient shelf in the rock below the cairn will provided a good place top sit for our picture."

Now the fact that Birkett includes Plough Fell, means that his route differs from that described by Wainwright.

Grizzly said, "we will fully understand Uncle Eric, if you do not want to go to Plough Fell, as it is a bit out on a limb."

"No lads, I do not mind, as I will be able to say that I have done all the tops here."

"OK then, we have to go to Kinmont Buck Barrow next", said Tetley.

It was about due west of Buck Barrow and not that far distant, as can be seen in this shot taken in 2007. All we could see today was 50 yards or so into the grey wall of mist.

The picture actually nicely indicates the route we had to take. Dad took a bearing west, as we descended off Buck Barrow. This circumnavigated Great Paddy Crag, and then as expected the ruined wall loomed out of the mist, which we crossed.

"We should now strike right to a gap in the next wall blocked by a pallet", advised Shaun.

A narrow path did just this, and on reaching the next wall, we that found the pallet had been conveniently removed from the gap. "That's saved us a climb", remarked Allen.

Dad kept us on the bearing as we now headed on, to see Kinmont Buckbarrow looming up before us and we started to climb. A rocky outcrop came into view and Uncle Eric turned towards this, but checking the GPS Dad said, "we need to go more left to get to the summit", as would have been plain to see in clear weather.

Well soon then we were there, and once again we all jumped out and settled of our usual picture.

Glancing at the map, Shaun said, "we are in a large enclosed area that is called Prior Park, and to get to the next summit, Burn Moor, and according to Birkett, we have to go north north east and get through the gate in the wall, to get out of the park."

"OK" replied Dad, lining up the bearing on the compass, and pointing, "that's the way we should go."

The ground was rather boggy, but we made reasonable progress and eventually a fence loomed out of the mist ahead. "This looks to have been fairly recently erected, but there is no sign that it was once a wall", remarked Tetley. Well as we were to see when the mist lifted later, we had not gone quite far enough to the right, as if we had we would have come to the wall and found the gate. However this did not really matter as we merely climbed the fence.

Beyond was Buckbarrow Beck which Dad and Uncle Eric strode over then in the same north north-east direction we crossed Littlecell Bottom and climbed gently on to a cairn on the wide flat top of Burn Moor. On arrival Dad checked the grid reference, saying, "this is not actually considered to be the summit. We need to go to that other cairn over to the left."

"Yippee", cried Little Eric, "that is Uncle Eric, Southey and my third Outlying summit today."

"Picture time again", replied Southey excitedly.

The next summit was Whit Fell, but the mist was still down, so we could not see it. "We need to go north-east from here and descend to a col at about 1700ft (520m)", advised Uncle Eric, as he studied the map.

Compass in hand Dad read off the bearing and pointing said, "that way then"

Fairly soon this intersected a clear path and turning left, we followed this as it climbed. It led unerringly to the summit of Whit Fell, crowned with a great heap of stones, apparently a tumulus, some of which have been fashioned into a large cairn and shelter, with just a few yards north-east an Ordnance Survey Trigonometrical column (S. 5472).

"Time for lunch?", asked Allen, rubbing his tummy. "I'm hungry."

"Yes", agreed Uncle Eric, finding a place to sit in the shelter. We settled too as did Dad and we sat happily munching away on our sandwiches and cake, with tea to wash it all down.

By now the mist was beginning to lift and there were some limited views, but sadly not ahead to the Coniston Fells. Dad with the aid of the Wainwright, pointed out to us all the name and position of each of the summits and we used our imagination. If only the mist had lifted just a little sooner! Here is another shot taken by Dad in 2007 that will give some idea what we missed today. The highest point in the distant centre is Coniston Old Man (2633ft), with left and closer the pointed top of Dow Crag (2554ft), and then behind to the left Brim Fell (2611ft). We felt sorry for our pals Little Eric and Southey (and Uncle Eric too of course) but at least they were able to see this picture of the view, when we got home.

Lunch over, there was just the matter of taking our picture here at Whit Fell. "That's great", called out Little Eric. "I have just the fells on the north side of Bannisdale to do to complete the Outlyer challenge."

During lunch, Uncle Eric had been looking at the map, and said, "to get to Plough Fell we are going to need to traverse below Buckbarrow Crag, but we do not want to go too far down so we need to keep to the 1500ft (450m) contour."

Shaun was reading the Birkett book, and said, "I agree, that is just what Birkett says."

So we made a steady descent on the same path we had followed to the summit, and then using the GPS kept the the desired height as we passed first below Burn Moor.

The mist had completely lifted off and Grizzly, exclaimed, "wow, how wonderful to see all the fells we have climbed in all their glory. We seemed to be so hemmed in this morning, but now there is a huge wide open landscape."

Tetley added, "it is especially interesting to finally see clearly Buck Barrow with its rocky pinnacles."

Nearing Buck Barrow, we took a narrow trod left off the path, and contoured below the north side of the fell and so gained a low ridge. This was then followed left to make the gentle climb to the flat top of Plough Fell, its summit being marked by a cairn on a rock just below the western rim.

Behind is the Duddon Estuary, with the rounded hill in the centre being White Hall Knott (1020ft) and right White Combe (1361ft).

"Where now?, asked Southey.

"We need to return the same way, but keep more left across the rough ground towards the ridge, which is the way we climbed to Buck Barrow this morning", replied Allen.

This took us round, but below the ridge itself, and after a while Dad suggested, "I think we aught to make the short steep climb on to it proper."

We did, and then very soon found a narrow path that led to Peg Crag and then on down to the road by the cars. Clear now Stoneside Hill stood about a third of a mile on the opposite side, and we followed a reasonable path by the wall, the last section being a short steep climb to the summit.

"Look", called out Allen. "We were not able to see the view from Whit Fell, but at least we can see the Coniston Fells now, albeit more distantly."

They are not crystal clear, but from left to right the summits are Grey Friar, Swirl How, Brim Fell, Dow Crag and The Old Man of Coniston.

Little Eric then called out, "we can see our first three summits now too. Kinmont Buck Barrow, Great Paddy Crag and Buck Barrow.

He then said, "how much easier navigation would have been if it had been clear this morning."

"Yes", agreed Southey, "but I never felt scared or worried at any time, knowing that Dad, Uncle Eric and Shaun knew exactly which way we needed to go at any one point. And had the proper equipment too, map, compass and GPS."

"That is Black Combe to the south", said Shaun. "It makes and impressive sight. That was a great day we had climbing that and all the associated fells with Uncle Bob back in August 2009."

"That long ago", exclaimed Allen. "How time flies."

So then all that remained was for us to pose for our picture here to complete the record of summits for the day. The sun was shining and we had all nicely dried out after being socked in the mist this morning.

So that was it, seven summits in all four of which were Wainwright Outlyers, being bagged by Uncle Eric, Little Eric and Southey.

Then retraced the path to the car, passing two gentleman who were walking with their dogs from the parking area to this summit. The only other people we had met all day!

A good day despite the mist and thanks Uncle Eric for your company. Here's to next time!


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