GREAT WORM CRAG from BIRKER FELL ROAD

 


Summary

Date - 12th August 2015 Distance - 4.5 miles
Ascent -
585ft
Map - OL6 Start point - Pull-in on Birker Fell Road (SD 1776 9666)

 

Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Great Worm Crag 1400 4278 SD 1937 9688

 

Preface

It was Monday, and as usual Dad and Uncle Brian were at Elaine's in Feizor, with a few of our pals.

Southey and Tetley were sitting quietly reading their Cumbria and Dalesman magazines, when Allen, looking up from the iPad commented, "we have a date in the diary for a walk with Uncle Eric on either tomorrow or Wednesday.

Tetley asked, "which is the best day for the weather?"

"Wednesday", replied Allen.

"For once we will not have to come up with a plan as I guess Dad will want to see what Uncle Eric would like to do", said Southey.

"Yes pal", agreed Tetley.

"Well, what I would like is tea, as I am really thirsty", said Allen.

As if they had heard him, just seconds later Shaun, Little Eric and Grizzly, duly arrived with the flasks and cake tin.

"There!", exclaimed Southey, "your wish is granted."

The mugs were soon charged, Allen letting out a sigh of contentment, after taking a drink.

"We have flapjack and apple and cinnamon scones today", announced Little Eric. "I have made the flapjack while Grizzly has done the scones."

"Thanks pals". replied Tetley, taking one of each.

"The scones are delicious, pal", said Shaun.

"And the flapjack too", added Southey.

Allen then explained about the prospective walk, Shaun saying, "we will find out later when Dad has spoken to Uncle Eric."


In the evening Dad came in to tell us that it had been decided to climb Great Worm Crag and that as the forecast was best we were going on Wednesday.

"That's one of the Outlying Fells", said Little Eric.

"Yes", agreed Dad. "Uncle Eric is yet to bag this summit."

"We did it back in 2009, taking in the ridge including Green Crag, and if I remember correctly ticking off 9 Birketts that day", said Tetley.

"Aye we still had a lot to do back then, so it was a good advance", replied Dad.

 

The Walk

So on one of the very few glorious summer days this year, we met Uncle Eric on the Birker Fell road, finding a small pull-in for the cars.

"Good morning, Uncle Eric. Nice to see you", Tetley called out.

"Good to see you Lads", he replied.

While they got ready we looked about, Shaun pointing and saying. "following Wainwright's route today, our way is across there, skirting Syke Moss and towards those low hills that are Little Crag, Scar Crag and Great Crag."

"The last is actually a Birkett", remarked Allen, "but as we have all climbed it, there is really no need to go there again, if Uncle Eric does no want to."

"I'm fine with that too", added Southey, "as I am not doing the Birkett challenge."

"OK, I'm ready", called out Dad.

So we quickly got settled in the rucksack. Shouldering this, Dad and Uncle Eric then strolled the road towards Ulpha. This grand view to Hesk Fell and the fields of Rough How Farm, where all day the silage was being collected, was to our right.

"Here's the waymarked post, for the path", said Grizzly after a few minutes.

A boggy start as can be seen, the path was intermittent and at times non existent but some cairns helped with guidance. It was important too to ensure we kept above and right of Syke Moss. A steady trudge of about a mile, but our progress was clear as Little Crag and Great Crag became ever closer.

In this picture the bracken in the foreground heralded our approach to Highford Beck, Shaun saying, "we have to cross that."

Dad was there first, and snapped this of Uncle Eric making the crossing.

So it was decision time, whether to go to Great Crag. This was left to Uncle Eric who decided we would give it a miss, and so we traversed roughly east, and keeping a little way from the beck, over more boggy terrain with tussocky grass.

Passing a slight prominence, to Southey's surprise, Allen said, "that Herdwick ewe and lamb will make a nice picture."

"You suggesting a sheep picture?", asked Southey.

"Well I do not mind ones of Herdwicks, as they are our very favourites."

"What a lovely face the lamb has", went on Little Eric.

The map was consulted once again, and Uncle Eric said, "we should aim for the south end of White Crag."

At the brow the view opened up to this line of crags. "That's the Birker Fells", called out Tetley.

"Oh yes", agreed Grizzly. "The highest is Green Crag, and the rounded summit left is Crook Crag."

The slopes of Great Worm Crag lay to the south, so with best foot forward the steady climb across the trackless ground commenced. As we gained height the views opened up further towards Wasdale with this dramatic shot of Pillar and Kirk Fell.

"Wow", said Southey. "I would like to climb those."

"Perhaps we will", said Dad, "as they are on Little Eric's outstanding list."

"Yes, but I have told you Dad, that you do not have to repeat them all for me", responded Little Eric.

Onwards and upwards, and after a little while, Allen commented, "Green Crag will make a nice shot from here."

Like many other hills, Great Worm Crag had false summits, but after about another 20 minutes it was done and the two cairns were reached. They are close together and both were visited, it being a moot point which is higher. This is the largest, seen with the backdrop of Devoke Water.

Shaun said, "please take our picture here, as you did last time Dad."

"Time for lunch", announced Uncle Eric.

Ooh good", agreed Allen, rubbing his tummy in anticipation.

As we ate our sandwiches and cake we took in the wonderful views from this modest height.

First this zoomed shot of Devoke Water, with on the horizon beyond the Isle of Man.

And then over Green Crag, to England's highest mountains. The Scafells, and the twin summited Ill Crag. Then round to the right Great End and the pointed pyramid of Esk Pike.

Tetley said, "pals, if you follow down below Ill Crag, Dow Crag can be made out and topping that the pyramid shape of Pen."

"Our very last Birkett", cried Allen.

Then finally more to the right the ridge of the Coniston Fells. Grizzly pointing and telling us, "on the right is the flat ridge containing Walna Scar, then coming left Brown Pike and Buck Pike rising to the slightly pointed prominence of Dow Crag. Left of that is Brim Fell, dropping to Levers Hause and rising left to Swirl How, and finally left of which is Grey Friar."

There was another couple who had set off shortly after us, doing much the same walk, and we finally met them on the summit. Dad had finished his lunch before Uncle Eric, so engaged them in conversation. Like Dad, they had completed the Wainwrights, their last one being Red Pike above Wasdale. They were now tackling the Outlying Fells, but said that they had not decided if they would climb them all.

A nice chat and saying goodbyes they headed down the fell, which we did after a little while.

This was a beeline towards the road passing to the left of Rough Crag. The map shows that there are a number of ancient cairns, scattered about, like this one close to our route.

For once there was a pretty clear path that crossed Freeze Beck then soon reaching the road.

Allen said, "this was the ascent route on the walk in 2009."

Turning right we strolled the road to the car. A military helicopter passed over quite low and Dad was quick to snap off a picture.

We passed the couple we had seen at the summit by their car and stopped for another chat. It turned out they were from Kendal, like Uncle Eric.

"Thanks for another good day, Dad and Uncle Eric", cheered Southey on behalf of us all.

"You're welcome", he replied.

So it was now just a matter of fixing some prospective dates in September, before goodbyes were said and Dad drove us home.

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