GLEDE HOWE from SWINDALE

 


Summary

Date - 6th August 2016 Distance - 4.5 miles
Ascent -
990ft
Map - OL5 Start point - Verge parking on Swindale road just before it becomes enclosed (NY 5215 1423)

 

Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Glede Howe 1562 476 NY 5213 1203

 

Preface

The cake and tea had arrived, courtesy of Shaun, Little Eric & Grizzly.

"Great", cheered Allen, as he and Southey went to get the mugs and plates.

"What's the cake today?", asked Tetley.

Grizzly replied, "I have made the chocolate covered flapjack, and Little Eric had done mincemeat slice."

Southey helped Shaun with the tea, passing the steaming mugs round. Then he helped himself to the cake. Taking a bite he said, "the mincemeat slice is delicious, Little Eric."

"And so is the flapjack", called out Tetley. "Thanks again pals."

Changing the subject Shaun said, "that was quite a walk last week over Grike, Lank Rigg etc."

"Quite" agreed Tetley, "and not without incident with Dad having to wade the River Calder."

"It has taken nearly a week to dry Dad's boots. As he does not have a newspaper, he had to buy a couple of copies to use to soak up the water", went on Grizzly. "He bought The Sun."

"About all it is useful for", replied Tetley, laughing.

Allen then said, "Dad has told me that he intends to go walking this weekend, but after the long drive last time to Ennerdale, it has to be nearer home, and less demanding."

"Well..."said Little Eric. "I am still not expecting Dad to revisit all my outstanding Wainwrights and Birketts, but the chance of this happening is more possible after the progress I have made this year. When we repeated the Wainwright Outlier round from Swindale in November 2012, as part of my completion of that challenge, we did not deviate to the Birkett top Glede Howe."

"If you are to complete the Birketts, you will need to tick it off", agreed Tetley.

"Do you think Dad will be happy to do that, Allen?", asked Little Eric.

"I am sure that will be acceptable."

"We will need the map", said Southey.

"Actually it is all on the iPad since Dad loaded the Ordnance Survey app and uploaded OL4.", replied Allen. "He thought it was just OL4 he could see but by scrolling the whole of the UK can be seen. See I will show you."

"Wow" said Southey. "It will make route planning easier.

So we all clustered round. Shaun pointed, "we will have to park just at the entrance to the valley where the road becomes enclosed, as there is no parking further on. Then we walk the road, cross the footbridge, and climb to the ridge on the path, to leave this and strike off to Glede Howe."

"Right, so we have a plan. Now to see if Dad agrees", said Allen, taking the iPad and trotting out of the room.

"Pour him another mug of tea, Shaun", laughed Tetley. "He is a real tea belly, just like Dad."

Minutes later he returned the smile on his face telling us the walk was on.

"Roll on Saturday", cheered Little Eric.

 

The Walk

"Dad said he is not taking a picnic, but going for a meal after the walk.", said Grizzly.

"We've got to eat though", replied Allen.

"I agree pal", said Grizzly. "So Little Eric and I have done the sandwiches etc. Can you pack them in your rucksack?"

"Sure pal".

Shortly after Dad called out, "I'm nearly ready."

"OK", replied Shaun as we dashed out to the car.

Our route was north on the M6 to leave it a junction 39, and drive through Shap. "You're not taking the waterworks road", queried Tetley.

"Last time it was in very poor repair, and after the floods last winter I am not sure it will be passable", replied Dad.

In Shap it was left on the narrow road to Bampton, leaving this left to go through the hamlet of Rosgill. Coming to a junction Shaun called out, "we go sharp left."

This road then crossed the waterworks road where we spotted a car driving on it. We continued towards Swindale, to then park on the rough verge, just before the road became enclosed.

The day was quite sunny and warm with light winds, so Dad was unsurprisingly in shorts.

We got settled in Dad's rucksack, and this shouldered, he strode along the road, the large bulk of Gouther Crag soon dominating the scene ahead. "It is just this side of that where we will make our ascent", commented Tetley.

"Those are new works on the beck", remarked Grizzly, "and look, a new footbridge has been installed."

This and the other more substantial works had recently been carried out by United Utilities, in connection with the aqueduct that diverts water to Haweswater Reservoir.

So, crossing the footbridge, and then a short section of very muddy ground we gained a wide track.

"We went left, to do the Outlier round", said Grizzly, "but today we wanted to go ahead, up the fell."

At this time of year the bracken is at its height, and the paths are obscured. We could see what seemed to be the start of two, but which to take was the dilemma.

Dad made the decision for us, taking the one to the right, but quite soon it became clear this was for the use of climbers to access Gouther Crag. "

"Oh dear", said Little Eric,

Dad replied, " never mind it is not far to back track, and it will add a little distance to today's outing."

As we started up the other path Southey said, "look at those pretty flowers. What are they called?"

"Harebells", informed Allen.

Looking across the valley, Tetley, said, "that is Nabs Moor. We originally climbed it and Howes in 2006, repeating them for your sake Little Eric and Uncle Eric too in February 2009. Nabs Moor & Howes.

"A very snowy day, I recall", went on Grizzly. "There was quite a struggle ascending by Nabs Crags, Dad floundering at times in the soft snow."

There was no doubting the path, but it was hard for Dad to see where he was putting his feet due to the overshadowing bracken. This was a little above his waist in height, prompting Tetley to remark, "not as challenging at Newton Fell."

"No lad", agreed Dad. "There it was at times above my head. And the laughable thing too, was that the signposts were of a height for you lads, making them totally useless at this time of year!"

The steady climb through the bracken continued to a gate. Beyond, above the bracken, we went more left, the path being wider and stony, before the gradient finally levelled. The path now went right and we continued until crossing Gouthercrag Gill.

"There is not going to be any path to Glede Howe, so it is a case of just heading in the general direction", said Shaun. Then looking up from the map he went on, "it seems to be best to go up by the gill for a little way and then strike off to the right."

Initially the ground was extremely boggy and Dad had to pick his way carefully, but as we began to gain height above the gill the ground became drier.

Tetley kept his eye on the GPS and after a while he said, "we are beginning to close in on the summit, but to gain it, we should head a little more to the right."

"OK", replied Dad, altering direction.

Then a rise was crested and Allen called out, "that must be Glede Howe."

"There are two prominences", said Little Eric.

"And the one on the right has a cairn", added Southey. "So is that the summit?"

"Not in this case", replied Tetley. "The GPS indicates it is the one ahead"

"Will you take us to the cairn so we can have our picture there too?", asked Grizzly.

"Of course lad", replied Dad.

This was taken after making the short walk across from the summit rise, seen in the background. The GPS measured that to be just a few feet higher. A long rock forms the highest point where we sat.

"Yippee", cried Little Eric, "that's this area done once and for all."

Quite often Dad gets the flag out for us, and today this was to show our support for Team GB at the Olympics!

"That's High Street just under the cloud and then the unmistakable triangular summit of Kidsty Pike with High Raise to the right", said Grizzly.

"The two visits to High Street earlier this year, enabled me to complete the remaining summits in Wainwright Book 2", said Little Eric. "A big step forward in my Wainwright challenge."

The foreground to the right pretty much shows the descent route, making towards the heather clad walled top of Gouther Crag.

"The path we left at Gouthercrag Gill goes on towards Fewling Stones", said Shaun. "So we should intersect it as we get down off the fell."

And sure enough we did, Dad turning right to come to and cross the gill again.

As we walked on Southey called out, "there is a cairn over there."

"Ah", replied Shaun, "that is the one Birkett refers to in his instructions, and is our route."

Going this way cut off a corner of the path we had used on the ascent.

Now all that remained was to reverse the outwards route, descending to the valley, seen across the bracken the building being Truss Gap Farm.

Unnoticed by Dad due to the vegetation the edge of the upper path had a gully and by accident Dad stepped into it, throwing him left and then right into the one on the opposite side. At the time he thought nothing of it, but we mention this because a few days later Dad suffered back pain. At the end of the week he was forced to go and seek treatment from his osteopath, Dennis, who was able to pin down the cause to this incident. The downside was Dad being told to just do level walks for a couple of weeks, holding up advancing Little Eric's challenges. Still we did not mind, as wherever we go we are happy.

Reaching the valley floor we stopped to look at the steep craggy slopes of Gouther Crag, that belies its gentler heather clad top.

Directly opposite where the path emerged from the bracken is a ford across Swindale Beck, and stepping stones. "I am going use them to cross", announced Dad.

After last weeks debacle when Dad had to wade the River Calder, we all held our breath, but they proved to be no obstacle and the crossing was accomplished without incident.

"That's restored by faith, after last week", remarked Dad.

Now so far Allen's luck of avoiding sheep pictures had held good. But, as we returned along the road, it deserted him, Dad snapping this shot.

"Oh no....." cried Allen. "Foiled again!"

At this time the vegetation is at its fullest, this fine tree being no exception.

Shortly then we arrived at the car. "Thank you Dad, from the bottom of my heart, for visiting Glede Howe again", said Little Eric.

"You are welcome lad."

"Refreshment time?", queried Tetley.

"Sure thing. I am going to junction 38 services."

Getting to the junction with the waterworks road, Dad said, "We saw a car going along it, so I am going to use it to shorten the route to the A6."

We had all expected Dad to have to dodge the potholes, but to our surprise they had all been repaired. Then it was just a quick run down the motorway to the services.

While Dad was enjoying his sausage casserole with chips and carrot & swede, chocolate cake & tea, we had our picnic in the car.

"I'm ready too", said Allen

"No surprise there", laughed Grizzly in response. "You are always hungry."

So all of us refreshed, Dad drove us home, to shatter Uncle Brian's peace.

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