Date - 29th January 2017 Distance - 8.25 miles
Ascent -
Map - OL41 Start point - Birk Bank car park (SD 5264 6042)


Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Clougha Pike 1355 413 SD 5541 5947
Grit Fell 1535 468 SD 5582 5877



Tetley trotted in, with post in paw. "Your Cumbria magazine has arrived Southey."

"Thanks pal", he replied. "I am looking forward to reading it."

"There's Allen's too. Have you seen him?"

"Not for a while"

It was then that Shaun Little Eric and Grizzly arrived with the flasks and cakes.

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

Meanwhile Grizzly said, "we have made Yorkshire Curd Tart."

"Wonderful", replied Tetley. "One of my very favourites."

"Mine too", agreed Southey, who was helping Shaun fill the mugs with steaming tea.

Looking about, Shaun said, "where's Allen?"

"Just what I was asking", replied Tetley. "We don't know."

"Well like Dad he can smell tea a mile off, so I guess he will be along soon", laughed Little Eric.

"The tart is delicious", stated Shaun.

"Mmm, yes", agreed Tetley.

All was peaceful, until the whirlwind that was Allen, burst into the room. "Ooh tea", he called out, "just the ticket, I'm gasping for a cuppa."

"No change there then", laughed Shaun, passing him a steaming mug.

After taking a drink, he then went on, "Dad is taking us walking on Sunday. He has been looking at the OS maps, but not come up with an idea. Trying to find places we have not been too in the area, is becoming increasingly difficult. So our help has been enlisted."

"He and Uncle Brian will be off to Elaine's on Monday, so not driving too far might be a good idea", suggested Grizzly.

"A hill walk might be an option for Dad test his back out again?", mused Southey.

Little Eric replied, "Dad liked my suggestion that we repeat some of the Forest of Bowland walks. So, how about Clougha and Grit Fell. That would fit with Grizzly's suggestion of a short drive to the start?"

"Good idea pal", agreed Tetley. "Off you go Allen."

"OK", he replied, draining his mug. "Can you refill it for when I get back?"

"Sure pal", said Shaun, "and we'll see there is another piece of tart on your plate."

"Thank you!", he called out as he trotted out of the door.

Not many minutes later, Allen returned. "Dad likes your suggestion, Little Eric. By way of a bit of variation, he plans to follow the shooting track all the way, rather than cut across on the narrow trod to the ladderstile above Windy Clough."

"That's fine", said Shaun.

"Great", cheered Southey, "roll on Sunday."


The Walk

Dad had said he was setting off around 09:15. We got up early so that we could all lend a paw packing the picnic and getting it stowed in Allen's rucksack.

Overnight there had been rain, but the skies were clear this morning. Many of our pals live upstairs in the dormer, where there are views to Ingleborough and Clougha.

Snowdon had been looking out of the window, and called to us, "the rain has fallen as snow on Clougha, so it will be an interesting walk for you all."

"Thanks pal", called back Grizzly. "It will be quite a contrast then to the walk there in June 2015."

"Going to be an exciting day, then", commented Southey with enthusiasm.

Shortly we heard Dad slam the boot shut, so calling goodbyes to Uncle Brian and our pal Gladly, who were busy with the Telegraph crossword, we got settled in the car.

The drive took about 20 minutes, into Lancaster, then at Dalton Square, turning left uphill past the Grammar School. Then right round Williamson Park and so over the tops to Quernmore (pronounced Quarmer). At the crossroads it was left past the the post office on Rigg Lane.

Passing a bungalow on the right, Southey said, "I remember we take the footpath just this side of it up the hill."

Shortly at the fork it was right to soon reach the start point, Birk Bank car park. In contrast to June 2015 when this was very busy on arrival, today there was just one other solitary car.

Dad was soon ready. Out of the car park we walked back along Rigg Lane.

"That's a nice shot of Quernmore church across the fields", said Allen.

"Something we missed seeing last time", replied Dad, getting the camera out.

St Peter's church was built in 1860 to replace a chapel of 1834. The new church was designed by the Lancaster architect E.G. Paley. W.G. Bradley gave more land to double the size of the site, and it was paid for by William Garnett, the owner of nearby Quernmore Park Hall, the cost being £3,000 and provided seating for 320 people. (source Wikipedia)

Reaching the junction we continued left to, as Southey had indicated, go through the gate on the left just beyond the first bungalow and indicated by the footpath sign.

Rowton Brook was rushing down to our left, swollen by last night's rain.

"Up the hill, to a gate into the farmyard", said Shaun.

Nearing this sheep were grazing. "Oh noooo", said Allen, seeing Dad getting the camera out once again. "I'm having no luck at all in getting sheep picture free stories."

"The the group make a nice shot, apart from the one showing its bum!", said Little Eric.

"There's always one", laughed Tetley.

On through the farmyard, and another gate on to a walled green lane that led to a junction with a metalled lane.

"We go left along it and at the fork keep left over the cattle grid", instructed Shaun.

This led into woodland and past houses and bungalows, to soon swing right to Rowton Brook Farm, the lane suddenly covered in snow.

Onwards through the farm and along the track passing through a gate and right over Rowton Brook, the track then bending left into open countryside, white under the snow. Clougha our objective can be seen distantly beyond the trees.

"There a few gates to pass through", remarked Allen.

"Yes pal", agreed Shaun. The first being the left of two adjacent gates."

Two more followed, the second having a waymark pointing left. "There must be a path on the far side of the brook, as I can see a stile", said Southey.

Once again Dad went to look for a crossing of the brook. "It is still not clear at all", he said.

"Well the recognised route is just on along the track.", said Little Eric.

Regarding the other path it was only when we got home and we zoomed in using the Ordnance Survey app, that we realised the path left is before not after the gate.

After a while the path drifted left crossing some boggy areas and then, crossing Rowton Brook, led on towards the rock rise of Clougha Pike, a clear path ascending left across this to the summit trig point and shelter.

At the trig point, as we were scrambling out of the rucksack another lady arrived.

Seeing us she asked Dad, "so they come with you every time."

"Yes", Dad replied.

"What have they achieved?" she then asked.

"Well most of them have done the Wainwrights and every other summit over 1000ft in the Lakes, as well as the Howgills and Yorkshire Dales Fells."

"I think that is great."

By now we were trying to sit on the top of the trig point, but it was rather breezy and Allen fell off. "I'll hold them for you" she said to Dad.

"Thank you ", we said.

Then she insisted on taking our picture with Dad on her phone, before asking, "where are you going next."

Dad pointed, saying, "to Grit Fell and then to join the shooting track down to the car park."

"Sounds like a nice route, I think I'll do that too."

So goodbyes were said as she headed off, meanwhile we took in the views all around, Dad capturing a few pictures.

First to Ingleborough also white under the snow...

...then out to Morecambe Bay...

...and finally Caton Moor and Whit Moor with its wind farm. About 500ft less in height it was below the snow line. Behind are the snowcapped fells above the Lune Valley. From the left, Middleton Fell, Barbon Low Fell, Crag Hill, Gragareth & Twistleton Scars.

"Wonderful", said Southey, "so glad you suggested this walk, Little Eric."

We got settled, then Dad set off striking east to distant Grit Fell, in the footsteps of the lady. She was always ahead of us, so we did not meet again. The snow got deeper as we climbed on making keeping to the path a bit sketchy at times. Climbed stile in fence and then onwards towards the horizon...

... to eventually reach another stile in the fence and along by the wall to a ladderstile in a corner and just a short way to the substantial cairn that is considered the summit of the otherwise flat expanse of Grit Fell.

"Photo time", called out Grizzly, although we did not linger too long sitting on the snow covered cairn.

Clambering down, we found some clear rocks, to stop briefly for a quick snack. Dad just had a sandwich and chocolate biscuit, while standing by the cairn.

"Right come on lads, time to get settled again."

"Too true", replied Allen, snuggling quickly down.

"We now have to head in the direction of Ward's Stone, to find the surfaced track maintained for the grouse shoots", said Shaun.

Being snowbound, again the path was a bit sketchy, but basically it led past the solitary tree and then about the same distance to the track.

This well maintained wide track led on and on and on, meandering, dipping and climbing.

At one point Grizzly said, "that pool will perhaps make a nice picture, with the snow?"

Descending gradually, eventually Tetley said, "I can see the ladderstile in the wall over to the left that we used for the descent last time."

"Yes, I see it pal", agreed Southey, then a little later, "here's where the narrow path goes off to it."

Today, as Dad had planned, we stayed on the track continuing the descent and dropping below the snow line, around where it swung right down a short ravine and through a gate.

Finally the track came to another gate. "We don't go that way", said Shaun. "We take the wide grassy track left."

Suddenly there was a noise. "Look a grouse", said Allen softly.

Fully expecting it to fly off, it came as a surprise when it landed by the path! "I wonder if it thinks you are going to feed it", said Little Eric."

Grizzly laughed saying, "It must be the Famous Grouse!"

The track became rougher for a section to and across Ottergear Bridge spanning the ravine of a tributary of the River Conder, and stiled at each end.

From a sign affixed to it it was plain it was something to do with water catchment.

"Remember last time we saw that square tower on the hill that was associated with the Thirlmere Aqueduct", said Tetley. "Maybe this is too."

Checking when we got home, Tetley was right, and in fact the bridge carries the aqueduct over the ravine.

Strolling on we were quite soon at the car park that was considerably fuller than this morning.

"Thanks Dad for taking us", said Allen. "It's been a good day."

"Yes" agreed Little Eric, "and being in the snow has made it more of an adventure.

So a very happy band of brothers, we had the rest of our picnic, while Dad drove home, going via Lidl for some shopping.


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