GRAYRIGG FOREST, WHINFELL BEACON & SHOOTER HOWE

 


Summary

Date - 13th May 2010 Distance - 7 miles
Ascent -
2270ft
Map - OL7 Start point -Entrance to Borrowdale valley (SD 6061 0149)

 

Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Grayrigg Forest 1621 494 SD 5986 9980
Whinfell Beacon 1549 472 NY 5737 0028
Shooter Howe 1375 419 NY 5766 0119

 

Foreword

During 2021 we were continuing the project to rewrite and enhance our original stories of 2008-12. This adventure was rejected for a story in 2010, and reviewing this in 2021, it is still somewhat moot, due to the number of pictures. It was however our last Howgill catch-up walk, so we have decided to write an account, to revive memories of the day. It will rely more on the narrative, which is largely due to Dad writing a precis of every walk when he records them on the spreadsheet.

 

Preface

A restful afternoon, and all was well, as we had mugs in paw and there were plenty of chocolate biscuits for us to dig into.

"Thanks for making the tea, as always, Shaun", said Tetley. "We do appreciate it and would not want you to think we take it for granted."

"Mmm", agreed Allen, holding his mug out for a refill.

"There you go tea belly", laughed Shaun.

"Thanks pal." Then he said, "it has been good to be back in the Lakes on the last two walks. The first with Uncle Eric, ticked off a third of my outstanding Wainwrights."

"And the other just with Dad, got a few more Birketts out of the way", added Tetley. "I feel sure you will complete the Wainwrights this year Allen. We will be so pleased for you."

"I hope so", he replied.

Little Eric was reaching for another biscuit, when he paused. "Where's Grizzly?"

"Watching a TV programme with Dad and some of our other pals.", replied Shaun. "He'll be along soon, I'm sure."

Shaun was right, as about 5 minutes later he strolled in.

Here's your tea", said Shaun. "Did you enjoy the programme."

"Thanks pal, and yes I did. But I bring good news for Allen, Little Eric and myself. A walk with Uncle Eric has been planned for Thursday. We are going to do the last catch-up walk climbing the summits at the eastern end of the Whinfell ridge."

"That will be Grayrigg Forest and Whinfell Beacon then", said Allen excitedly. "Great."

"Dad has been looking at the map, and additionally there is another summit Shooter Howe", said Grizzly. "If it turns out to indeed be a separate summit, then it has been agreed to do that as well."

"We will all bag that then" said Tetley.

"Super, roll on Thursday", cheered Allen.

 

The Walk

The day was dry with a good amount of sun, but still there was a strong cold wind that made it feel like March.

Our start point was the parking area at the entrance to the Borrowdale valley near Low Borrow Bridge.

Dad and Uncle Eric got ready, meanwhile we snuggled down in the rucksack.

Shaun said, "we walk up the valley road until the bridge over a stream, then take the track rising left."

There were sheep about, Little Eric saying, "Aww look at that ewe with its lamb. First picture of the day."

"Huh", grumped Allen. "There goes the sheep picture free story again."

The track led to a gate in the wall. "We do not go through, but now leave the track and ascend by the wall", advised Shaun.

This narrow trod then took us half left to a facing wall.

"There does not seem to be a way over the wall here", commented Allen.

"Maybe we are not at the proper crossing point", said Uncle Eric. "However this higher ground against the wall will make getting over easy."

Then Dad said, "we don't want to lose height, so best to keep ahead by this ravine and cross it higher up the fell.

This achieved, we just climbed on and on steadily to the trig point at the summit of Grayrigg Forest.

"Yippee", cheered Grizzly. "One down."

"Picture time", called out Tetley. "let's see if we can hang in to sit on top, despite the wind."

We snuggled back into the rucksack, Shaun saying, "we head west now towards the Repeater Station."

We include this picture taken when just Shaun and Tetley were walking, on 26th February 2003. A very different day, and before Dad had his DSLR camera, hence it being less sharp. The fells behind are from the left, Castle Fell, Mabbin Crag and Ashstead Fell that we had all climbed just a month earlier.

A wall blocked our progress but again Dad and Uncle Eric found a convenient crossing place, although once over, Tetley pointed, "there is actually a stile just a little higher up."

We passed the communications towers along the road, this below being the first.

At the second, Grizzly commented, "this has two fences ringing it, the inner one with three strands of barbed wire."

Acknowledging this, Uncle Eric said, "it is amusing therefore that the gate is not locked!"

Now in the teeth of the fierce wind, we followed a path that eventually led down and then up directly to Whinfell Beacon topped with a large cairn and shelter.

"Perfect to sit in and have our lunch out of the wind", said Uncle Eric.

"Oh yes", agreed Allen rubbing his tummy in anticipation."

"I know", laughed Tetley, "you're hungry."

Before leaving we gathered on the cairn for our picture.

Looking down into the valley, Grizzly said, "that's Whinfell Tarn we can see."

Setting off, we passed through a gap in the wall, Shaun then saying, "now head down to that wall near White Moss."

Here a gate allowed progress, and we climbed on north beside it to where it began to turn away right. There we cut away left to climb gently to the summit of Shooter Howe.

"It is quite definitely a separate top", said Tetley.

"Yes, I agree", replied Uncle Eric. "We will add it to the list."

No cairn just flat ground, so Dad planted his stick at what had been determined was the summit, and we gathered round.

"That's a super view Borrowdale", said Little Eric. "A must picture Dad."

This is taken looking east, with the main Howgill massif dominating the backdrop.

So, we meandered down the ridge, the gradient being quite steep on the last section, to come to a wall that we had to cross.

"The replacement fence where the wall has collapsed will make a good crossing point", suggested Dad.

Now we headed along the valley between the beck and the wall, to climb a final fence and regain road, where it crossed the Borrow Beck, from which it was about a mile to the car.

Pausing to look back, Allen said, "that will make a nice shot of the beck and Shooter Howe."

What a lovely walk", said Grizzly. "So peaceful walking through the valley."

"Not another soul did we see all day", commented Little Eric. "Far from the madding crowd"

And finally, apart from you Little Eric, we have all caught up and we have just four summits to go to complete the Howgill challenge", stated Allen.

"Refreshment time now?", asked Tetley. "Yes lad, while you have the rest of your picnic, Uncle Eric and I are going to the Old School House in Tebay.

There they were recognised by Steve and they chatted. Tea of course and Dad had a cherry scone with butter jam and cream, that he said was delicious. He also loves the way that all is served on china.

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