Blencathra, Gowbarrow Fell & Helm Crag 15-17 July 2016

Posted by Graham Rogers on 2016-07-21

50,000’ Challenge

Blencathra, Gowbarrow Fell & Helm Crag

15-17 July 2016

(Friday 15 July) Ian’s walk – Blencathra. The team gathered in Mungrisdale (Ian, Graham M, Ann, Yvonne, Glenys & Graham R). Conditions were calm and benign. Perhaps the forecasters had got in wrong after all? On a good day I imagine that the route up Blencathra from Mungrisdale is the best approach. It is a steady climb with one short scramble; but this wasn’t a good day as the weather closed in quickly. Gusts of 50mph combined with driving heavy rain and very little in the way of visibility turned the event into something of a challenge. The 50,000’ programme of walks is intended to celebrate the 50th birthday of the SOC; I was left wondering whether I would reach my own 70th. But we got to the summit, planted the flag, snapped the obligatory picture and hurried back down via Scales Fell. We were a little damp; in my case to the core. The Mill Inn was a welcome haven. Thanks must go to Ian Dale for leading the walk in trying circumstances and getting us all back in one piece.

(Saturday 16 July)  ) Yvonne’s walk  - Gowbarrow Fell

We had a great weekend completing the peaks for the 50,000'. Three of us caravaned, two camped, two B and B'd and Ann came over on Friday and Saturday. Tricia joined us also on Saturday.
The weather for my walk was ideal with high cloud opening later to sun with some wind and really good views all day.
The panorama path from Watermillock church to Aira Force was very easy going and gave us views up and down Lake Ullswater. We had a brief stop at the Force before heading up to the top of the cascades for lunch and then did a short detour to Dockray for a drink. The peak still had to be climbed afterwards but we made it eventually and then dropped down before heading off to Great Meldrum finally arriving at The Hause before descending to the caravan site where more refreshments were taken.

 (Sunday 17 July)  Glenys & Graham’s Walk – Helm Crag.

The day dawned bright and hot! On this last occasion we were joined by Bob Blyth who was recovering from a Trevor Thurlow ‘jolly’ the previous day (i.e. untold miles and the greater part of the ‘Wainwrights’). But this walk feels like a long 6-7 miles simply because of the terrain; much of it is bog and rocky and slow-going. We did a recce of the walk the previous Monday in high winds and low cloud. But today was just perfect. We started with the long pull up Steel Fell and then followed a well worked path to Calf Crag which put us on a return leg down the ridge in the direction of Helm Crag. It is rough going but well rewarded with fine views across the majestic Lakeland fells in every direction.  Another bonus was Ian’s and Yvonne’s climb up the ‘howitzer’ and Yvonne’s  valiant effort in climbing down. She makes a fine picture. After a brief encounter with the Lamb and the Lion we made our descent to celebrate a superb weekend at The Troutbeck Inn. I think we did our bit towards the 50,000’ target and, for the most part, enjoyed it very much; a good challenge in good company.

Graham Rogers

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