Saturday, 6 September 2014

Beda Fell, Angletarn Pikes & Place Fell

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Route: St. Peter's Church, The Lodge, Howsteadbrow, Winter Crag, Low Brock Crags, Beda Head, Beda Fell, Bedafell Knotts, Angletarn Pikes, Stony Rigg, Boredale Hause, Steel Edge, Place Fell, The Knight, Mortar Crag, Low Moss, High Dodd, Sleet Fell, Doe Green, St. Peter's Church

Date: 06/09/2014
From: Martindale

Parking: Large layby
Start Point: St. Peter's Church
Region: Far Eastern Fells

Route length: 8.8 miles (14.2km)
Time taken: 03:34
Average speed: 2.4mph
Ascent: 952m
Descent: 952m

Wainwrights on this walk: 
Beda Fell (Beda Head) (509m), Angletarn Pikes (597m), Place Fell (657m)

Additional summits: The Knight (548m), High Dodd (501m), Sleet Fell (378m)

Other points of interest: Boredale Hause

For the third time in a row grey, gloomy skies greeted my arrival in Martindale. It seems to be the place that I default to when the weather's not very good which is a shame as it has some splendid scenery. After the washout climbing Hallin Fell and Steel Knotts, I'd decided to re-visit Martindale in order to complete the fells that ring Boredale; namely Beda Fell, Angletarn Pikes and the impressive Place Fell. Despite the ominous grey skies, the forecast was for it to clear as the day progressed.
Beda Fell hides in the clouds
Gowbarrow Fell
Once again, the car was left in the large parking area near to the new church of St. Peter's, the route travelling downhill along the quiet road to the foot of Beda Fell which rises gracefully from the valley floor, forming a long finger that sweeps down into the valley, enclosing the eastern side of Boredale. After following a track a small distance towards The Lodge, I followed a tumbled wall that led steeply up to the beginnings of the ridge.

Winter Crag presents the first real obstacle of the day, a tall rocky knoll that climbs onto Howstead Brow. Beyond, the path remains fairly flat for a short distance before it begins climbing again, winding a steep route up into the clouds between Low Brock Crags and Allen Crags.
Winter Crag from The Lodge
The ridge leading from Beda Fell
Any views would now have to wait until later in the morning, the low clouds limiting everything to the very-near or the no-so-far-away, depending on which way you look at it. I was, however, contented by reaching the summit of Beda Fell; Beda Head.
The summit's in there somewhere
Or is it here?
A cairn marks the top though a series of hummocks across the top certainly challenge its authority. From Beda Head, the paths falls some 50m down to Beda Fell before it begins to climb again, this time up towards Angletarn Pikes. The clouds were slowly starting to break up now, forming some eerie silhouettes of the distant crags as well as offering some tantalising views towards the valley bottoms. The ascent to Angletarn Pikes is very easy indeed, a final short scramble reaches the bare summit.
Bedafell Knotts guards access to Angletarn Pikes
Cloud swirls in the valley below
The ridge of Beda Fell
Approaching Angletarn Pikes
The north top beats its nearby neighbour by just 2m to be crowned the highest point and the summit proper. The clouds had broken up enough to view the valley below, it only really now becoming apparent how much height had been gained during the day. The familiar sight of Brothers Water brought back some fond memories of a number of walks I have started from there; including my first visit to this very fell.
The summit of Angletarn Pikes North Top - the South Top is opposite
Dubhow Brow below Angletarn Pikes
I stood for a moment, wondering if I was the first person to visit the fell on this particular day when a lady and her sprightly dog arrived shortly afterwards. I wonder if she might have been thinking the same thing?

As I made my way north towards Boredale Hause, I passed a very large group of people heading in the opposite direction, seemingly part of a large tour group. I've taken part in one of these before and, personally, hated it. Hence why I tend to be out either in a small group or on my own.
Brothers Water below the clouds
The steep slopes of Dubhow Brow
Boredale Hause
After following the well-laid path down to Boredale Hause, I passed the ruins of what is thought to be an old chapel (according to its name on the map at least) and began the steep climb up Place Fell. Though steep, the path is wide and easy to follow and the climbing, with a couple of short stops, doesn't take much time at all.
The remains of the chapel at Boredale Hause
You are rewarded for your efforts by reaching the summit ridge, an exciting arc of ground that forms the high point of Place Fell's broad top. Place Fell is a complex mountain, consisting on a number of outcrops and intermediate summits, many of them considered to be separate peaks all together. The highest point is marked by an OS pillar and provides a fine vantage point to survey to fells on the opposite side of Ullswater.
A steep path climbs Place Fell
Clouds over Patterdale
Brothers Water
The summit ridge of Place Fell
Place Fell's summit
The clouds were well and truly breaking up now creating an arresting scene ahead of me. I spent a while watching them swirl around, hoping to catch a view across to Helvellyn but they held on to their grip of its summit. In fact, one rather large one decided to rise up out of the valley directly towards me, signalling my time to crack on and complete the final section of the walk.
View across to Glenridding
The Knight
Mortar Crag
I dropped down off the summit, crossing open land to the north to a prominent feature called The Knight. The Knight, when seen from below, forms an imposing triangle of rock, fully justifying its place on Bill Birkett's hill list. Following the right of way across the top of Mortar Crag, I rejoined the main route off Place Fell at Low Moss, a depression between the parent fell and another sub-top; High Dodd.
High Didd
Sleet Fell and Hallin Fell from High Dodd
Boredale and Steel Knotts
Beyond High Dodd, the path continues over another intermediate summit (that of Sleet Fell) before it begins a steep descent down to Sandwick. Ahead is the fine outline of Hallin Fell, one of the easier fells in the Lakes to climb.
Panorama of Martindale
Hallin Fell
The Ullswater Steamers
Hallin Bank and Steel Knotts
I followed the road back to the car parked near the church; a starting point I've used many times. I'm very fond of the far eastern fells, largely due to their quietness. I could probably count the number of people I've met during a number of walks on two hands, it just doesn't draw the crowds yet has some impressive scenery. Just a few more fells listed in the book remain unclimbed but they will require different starting points so it's farewell to Martindale for now.