Martin in Gatineau Park

Martin in Gatineau Park

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Sunday* 29 September 2014 – Place Fell (most of it)

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* Should read ‘Monday’ – sorry!

It's many years since I last visited Place Fell. Sue reckons to have been there more recently but can't remember when.

We’d enjoyed our visit to Broadoaks, and left after a breakfast that set us up for a day during which more food would be an extravagant luxury for our well provided stomachs.

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We pootled over the Kirkstone Pass to Patterdale for coffee with TGO Challengers Mike and Marian.

Unfortunately Marian had house admin to contend with, but Mike had time to join us for a comprehensive round of Place Fell's six summits (although we omitted Round How on the way down!). It was a lovely warm, sunny, calm day. Just wonderful to be out in the hills. Marian got rather frustrated (for want of a more accurate but ruder phrase) waiting at home for an electrician.

Today various folk were encountered on the main paths, but most of our day was spent on lesser trods, more normally the preserve of the red deer we saw on Birk Fell.

Various small birds were happy in the bracken and there was no sign of a juvenile peregrine that Marian told us was living nearby. A raven was greedily seeking scraps on the summit of Place Fell though, and Sue says she saw a chough on the flanks of that hill. Mike and I think it was just a crow with a sandwich. 

The six summits all commanded fine views, with a special place on top of Place Fell providing the highlight of a view of five segments of Ullswater.

We started over the bridge towards Side Farm.

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Beyond Side Farm a steep climb to the upper path soon reveals this rather large cave. Or is it a mine?

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We enjoyed fine views as we rose above Patterdale, reaching a bench at which Mike says he always pauses to admire the views across the valley towards Helvellyn.

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Here’s the panorama from the bench. (A better version is here.)

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We then rose gently up the Hare Shaw path, constantly looking back to admire the views towards Helvellyn (see header picture).

Before long we reached our first summit - The Knight (542 metres), a significant prong to the north of Place Fell's summit, with stunning views.

Our next summit was Bleaberry Knott on Birk Fell (512 metres), which also enjoys immaculate vistas.

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Ahead through the bracken we were drawn towards the distinctive cairn on Low Birk Fell (373 metres), where I left one of my GPS gadgets. Seemingly I had three such gadgets with me today, not to mention a local expert navigator – we couldn’t get lost!

"Another fine view, eh."

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The misplaced GPS triggered an early lunch so that Mike and Sue had something to do whilst I recovered the errant gadget. Then we moved across to the grassy summit of Sleet Fell (378 metres), from where there’s a good view to the obelisk on Hallin Fell.

A visit to the summit of High Dodd (501 metres) required a steep diversion from the main path. The views were worth it. After this, Mike paused to make some urgent calls, whilst Sue lingered on a rocky knoll.

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The ripples from the Ullswater cruise liners far below caught our attention.

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By the time we reached the main summit of Place Fell (657 metres), we'd been to six separate viewpoints on the Fell. This one enjoyed a view of five segments of Ullswater if you stood in the correct position.

It was clouding over, so after debating the ‘chough or no chough?’ incident we took in the view and stashed our cameras before heading back to Patterdale for a cuppa.

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The 15 km tour, with about 900 metres ascent, took around six delightful hours, following which we felt extremely fulfilled on the leisurely journey home.

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There’s a slideshow with some of the missing views (40 images) here.

Fine company, fine views, fine route, fine weather, fine everything really – you can’t beat it…

5 comments:

Alistair Pooler said...

Lovely views there :-). I must plan a return trip to Place Fell sometime as it has a great setting overlooking Ullswater.

AlanR said...

Great day out Martin, smashing photo’s.
Just spotted the deliberate era to make sure we do read the posts. The 29th September was a Monday.

Phreerunner said...

Well spotted Alan. All I can say is "it felt like a Sunday"!

afootinthehills said...

Lovely day out Martin. Like you(unless Sue is right!),it's many years since Lynne and I enjoyed Place Fell - indeed many years since we visited Patterdale - so it is now on our plan for next July.

Phreerunner said...

If Sue went there recently, it wasn't with me, Gibson. There's a seventh summit - Round How - that we by-passed, so perhaps we should go up there again soon!