Through the Viewfinder
And What Alice Found There
After weeks of bad weather and other things going on, it felt like an age since I'd been out on the fells and I was beginning to really, really miss it. The last walk I did was my failed attempt up Great Gable where no Wainwright's were actually walked to the summit, so by this weekend it had been 6 weeks (yes really!) since I last did a Wainwright! With my target of 100 done by the end of the year looming over me, I felt like this was really not good enough, and I had to make time to fit some more in ASAP! It had also been 4 months since I went walking with my Dad, who I used to go walking with on a regular basis! So today we finally got out together and bagged Place Fell, Angletarn Pikes and Beda Fell bringing my total up to 63...
We started the walk at St Peter's church in Howtown, at the small car park at the base of Hallin Fell. The first part of the walk took us along the road for about 1 mile towards Sandwick until eventually we saw a signpost on the left for Place Fell. This took us on a grassy path slowly edging along the side of the fell with great views of Ullswater to the North. The path continued around the side of the fell slowly gaining height but we decided to take a more direct route instead, straight up to the top of the fell and ended up on the summit of Cat Crag (not a Wainwright but a nice viewpoint). From there we joined onto a ridge path that took us over a flat boggy area known as Sleet Fell eventually leading to the path for Place Fell. From here we had two options: head straight up the rocky path that appeared to go directly to the summit, or take a route off to the right which also took in the summit of The Knight (again, not a Wainwright but good views). We opted for the right hand path as the direct route was busy with a large group of people from on an outward bound course so we thought it best to take the quieter route.
We stopped for some photos on the summit of Place Fell, taking in the beautiful view of Ullswater and Glenridding with the snow capped mountains surrounding them. We then dropped down to find a good picnic spot as we were starving by this point, and we came across a great little shelter which was perfect for a quick food stop! Afterwards we set off towards Boredale Hause (a crossroads of footpaths leading to various different fells) where we would make the decision whether to carry on to Angletarn Pikes or head straight for Beda Fell. This part of the walk was really enjoyable - the ground was either flat or heading downhill with 360 degree views of the mountains, made even better when the sun came out! The clouds finally parted to reveal blue sky and it actually felt quite warm for a while! This was a pleasant surprise after months of walking in dull, grey, wet and windy conditions. I even walked most of the way without wearing my fleece headband or gloves - this means winter is on it's way out and the fleece lined walking clothes will soon be put away for another year!
By the time we reached Boredale Hause we had already walked about 5 miles and still had quite a way to go until we got back, and we were both quite tired. But we thought, well we're up here now so we might as well head on! So up we walked towards Angletarn Pikes. I had previously read in my Wainwright Pictorial Guide about Angletarn Pikes and the twin peaks, each with it's own summit. One was actually slightly higher than the other meaning that was the 'real' summit, but we decided we'd have to climb both or it wouldn't feel right. On approaching the first of the peaks the climb got quite steep and rocky but once on the top we were rewarded with stunning views towards Hartsop and Brotherswater. I couldn't stop taking photos - it was just amazing! It's times like those when I realise how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful place and it makes me so happy and excited to explore more of the fells! After taking approximately a billion photos we finally headed on to the second summit which again offered breathtaking views over Angle Tarn - which Wainwright described as one of the best tarns in Lakeland. And I can see why! Beautifully nestled between mountain summits, the tarn feels like a secret paradise with 3 little islands just calling out to be explored. I could just picture it being the perfect spot for a summer afternoon hike with a picnic, followed by a swim in the tarn and sunbathing on the islands! So as soon as the weather gets warmer you'll know where to find me...
After tearing my eyes away from the stunning views we dropped down to join the path alongside the shore of the tarn, but soon veered off to join a smaller grassy path off to the left heading back in the direction of the car. With two Wainwright summits down and only one more to go, we felt quite positive at this point. However, the route over Beda Fell proved tougher than expected. After already walking about 7 miles and starting to feel a bit tired, the boggy path along the top of the fell sometimes got the better of me. About 3 times my right boot got sucked into the bog turning my shoe a nice dark brown colour. I also slid down some mud and fell right over onto my back, and Dad just turned around, looked at me on the floor and said "Watch out, it's a bit slippy there." Thanks for the warning! After scrambling up and down rocks on the uneven fell top, the car finally came into view! With one final look back at the horseshoe route we had walked that day, we dropped down the end of Beda Fell, joined back up with the road and returned to the car. We briefly considered doing Hallin Fell before going home seeing as it was right night to the car park, but my knee was beginning to ache and I suddenly realised how tired I actually was, so we gave Hallin Fell a miss for now and went home.
Overall this walk was fantastic. I really enjoyed it and it was the perfect walk to get me back into doing my Wainwright challenge! The weather was the best I've seen for months, the views were unbeatable, and the route was pretty good (apart from the mud) - not to mention that's 3 more fells to tick off my list! I would highly recommend this walk to anyone and I will definitely be heading back to this area soon, especially Angle Tarn!
If you'd like to try the walk yourself, see my route below...