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London based mountaineering and hill-walking club

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Home arrow News arrow Meet Reports arrow Seathwaite, Lake District - November 3rd - 5th 2006

Seathwaite, Lake District - November 3rd - 5th 2006

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Contributed by Ian Powditch   

Seathwaite, Lake District

November 3rd - 5th 2006

By Ian Powditch

Some years ago Kate sent me a postcard from Borrowdale; now that I have visited the area I realise that it did not do justice to the spectacular scenery that was on offer.

The K Fellfarers hut is a well appointed stone building at the end of a farm road, from which footpaths lead south to the Central Lakeland peaks. The accommodation includes a spacious kitchen and dining area and two large bunk rooms. A coke burning stove centered in the dining room assured us of a warm and comfortable evening at the end of our trek. The club uses this hut regularly because of its proximity to the popular valley of Borrowdale.

Seven members gathered for what was to be a most enjoyable week-end. During Friday evening the wind increased, giving us the hope of clear weather on Saturday. However, in the morning, cloud shrouded the local hills which was not the most promising start; with stout hearts, boots and wet weather gear, we had decided to attempt Scafell Pike and a plan for other 'tops' had been mooted. And, yes, the weather did close in, and we could not see much of the scenery after Styhead Tarn (433m) ….but we did not mind.

We started walking by taking the Corridor Route, we skirted Great End, Broad Crag, and Lingmell (all unseen). The final approach to Scafell Pike (977m) was a zig zag boulder route, it seemed almost vertical, a rock strewn mountain side, with snow and rain lashing our faces, and still we did not mind. Perfect conditions for hill walking.Reaching the summit, we encountered around fifty other walkers all trying to find shelter from the wind and rain whilst having their lunch. The feeling of relief and delight in reaching the summit of England's highest mountain cannot be bettered. The low cloud remained firmly in place denying us the outstanding 360° view from the domed top; we did not mind that either.

After a rapid lunch break, we were off the top heading down in a NE direction. Excellent navigation in the cloud cover took us between Broad Crag and Ill Crag, we were heading for the wettest place in the Lakes - Esk Hause (735m). Cloud cover was now receding with views across to Rossett Pike (600m) and even intermittent patches of blue sky could be made out between the scuds of grey cloud, the weather was improving….we certainly did not mind that!

Following a brief discussion, Allen Crags (784m) and Glaramara (775m) were to be included as part of the homeward route. The planned walk off Glaramara would take us to within about ½ km from the hut. We set out with renewed vigour, the rain had stopped and the high winds were drying our waterproofs off quite nicely. At the top of Allen Crags the views were indeed spectacular, cloud was racing over mountains across the valley, and the sun paid us a visit.

Glaramara has two summits, it is easy when tired and lagging behind a little to head around the east side of the southern summit and miss the west side foot path, which leads to the top of the northern summit and the final walk down to the path following Grains Gill. The track off Glaramara is marked with small cairns, this enables a swift reduction in height, beneficial on two accounts, the sun was setting we were losing light, and it had also been a challenging day on the hills for some of us ….but we did not mind at all.

The hut was a welcome sight, with boots off, a brew on, the only thing left to do was relax around the stove….snooze if desired….later that evening some did (while some of the others went to the pub!).

On Sunday, most of the group decided on a route on some of the lower fells along the eastern side of Borrowdale - High Seat, Bleaberry Fell, Falcon Crag - before heading back south.

To view some outstanding photographs taken by Ian during this meet please go through the  gallery section. The photographs are in the  Seathwaite, Lake District album

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