Saturday, May 18, 2013

Carrock Fell and High Pike Navigation Practice

Summit Dork - High Pike

The forecast was atrocious.  Severe weather warnings, heavy rain, risk of lightening and very low cloud.  A perfect day for testing waterproofs and practising navigation.  I've been looking at this route for some time.  It's a fairly straightforward 7ish mile loop around the Caldbeck area.  Carrock Fell and High Pike were Wainwrights that needed bagging too.

6.5 miles

path up to Carrock Fell
We parked in an area labelled 'Apronful of Stones', how lovely.  We took the steep path up alongside the beck and carried on directly to the top of Carrock Fell.  Not long after getting up the steep part of the path, the clagg was down and visibility was approximately 20 metres.  I was pleased about this as it gave me a good opportunity to practice using my compass.  Where the path came very close to the beck, I took a bearing and we successfully followed it to the summit of Carrock Fell.

Pleased with myself, I took another bearing to Miton Hill.  We ended up on Round Knott.  If you look at the map, you can see that we approached Round Knott from the north east.  My natural inclination would have been to go straight across, carrying on in a south west direction, dropping towards Iron Crags.  A further compass bearing showed that we should turn and got us back on the track over Miton Hill. 

Carrock Fell

chief navigator - on Carrock Fell

193, 194, 195
Another technique we practised was pacing distances.  I estimated that it was 300 metres before we would join up with the Cumbria Way track.  At roughly 65 double steps per 100 metres, this meant that in 195 paces before we got to the track.

The picture on the right shows where I stopped at 195.  That is the Cumbria Way track right in front of me.  I was pretty impressed with myself for that!

Once on this track, we estimated a further 100 metres before the track turned off to the right to High Pike.  Bizarrely, we were a bit further off with this estimation but it helped us to work out which path we needed to take.  We had a go at running up the track to High Pike and got most of the way.

After monkeying around on the summit for a bit, we took a bearing straight off the side down to the main path.  We were heading for a path junction and my plan was to aim-off: to deliberately intersect the path before the junction so that we were clear to continue north, rather than wonder if we had gone past it and head south.  However, as we set off the cloud lifted a bit and we could clearly see the path junction so we just headed towards it.

up to High Pike.  The seat in profile

nice place for a seat

High Pike

this plaque agreed with my compass

Cloud lifting slightly allowing us to see the path junction

Jonathan avoids the bridge
We then took a nice track down through the old mine area, along the side of Carrock Beck, down to the road.  We ran along the road for about a mile and then got changed and headed to the pub for a pint.

This was a successful day.  It's great to get out when the odds are against you.  My navigation was successful and my confidence in this area is growing.

Oh, and two more Wainwrights bagged!

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