Friday, June 14, 2013

Gowbarrow Fell, Little Mell Fell and Great Mell Fell

Gowbarrow Fell summit

I had a few decisions to make today; whether to go out or not, whether to run or walk and whether to do three fells in one round or one at a time, moving my car in between.  In the end I bucked my ideas up, headed out and decided to run around all three.

10.5 miles in about 3 hours (moving time just over 2 hours)

Each of the fells has a road by the side of it, meaning a quick up and down is possible.  I met a couple, on Little Mell Fell and then again on Great Mell Fell who were taking this approach.  They were on their fourth round of the Wainwrights.

From the car park, I headed over towards the beck (which eventually becomes Aira Force).  I don't think I picked precisely the correct place to cross but managed to get across relatively unscathed.  Once across the beck, there was a decent track which splits off up the fell after about 500m.  The track up to Gowbarrow Fell is pitched and well groomed.  At the top of the fell, there were bags of stone and gravel for further repairs or upgrades.  The bits that were complete were nice to run on.

climbing to Gowbarrow Fell, looking back over Ullswater

Gowbarrow Fell summit trig point

On top of Gowbarrow Fell, I made the decision to continue on.  I headed over to Great Meldrum (great name), which I correctly guessed is a Birkett.  From here, I skirted the forest and then nipped across a field to the road to climb up Little Mell Fell.

looking back to Gowbarrow Fell from Great Meldrum

trod up Little Mell Fell from the road.

As I got to the road, I could see the line of ascent on Little Mell Fell.  I saw people heading up there.  Just as I got to the turn off from the road, it started raining heavily so I waited in the woods for 10 minutes, taking shelter from the worst of the rain.

sheltering from the rain

Little Mell Fell might take the award (previously held by Latrigg) as the quickest fell to get up.  Pretty much straight up, follow the trod.  On the way up, I saw the couple coming back down.

Little Mell Fell summit, Great Mell Fell across the way.

I had planned a direct descent to the footpath across to Brownrigg Farm.  However, as I got further down the fell, I saw thick gorse bushes.  Once bitten, I found a route around to the north, along roads for the last part.  I left the road and headed across some fields into the woods.  I thought I might be able to find a direct route through the woods but the bracken was very tall and I ended up skirting around until I found the path along the western side of the woods.

field full of Buttercups.  You can see the gorse bushes on Little Mell Fell that I had to get around.

Once on the path proper, the way up was a fairly constant easy hike.  I ran into the same couple I met on Little Mell Fell and we got chatting.  I carried on up to Great Mell Fell summit and then stopped again for a quick chat to them on the way back.  They were on their fourth round of the Wainwrights and had one Birkett to get, Pen

Great Mell Fell summit - I think that's Place Fell on the left of the v on the horizon, Kirkstone pass goes through the v

I retraced my path back down to the road and then stayed on the roads back to the car park.  My car was parked closer than I thought, that's always a nice end to a run!


  1. Another grest pist with good pics! Is that nemory map you use for the 3d topographic map? I have registered with them but need to shell out for some maps.

    1. Yes, Memory Map. If you register they sometimes have sales. The 3d pics are just screen grabs cut into MS Paint