Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Middle Fell, Seatallan and Buckbarrow

great view of the Scafells from Middle Fell

A mid day set off to bag three Wainwrights in Wasdale.  Today was very hot.  Sunscreen, 2 litres of water and a very funny looking (but very functional) hat made the heat quite manageable.  There were a lot of flies about on Middle Fell but not really anywhere else.

5.5 miles from Greendale

it must be hot to swim in Wast Water
Greendale is the small hamlet you pass through on the way to Wasdale Head.  It's where the legendary fell runner Joss Naylor lives.

One of those things that you don't notice until someone points it out, and then you notice all the time, is how well kept the stone walls are around Greendale.  Perhaps a retired sheep farmer with a lot of spare energy spends some of his time maintaining these walls?

Greendale is where my walk started from today.  There is a small parking area just past the houses with room for about five cars.  The path up to Greendale Tarn is clear through the heather and is easy to follow.  As the path curves around the fell, another path leads off over the summit of Middle Fell.  Today, the walk up that path was very hard work, sweaty and slow but I imagine most of the year, it's a fairly easy stroll.

Greendale and those walls (my car is parked to the left of the houses).

Middle Fell is in a great situation.  The views over the Scafells today were breathtaking.  The shadows of clouds made the cloud look really low.  All the Wasdale big hitters were visible today but it was the view to the Scafells which took centre stage.  There were lots of flies on Middle Fell, meaning that I didn't stick around too long.  The climb to Middle Fell was the hardest part of the day and, once I was up here, it was very easy going for the rest of the walk.

Scafells from Middle Fell

Wasdale Screes

From the top of Middle Fell, there is a nice path down to a bit of a boggy section between Middle Fell and Seatallan.  The climb up Seatallan looks quite daunting but it is not difficult and is soon over.

looking back to Middle Fell with Greendale Tarn on the right.  The path I took is visible to the left

The top of Seatallan is flat and green, surely prime candidate for a wildcamp?  From the top you can see over to the sea and, in the other direction, the Scafells peek over the top.

over to the sea.  Sellafield is just visible

Scafells peeking over

grassy descent
From Seatallan, there is a really nice grassy path that goes down towards an area marked as Cat Bields.  I followed this for quite a way and then headed off directly to Buckbarrow.  This track would be great to run on and has been noted for the future.

As you approach Buckbarrow, there is a cairn to the right.  This is not the summit, the actual summit is further on, on a separate mound.

Once I had located the summit, I followed paths which took me towards Greendale Gill.  I could have followed a path around the crag which would have taken me further up the road but I decided to descend down another Gill, cross the main Gill and then climb up to the path I had started on which I could see.  From here it was an easy and pleasant descent back to the car.

over to Buckbarrow

once again, the Scafells - Middle Fell in the foreground
from Buckbarrow looking back towards the Scafells with the head of Wast Water visible

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