Friday, April 18, 2014

The Old Crown Round Fell Race Route

popular day on Skiddaw

A red hot Good Friday was the day we chose to have a crack at The Old Crown Round fell race route.  The route exists in different guises but the premise is that you visit fells that have a beer named after them made by the Hesket Newmarket Brewery and served in The Old Crown Pub.

route and elevation - 22 miles all in

Apronful of Stones - our track up is the one on the left
The race starts and ends at The Old Crown pub but we decided to start and end at a place called 'Apronful of Stones' at the bottom of the track leading up to Carrock Fell.

This is a fairly steep initial climb but then the gradient evens out.  It was cool as we set off, at about 8.30am, but we soon warmed up.  Conditions were very dry making it easier going than the last time I was here in full waterproofs, low cloud and midgie swarms.

Being Good Friday and hot, there were lots of people out and we met the first few on this initial climb and then another person at the summit.

Carrock Fell looking over to Bowscale Fell, our next objective

Heading down from Carrock Fell, Paul guided us on a decent route avoiding the gorse and worst of the rubble and scree.  We danced around a bit looking up and down the river before deciding there was no ideal part to cross and that we should just paddle across.  I wasn't too happy about getting my feet wet so early but there was no other alternative.

at Bowscale Fell looking back to Carrock Fell
Once across, we took it easy on the climb to Bowscale Fell and then took in the nice easy descent to the path junction where you begin the climb of Foule Crag.  Looking over at the mass of people on Sharp Edge, I said to Paul that I had never been over it, so we decided to cut across and head up Blencathra that way.

There were throngs of people crossing Sharp Edge.  Who can blame them, it was ideal conditions, dry with no wind.  I enjoyed going this way, another thing to tick off the list.

Soon enough we were at the top and then we headed down.  We set off descending towards the Cloven Stone but then Paul suggested heading down the gill to the Cumbria Way track.  We did this and aimed our exit onto the track just right, coming out at a bridge about a mile from Skiddaw House, our next point.  Lots more people to say hello to on this track.

Paul tries to count the people on Sharp Edge

zoomed in

looking down to Scales Tarn from Sharp Edge

sharp edge

looking down Hall's Fell Ridge, famous Bob Graham Round descent route from Blencathra

bank holiday Blencathra summit

at the top of the Sale How track looking south to Skiddaw Little Man, a paraglider and lots of fells

up to Skiddaw
The climb up and over Sale How to Skiddaw was difficult.  I've come down this track before and it's a brilliant descent but today, in the heat and with miles already in the bag, it was tough going.  We took it easy, had a few stops, fuelled up and eventually got up to Skiddaw.

We watched a paraglider effortlessly float around above Skiddaw Little Man then joined the bank holiday crowds on the top.

Skiddaw summit
The descent was via the Bob Graham track down Blake Hill and Hare Crag.  A fast descent in good conditions and then another climb up to Great Calva.

This track is always wet but we trudged it out and eventually got to the top.

Great Calva was windy on top.  We checked the map, I adjusted my shoes and socks which hadn't really been right since crossing the river earlier and then scoped out the rest of the route.  The track to Knott looked very manageable.  It was, but it did get steeper as we got nearer.

Great Calva
From Knott we picked out indistinct tracks to Lingy Hut, a bothy type shed building on Great Lingy Hill.  We checked the hut out, I signed the guestbook and then we continued on over on the Cumbria Way.

After not too much more time, the welcome sight of High Pike, our last fell, rose up from the horizon and we trotted up the path to bag the summit.

There is an old mine track that takes you nicely along Carrock Beck and back to the road.  I thought that this would be a nice end to the run but actually found it tough going as my legs were so tired.  
A short run up the road took us back to the car and completed the run.

Knott summit, looking back to Great Calva in the middle, Skiddaw on the top right, Lonscale Fell behind Great Calva on the left.

Lingy Hut

High Pike, last fell - well done Paul!

No comments:

Post a Comment