Grange Fell above Borrowdale.
Route. Grange - Grange Bridge - Cummacatta Wood - Long Moss - King's How - Long Moss - Brund Fell - Jopplety How - Puddingstone Bank - Great Crag - Dock Tarn - Lingy End - Stonethwaite - Rosthwaite - New Bridge - Jaws of Borrowdale - Grange.
Notes. Grange Fell a complex landscape of heather covered hummocks, tussock grass and peat bog, a wide tract of upland where the bones of the land break through the peaty top soil, Rocky tors with names such as King's How, Brund Fell, Jopplety How and not to forget Ether Knott the highest point on this fell of many high points. Ether Knott was off my route today but to make up for any dissapointment, when I turned my back on Grange Fell I looked to Great Crag and tiny Dock Tarn, a gem in a mountain setting. You're welcome to come along just put some waterproof boots on, this can be a wet walk after heavy weather, it all adds to the adventure.
I parked next to Grange Bridge, there's enough room for a few cars but get there early. Good old Borrowdale weather welcomed me, heavy drizzle backed by a cool breeze, it may stop later, it may not. After fording the river at Grange Bridge I turned right, wandered passed a large house to reach a small gate allowing access to Cummacotta Wood, this inconspicuous green trod was to be my guide into the hills.
Through dripping birch woods I ascended, masses of moss covered boulders lined the path edges as I ascended in the company of a small stream tumbling from a high coll, once on the coll the path swung right, ascending over boulders, through knee high heather before swinging round to the Borrowdale face of the hill for the final pull to the summit. With wind and rain battering the rocky top I refused to hang around, I wandered south before turning east to cross Long Moss (not as wet as it sounds), after vaulting a stile the long easy ascent of Brund Fell began. Once on Brund Fells rocky crown I descided not to bag Ether Knott, it looked an awfull long way off and I'd have to walk back, so I bagged Jopplety How before descending to a dry stone wall, a ladder stile allowed access to the next tract of upland.
After crossing said stile I turned south, a dry stone wall was to be my companion as far as the Watendlath path at the delightfully named Puddingstone Bank. On reaching said path under strange looks from other walkers I walked straight across ignoring this ever popular route and continued over desolate moor land. Not as wet as I expected, progress was easy, I made good time and was soon ascending Great Crag, a much overlooked gem with stunning views, number 71 on the Wainwright list, and I bet it's only Wainwright aficinados who ascend it.
Once I'd visited it's twin summits I wandered on to tiny Dock Tarn, took a few snaps then begun the long descent to Stonethwaite in Borrowdale, the start of a delightful valley walk. Much of the descent was to the sound track of Willygrass Gill, many cataracts plunge down the hill side, it wasn't long before I was plunging through the oak woods on Lingy End, slippery under foot. Safely on the valley floor ancient tracks and foot-paths guided me to Rosthwaite and the banks of the River Derwent, I wandered under the cliffs of Castle Crag, passed through birch and oak woods, by the time I stepped onto tarmac at Hollows Farm I'd walked just about far enough, the short walk back along the lane was easy on the feet, heaven on the joints, a delight at the end of the day.
view route nap.
Grange Bridge with King's How towering behind.
Ascending through an Autumnal wonderland, looking to the Greatend Crags of King's How.
Long Moss with King's How rising to the right.
Near the summit with views over birch woods to Derwent Water.
From the summit of King's How views to my final top of the day, Great Crag.
Ascending Grange Fell, about to be swallowed up by the boulders of Brund Fell and Jopplety How.
Traversing the summit of Brund Fell.
Taking in the view from Brund Fell, to the left Great Crag, across the valley the Borrowdale Fells, Rosthwaite Fell and Thornythwaite Fell.
Romping along with the wind and rain in my face, looking back to Ether Knott.
The mountain oasis of Watendlath, seen from the ascent of Great Crag.
Great Crag, twin summits and a view back to King's How.
A gem in a mountain setting, Dock Tarn....
....on a nice day a good place to sit back, rest your head on a tuft of heather and let the day slip away.
Descending in the company of Willygrass Gill.
A touch of magic, with the sun on my back views to a cloud capped Base Brown, Brandreth and Grey Knotts.
The valley of Langstrath guarded by mighty Eagle Crag and Sergeant's Crag.
Striding out between dry stone walls looking to King's How.
Rising from the Jaws of Borrowdale, King's How.
Low Hows Wood passed through en route back to Grange.
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