Start/Finish: Skelwith Bridge
Wainwrights: Black Fell & Holme Fell
Distance: 8.1 Miles
Height Gained: 2013 feet
Time Taken: 5 hours
|View of the day: Windermere from Holme Fell
|The route: Clockwise from Skelwith Bridge (top right)
The forecast was poor. Low cloud and some rain. I figured it might be a good day to tick off some of the smaller Wainwrights that had a chance of staying below the cloud base. This was a blessing in disguise as I was feeling particularly unfit after a 3 month absence from the fells. From the 'to-do' list, Black Fell and Holme Fell looked good for a nice low level circuit.
|The little road from Skelwith Bridge
|The scent of spring
|The first of many lovely little cottages seen today
The walk started well enough. A nice woodland path lined with bluebells and freshly unfurling bracken. There wasn't an obvious path up onto Black Fell so I just headed upwards along vague forestry tracks until one materialised near the summit. It's a nice little fell, well placed to peruse the surrounding area and offering particularly good views of Windermere.
|Views over to Loughrigg
|Windermere from the summit
|Summit trig - named Black 'Crag', despite there being minimal 'craggyness'
From here my intention was to make a beeline straight towards Holme Fell but that route looked a little dull. I consulted the map over a Coffee and a Tunnocks wafer and decided that I should probably extend the walk around Tarn Hows which would be far more picturesque.
|Looking over to Holme Fell and Wetherlam beyond
|A path and some trees
At this point the rain set in. The forecast predicted a few fleeting light showers and so I put my trust in the met office and stubbornly left the waterproofs and rucksack cover in the pack. The rain became heavier. I passed a few goretex clad people who glanced at me with knowing looks of superiority. The rain became torrential. Eventually I accepted defeat, took shelter under a tree and begrudgingly donned the shell jacket and fitted the rucksack cover. I set off with renewed purpose. The rain stopped. I stubbornly left the waterproofs on as I convinced myself that the clouds still looked threatening. The sun came out. I passed a few people in T-shirts who glanced at me with knowing looks of superiority. I started sweating. Eventually I accepted defeat and took off the waterproof garb. I continued on with a niggling feeling that there was probably a lesson to be learned here about using layers effectively but convinced that my many years of hill walking experience meant I was already an expert in such matters.
|Tarn Hows looks pretty in any weather - even though it is entirely man made
|Tarn Hows in October 2012 - from a previous walk in better weather
I followed the waterfalls path down from Tarn Hows to Yew Tree Farm and then up onto Holme Fell.
|Yew Tree Farm
|Holme Fell, looking quite ominous for its size
|Wild Garlic - You can almost smell it!
|A giant killer slug
|A fell cow
|A fell cow savaging the local flora
|Hunting in packs
|Views over to Langdale from Ivy Crag
|The real summit of Holme Fell is over there, with Wetherlam beyond
|Lunch spot view of Windermere from Holme Fell summit
|Funny looking 'Reservoir'
|The old slate quarry
|Venue for next years 'Red Bull cliff diving' event
|Yeh I could live there ...
|... and there
|A cryptic message asking dog owners to introduce their pets to leads
|Ahhh ..... or should that be Bahhh
|I could live there too ...
|Yep I could definitely adjust to such squalor
|I could even tolerate the ram shackled garden