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Walk Details - 13/01/2013 Around the head of Bannerdale - The Nab to Beda Fell

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Time taken:
Ali (Ali Watson)
3569 ft. (GPS Measured)
11.8 miles (GPS Measured)
5hrs 57mins
Me, myself and I
Roadside by Martindale Old Church
Cold and clear to start, then the clouds came in and brought snow
Under Heck Crag, Angle Tarn, Rest Dodd and the Nab, Brock Crags, Angletarn Pikes, Beda Fell ridge
Type of walk:
Fell walk

Ali's Walk Summary/Comments:
I was on my own again today, everyone was busy and I couldn't even take the dog as she'd been under the knife a couple of days ago having her 'lady bits' removed. I planned this route to take in a couple of the Far Eastern Fells that had so far eluded me, The Nab and Beda Fell. The Nab is a bit awkward to include due to the restrictions on walking because of the Deer Forest. Although these restrictions have been relaxed of late, I resolved to take it in using the only recognised route, namely out along the ridge and back the same way.

It was a cold but clear start to the day. On the drive up I was even treated to the early morning sun illuminating the Howgills in stunning fashion. Arriving in Martindale though cloud cover had to started to come in, albeit quite high at this point. Mine was the only car parked at the old church, and as I'd only seen two at the new church I thought it may be fairly quiet on the fells. As it turned out it was bloody quiet!

A mile of road rambling to Dale Head farm began the walk, before heading out onto the path leading up towards the top end of Bannerdale. This is a lovely valley, and with very little wind it was incredibly tranquil. My route took me under the impressive buttress of Heck Crag. The path cuts across the fairly steep hillside and I felt a bit nervous at a couple of points where it becomes almost a vertical drop - to be fair I don't think most people will have a problem with it... and I am an abject coward when it comes to heights! Uneasy bits aside, this is a tremendous ascent. Reaching the top the wonderful Angle Tarn came into view - unsurprisingly I saw a couple of small groups making their way around the far side. After admiring the view I headed off along the top of Sutura Crag for Rest Dodd. Just shy of the summit I came across two seperate parties on their way down - and after these, I didn't see a soul for the rest of the walk. From Rest Dodd I could see clouds were rapidly advancing across Helvellyn the Eastern Fells. Hoping they would stay over there, I headed down towards The Nab.

Most of the route along the ridge is a fairly easy grassy path, but it is broken up by a few horrendous looking peat bogs, reminiscent of some of the worst that Bowland has to offer. Luckily it was all frozen over so I crossed it easily. As I approached the top the cloud had well and truly arrived and it started snowing. With little to look at, I quickly doubled back and followed the wall around Rest Dodd.

The thick cloud seemed to give way for a short while as I returned to Angle Tarn and took in Brock Crags, but came back in with a vengence as I approached Angletarn Pikes. Cloud or not though, I never expected to have this area of the Lakes all to myself... complete bonus! The cloud was so thick on top of the pikes that from each summit I couldn't see the other, despite them being only a few hundred yards apart.

Leaving the Pikes, I ambled along the gently undulating ridge of Beda Fell, possibly the part of walk I enjoyed most, despite the limited visibility... light snow, gentle breeze, an easy path and the mist ocassionally lifting slightly to afford glimpses into the tranquil valleys of Bannerdale and Boredale.

A thoroughly enjoyable walk, made even more so by practically having the place to myself (not that I'm a completely anti-social bugger, but sometimes the solitude is very welcome!). It was with a twinge of sadness that I left Martindale - having completed all the fells in this area and with a fair chunk of the Lake District still uncharted, it may be some time before I'll be back...

Area:Lake District - Far Eastern - Cumbria
Fells climbed:Rest Dodd - The Nab - Brock Crags - Angletarn Pike South Top - Angletarn Pikes - Beda Fell [Beda Head]
POI's:Angle Tarn (Hartsop)
OS Outdoor Leisure:5S OL5
OS Landranger: 90
Wainwrights - 5 : Nuttalls - 1 : Hewitts - 1 : Birketts - 6 : Deweys - 3 : HuMPs - 1

Downloadble .gpx file
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Route OS Map

 ***** WARNING *****
On the route under Heck Crag, the path is sometimes narrow with a steep drop off - occasionally feels a bit exposed if you have a healthy fear of falling (me)
***** WARNING *****


Walk Photos
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