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Walk Details - 07/08/2014 Bakestall, Dead Crags, Dash Falls... and Betty's half century!

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Conditions:
Ali (Ali Watson)
1633 ft. (GPS Measured)
4.16 miles (GPS Measured)
2hrs 58mins
Betty and me
Laneside parking near Peter House Farm
Moderate
Patchy sun, light breeze. warm and quite humid
Route:
Farm road to Dead Beck, steep climb over .... Moss, Bakestall, Birkett Edge
Direction:
Anti-clockwise
Type of walk:
Fell walk
Tagged walkers:
Betty

Ali's Walk Summary/Comments:
Being slightly out of shape a short easy walk was required for today, so I opted for a wander up Bakestall. This was the last uncharted fell on the main Skiddaw Massif for Betty, so it seemed like a good one to visit. The walk was definately short, so objective number one achieved. As for easy... not quite, the climb up didn't quite meet that criteria!

The wander along the tarmac farm track from Peter House was very enjoyable. It's an easy gradient and the views of the surrounding fells open up more and more as you progress. All sounding good until we met the steep climb that runs parallel to Dead Beck. The first five hundred feet or so are steep. It's fairly easy to keep to the path, but it's steep.

Reaching the edge of Dead Crags at just over 1500ft, we thankfully reached a small flat plateau. Although a bit boggy, it was a welcome relief from the relentlessly steep climb up to this point (think I may have missed mentioning that the bit up to here was steep!).

Wainwright's suggested course from here closely follows the line of the crags, but there were no visible signs of a path around. Being a complete lightweight when it comes to heights, I opted for forging a brand new "Coward's Route" up the hill. Needless to say it was well away from the drop! Unfortunately though it was over spongy grass and heather so was quite hard going...

Never mind, we eventually made it and reached Bakestall's small flat summit. Being realistic, you can't classify the outlook from this point as truly stunning. Dead Crags isn't visible from above and there is very little real drama on offer - no towering crags, gaping chasms or sharp ridges, and the vast majority of Lake District fells are obscured by the gentler sides of Blencathra and Skiddaw. Despite all this though, the view is utterly wonderful. I suppose you just have to like the character of these hills to fully appreciate them... gently rolling grass and heather clad fells with fantastic colours to enhance their appearance. A wonderful experience, made all the better for how peaceful it is around here. A few hundred yards away, no doubt there would be dozens of people out and about on Skiddaw on a clear day like this - down here though we had the whole hill to ourselves! Bonus...

An easy stroll ensued down Birkett Edge, admiring the views ahead, before meeting the main Skiddaw House track agin. I'd been looking forward to seeing the Whitewater Dash falls at this point, but was slightly disappointed to only be able to see the top part of them before the track lead away, obscuring the main drops. Well you can't have everything I suppose! You can see the main falls from across the valley though if you look back.

A very easy plod back completed a short but altogether enjoyable wander. More often than not you leave Lake District hills with a sense of achievement, and despite the shortness of this walk this was no exception. To add to this, within a few short days I'd reached my 200th Wainwright and Betty had reached her 50th! Marvellous!

Area:Lake District - Northern - Cumbria
Fells climbed:Bakestall
POI's:No POI's.
OS Outdoor Leisure:4N 4S
OS Landranger:89 90
Classifications:
Wainwrights - 1 : Birketts - 1

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