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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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Route OS Map

 
 


Walk Photos
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Track leading from Peter House - Cockup directly ahead, with Dead Crags just peeking round the corner and Little Calva to the left
 
 


 
 

Looking towards Dash Farm and the fabulous rolling Back o' Skiddaw fells
 
 


 
 

Ah bugger - that looks steep... the path roughly follows the slight depression running up the hill. Dead Beck is the stream cascading down to the right
 
 


 
 

Yup... it's steep! Probably about 45 degrees up to the point we reached the start of Dead Crags
 
 


 
 

Binsey - looking back the way we came from one of my many scenery stops (breathers)
 
 


 
 

The small flat but boggy bit before the final ascent.... 600ft climbing on spongy grass.... lovely
 
 


 
 

From as near the edge of the crags as I cared to go! Little Calva above the Dash Falls... the bend in the track below is where we descended to
 
 


 
 

Betty panting as we reached Bakestall's short flat top. Skiddaw looming up behind
 
 


 
 

And that's FIFTY! Betty clambering over Bakestall's modest cairn as she reaches her half century... to many breeds of dog this is nothing, but to a pug? Well, have you ever seen one out on the fells?
 
 


 
 

Blencathra and Lonscale Fell - Clough Head and the Dodds visible through the gap between
 
 


 
 

The trio of Knott, Little Calva and Great Calva - Carrock Fell peeping over from behind
 
 


 
 

The Uldale Fells looking splendid and unspoiled from Birkett Edge
 
 


 
 

Dead Crags
 
 


 
 

Dash Beck, just before it tumbles over the edge
 
 


 
 

The top part of Whitewater Dash falls - unfortunately this is as close as the main path gets
 
 


 
 

Great view of the lovely valley hemmed in by Dead Crags and Great Cockup
 
 


 
 

From under Dead Crags - unfortunately this shot is slightly marred by the sun which was directly above
 
 


 
 

From here you get an appreciation of how far the Dash Falls drop
 
 


 



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