High Tove

Saturday, 31 May 2014
10.8miles/17.4km
2130ft/650m ascent
Wainwright #151, #152, #153, #154 & #155


Tove, noun
1) A Scandinavian female name (occasionally male).
2) A fictional creature created by Lewis Carroll (frequently “slithy”).
3) High Tove, a mountain in the Lake District (“shockingly wet” and “without any redeeming feature”).

We read the warnings in the Wainwright’s guidebook, but set out anyway to walk the ridge that separates Thirlmere from Derwent Water.  The photograph shows three perplexed fell walkers gazing over the ‘tove’ trying to spot a slightly less soggy route through the mire.  We encountered few other walkers on this route, and two of them had been in over their knees in the swamp.

Pat and Jim joined us as we walked from Ashness Bridge, gently climbing to Walla Crag (1243ft/379m) with extensive views of Skiddaw (3054ft/931m), Blencathra (2848ft/868m), Derwent Water and the fells beyond.

Walla CragBorrowdale

From this point onwards the ground got progressively wetter as we climbed for Bleaberry Fell (1936ft/590m) and then the highest hill on the walk – High Seat (1995ft/608m).

Bassenthwaite LakeHigh Seat from Armboth FellBlencathraThe View West

We spent the next two hours in an amusing stroll through the marshes of High Tove (1690ft/515m) and Armboth Fell (1572ft/479m) stopping when Pat and Jim (keen amateur naturalists) pointed out an interesting plant or moth.  (Once a tiny feature has been pointed out, you start noticing it everywhere).

Grange FellWatendlath

Leaving High Tove behind us we walked down an increasingly dry path to Watendlath and a cup of tea to celebrate our dry feet.  By now the sun was bright and warm and the walk back provided some fabulous views of Derwent Water.

Lodore WoodsDerwent WaterSkiddawSunshine Us


Route

From the National Trust car park at NY269197.

High Seat Route

Dodds

Monday, 14 April 2014
11.4 miles/18.3km
2730ft/831m ascent
Wainwright #131, #132, #133, #134 & #135

A rounded grass covered hill in the Lake District is called a Dodd, and the Northern end of the Helvellyn range is a series of this type of hill.  The start of the walk follows a track with views of Great Mell Fell (2,480ft/756m) and the huge sculpted mass of Blencathra (2,848ft/868m).

Great Mell FellBlencathra

The Northern-most hill of the ridge is Clough Head (2,382ft/726m) which has a stunning view of the Northern, Central and North Western fells, from the top it is possible to see Bassenthwaite Lake, Derwent Water and Thirlmere, and the distant Coniston fells and Scafell Pikes, while to the North, Blencathra and Skiddaw (3,054ft/931m) dominate.

SkiddawBlencathra 2

The most amazing view is the stacked tiers of mountains to the West.

Clough Head Summit

From Clough Head we followed the ridge South across Great Dodd (2,812ft/857m), Watson’s Dodd (2,589ft/789m) and Stybarrow Dodd (2,766ft/843m) before turning East to Hart Side (2,480ft/756m).

Great Dodd

DoddsHart Side

There is a distinctly different feeling to the rounded gentle grass covered slopes of the Dodds, compared to the craggy ridges of Helvellyn where we were walking yesterday.

Helvellyn

The final stretch of the route is a decent through increasingly wet and boggy ground and then a disheartening uphill walk along the road back to the car.


 Route

From the car park at High Row (NY380219)

Great Dodd Route

Cadair Berwyn

Sunday, 2 February 2014
5.6miles/9.1km
2040ft/620m ascent
Trail 100 #22


Cadair Berwyn Pistyll RhaeadrAfter a long drive we arrived to discover the road was closed. Really disappointed until we found the short diversion and set off up the long valley road to Pistyll Rhaeadr. Sections of the narrow track were flooded, by the time we left one section was almost impassable. The waterfall was impressive as we set off on a warm sunny day.

Half an hour later we got our first sight of the tops and immediately regretted leaving the crampons in the car.

Cadair Berwyn and Moel Sych

 

 

We struggled up the snow covered bog leading to the first summit of Moel Sych (2713ft/827m), where a beautiful white snowfield led along the ridge to Cadair Berwyn (2723ft/830m). Crampons would have been really useful here on the ice covered snow. We stopped at the summit and didn’t go on the short distance to the trig point – with the right kit this would have been easy.

Cadair Berwyn SnowfieldCadair Berwyn Descent

The descent took us past the very pretty Llyn Luncaws which reminded us of Scales Tarn at the foot of Blencathra.

Cadair Berwyn Llyn Lluncaws

A soaking fine rain started as we got into the valley and crossing the swollen stream was a real challenge.

 

We were a bit disappointed that the cafe didn’t take cards, we didn’t have enough cash. So we sat in the car and drank coffee from the Thermos.


Route

Starting at the Pistyll Rhaeadr car park  (SJ073294).

 

Cadair Berwyn Route