|Date:||28 Aug 2017||Weather:||18’C, cloudy, light wind|
|Height gain:||1,368 ft||Distance:||5.5 miles|
|Time taken:||4 hours 20 mins||Wainwrights:||32,33 of 214|
Route: From Darling How car park following logging track before turning right up to Lord’s Seat then across to Broom Fell, heading north west off summit on path via Widows Hause and re-joining logging track back to car park.
S’s cold is progressing but he’s willing to give a proper hill walk a go. It’s warm and not too windy but a bit murky with a few spots of rain as we walk. The parking ground is good and once we have our boots on we head off down the wide logging road which gradually rises at a steady gradient.
After nearly a mile S realises that we’ve missed the path we should have taken off to the left. We double back for quarter of a mile and wander backwards and forwards until we’re sure from consulting the map and the GPS that we’re at the path. It is, however, completely overgrown and impassable. We consult the map and think we can carry on following logging tracks and meet another footpath higher up the hill.
We carry on along the track and follow it into the plantations. There’s lots of felled trees around us and signs saying no access due to forestry work. There’s no-one working today and we only have a short section to get through before we reach the footpath beyond the woods so we decide to carry on. As we look down at the map to check all this the lens falls out of S’s glasses. We try and fail to repair it so not only is the cold making him feel a bit rubbish he now can’t see properly either.
Despite all this he agrees to press on and after picking our way carefully through the rest of the wood over the fallen trees we reach the end of the plantation at a wall. We find a place to clamber over the wall and then turn right and follow it up the hill. The going is steep and initially we’re not quite sure we’re going the right way but as we climb it becomes more obvious that this is a path and we are heading for the top of Lord’s Seat.
Finally, after two and a quarter hours to scale 1,000ft, we reach the top:
It’s misty and murky by now so the views aren’t great. We look down at Barf which we had planned to do next. Skiddaw and Blencathra are behind it but we can’t tell:
We decide that Barf looks too far down and too far out of our way to include today so instead head directly for Broom Fell. It’s a straightforward short descent into the depression and only 120ft of ascent and we make it in 25 minutes:
There are nice views down to Bassenthwaite but Skiddaw is still feeling shy in the cloud:
We find ourselves a spot to sit to try and give S a chance to recover a bit before thinking about setting off down. We look back over to Lord’s Seat and what was the easiest part of today’s walk:
Finally we decide to find the route down. We follow the wall and the first 500ft are steep but on good terrain and we make swift progress. However, the path then becomes indistinct and the ground covered in ferns and bog. We have to cross a beck – a large leap and a steep walk up the other side.
We reach a second beck and splosh through this one and clamber up the muddy bank on the other side and finally find a track. It’s very overgrown and hard going and we realise this is the path we were supposed to take earlier but decided against.
The last section up to the logging road is challenging and we haul ourselves through the waist high ferns and bracken and finally clamber out onto the road – a huge relief.
The final three quarters of a mile back to the car is blissfully easy and we finally make it back.
I think today’s walk was impacted from all sides – not great weather, S’s germs and paths which proved to be hard going. If we do these again we won’t be using the same routes.