Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Shipman, Kentmere, Harter and an interesting Mardale Ill Bell

Spring is wonderful up here in the sunny Lake District, everything is coming out in bloom, the colours in the Trees are just wonderful. Starting to really count down the Wainwrights, only a lucky 13 left now.
We started the walk at the end of the Kentmere, in a peaceful valley where the main noise was that of the woodpecker.
This little stream had many wild Primroses and Violets growing on the banking side.

Walking steeply up Shipman Knott, stopping to catch a quick breath,  then onwards to Kentmere Pike. One of the joys about doing the Wainwrights is that you get to know the peaks and valleys like old friends. Harter Fell was next on the list and so striding out along the ridge we soon came to the Cairn. But with another Cairn not far away, now which was the highest? This is one of the silly things about doing the Wainwrights I some how feel I need to make sure I've been to the highest point! So off we tramped to the second Cairn, But for those who do the same it was an illusion, it was lower in height! Back to base One.
Some mountains do look flat and a little uninteresting but Mardale Ill Bell is not one of those, a rough narrowing ridge path drops to Nan Blield pass at 2,100 ft, before rising again to the summit, with spectacular views down to Small Water Tarn below and beyond Hawswater. Nan Bield was the ancient trading route between Kentmere and the now drowned village of Mardale Green,  Near the shore of Small Water on the descending path are a number of stone shelters, pointers to the earlier importance of the pass. These each provide refuge for one person in extremes, entrance being via crawling. You can guess that I did not go crawling in, Spiders! and maybe Snakes!
Small Water Tarn

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