Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Bob Graham Round Leg 4 – 03 April

A Clockwise Leg 4 (Wasdale – Honister) recce with Andy & Declan meant starting at Honister and traversing under Grey Knotts and Brandreth to reach Moses Trod for Beck Head and the descent to Wasdale Head. On a clear day this is route blessed with stunning views of the surrounding high fells and three wonderful valleys (Buttermere, Ennerdale and Wasdale) but Sunday wasn’t a clear day.

BGR L4 001Buttermere with Crummock Water beyond, Haystacks on the left and Fleetwith Pike on the right

BGR L4 002Ennerdale

BGR L4 003Haystacks with Ennerdale on the left and Buttermere on the right

BGR L4 005Andy & Declan descending to Wasdale Head

BGR L4 009About to start the climb out of Wasdale to Yewbarrow summit

The low clouds neither lifted nor blew away and it wasn’t long before we were enveloped again – at Beck Head the visibility was so poor we wondered if we had reached the right pass, we had but it was a little unnerving. It was also a good while before we dropped out of the cloud to see, to our considerable relief, the familiar sight of Wasdale Head.

The long ridge from Dore Head to Scoat Fell passed without incident or view but the clouds drifted to and fro over Steeple summit where the wind seemed colder than anywhere else.

BGR L4 022Steeple summit clearing as Declan & Andy reach it

BGR L4 024Steeple summit seconds later

BGR L4 028Upper Ennerdale with Black Sail Youth Hostel

Black Sail Pass enabled us to drop out of the clouds and enjoy views into Ennerdale and over some of the summits beyond but thereafter we were back to navigating inside the clouds almost until the final descent to Honister Pass.

 

BGR L4 031Declan pointing the way from Grey Knotts with the Leg 5 fells beyond

Despite  the lack of visibility Andy got us from Honister to Wasdale and back over the correct summits without incident, without having been over the leg before, using Bob Wightman’s notes. This route, in reverse, was my last recce before my own (anti-clockwise) attempt in June 2006 on a clear sunny day – so hot that we lay in warm sunshine on Steeple for lunch. Not only was the weather on Sunday something of a contrast but some sections of the route are very different and they were particularly interesting.

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