The Saddleback Slip

The plan was actually to complete the Skiddaw Loop; running out of daylight we turned south rather than north at Mosedale, looping around Blencathra (also known as Saddleback) instead. 
The track which traverses the east flank of Lonscale Fell requires a certain amount of caution at any time, the potential for a slip on the treacherous Skiddaw Slate increasing significantly when wet. In places, slipping here, would in all probability, be a fairly brief and terminal affair. Thankfully I managed to delay the inevitable, taking a tumble beneath Great Calva instead as the wheel sheared off greasy rock, pitching me amongst the reeds and peat bog; a soft if cold, wet landing.
Chris heading rapidly towards the first obstacle of the day. In full spate, the normally diminutive Whit Beck prompted a few circus antics as we tried to cross the waist deep channel keeping feet dry. Had I known what was coming I'd have waded straight through. A tree spanning the beck provided an entertaining solution however.
Having passed beneath Lonscale Fell, the saturated track deteriorates as we approach Skiddaw House, once a gamekeepers' lodge built in 1829 by the Earl of Egremont, now one of the more remote and lonely YHA hostels.
Heading towards Carrock Fell, passing a solitary pine above a swollen River Caldew...
...fed by Grainsgill Beck, another normally diminutive tributary...
...cascading down the fell.
The descent to Mosedale was fast but slow progress overall prompted a change of plan. Opting to complete the circuit of Blencathra meant sticking to tarmac for a while...
...but more delays were in store.
The last leg, along the old railway beneath which the River Greta thundered in full spate, took us quickly and easily back to Keswick before a last climb up the flank of Latrigg brought a wet, slippery and superb day's biking to a close.


Carl said…
Visitors wanting that high fells experience can stay at Skiddaw House. book through the YHA or