• This topic has 299 replies, 19 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by Sanny.
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  • Riding the Wainwrights
  • Sanny
    Free Member

    @justinbieber

    That is a properly tough day out. Top effort! I’ve done a double ride up Keppel Cove in a day on the fat bike and it is definitely a toughie. 2 more summits after that would be pretty brutal. Of course, if you were a proper mountain biker, you would have done the Dodds too…..Ha! Ha! Seriously though, I salute you for that. Much respect earned with that ride.


    @Mark88

    I’m just going out and trying stuff on the Wainwright tops to see what goes and what doesn’t. Every day out has been a proper wee adventure. The summits give a great excuse to explore bits of the map that I haven’t been to before.


    @thegeneralist

    Winter or now with this dry spell would be the time to do the Coach Road especially with Justin Bieber’s tech route off the north western end to finish.

    Cheers

    Sannhy

    mark88
    Full Member

    Managed to get out the other day and did The Knott and Angle Tarn Pikes for the first time despite it being on my list for some time. Nice long descent with some interesting bits but nothing too hard (aside from the short drop from Angle Tarn Pike back to the main path – that was great). I followed the footpath all the way into Patterdale which is a far better option than the bridleway towards Hartsop.

    I also did Branstree and Selside Pike on foot. The Wainrights aren’t worth riding but the Old Corpse Road to Haweswater would be a good techy descent – one for the dry I’d suggest.

    Sanny
    Free Member

    Holy thread resurrection time!

    So last Friday was a wee trip into the unknown for me. Met office said sunny but windy. The reality was very windy, a bit showery and the odd glimpse of sunshine through the fast moving cloud. Note to self – always check with MWIS! With the wind blowing fairly heftily from the south west, I opted for a west to east traverse of the fells behind Skiddaw. I started with Binsey – a short but delightful gem with cracking views and a free flowing descent from the top off the main route up. From there, I headed along the back roads to Longlands and took the footpath along the western flank of Longlands Fell up to Trusmadoor. It was a lovely spin up the valley and would make for a nice amble back down. Great Cockup is a short hike a bike up and there looks to be a decent trail westwards off of it. Looking across to Frozen Fell, there looks like a potentially interesting zig zag descent off of it.

    Meal Fell and Great Sca Fell are an easy ride /push / carry up. I then did an out and back to Brae Fell and Longlands Fell. Nothing remotely techn ical but enjoyable grassy decents on easy to follow and remarkably dry trails given the rain of late.

    Knott gives great views in every direction. The track down to the head of Graingill beck was a bit boggy / mossy in places. I went off trail which was a mistake rewarded with my right leg going knee deep in trail gloop at one point.. Lesson learned, not that it needed to be. The trail goes directly past Lingy Hut bothy which is well worth a visit. From there, there is a really well defined doubletrack that looks like it goes all the way down to Calabreck. I nipped off it to summit Great Lingy Hill and found a lovely singletrack through the heather that took me towards High Pike when it rejoined the main path. Again, more great views.

    The ride over to Carrock Fell has some sections of peat bog which were all rideable but would be more challenging in the wet. For anyone tempted to ride off the top of Carrock Fell to Stone End, don’t bother. The top section is rocky without being fun while the bottom section is steep and chutey. I took a line off it and regretted it as I had to break trail over steep ground to get back to the trail proper. With the benefit of hindsight, I should have retraced my steps back to Lingy Hut and ridden down the Graingill Beck bridleway.

    The return leg was via the Cumbria Way to Skiddaw House. The trail starts wide and wet from the end of the singletrack road from Mosedale but soon turns to a really rather nice singletrack trail. Colour me impressed. I had planned to take in Great Calva but the windy conitions and the route error of Carrock Fell meanrt I was in danger of losing the light. On the plus side, the sunset was glorious as I headed down to the road from Melbecks back to Over Water.

    So thoughts on the trails. Really rather lovely, truth be told. I was out all day and took in nine Wainwright summits. It was definitely much more of a ride with a little carrying than the other way round.  Binsey is a smashing little fell while the back of Skiddaw in the Uldale and Caldbeck Fells appears to have a lot of route options for those who are willing to go out and explore. The area feels markedly different from the rest of the Lakes – the fells are rounded with well trodden grassy paths that will appeal to those who want to enjoy a day in the fells without having to bring their techn ical A game to the party.

    Next up are the seven summits west of Whinlatter and Great Calva. Riding those will mean that I will have ridden all of the fells in both the Northern and North Western Fells guidebooks. It also means that I have the perfect excuse to ride the trails below Lonscale Fell again which i have always enjoyed.

    So @thegeneralist @justinbieber @mark88 , any tips for those fells or suggestions where I should ride next? Tempted to ride Red Screes and heading west above Buttermere.

    Anyone else been getting out and enjoying the Wainwrights of late?

    Cheers

    Sanny

    Sanny
    Free Member

    Doh! I wrote Red Screes when I meant Red Pike – ejit!

    Sorry @Fergal I meant to tag you too.

    Cheers

    Sanny

    thegeneralist
    Free Member

    Not me. I’ve sunk into a bit of an exhausted depression. Spend most weekends scrolling through YouTube shorts and hating life, myself and the YouTubers in equal measure…

    Just have no desire to ride anything local and not got the contacts or inspiration to go further afield. Desperately want to do a thirtieth anniversary ride up Ben Lomond but it’s just too far to drive.

    Did a bit of rock climbing last weekend and hoping to get out in the peak again perhaps this weekend. The scary thing is that I can’t work out whether soloing rock climbs is more or less dangerous to my health than doing nothing at home.

    Scratch that. I know it’s much less dangerous. Anyway I’m oversharing.
    Keep posting inspiration ❤️

    fergal
    Free Member

    Hi Sanny yes the grassy fells of the Back O Skiddaw make a nice change from the more technical outings of the Central fells, this summer i spent much of July August exploring these as it’s not far from home, i can go and explore for a few hours. Binsey is a favourite little hill for a quick blast there are about four descents.

    The Knott has a fairly good descent west which is a Bway, starts with some fine singletrack in a little gorge. The zig zags above the Ttusmadoor col look good but in reality are crap, access from Knott to Burn Todd is heather bashing a real shame as they don’t deliver just grass, also the traversing descent on the flank of Great Cockup west is a narrow sheep track over grown with heather another boobie prize!

    Great Calva access by Dash falls and little Calva is another that started well a nice rocky single track descending SW lower down it deteriorates into a boggy heathery rut.

    High Pike has a few worthwhile descents North to Nether row and two descents to Carrock Beck, Red gate marked as a BW and through the old mine both a pleasure.

    Braefell has a grassy quad bike track that goes from the summit NE fun at warp speed.

    Carrock fell the best rideable descent is West from the rocky summit then NE on a fast quad bike track to Caldbreck ford, all these descents can be found on Strava, well most of them as the locals know the good ones.

    Sanny
    Free Member

    @thegeneralist

    Hang in there. If you are not feeling the love but enjoying climbing then climbing is the answer. I’m climbing indoors three times a week at my local bouldering venue and it is great. Forgotten how much I enjoy bouldering. Worn out my trusty La Sportiva Miura shoes  – totally blown through the toes down to the inner leather. Bit taken aback by how much the price of climbing shoes has gone up though. It sounds like changing things up might be the answer.  If you want company for Ben Lomond, happy to tag along. Or maybe break outnthe maps and the Wainwright books and plan a mini adventure?


    @fergal

    Cheers for the local knowledge. Really appreciate the insight especially with regards to Carrock Fell. I was impressed by the tracks up there and the options to explore.

    Cheers

    Sanny

    mark88
    Full Member

    I did ask about Red Pike down to Buttermere a while back but don’t think anyone had ridden it. I think it would be worth a go as a steep techy descent, with a couple of awkward potentially unrideable bits. I think it was @justinbieber that had descended Red Pike towards Scarth Gap (which would give you a couple of extra summits), but I’ve never been that way. I’ve done a few of the others (Starling Dodd, Great Borne, Hen Combe) on foot and don’t recall wishing I was on the bike. Quite boggy from memory.

    I’ve done very little riding this year. Another one not feeling the love for it at present. The only Wainright I’ve done recently was Nab Scar, a lovely little post work loop from Grasmere climbing via Alcock Tarn.

    justinbieber
    Full Member

    Yeah, I’ve carried up Red Pike past Bleaberry Tarn a couple of times, and I’m put off by all the steps right at the bottom so have never ridden it. I always go west to east on there and finish with Scarth Gap.

    @Sanny – your north lakes adventure sounds fun. I’ve never really explored anything up that way, even when we lived in Carlisle – I’d always bypass it and go straight to Keswick.

    Sanny
    Free Member

    So @mark88 @justinbieber @thenorthwind @fergal @thegeneralist @munrobiker

    I have another potential ride for us to try. I walked Striding Edge with my daughter last Monday on a banger of a day. Walking up via Birkhouse Moor, I could not help but get excited at the prospect of riding off the summit shoulder of Catstye Cam, along to Birkhouse and then down the footpath nearest the Birkhouse summit to the camp site far below. There was some stone pitching but none of it looked despair. It actually looked like an awful lot of fun. I shall report back when i ride it.

    Thinking of doing Red Pike from Haystacks soon. I have ridden north west to south east but rather fancy doing it in the other direction for a change so the descents are more mellow and much longer. Has anyone tried it that way starting from Scarth Gap?

    Also, has anyone ridden the footpath off Fleetwith Pike into Buttermere from Warnscale Bothy? Spied it last week so am interested to find out.

    So has anyone else been out lately?

    Cheers

    Sanny

    neilthewheel
    Full Member

    Sanny, just catching up on your posts. Inspiring stuff! I need to get out on those Skiddaw fells.

    Sanny
    Free Member

    @neilthewheel

    They are really rather lovely. Ideal on a long summer day where you can take your time and just bimble along. They were always a bit of an unknown to me so I was delighted to find that they are actually rather pleasant to explore.

    Cheers

    Sanny

    munrobiker
    Free Member

    I’ve always fancied the trail off Fleetwith Pike but have only ever found one post on here that says it goes.

    For your other route, off Catstye Cam, are you on about riding towards Swirral Edge then down off Birkhouse Moor via Little Cove?

    justinbieber
    Full Member

    Are we talking the FP right off the front of Fleetwith Pike? I’ve never ridden it and never been recommended to either – apparently the top section is impossible and it seems a shame to take a punt and waste all that height carrying down when you’ve got Warnscale Bottom as an option. However, the rest of it does look good! Fancy another walk with a bike next time you’re down this way @Munrobiker?


    @Sanny
    – never done Red Pike that way – I’ve always gone NW to SE. Think it’s been discussed on here before, that some sections below Bleaberry Tarn look very awkward/impossible, and that’s before you get to the numerous steps after the wall that drop down to Buttermere. Unless you were thinking of dropping off the ridge a different way?

    Sanny
    Free Member

    @munrobiker

    The footpath off Birkhouse Moor drops off the summit cairn then heads due south briefly before heading down to Gillside. Sprry biut cannot see Little Cove marked on my 1:50000 map.

    For Fleetwith, I would head for the summit then ride the summikt trail back the way you came to the quarry. From there, head down Gatesgarth. I had a right good look down the face of Fleetwith and just thought it would be a despair carry down with maybe a few short sections of riding.

    @justinbieber

    I am with you on not going down the face of Fleetwith pike. Sod that. What I am interested in is the footpath that descends down to Warnscale Bottom. Never walked it but keen to know from folk who have.

    Re Red Pike. My intention would be to ride the path on the edge of the cliffs heading north east down Lingcomb edge or one of the other tracks down to Scale Force. Tempted to head down Starling Dodd and Great Borne as an alternative to maximise time on the fells. I like the idea of nipping onto Hen Comb and Mellbreak for a wee looky look. 

    All

    Has anyone ridden any of the peaks that separate Kirkstone Pass from High Street. Any scope for riding fun round there?

    Cheers

    Sanny

    Sanny
    Free Member

    Time for another update methinks!

    With yesterday looking like a banger, I left the house at half five for the two and a bit hour drive to Keswick. I was on a mission to complete the Northern and North Western Fells. Staring with the outlier, I parked at Latrigg and headed out along the side of Lonscale Fell. It’s is easy to forget just how nice a trail out and back past Skiddaw House that is. That said, I was mindful that this was where John Graham died in 2013 when he came off and fell down a steep gully. I forgot just how sheer the drop is so was careful to hug the inner banking as I rode the exposed bedrock. The gradually thinning clouds made for an atmospheric ride in. Taking the ascent path between Great Calva and Little Calva, I resolved not to ride back down it. It is a morass of soft peat, water troughs and slippery mud. It was not much fun to carry up and would be rubbish as a descent. The summit however is pretty special and affords beautiful views in every direction. Heading down, I headed ssw on a clear rocky track. It got a bit boggy down the bottom but I suspect in the summer would be entirely acceptable. I had thought of heading to Little Calva but I was on the clock. Met a few walkers coming up who were all clearly enjoying the sunshine. The retired chap from Dundee was the winner as he told me he had a retirement cabin beneath Blencathra from which he enjoyed many adventures as he was on his fourth Wainwright round!

    Has anyone ridden off Little Calva or is it a bog of despair?

    Next stop, the rarely visited Sale Fell and Ling Fell. Being unsure of what to expect, these turned out to be gems hidden in plain sight. Both are 100% rideable up and down on easy to navigate paths and grass tracks while the tree lined valley between them was gorgeous in the morning sunshine. It looks like there are several descent options on each. I headed off Sale Fell via a steep track to the valley while there is an option for a longer descent down towards Kelsick Farm. I met a chatty older couple from Cockermouth who were telling me about Cannondales and Oranges of old that they owned and informed me that a couple of gravel bikers were on Ling Fell in front of me. Never saw them but could easily see that it would be fun on a gravel bike (although much more fun on a mountain bike, of course!)

    With time marching on and only limited daylight, I jumped in the car to knock out the 5 summits in Whinlatter. Despite being lower lying fells, they delivered a terrific high level riding experience. Staring with Whinlatter, it is an easy ride up the forest past the Gruffalo Statue with only a five minute carry on the way to the summit. Grizedale Pike and the North Western Fells dominate the skyline but my eyes were drawn to snow capped Skiddaw and Helvellyn in the far distance. Great to see the first snows of the winter. Following a route I had found on Komoot, I was dubious of riding the bowl over to Tarbarrel Moss. Although not on the map, there is a very definite trail which is easy to follow and only has one mercifully short expanse of Spagnum Moss to cross (we are talking only a few feet). It connects with a lovely singletrack trail through dense forest that was a Brucey Bonus. The air hung heavy with moisture which created a Brocken spectre effect when I reached the fire road. Bonus!

    Following my map, I headed up a steep-ish walkers trail that connected to the gravel track that heads on to Lord’s Seat. So you don’t have to, I left the track to cut the corner to reach Barf. In a word, don’t. It is a boggy mess. Far better to stick to the main path to the summit of Lord’s Seat then take the obvious and now much improved path to Barf which makes for a very pleasant out and back. Barf is your classic small hill with incredible views.

    Next up was Lord’s Seat, Broom Fell and Graystones. There was evidence of tyres tracks on the well trodden trails that link them so I was clearly not the first there! With the sun in serious danger of disappearing over the horizon, I was treated to the delights of the golden hour of light as I rode the ridge line. Again, this was not remotely technical but was a lovely place to be. I was tempted to head off the south west edge of Greystones but it was getting properly dark by this point. More by luck than skill, I found a trail through the clear felled forest that took me down towards Lurton. As descents go, it was a means to an end and not a Lakeland classic but as days out go, I really enjoyed myself. I reckon the far western fells are well worth a visit if you want a none too technical day in the Lakes and fancy somewhere off the beaten path. I suspect that on a long summer’s evening, they would be the kind of fells to linger as you enjoy riding with the slow setting sun as your companion.

    So @munrobiker @fergal @mark88 @neilthewheel @thegeneralist @justinbieber have any of you guys been out exploring or have you ridden any of these fells? Would be good to read your thoughts. Also want to read about your ride plans!

    I opted for the Pivot Shuttle SL e bike for my adventure and by the time I got back to the car, I had almost 20% battery left which I thought was pretty good for a cold day in November where the riding greatly exceeded the relatively limited hike a bike.

    So where next? I was set on Red Pike but if we get a hard frost, I rather fancy doing the fells on the eastern flank of Derwent Water, The descent off Grange Fell has piqued my curiosity. May have to break out the fat bike for that given the high bog propensity on the tops. The Dodds last year were amazing frozen so hoping for similar this year.

    I have to say this thread helped light a spark in me. It is fantastic to explore places that I have hitherto ignored in favour of the classic Lakeland routes that I know and love.

    Cheers

    sanny

    Sanny
    Free Member

    @stevedoc @thenorthwind @stuF @Neb

    Sorry. I meant to include you in too.

    Cheers

    Sanny

    Neb
    Full Member

    Hi, apologies I’ve not been following this thread enough. There’s been some good exploring going on!

    I’ve been up red pike a few times, the last time was from the end of ennerdale, up herdus, great borne, starling dodd, over red pike, high stile and high crag before descending down gamlin end towards scarth gap.

    I’ve always descended down towards scarth gap, the top from red pike takes much longer than you think due to the lack of a consistent path, severe exposed edges in places as well so worth doing it in good weather (the views are fantastic anyway so worth getting benefit) the drop down gamlin end towards scarth gap is probably one of the steepest technical descents I’ve ever done, the final drop to the top of the pass is full on too. Not trying to put you off as it’s a hell of a technical challenge and definitely worth a go.Screenshot_20231111-144716

    Good luck and have fun!

    Sanny
    Free Member

    @neb

    Cheers fella.

    Would you do that ride in reverse? Ie carry up with more gentle descending?

    Cheers

    Sanny

    thegeneralist
    Free Member

    Hi Neb
    Where exactly is that pic of?

    Looks ace.

    Sanny
    Free Member

    That will be heading east off the red pike ridge before the steep drop to Scarth Gap given that Great Gable is so prominent in the distance.


    @thegeneralist

    Has the biking love come back yet?

    Cheers

    Sanny

    Sanny
    Free Member

    Oh and has anyone ridden Steel Fell or any of the surrounding fells above Grasmere?

    stevedoc
    Free Member

    @sanny  Ive not done any riding off Red pike or even the 4 pass route . Mainly stuff around Keswick   Kentmere  Glenridding and  Conniston .  Ive gone as far as Gable  but fell short of trying to get to Scarfel , I really must try harder to drop Warnscale  as part of the bash and  get back over somehow.

    Spin
    Free Member

    Oh and has anyone ridden Steel Fell or any of the surrounding fells above Grasmere?

    You’d definitely want dry conditions as a lot of the paths are pretty soft up there.

    thenorthwind
    Full Member

    Have done regrettably little riding (or anything else) in the Lakes since I finished my Wainwright round (mainly on foot) a year ago next week.

    Every time this thread pops back up, it pushes me a little bit more to go back though, so keep it coming.

    justinbieber
    Full Member

    Well done for pushing on – feeling like I’ve hardly been out in the fells recently.

    You missed out on a great descent off Barf – following the footpath down to Beckstones Gill and back into the forest is a brilliant way off the hill. If we head towards Broom Fell and Graystones, again, we’ll cut back into the forest at some point and hunt out some of the enduro tracks.

    Not ridden Steel Fell, but looking at the OS Map, there does seem to be a lot of small bodies of water on the summit ridge. Looks moist!

    Nearby Helm Crag is a local classic – it’s pretty techy in places if you ride the front, but only one bit that’s super gnadgery.

    And I don’t think there’s any gentle descending to be had anywhere nearby Red Pike!

    fergal
    Free Member

    Hi Sanny looks like you had a great day out,   have ridden most of those fells, a few observations, broom fell & Lords seat are ridden often, in summer Lords to Barf in dry conditions is worthwhile, the techy descent off Barf into the forest is a highlight. Again  Sale and Ling fell are a great mini loop and popular with some great singletrack, the easiest descents are great on a gravel bike connected up with minor roads from cockermouth i ride them often,   Low fell above Lorton is also worth doing along the summit to the  descent known as Thacktastic is a local classic.

    Sanny
    Free Member

    @justinbieber


    @fergal

    Appreciate the local knowledge. I looked at the top section of descent off Barf and did wonder about it. However, I was on a mission for Greystones so going entirely the wrong way!

    There has been a shedload of clear felling on the eastern flank of Greystones and the machinery is still there so more to come by the looks of it.

    The track between Lord’s Seat and Barf has had a fair amount of work done to it. I gather that it used to be a boggy mess but there are now long sections of properly built trail meaning that it was a really rather pleasant ride between the two.

    Re Helm Crag. Walked it and will be returning with the bike for sure.

    Has anyone gone up the Terrace Route onto Scafell via Slight Side from Eskdale? I am planning out a route that would do that then drop off the western flank of Scafell down to the old corpse road. Having walked down it in May, I am confident that it will make for a lovely grassy descent after passing the exit of the route up Lord’s Rake. From there, I plan to ride the Illgill Head and Irton Fell ridge as that looks really rather lovely from the research I have done.


    @justinbieber
    Re Red Pike. My plan is to ride down off it via the likes of Little Dodd and Starling Dodd so I can then head to Mellbreak and the surrounding fells. That said, I might just do that in reverse! Ha! Ha! I very much enjoyed the ridge west to east when I rode it last and it would mean that I could ride off Haystacks down via Innominate Tarn.

    Re Low Fell. Which way do you go up and down? I have been looking at that one too.

    Cheers

    Sanny

    Sanny
    Free Member

    @neb

    Re Red Pike.

    How much of a push and carry up via Starling Dodd was it for you? I am happy to carry the entire way but it would be good to hear if there was some riding on the ascent. Fantastic picture by the way.

    Cheers

    Sanny

    justinbieber
    Full Member

    Not ridden Scafell/Scafell Pike yet, and until now I’ve only really been considering it from Styhead/Esk Hause. Definitely looks interesting coming at it from the south, although with the current weather that might be one to delay until next year…

    fergal
    Free Member

    @sanny Re Low fell a nice loop is via Loweswater  take the boat from the B road on N side heading  up hill towards Darling Fell after 1km take a R through gate on old quarry track you are heading for the col between Darling & Low fell, the summit ridge runs N to a track with switchbacks fast but easy to Thackwaite.

    Sanny
    Free Member

    @fergal

    Thanks for that. Really appreciate the heads up.


    @justinbieber

    I will let you know how it goes when I do it. The stuff around Wasdale is

    Sanny
    Free Member

    …… such a long way from anywhere that I will realistically be looking at February / March to do it unless I get a weather window and can do an overnighter down there. Watch this space. It will probably be a case of scoping out several routes in the area and doing them consecutively.

    I have also been looking at the stuff west of Wasdale and the bridleway over to Ennerdale that goes near Haycock. Has anyone explored that?

    Cheers

    Sanny

    fergal
    Free Member

    @sanny

    Had a great adventure starting in Ennerdale late last year, up the valley over Black sail pass for the excellent classic  trail  into Wasdale along the road a bit,  to head up the Nether beck bway to the col then over Haycock all a push carry. There is a walkers path going down the spur north into ennerdale just before the summit of Caw fell, this techy 600m+ singletrack descending back to Ennerdale keeps you on your toes and is a delight, well worth the hike, if it wasn’t so hard to get to it would be a classic and popular descent.

    Sanny
    Free Member

    @fergal

    That sounds smashing. Will definitely check that one out.

    Have you explored around Iron Crag or Crag Fell at all?

    Seatallan via Greendale Tarn looks intriguing as does the trail from it down via Buckbarrow although my reading of my map suggests bog.

    Cheers

    Sanny

    fergal
    Free Member

    @sanny Crag fell is a great little hill good for a few hours, for the best ridable route  start in ennerdale bridge up the road climb of Cold fell, turn L onto a BW climbing up to the back of Crag fell, the descent down to Ennerdale water is popular and  classic.

    Sanny
    Free Member

    @fergal

    That is great. Thanks for that. Do you have any other rides down that neck of the woods or in the rest of the south lakes that you would recommend? It is so good to get local knowledge for these things.

    Cheers

    Sanny

    Sanny
    Free Member

    Cometh the weather. Cometh the rider. Or something like that. With a forecast that could rightly be described as nigh on perfect, my Wainwright explorations continued yesterday. For a change, I was not alone but had the excellent company of my good friend, Gary Fraser, for company – think long suffering / never learning ride companion who still comes out to play despite my propensity for hike a bike.

    But where to ride? There could be only one answer – the fells above the eastern shore of Derwent Water. Gasp! Do you think that is wise, Sanny? Even a fool knows that these are a bog fest – Wainwright wrote as much with dire warnings of “here be dragons!”  Pah! Clearly, he never went up on a frozen blue bird day!

    Starting from Keswick, we headed up past the radio mast for the steep pull up onto Walla Crag. Those who do the Borrowdale Bash will be familiar with it. Great views. 100% rideable up and down. Lovely.

    From there we headed to Bleaberry Fell. A clear track that is easy to follow leads all the way to the summit with a short hike a bike to get to the very top. It is a wee bit rough on the levelling but again totally rideable. As a descent in the other direction, I think it would be a real treat. Not super long but it would be a worthy summer evening blast.

    Next up, High Seat. At less than 2km, it was a straightforward traverse to reach it. There is a short push up at the summit crag but with the ground hard frozen, it made for a lovely potter with a glorious panorama as backdrop. We stopped at the summit crag for sandwiches and looked to the trails to High Tove. these come with a major health warning. Indeed, Gary’s mate Tim who lives in Keswick told us post ride that he had sunk to his chest there at one time in the mud. From a distance, it looked like the trail was one long horror show of ice but Lord be praised, the trail fairies have built a stone pavement that turns the Pewitts from despair to joy. It was like riding in the Peak. Winner!

    Getting greedy, we mooched over to Armbooth Fell – another easy tick on hard frozen ground which would be one to avoid in the wet. Like seriously, don’t! Faced with a choice of heading south or heading west off High Tove, we chose the former going via Middle Crag and the wonderfully named Shivery Knott. This took us to Blea Tarn and the vague Bridleway that descends to Watendlath. Realising that the small cairns marked where the path was meant to be, it was easy enough going on open moorland which eventually took us onto more distinct trail. Again, this would be wetter than an otters pocket normally but in the freeze, it was actually pretty enjoyable. The final steep section into Watendlath was a real pleasure.

    Greedy for more fells, we rode the footpath to Great Crag. Laterally, it becomes a hike a bike. The views from the top are terrific but the stone pitched descent was really tricky in the ice. In the summer, it would be a cool technical challenge. I ended up going off path on the slippier sections but would go back. The traverse across to Grange Fell and the top that is Brund Fell was straightforward in the dying light of the day. We decided to head off via the valley that bisects with Kings How. It starts so promisingly – nice trail, a real feeling of grandeur but when you get to the steps down to Brock Field, it is a major disappointment. Fallen trees and slippery steps meant we had to walk down. In the summer, I have it on good authority that it is greasy. It is a real shame as the bridleway at the bottom is bloody lovely.

    If you want my advice, double back off of Brund Fell and do the traditional Borrowdale Bash descent. You could then ride off road via the Bowder stone and Joplin the trails below Brock Field. Alternatively, there is a track that heads south from below the western edge of the summit and bisects the Borrowdale Bash descent. Anyone done that little number? Tempted to go back and take in Kings Fell then head south on that trail for a look see.

    Looking at kings End, am i right in thinking it is another steppy disappointment?

    So thoughts on a day out? Bloody good fun. Definitely one for the winter or a very dry summer’s day.

    So @justinbieber @thenorthwind @thegeneralist @fergal @stevedoc @neb @mark88 @spin  where have you guys been riding? Any more Lakeland adventures you would like to share?

    Hope you have been getting out in the stunning conditions in the Lakes this week? If the weather continues, I may have a stab at the likes of Steel Fell. No better time to do it I reckon.

    Cheers

    Sanny

    thegeneralist
    Free Member

    Please, please, if anyone is out this weekend…. Take me with you.

    I’m at risk of another sofa hell weekend

    thegeneralist
    Free Member

    PS. Does anyone think this might be a good weekend for those grassy, dull looking Howgills hills that one sees from the M6?

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