BB1420 : 3 Pillars, 2 Crags and a Quarry

Thursday 5th June 2014

Up to the right of Longsleddale, where Lakeland transmutes into moorland, are two minor tops that, if they were not Wainwrights, would be seldom visited.

However, for those on the Wainwright trail, like John, but time constricted, they prove a useful objective.  Nevertheless, it would be better if you could see where you are going!

Actually, there are other reasons to explore the area.  There are three objects marked on the OS map as "Pillar".  I had never given them much thought but in researching the route, I discovered that they were sighting pillars for the engineers plotting the route of the pipeline to convey water from Haweswater to Manchester-a topic mentioned in BB1309. So, added to the Wainwright baggers should be the pipeline junkies, something which I seem to be becoming.

On the other side of the valley is a quarry and there are many walkers who are interested in exploring such features. Stan, for example.

Wrengill Quarry

Apart from ourselves, who between us fall into all three categories, there were no other folk daft enough to venture forth into the clag.


Upper Longsleddale

It was pleasant enough when we parked at Sadgill and set off up the steep climb up Great Howe where, on the edge of Brock Crag, we discovered the first pillar.  This has a fine view down the Longsleddale valley and, to the north, the second pillar could be seen on the horizon.

Pillar 1, looking down Longsleddale

Pillar 2 from Pillar 1

It didn't take long to reach the second pillar, which similarly had a good view south.

Pillar 2's view of Pillar 1 and Longsleddale

John and Stan at Pillar 2

Pillar 3 from Pillar 2

The cloud rolls in

Not all survived the climb

From there, it was a peaty route march to the top of Grey Crag.

Then the cloud rolled in and visibility dropped radically.

Finding the top of Tarn Crag involved map and gps (or in Stan's traditional and more reliable manner, compass) to direct us to a dry stone wall.  

This we followed to a strategic corner then struck off perfectly to the south west, first to find the summit cairn and then the third Pillar.

Comitibus :  Pillar 3

The descent was simple, just follow the wall down out of the mist to the col between Longsleddale and Mosedale, where the Cottage could be clearly seen in the distance.  We debated whether to pay a visit and if we had had more time, we probably would have called in for lunch.

Wrengill quarry from Tarn Crag

Mosedale cottage from Tarn Crag

On this occasion we went the other way, down Brownhowe Bottom to the top of the Gatesgarth Pass where we intended to explore the Wrengill Quarry.  I had it mind that we would climb the track then enter the quarry from the tops we had done on BB1217,

Stan, however, had other ideas.  He led us up the stream which we had to keep re-crossing, leaping from slippery stone to slippery stone to avoid a wetting (unsuccessfully on one occasion as far as I was concerned).

Eventually, after passing various mining relics, we reached a large chamber which, if we had more time, torches and rubber flippers, we might have explored.  As it was, we just wondered what might be found inside.

We escaped from the canyon to find the modest remains of an old building and more relics, a good place to stop for lunch.

Thereafter, it was an easy stroll down the valley back to the car at Sadgill Bridge, the needs of Pillar, Crag and Quarry junkies all satisfied.

Don, Thursday 5th June 2014

Queen's Head, Troutbeck

Over the years, the Queen's Head at Troutbeck has often been a post outing watering hole for us, the most recent being last week on BB1419.

Sadly, it looks like being a long time before we will be able to return as it has suffered what appears to have been a major blaze.  

Click on Westmorland Gazette to read what happened and see dramatic photos.




Thursday 5th June 2014

Distance in miles


Height climbed in feet



Grey Crag, Tarn Crag, Wrengill Quarry


Don, John Hn, Stan


BOOTboys routes are put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading bb1420  .

To discover which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing - although it may not be that up to date - see: Which Wainwright When?

For the latest totals of the mileages and heights (ditto) see: BB Log.


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