BB1630 : Something Seldom Seen

Wednesday 24th August 2016

"Today, Terry," I said," I am going to show you something that is seldom seen."

"But I thought I was going to gain three more Wainwrights," he responded, confused.

"We are," I reassured him.  "But look out for it".

"You're not being rude are you?"

"As if!"

His confusion was contagious.  Mike and Tony were similarly baffled. However that wise old man of the mountains, Stan, had an inkling.

We parked by the side of Ullswater and set off climbing alongside Mossdale Beck.  It is steep, wooded and little used. Terry was beginning to think this might be "it", but we were not alone- an adventurous youth was catching us up so it didn't seem that seldom seen.

Arriving at the normal path to the Glenridding Pike summit, he could immediately tell that this could not be "it".  It is a well trod path to a fine viewpoint and plenty of others were advancing to the same destination- Wainwright № 1.

Ullswater glimpsed from near Mossdale Beck

Glenridding Pike summit

Next destination was Sheffield Pike and this time there was no path, defined or otherwise.  Just a steep climb through Heron Crag's rocks and heather and bracken, making sure that we kept away from the cliffs.  Stan insisted on a rather more direct route than that up which I had taken John on BB1518.  Both were seldom used but anyone on them could easily be seen from below.

Heron Crag, Sheffiled Pike les beyond

Against our better judgement, we stopped at the top (W № 2 ). to allow Tony to eat.  It was noon, after all.  I didn't eat much.  A wasp, not a seldom seen type of creature but unseen by me, objected to me eating my jam sandwich and stung me on my little finger.  It's a good job it wasn't inside the butty.  I put the rest away for later consumption.

Gleridding Dodd from Heron Crag

It was a steeper descent than I remembered to Nick Head and ditto the climb to Hart Crag (W № 2 ).  I confess that I pressed on towards its summit with little concern for my colleagues.  I was on a mission.  When I looked back, there was Tony and Terry and Mike but no Stan.  Not seldom seen - just not to be seen at all.  And then when I looked again, there he was.  It transpired that he had taken a detour to include White Stones in his itinery.

White Stones straight on, Hart Crag to the right

Helvellyn with Striding and Swirral Edges

Comitibus: Hart Crag

"But Stan,"  I complained, "I was going to go the White Stones way back!".  A breakdown in communication about which I suspect that Mike and Tony were secretly happy.  Terry however was keen even though it is not a Wainwright and so the two of us thundered off to conquer this lesser peak.  Its summit is quite interesting, being littlered with, well, white stones.

White Stones

Down from White Stones to Nick Head, Sheffield Pike behind

We arranged to regroup at Nick Head, the top of the path down to Glencoyndale.  Stan had underestimated how fast we would be moving so for Terry and me it was quite along wait.  They were nowhere to be seen at all. Here the terrain was wasp-less so I finished rest of my lunch by which time the others were to be seen- at the top of the steep descent.

Once regrouped we set off down the path which fulfilled my worst fears. The ground was steep and the path a narrow traverse.  Just what I don't like. However, soon we did see something seldom seen.  I have in the past been critical of the way in which some tracks on the fells have been gentrified, if that is the right word.  Those in the Kentmere are for example are an awful scar.  However, some of the more recently laid stone paths are far superior and make travelling over difficult terrain much easier.

The descent from Nick Head down Glencoyne

Work in progress

I have never actually seen anyone laying these paths before.  Today, we met three individuals, volunteers we thought, who were digging out the track and laying stone steps that had been delivered by helicopter.  When asked how long it took they replied, if I heard them right, a metre per day. Sounds a bit Majorie Dawish!

Seldom seen but not the Seldom Seen.  That lay a little further along after the path had dropped to the valley floor.  You can just see it in the photo below.

Can you see Seldom Seen?

Seldom Seen is the name of a row of old miners' cottages, now somewhat gentrified. hidden behind a copse.

They are located in a lonely valley that, pre-Wainwright, was probably little visited as not much of it is visible from below and it is not an obvious trade, coffin or droving route.

Definitely Seldom Seen.

It was now a short stroll to the road and the discovery of a the Ullswater Way.

Seldom Seen

Discovery is probably the wrong word as I had seen signs for it last week when we walked the eastern side of Ullswater but thought it was a bit of puff as the westernside of the lake was just road.  Just road it might have been but now there is a path and presumably it travels most of the length of the lake.  Furthermore there are bus stops so undertaking it in small chunks would be quite practical (unlike the eastern side).

That completed the outing apart from finishing up at somewhere frequently seen- the Hawskhead brewery in Staveley. However, here we saw someone who has become seldom seen- a BOOTboy who has not been out with us for nearly a year.  Come back Martin-Sam; we've missed you!  

Don, 24th August 2016

Thanks to Mike for some bonus photos




Wednesday 24th August 2016

Distance in miles:

8.6 (Garmin)

Height climbed in feet:

2,786 (Memory Map)


Glenridding Dodd, Sheffield Pike,
Hart Side, Whitestones (Green Side)


Don, Mike, Stan, Terry, Tony

Map shown: Anquet Harveys

BOOTboys routes are put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading bb1630 .

To discover which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing - although it may not be that up to date - or for the totals of   the mileages and heights (ditto) see the Excel file: BB Log.

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To see which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing see Which Wainwright When? This may or may not be up to date!

For the latest totals of the mileages, heights and Lakeland Fells Books Wainwrights see: Wainwrights.
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BOOTboys 2016


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