BB1809 : Men Of Steel

Thursday 29th March 2018

Each time I climb Steel Fell from Dunmail Raise I vow "Never again".  It's steep. It's unrelenting.  It's tough.

Today, needing his Wainwright tick, it would be Terry's first visit.  My plan was to take him up the south ridge.

Bryan pooh-poohed the notion.  It's a Rite of Passage, he insisted.  Terry has to go up from Dunmail Raise.  It's the only way he can earn the Clerk Kent accolade:

Again, it was tough. Previously we have gone up alongside the fence. However a new path has emerged somewhat to the south and whilst it might be appear to be a tiny bit easier due to it snaking around somewhat, there is no fence and therefore nothing to hang on to when needed.

Nevertheless we all made it to the top and Terry can now boast that he too has earned the nomenclature "Man of Steel", as also can Robin and Martin.

The Men of Steel

The reward is that of some spectacular views.

We saw only one other person who was seeking (and winning) the accolade.  In contrast, as we circled round the head of the Green Burn valley and beyond to Calf Crag, we met an increasing flow of folk who had come up via Helm Crag.

Being mean, we sent a text to Tony saying we had stopped for lunch at noon.  I had expected a rather curt and rude reply.  Instead he responded "Finally got you trained!"  In fact he hadn't as in fact we hadn't.  But we soon did stop.

After Gibson Knott there were quite a lot of folk leaving and approaching Helm Crag, although no-one was there as we arrived.  Terry considered out-doing Wainwright and actually climbing the Howitzer to the real summit then thought better of it.  Stan had a go from the north end whilst Bryan tried from the south. Meanwhile a youth, seeing these old fogies on the rocks, thought anything they can do, he could do better.  A quite word in the ear of mother brought him scuttling back down.  

In fact, the rock was so greasy that both Bryan and Stan decided that this was not the day for heroics, even by Men of Steel.  It might not look too difficult to climb but it is and the getting down is even trickier.  You also have to bear in mind that on the other side there is an 800 foot drop.  There is a reason why it is the only Wainwright that he never actually summited!  For me: a bragging opportunity.  I have done it! BB0922 !

Helm Crag may only be a small hill but it has big hill attitude.  Its descent is quite spectacular, steep over at times rocky ground with a superb vertiginous view down to the Traveller's Rest, where we had left a car, and over Grasmere to the south.

Our outing had a bit of a surprise once we reached the valley floor.  

There were lots of signs inviting us to visit the Lancrigg Hotel by a path that none of us had previously taken. We accepted the invitation and this led us to a stone with a Latin inscription. Uncle Google offers a rather bizarre translation however a website called Open Plaques gives a more comprehensible message:

Dorothy Wordsworth

used to sit at this spot,

writing down the poems

that her brother dictated

as he walked nearby.

The track carried on to the Lancrigg Hotel but on this occasion we invoked steely resistance to calling in for refreshment.  Instead our objective was the Travellers Rest where the new Man Of Steel treated us to a birthday pint.

Happy Birthday, Terry.  Man of Steel.

Don, Thursday 29th March 2018

Roads and Gateways

If the Herdy Shepherd were a Dylan buff his blog might have commanded "Don't park in the gateway, don't block up the road" as opposed to saying the more polite "Please don’t block roads or gateways as we need to access fields to keep lambs alive."

He went continued: "And if you ignore polite request and good sense we might have to take urgent action like they do up Borrowdale."

The Times They Are a'Changing.  Or are they?



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 ComitibusBryan, Robin, Martin, Stan, Terry, Don


Map : Anquet 1:25k


BB1809 : Men Of Steel


Thursday 29th March 2018


Steel Fell, Calf Crag, Gibson Knott, Helm Crag

Distance in miles:


Height climbed in feet:

2,142 (Descent 2,620)

GPX track

BB1809 GPX


Bryan, Don, Martin, Robin, Stan, Terry

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