Howgill Fells & Westmorland Walks
The Howgills 2000 footers
Date: 15th April 2006
Distance: 12 miles
Ascent: 4579 feet
Time: 7 hours 30 mins
Start Grid Ref: SD698969
A very challenging walk featuring several steep ascents and descents that visits all seven Nuttall tops to be found in the Howgill Fells.
Route Summary: Cross Keys - Cautley Holme Beck - Bowderdale Head - Yarlside - Kensgriff - Randygill Top - Bowderdale - Hazel Gill - East Grain - West Grain - Windscarth Wyke - Fell Head - Windscarth Wyke - Bush Howe - The Calf - Bram Rigg Top - Calders - Red Gill Beck - Cautley Spout - Cautley Holme Beck - Cross Keys
Photos: Click on the photos below to enlarge.
Walk Detail: This walk was a landmark walk for a number of reasons. Firstly, it was the first time that both Matt or myself had done a walk in the Howgills. Secondly, it gave us the opportunity to finally finish our attempt to bag all the 2000ft mountains in the Yorkshire Dales.
It was also a very tough walk, with seven fells over 2000ft this walk packed over 4500ft of climbing into quite a compact area and most of the climbing was on unrelentingly steep fellsides with little in the way of paths until Fell Head. The fact that I'd climbed High Street in the Lakes just the day before probably didn't help me much.
The walk was based on the route in Anne and John Nuttall's book 'The Mountains of England and Wales - Vol.1: England'. While a tough walk it is also a great introduction to the area and en-route not only do you bag the seven highest tops but also get to visit Kensgriff, Bowderdale, the valleys of Middle Grain and West Grain before finishing the walk with a descent alongside the spectacular plunge of Cautley Spout.
We were lucky to have a day of decent weather to enjoy all the views and I think it is fair to say that the Howgills made a tremendous first impression on us both. I seem to recall that at the time Matt said it was his favourite walk up to that point.