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Lake District Walks

Ill Bell

Ill Bell

Date: 1st March 2007
Distance: 9.8 miles
Ascent: 2784 feet
Time: 5 hours 45 minutes
With: Dave
Start Grid Ref: NY411026

Walk Summary:
A windy, wintry but exhilarating walk on the Ill Bell ridge also visiting Froswick and Yoke.

Route Summary: Church Bridge - Limefitt Park - Ing - Hagg Gill - Scot Rake - Froswick - Ill Bell - Yoke - Garburn Road - The Howe - Church Bridge


1. Troutbeck Tongue

Troutbeck Tongue

2. Dave and Hagg Gill

Dave and Hagg Gill

3. Dave climbing Scot Rake

Dave climbing Scot Rake

4. Caudale Moor

Caudale Moor

5. At the top of Scot Rake

At the top of Scot Rake

6. Froswick


7. On Froswick

On Froswick

8. Ill Bell

Ill Bell

9. Dave climbing Ill Bell

Dave climbing Ill Bell

10. The top of Ill Bell

The top of Ill Bell

11. Yoke


12. Kentmere Reservoir

Kentmere Reservoir

13. On the summit of Yoke

On the summit of Yoke

14. A rainbow over the Troutbeck valley

A rainbow over the Troutbeck valley

Walk Detail: After over a week of enforced inactivity due to job interviews, poor weather and a nasty stomach bug, I finally got out again, this time with Dave who was on holiday that week. As we drove to the Lakes the weather was awful and it looked like we were going to have a rotten day. Beyond all expectations though the cloud was lighter and higher once we got past Kendal.

Whilst it rained for a little when we set off it was only light and nowhere near the amount we were expecting. The long walk down the Troutbeck Valley and down Hagg Gill was very pleasant (if a little wet because of the recent rainfall) with enticing views up to our right of the impending ridge while further ahead Threshthwaite Mouth was an impressive gap between Caudale Moor and Thornthwaite Crag.

The climbing began in earnest when we approached Scot Rake and as I’d been ill for the previous 5 or so days subsisting on soup and water I decided to use my walking poles. As it happened I did not have too much problem though Dave was a bit out of practice this being his first walk since we’d climbed Selside Pike and Branstree the previous November.

We arrived on to the ridge almost exactly at the lowest point between Thornthwaite Crag and Froswick and without much further ado set about climbing the upper stages of the latter. Froswick had a neat little top but very little shelter against what was now a very strong wind.

It was just as we were moving off the top that I managed to slip on an icy rock, roll over a few more rocks and hurt my hip. Thankfully I was still okay to walk but it did give me a few twinges for the rest of the walk. A bit further down the southern flank of Froswick we found a place which was reasonably draft free and ate our lunch while eyeing up the climb up Ill Bell.

The ascent proved to be much easier than it had first looked and thankfully the summit cairns were large enough to provide some respite from the wind. Ill Bell has an interesting rocky top with three prominent cairns and some good views including an excellent one of Windermere and the upper Troutbeck valley.

The walk from Ill Bell to Yoke was quite easy on what seems to be a newly laid path. Yoke’s top was much broader than the previous two and from the summit there is little to hint at the dramatic plunge of Rainsborrow Crag into the Kentmere valley. From Yoke it was a simple case of following the new path down to the Garburn Road and thence back to Troutbeck Bridge.

As we descended the clouds began to break up and we got some sunshine and a good rainbow while also enjoying views over the valley to Wansfell. This was an excellent walk in weather much better than we had hoped for. We topped off the walk with a quick visit to Grasmere where Dave got some more gingerbread and I bought us both tea and scones in a café.

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