Lake District Walks
Date: 5th March 2006
Distance: 4.1 miles
Ascent: 1531 feet
Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
With: Lisa, Val and Dave
Start Grid Ref: NY332096
A climb to Steel Fell via the glacial valley of Greenburn Bottom and a nice descent via Cotra Breast.
Route Summary: Ghyll Foot - Green Burn - Greenburn Botton - Steel Fell - Cotra Breast - Ghyll Foot.
1. The entrance to the Green Burn valley
2. The glacial Greenburn Bottom
3. Val and Dave climbing out of Greenburn Bottom
4. Lisa and Val
5. Looking along the ridge to Steel Fell
6. A glimpse of Thirlmere
7. High Seat and Skiddaw from Steel Fell
8. Me and Dave on Steel Fell
9. Looking south to the Coniston Fells
10. Lisa and Helm Crag
11. Helm Crag
12. Looking back up at Steel Fell
Walk Detail: After our icy experience of the previous day I knew it would be too risky to go over any of the larger fells. With this in mind I planned on doing the Helm Crag – Calf Crag ridge but Val and Dave had already done that. My carefully laid walking plans were beginning to unravel and by necessity in choosing a shortish walk over one of the lower fells I suggested Steel Fell.
As it happened I made an excellent choice. It was one of those lovely days where the sunny weather was complimented by a few clouds to break the lighting up. The approach up the Green Burn valley was simply delightful and the sudden arrival at the glacial Greenburn Bottom was one of the highlights so far of my visits to the Lakes.
Our fine path eventually gave up at a large boulder covered in heather that bore a remarkable resemblance to Wilson from the Tom Hanks film ‘Castaway’. From here we had a tricky spell trying to trace the remains of an old shepherds track along the lower flanks of Rough Crag. It was here that we had to negotiate the only snowy ground of the walk.
Arrival on the ridge brought views of bulky Ullscarf while as we got closer to Steel Fell the views opened up north to Thirlmere and from High Seat round to Skiddaw, Blencathra and the full Helvellyn and Fairfield ranges. South we could see High Raise and over the Helm Crag ridge the Coniston Fells. It was a great view and Steel Fell a decent little top. Also noticeable on the way to Steel Fell were a couple of small tarns which like every tarn we saw over the weekend was completely iced up.
This was one of the best sub 5 mile walks I’ve done and while other fells still have priority I’d definitely like to do this walk and visit Greenburn Bottom again.