Lake District Walks
High Seat & Bleaberry Fell
Date: 17th March 2007
Distance: 9.6 miles
Ascent: 2277 feet
Time: 4 hours 45 minutes
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: NY269233
Yet another windy walk, this time over the northern most part of the Central Fell range including High Seat, Bleaberry Fell and Walla Crag.
Route Summary: Keswick - Friar's Crag - Calf Close Bay - Ashness Bridge - Ashness Gill - Bleaberry Fell - Walla Crag - Rakefoot - Springs Wood - Keswick
1. Walla Crag
2. A choppy looking Derwent Water
3. Ashness Bridge
4. Derwent Water from above Ashness Gill
5. Approaching High Seat
6. The summit cairn on High Seat
7. Bleaberry Fell from High Seat
8. The Skiddaw Fells
9. The northern cairn on the summit of Bleaberry Fell
10. Walla Crag from Bleaberry Fell
11. Looking back at Bleaberry Fell
12. Derwent Water from Walla Crag
Walk Detail: After the terrible winds of the previous day I thought it would be best to err on the side of caution and do this walk which would have less exposed edges than the previous day's walk while also hopefully being under the cloud line.
The initial walk along the lakeshore was, even in the grey overcast conditions, quite beautiful. The contouring path from the beginning of the Watlendath road to the scenic Ashness Bridge provided more fine views of the lake. The climb up the side of Ashness Gill was very steep though and, ironically in view of my worries about the wind, was so sheltered from any breeze that I sweated a fair bit.
Upon reaching the plateau I began to encounter the boggy terrain that this ridge is notorious for. As it happens though the section by the broken wall was by far the worst and did not take too much effort to navigate. Upon reaching the summit of High Seat the winds once again hit me with full force and I almost lost the walking guide I was using to one particularly violent gust of wind.
I just made it up to the summit before another walker who was so uncommunicative that I decided to head off for Bleaberry Fell rather than share the summit with him. I had been a bit concerned about the next section as Wainwright describes it as ‘a walk to wish up one’s worst enemy’.
As it turned out I crossed the area with very little incident and even enjoyed the setting of the unnamed tarn. In fact compared to some of the bogs I’ve crossed in the Pennines this was really quite easy. Things were made even simpler when I spotted a broader path to the west of the fence which, once joined, took me to the top of Bleaberry Fell with very little effort.
Once again I didn’t hang around long at the top, partly due to the wind, but also because a couple had already seated themselves in the summit shelter-cairn and I didn’t want to play raspberry. The descent from Bleaberry Fell was much steeper than I imagined but there were good views for most of the way down.
After crossing a few wet patches I got on to the main Walla Crag path. I didn’t realise it at the time but I believe this top was my 100th Wainwright which was quite a landmark for me. Unfortunately by this time you could see the weather was really closing in to the south in Borrowdale so I was unable to fully appreciate what must have been a fine viewpoint.
After walking along the narrow path that comes perilously close to the cliff edge in places I took shelter in some trees where I had a quick snack and a read of Wainwright's chapter on Walla Crag before heading off for Rakefoot. Shortly after the long promised rain arrived properly and I was quite wet by the time I made it in to Keswick. Good walk though.