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Lake District Walks

Black Combe

Date: 26th Oct 2013
Distance: 6.3 miles
Ascent: 2166 feet
Time: 4 hours 45 mins
With: Tim and Jack
Start Grid Ref: SD152846

Walk Summary:
A good walk on to Black Combe via White Combe and Stoupdale Head with some dramatic views from Blackcombe Screes.

Route Summary: Beckside - White Hall Knott - White Combe - Stoupdale Head - Whitecombe Head - Black Combe - Eller Peatpot - Blackcombe Beck - Whitecombe Beck - Beckside

Photos: Click on the photos below to enlarge.

The Whicham Valley
Black Combe from the climb on to White Hall Knott
Me and Tim having a breather
White Combe
White Hall Knott
The top of White Combe
The top of Stoupdale Head looking towards Buckbarrow
Looking back at Stoupdale Head
Enjoying the dramatic view from Blackcombe Screes
The top of Black Combe
With Tim and Jack by the trig on Black Combe
The large cairn overlooking Millom
Walney Island
Tim and Jack starting the descent
Looking towards the small tarn at Eller Peatpot
Black Combe from the tarn
White Combe
Tim and Jack on the path above Blackcombe Beck
The path returning to Beckside


Walk Detail: This was the first walk of a long weekend based in Broughton-in-Furness. Having completed the 214 Wainwrights earlier in the year, I wanted to begin acquainting myself with the south-western Lake District, a region that was largely overlooked by Wainwright until he published his later book on the 'Outlying Fells of Lakeland'. It is also an area that contained a few Deweys on my to-do list, the highest of which is Black Combe.

Joining me for the first couple of days was Tim and Jack from Bowland Walks. We met at the small parking area by the farm at Beckside where the A595 crosses Whitecombe Beck. After a brief but muddy crossing of a couple of fields to the Fox and Goose Cottages and then an equally muddy path between hedgerows the walk began in earnest with a direct approach up on to White Hall Knott.

It was a steep and fairly punishing little climb on a grassy path up through the bracken. In retrospect it may have been easier to take the slanting path marked on the map and then double back to the top of White Hall Knott. Upon reaching the top we were however rewarded for our early exertions by a dramatic view across Whitecombe Beck towards Black Combe which, at this point, still had patches of cloud swirling around the upper reaches of the fell.

From White Hall Knott we made up our way up to the large shelter cairn on White Combe which commanded an excellent view of the Duddon Estuary, Barrow-in-Furness and Walney Island. After this the gradients became much easier and the rest of the climb to Stoupdale Head and then on to Black Combe was quite easy. Whilst on Stoupdale Head the cloud level dropped briefly to reduce visibility but when it lifted again it cleared the top of Black Combe as well.

For me the highlight of the walk was the final section leading to the summit of Black Combe where we left the main path to follow the rim of Blackcombe Screes. The dramatic views down to Blackcombe Beck and Whitecombe Beck more than compensated for the lack of long distance views on what was a very cloudy and murky day.

From the summit we walked past the small tarn to the rocky subsidary top before making for an impressively large cairn overlooking Millom. We then doubled back somewhat to descend steeply via a very nice little tarn to eventually cross over Blackcombe Beck below its confluence with a side stream. We then joined a nice track which led us into the valley of Whitecombe Beck and then all the way back to the parking spot.

This was a walk I've wanted to do for sometime and the scenery didn't disappoint, it was just a shame there wasn't a bit of sunshine to enhance the views.

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