|Place Fell from Glenridding|
Regular readers of my blog will know I often drive up early morning from the Kent/Sussex border to the Lake District and then launch straight into a fell walk - usually a lower fell. Friends and family have not decided whether this is dedicated or crazy. I am not sure I have the answer but for me it is about making the most of my time in the Lakes. So in May 2011, I arrived in Patterdale near Ullswater ready to climb Place Fell and Beda Fell. Place Fell lies on the shoreline of Ullswater, an impressive fell that overlooks and guards the valley.
It was a beautiful day with glorious sunshine and a deep blue sky and I leapt out the car full of energy for the walk and in love with life. My rucksack was already packed and I had stopped on the way to buy some water so I put that on the roof whilst I got my rucksack from the boot. A couple in a car across the car-park were also getting ready for a walk and we exchanged smiles and hellos then the woman came over and asked if I had change for the pay machine so we exchanged coins and off I went humming a merry tune (sometimes I forget I am not in my own bubble and other people can hear me!)
|Looking back from the slopes of Place Fell|
The first part of the walk took me along a little lane, across a bridge and then started the slope up the side of the mountain. As I got above the trees, the views across Patterdale and Ullswater and across to the heights of St Sunday Crag and Arnison Crag started to open up and it was exhilarating. After about a mile or so I reached a crossroad of paths at Boredale Hause and had my first proper view stop (yes you are right, I was out of breath and needed a break but it is always worth stopping to look at the views) and decided to have some water. As I had that thought a vision suddenly came into my head of two bottles of water sitting on top of my car. Oh surely I had not left my water behind? I could not have been that daft? With a sinking feeling I took my rucksack off and lo and behold there was no water. Oh dear. Not good at all on any day let alone a sunny one like this and it was so unlike me – I usually take far too much water. I sat down on a rock and reviewed my options.
|View to Brothers Water from the slopes of Place Fell|
I could either go back to the car and get it (not tempting given how much height I had gained already) or I could keep going and hope I did not get too thirsty (which would be foolhardy). The only other alternative was to just call it a day and start again tomorrow (which filled me with disappointment). As I sat on my rock a group of walkers were coming up the same path towards me, chatting and happy to be out on the fells. I must have looked a picture of abject misery as after we had exchanged hellos (theirs cheery, mine less so) one of them asked me if I was ok. I explained my problem and like a knight in shining armour, he produced from his rucksack a sealed bottle of water and said “Here you go. I could not possibly leave you looking so unhappy and we have more than enough between us”. Oh joy! What a lovely man! I resisted my immediate urge to give him a big hug and kept to a profusion of thanks. People can be so kind.
|Path to Place Fell|
So full of the joys of spring and humanity I fairly skipped up Place Fell (well I skipped about two metres and then my legs reminded me I was on a mountain and it was steep). From Boredale Hause the path looks daunting to the top of Place Fell but I got to the ridge and then it was a delightful stroll to the cairn on the summit. The views all around were superb to the High Street fells, St Sunday Crag, the length of Ullswater and some of the lower summits, including the next fell on the journey – Beda Fell.
I retraced my steps to Boredale Hause and then took the route towards Beda Fell. Most other people were heading straight on to get to the more popular Angeltarn Pikes (another fell closely associated with the views at Ullswater) so I had the path to myself to Beda Fell. It was a pleasant grassy route with no serious gradients to climb and several little streams to cross. The summit was delightful and the views to the High Street range were in their full glory. Place Fell cut off the view to the fells on the left but it was an excellent vantage point to see the whole side of Place Fell and I could see several other walkers like tiny ants making their way across the fell (when walkers stand still on surrounding fells it is hard to tell if they are trees or people and on occasion, I have been thinking someone is taking a really long break only to realise the person is a tree – is it just me that does that?)
|View from Beda Fell|
I retraced my steps again to Boredale Hause (I am becoming quite a fan of that spot) and then back down to Patterdale. It was easy to spot my car in the car-park as it was the one with two bottles of water on the roof! A new design feature perhaps? Place and Beda Fells will always have fond memories for me as the walk was lovely. I have never forgotten my water since then that is for sure but it was also lovely meeting such a kind stranger. Thank you to whoever you were.