Sir Hugh and I were the first on the carpark next to the damn of Wet Sleddale Reservoir. Thankfully the day was bright and clear, this would be a miserable place in the mist or rain. At one time there was a plan to flood the whole valley – I can see why. Forget about any tracks shown on the OS map the way up to Wasdale Pike was one long squelch. Grouse butts accompanied us and a ‘lunch hut’ passed to relieve the monotony. The summit of Wasdale Pike had a decent cairn and views over Shap to Cross Fell and in the other direction to High Street, the snow melted from these slopes as the day wore on.
Our next objective was a prominent pink granite block – named Gray Bull. It was duly mounted in recognition of our distant bouldering venue, Great Bullstones in Bowland.
More squelching and Sleddale Pike, Great Saddle Crag and Ulthwaite Rigg were ticked off, it was that sort of a day.
Then with some relief, we quickened our pace on the bridleway coming out of Mosedale and heading down to Sleddale Hall. Below here were walled deer enclosures [according to AW] a packhorse type bridge over a lovely narrow gorge and a clapper bridge from older times.
AW’s Outlying Fells was “written primarily for old age pensioners” yet this was a tough walk for anybody. About 9 miles and 1700ft ascent. I can hardly believe that Sir Hugh used to run around this circuit in days gone by – but he has the evidence… http://conradwalks.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/wet-sleddale-horseshoe-plus-wasdale.html
In my evening bath I thought I could discern webbing developing between my toes.
Well at least I kept my feet dry. I t was the best squelch I have had for a long time.
Yes our feet were dry at the end so I’m possibly being over disparaging about the conditions. Dry Sleddale doesn’t sound quite right though.
I followed that route about four years ago and my boots arre still wet.
What were you doing there – I thought it was only for us obsessive Wainwright tickers.
I like that area, particularly the next valley up – Swindale – because you can’t take your car in so it’s very quiet and has a yesteryear feel about it. In fact, I saw a red squirrel last time I was there. Also, Withnail and I was filmed at Sleddale Hall, above the reservoir, and that’s a great film.
Yes I knew about Withnail and I, must look at it again.
Swindale has seen a lot of activity this last year as the water people have diverted the beck near Truss Gap to improve catchment. But it still feels remote, Gowther Crag is one of my favourite climbing venues. They took away the footbridge on a JCB as we arrived last time! see photos… https://bowlandclimber.wordpress.com/2015/06/12/getting-better-gouther-crag-climbing/
Still not seen red squirrels in this area – must try harder.