Caw Fell

Day 2 and walk number two for us. This was the day of the Coronation and we expected the fells to be a little quieter. Not so, even on this side of the Lake District where seeing other people can be a novelty, the place was fairly busy. And not just with humans, first the sound of barking dogs, then the sight of a stretched out pack of around 30 odd trail hounds barreling across the fellside towards us as we descended from Crag Fell. An absolutely astonishing thing to see. Then there was the walk itself, we wanted something that gave us distance but maybe not too much rise and fall. Caw Fell is a bit of an awkward one to get to, I’d done Haycock when I did Yewbarrow, Scoat Fell and Steeple (here) and I’d also done Crag Fell, Lank Rigg and Grike a while ago (here). This had left Caw Fell on its own, which can happen when list bagging. There are many ways in, Blengdale, Haycock, Ennerdale (Silver Cove) or the way we chose. This is the long way in but as mentioned its a very steady climb and ground is covered quite quickly making it a lovely walk. Now I know what your saying, Steve doesn’t like an out and back walk, but needs must on this and it was about ticking off Caw Fell and making the most of it. Linda hadn’t been to Grike nor Crag Fell and with the view from Crag Fell being one of the best it would have been foolish not to visit those on the way out. Overall a superb walk with some great views from the top of Caw Fell to the Scafells and Mickeldore as a bonus and this one set us up perfectly for a shorter but much steeper walk the next day.

Start – Blakeley Moss

Route – Grike – Crag Fell – Boathow Crag – Iron Crag – Caw Fell – Iron Crag – Boathow Crag – Black Pots – Blakeley Moss

Distance – 12 miles    Start time – 10.30am   Time taken – 6hrs 10mins Highest Point – Caw Fell 697 metres

Weather – Mainly cloudy but the odd sunny spell

© Crown copyright 2023 Ordnance Survey FL 2023 SF
Looking back to the car and out towards the western coast as we set off along the path that skirts around Blackeley Raise
As you enter a much felled woodland, the views to Blake Fell and Knock Murton open up
Grike ahead as we hit the good path which leads out to Black Pots
Grike summit, Crag Fell on the left, Great Borne is the heather clad fell and Blake Fell is back left
Nearing Crag Fell and the views along Ennerdale start to reveal themselves with Pillar dominating the right hand side of the photo
Crag Fell summit teases you further, the High Stile ridge is now in view to the left and a part of Ennerdale is below
Looking to Great Borne again this time from Crag Fell. Blake Fell is back left
Take a few steps away from the cairn on Crag Fell to see one of the finest views in the Lakes, all along Ennerdale. Pillar looking huge on the right. High Stile on the left. I was trying to think of a better view I’ve had from a Lakeland summit, Bowfell maybe, Pike O’Blisco and Dale Head are some I could think of. Might need some help on remembering others.
We descended from Crag Fell towards Black Pots, in order to start the long ascent up to Iron Crag and then Caw Fell. We then heard what sounded like yelping and whiteish shapes running across the fellside, we thought at first it was sheep either being chased by a dog and rounded up by the farmer. But then the animals started leaping the walls, gates and fences. They were Trailhounds, bred from Fox hounds they are fast, very very fast. We did a bit of digging when we got back to the house and read that they can do 10 miles in 30 minutes. the photo above shows, a lead group of three followed by another group. Take note of the lead dog in the second group.
Three to four seconds between the two photos, the lead dog mentioned in the photo above is the one here in front, he’s travelled 40 metres in the time between the photos. Around 2 or 3 of the dogs were barking, almost to encourage the group as they race and they follow a trail (dragged around by a runner on a rag) of aniseed and paraffin. There was one dog that went the wrong way and hadn’t crossed the wall instead heading back to our right here along the wall, they soon rectified things leaping the wall and then the fence here with ease. Back on the paraffin scent.
After the excitement of the dogs we left Black Pots and started the climb to Iron Crag. Crag Fell to the right and Grike left of that
Still views to Pillar (head just touching the cloud) and High Stile left
Linda heading for Iron Crag
Looking across and past the High Stile ridge to the Grasmoor group
On Iron Crag for a lunch stop, Pillar looking very grand from here. We would be there later in the week. Steeple and Scoat Fell also standing out next to Pillar
We are between Iron Crag and Caw Fell here, that is the back of Lank Rigg straight ahead with Caw Fell rising up to the left
Silver Cove below with the High Stile ridge again beyond
Caw Fell summit, 6 miles from our start, just the 6 miles of the return to do. The Western coast of Cumbria beyond
Black Combe in the distance from Caw Fell
Starting the walk back you hit the shelter on Caw Fell and this view, Haycock is the dark fell on the left and the Scafells are in the distance with the obvious gap of Mickeldore in between
Zoomed in on the Scafells, Scafell and Broad Stand on the right and Scafell Pike on the left, as always looking the smaller of the two
Looking down the wall and into Silver Cove as we leave Caw Fell
A small part of a Oxford AT486, that crashed on a practice navigation flight in November 1941 after taking off from Millom. Both pilots were killed. Why it is on the side of Iron Crag I’m not sure, maybe moved from the crash site on the Blengdale side of Caw Fell or did it end up here as part of the crash
Heading back down towards Black Pots now, Crag Fell on the right and Grike left
Looking across to Great Borne
Nearing Black Pots with Crag Fell ahead
The clouds look to be gathering and darkening over the higher fells, especially High Stile. A dark Pillar peeking out on the right
Our path back with Grike ahead, the River Calder is down to the left here
Looking back to Iron Crag with Whoap to the right and the Rover Calder below us. Pillar has been swallowed at the back by the cloud
Now this is a new butterfly for me, a Green Hairstreak, there were a few of these fluttering about along here under Grike
The River Calder as it flows south towards Calder Bridge
Back near the car and the area where the trail dogs had started from, we’d looked at the facebook page and the start time was midday for that race, we saw them around 12.20. That’s Flat Fell behind where the car is parked at the end of a lovely walk. Despite the distance this was an easy one to bag this awkward fell

4 thoughts on “Caw Fell

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