Saturday, 1st October 2011




Walk: Gatescarth Pass, Branstree & Artle Crag Pike, Selside, Hobgrumble Gill, Swindale and the Old Corpse Road
Start Point: Mardale Head Grid Reference: NY 468 107
Distance: 8.9 miles Ascent: 2,780 feet
Time: 6.5 hours    
Weather: Mixed cloud and sunshine
Comments: Our group of 11 set off to climb Gatescarth Pass and soon had to get rid of a layer of clothing as the sun came out. The climb up to Branstree and Artle Crag was accompanied by quite a strong breeze, and we all found a sheltered spot for coffee. It quietened down as we descended to the Survey Pillar and the climb up to the Unnamed
Summit, on the OS map, which Andrew said was a ‘Birkett’ with a name he could not remember. Selside with is cairn/shelter was the next up in a walk full of ups and downs. As Wainwright says, ‘where did all the stones come from, when there are none visible on the grassy top’. Down to Hobgrumble (where did the name come from?) Gill and over Nab Moor to the head of Swindale for lunch, where the sun soon had Andrew fast asleep.
Another descent into Swindale and at Swindale Head it was up again over the Old Corpse Road. Named as it was the route that the dead of Mardale were taken for burial at Shap Abbey. Last used in 1736. Not something that can be blamed on the construction of Haweswater.
The steep descent from the Corpse Road took us down to the side of Haweswater where the was a choice to return to Mardale Head along the road or along the waters edge.

Scroll down to see photos of the walk

Heading up Gatescarth Pass


Linda and Andrew with Riggindale Ridge and Kidsty Pike behind


We leave Gatescarth for Branstree, with the path to Harter Fell in the background


Group at the impressive cairn and OS marker on Branstree


Artle Crag cairn no. 1 . . .


and cairn no. 2 with the path past the Survey Pillar and up tp the un-named summit . . .


but first it's time for coffee


The 2 cairns


Survey Pillar and 2 cairns on the skyline


On the way up to Selside


Shelter/Cairn on Selside


Down to Hobgrumble Gill


Lunch with Nab Moor behind us . . .


and Swindale before us . . .


but Andrew is well away




A characterful barn with moss and trees on the roof


Our destination . . .


from Swindale Head


Start of the Old Corpse Road . . .


and end as we drop down to Haweswater


Road and waterside path to Mardale Head

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