Sunday, 22nd September 2013

Walk: Wainwright's Outlying Fells – Wet Sleddale Horseshoe. From the reservoir to Lunch House, Gray Bull, Sleddale Pike, Great Saddle Crag, Brown Howe, Ulthwaite Rigg and Sleddale Hall.
Start Point: Car Park at Wet Sleddale Reservoir Grid Reference: NY 554 114
Distance: 8.6 miles Ascent: 1,440 feet
Time: 6 hours    
Weather: Sunny with light breeze and pleasant temperature. Ideal and very lucky.

Set off west along the good farm track with the reservoir to our right, until reaching ruined barns, and the computer set into a stone wall. It is from here that the route heads south, steadily rising following quite closely to the Poorhag Gill and eventually past a series of shooting butts. At this stage there is a faint path to follow to a substantial track for the Lunch House, a substantial black ‘hut’ for the shooters. The faint path continues S and SW along the line of the now Howe Gill and eventually you will see the bulk of Gray Bull on the horizon. By now there is no footpath and compass and sightlines are the necessary navigation requirements. Cross the Gill and make for Wainwright’s ‘lovely cube of pink granite’ Gray Bull. It is now up and down as you make for Sleddale Pike, Great Saddle Crag and we did Brown Howe although Wainwright did not include it. No footpaths, only a mixture of grass and heather and your compass. The cairns are not too obvious as they have all collapsed, see photos and I had added to some, and compass and observation are needed. I am not trying to be alarmist, just careful.
There is a long wire fence between Sleddale Pike to cross. No stile or gate but not difficult to get over. From Brown Howe downhill NW to Ulthwaite Rigg and N through the irrigation ditches to the bridleway that runs easterly along the north side of Sleddale.
We zigzagged down past Sleddale Hall. Now looking watertight but unoccupied, no Withnell or I! Over the new old packhorse bridge and back to the cars.

Scroll down to see photos of the walk

Wet Sleddale Reservoir




That's the way back


We go this way, south


Following Poorhag Gill


Only decent track . . .


to Lunch House - but only for shooters . . .


so we continued past the butts . . .


over Howe Gill . . .


and on to Gray Bull


Gray Bull looking East


Sleddale Pike and cairn!


Little and Great Saddle Crags


Take care


Lunch at Great Saddle Crag


Cairn on Great Saddle Crag with Tata works


Climbing onto Brown Howe with Great Saddle Crag in the background


Brown Howe and cairn


Looking back to Ulthwaite Rigg and the irrigation ditches


Dropping down to Sleddale Hall and reservoir

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