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Armboth (Thirlmere), Fisher Crag, Launchy Gill,Cumbria.
[8.5 km]  Wed 10 Jan 2018

OS Grid ref: NY 30539 17212
Lat/Long:
54.545375, -03.075252
It was cloudy and dark when I set off north along the M6. I was heading for a walk to the west of Thirlmere and the car sat nav tried to send me off the m6 at junction 36. Instead of taking that route I stayed on the M6 north and headed over Shap. It only put an extra 7 minutes on my journey time. Passing Tebay noticed the wind sock was hanging loose and vertical indicating no wind. I left the motorway at Penrith and headed west on the A66 which I left before Keswick to head for Thirlmere. The road over the damn at the north end was still closed so I had to make a short detour to join the road along the west side of the reservoir.
I reached the car park at Armboth and noticed that the car park charges had been suspended. I left my car and headed slowly up the main pass that is sign posted to Watendlath it heads up the north side of Fisher Gill and I wanted to find a forestry track on the southside. There was a tall dear fence which I managed to climb over fairly easily then down to Fisher Gill and up the other side to join their forestry track. One of my objective is to find a summer house bothy which is supposed to be in this area.
Ruin at the top of the track
I had noticed a small building shown on the old ordnance survey map and I headed up the track to its location. I was disappointed to see that it wasn't the summer house but just a ruin of an old single room building. Although the forestry track ended here through a gates I continued steeply up towards the summit of Fisher Crag. At the high point there was a wooden gates on the left which had been nailed shut with chains and staples. It was easy to climb over and I made the short walk with a bit of a scramble to the summit of the crag and a small cairn. It is an incredibly good viewpoint and looking north was on uninterrupted view of Thirlmere and distant mountains on the horizon.
Fisher Crag summit

View or Thirlmere from Fisher Crag

On Fisher Crag

Thirlmere from Fisher Crag

The top of Launchy Gill
It was fairly hazy but I was in no rush to leave as the weather steadily improved. With a weak sun trying to break through I decided to stay longer and eat my sandwiches. My original plan was to head for High Tove but decided to investigate the fells to the south instead as it is an area I haven't been before. It is an interesting mix of boggy landscape with outcrops sticking up with flat rocky areas on the top. The weather continued to improve and the sun came through and it actually felt warm. At Lauchy Gill I turned east and headed down towards Thirmere.
Launchy Gill waterfall
It was easy going until I reached the forest fence. I was able to cross the gill without any problems and the fence was fairly low and that didn’t present a problem either. There was no obvious path down by the waterfalls and Launch Gill and I had to climb slightly before finding a dafe way down the steep bank. Near to the waterfall I reached a faint path which headed down. It only goes to the waterfall and descends to the road below. It is only for sightseeing and had no direct connection with the fells above. As I descended one section even had wooden handrails. At the bottom of the hill adjacent to the road was a sign saying ‘Footpath closed for safety reasons’ blaming it on Storm Desmond which happened in Dec 2015 and from what I could see of the path nothing had been done in the intervening 2 years.
Launchy Gill waterfall
At the road I turned left to head north along the road back towards my car but intending to check out the lower length of forestry road to see if the bothy was there. I met a man out walking from the caravan park at Bridge End Farm. He said he’d seen film crews presumably with news teams about the Thirlmere zip wire proposals. He continued and I headed up the forestry track and soon came to the bothy also known as Countess Ossalinsky's Summer House.
Summer House

Summer House interior

Summer House interior

Summer House interior

Summer House interior
There was a lady there who’d stopped to have her lunch before heading up Fisher Crag. She’s just cleaned out the inside of rubbish left behind by a previous group who’d used it. She was Annie Weaver from Carlisle and walked the area regularly. I took several photos then left to walk the short distance back to my car.
Summer House