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Mungrisdale, Bannerdale, Bannerdale Mines, Bowscale Fell, Drycomb Beck, Bowscale, Cumbria.
[12.5 km]  Tue 01 Dec 2020

 
OS Grid ref: NY 36478 30026
Lat/Long: 54.661294, -2.986240

A cold clear drive to Mugrisdale where I parked on the grass verge south of the village hall. There was already one car parked there but nobody was about. I crossed over the wooden footbridge to the Mill Inn then along the road to the gate towards Bullfell Beck. It was a picturesque walk along the track with the sun catching the east face of The Tongue.
Morning sunshine.
 
Along the path of stone slabs I came to the wooden footbridge over Bullfell Beck and immediately left to the deteriorating path along the River Glenderamackin. The main path heads up towards the north end of Bannedale Crags and must have been misleading for many who were heading for Scales Tarn or Scales Fell. The path by the river needs several detours and some sections have been washed away and no longer exist.
Heading up Bannerdale East Ridge.

 View on the climb.
By climbing up the fellside I was able to avoid the worst of the wet ground. I had to cross Bannerdale Beck up ahead and on previous visits Iíd waded across due to recent heavy rain. I was relieved to find its level relatively low and I was able to step across the boulders and immediately start the steep climb up Bannerdale East Ridge. The path is good and an easy steady climb. As I got higher I could see Bannerdale opening up below and the west face where I was heading.
Stone platform by the mine.
My objective was to try and find more old mine workings. I could see a high level sheep track traversing the head of the valley and left the comfort of the easy path up the ridge to descend and cross some slate scree to join the sheep track. It headed toward my first objective of what seems to be called the Graphite level. I followed the sheep track to the grid coordinates Iíd found from the map. I couldnít see anything obvious until I looked up the steep slope above and noticed the stone wall of a platform.
Looking out from the Graphite Level Mine
I scrambled up onto the platform where a tree was growing out and just above was the entrance to the mine. It was open and easy to walk in but only about 10 or 15m long. From inside the view looking out over Bannerdale was impressive. I continued along the track to try and find another mine shown on the map. When I arrived at the coordinates I found a very small trial excavation which didnít even penetrate more than a metre. My original plan was to continue along the contour and join the path coming up from the north side of Bannerdale.
The path above Bannerdale.

 Ice on the fell top in the form of contours.
The slope up ahead didn't seem too bad so I decided to take a diagonal route up to the path along the rim of Bannerdale. It was a bit steeper towards the top and I probably should have traversed a bit lower first. At the top I followed the path north towards Bowsacle Fell. The temperature was 0degC and hardly any wind. Fortunately most of the very boggy areas wee frozen so I was able to get across OK. At the stone shelter on Bowscale Fell I met a walker coming up the other way.
I followed the path to the NE which heads to Raven Crags. I didnít go too far, just to the first rise with a small cairn. Here I took a direct line down to the north descending the ride between Bowscale Tarn and Drycomb. There was no path but it was a steady descent. Iím puzzled that people donít use this route more often. I reached the main track between Bowscale Tarn and Bowscale houses and turned right to descend down to the road in the village.
Trees on the approach to Scales.

The Old School House, Mungrisdale.

Saint Kentigern's Church in Mungrisdale.
I followed it back to Mungrisdale and took the path across the field to the Village Hall where I descended the steps down to the road and back to my car.
 
 
   
 
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