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River Caldew, Mungrisdale Common, Bowscale Fell, Roundhouse, Cumbria.
[13.4 km]  Tue 29 Dec 2020

 
OS Grid ref: NY 33078 32621
Lat/Long: 54.684171, -03.039547

It was -1degC when I left home and surprisingly +1degC driving over Shap. Approaching the M6 exit at Penrith I became concerned when flurries of snow started. Thankfully when I reached Mosdale the snow had stopped but it was still around zero. My concern was driving up the road towards Swineside and getting snowed in.
Frosty morning.
Iíd also forgotten to put my shovel in the car for the winter months. I parked near the end of the road in my usual spot and saw 3 other vehicles already there further up the road. I set off west along the road taking the grass verge as the road had patches of ice cover. I passed the vehicles and continued along the rough track above the River Caldew. The cloud was low and no summits were visible ahead. I was heading for a path I hadnít been on before which involved a river crossing. At the end of the track I continued along the rough path which was relatively easy going due to the ground being frozen. Eventually I came to the fenge, gate and footbridge over Wiley Gill to the circular sheepfold.

 Looking up towards Mungisdale Common from the Wiley Gill sheepfold.

The path now follows the river towards the River Caldew. It waas indistinct in places and very muddy but I soon saw footprints in the snow heading the same way as me. Later I saw prints coming back and began to wonder if someone had tried the river crossing, failed and returned.


After wading across.
Up ahead I could see the climb up through the snow towards Mungrisdale Common and the sign of a track. I reached the river at a sharp bend then walked up and downstream. Most was far too deep and fast but slightly upstream was a relatively shallow section that looked good to wade across. I removed my boots and put my river crossing socks and foam inserts.
River Caldew.
In case it was too deep I took my trousers off and packed everything into my pack and set off. It was an easy crossing and didnít even reach my knees. On the far side I set off again on the trudge up into the snow. The cloud was too low to see anything and the cold wind came from my left. There was no shelter from cold wind so I ate my sandwiches on the move. The clomb of Mungrisdale Common was only about 1 Ĺ miles but seemed to take forever due to having nothing to see other than mist. The first part I had one set of footprints to follow then more prints higher up on the main paths. Eventually I reached the head of the River Glenderamackin where several walkers were heading up towards Blencathra.

I turned left to head towards the left of Bannerdale Crags and Bowscale Fell. The cloud began to clear and by the time I reached Bowscales Fell I could see back to the summits of Atkinson Pike and Blencathra appearing through the clouds. I started my descent to the west of Bowscale Tarn ridge, keeping well away from the edge in case of a slip. I reached the descent path at Tarn Syke where I could see several walkers above.

Bowscale Fell

 Bowscale Fell  summit.
 

 Looking back to Blencathra and Atkinson Pike.

At the footbridge over the River Caldew I met a family walking over asking the way upwards. I recommended climbing to the tarn then descending on the main track back to Bowscale. After passing the Roundhouse I reached the road and was soon back at my car where many more were now parked.

Footbridge over River Caldew.
The paths are indistinct in e.
 
   
 
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