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Ski Club of Manchester Cumbria Weekend — An Impromptu Walk up Green Crag — Sunday 19th May 2024

Reporter: Chris Fildes

Vanessa, Liz, Anita, Ralph, including me with Freddie &amo; Fossie, set off from Boot at 9.45am for an impromptu seven mile walk up Green Crag, and a total ascent of 2000ft.

Taking the farm road above the old Corn Mill by Whillan Beck, we squeezed through the narrowest of stiles, ouch! then followed the track above the Campsite…eventually reaching the road. We turned off the road just before the Woolpack Inn onto the Penny Hill farm road, turning left over Doctor Bridge through the farm then upwards by an old peat path that zig-zagged up the hill side. We made an un-intentional detour to the right of Kepple Crag around Tarn Crag.

On reaching Great Whinscale a decision was made to shorten the walk and return by way of Foxfbield Moss. I continued on to Crook Crag, down to the plateau, followed by a scramble to the top of Green Crag and a lunch stop beyond the summit.

The descent was by a path below Tarn Crag towards Foxbield Moss, eventually arriving at Lower Birker Pool glistening in the sunshine. We fancied a paddle but it looked a bit soggy lower down and also we were short of time. So we visited the top of Birker Force instead before retracing our footsteps (and paw prints) heading north-east by another peat path beneath the crags passing Lower Birker Hut en-route, to reach Lower Birker Farm.

There are many peat huts scattered around Eskdale. Has Sellafield preserved the peatI wondered? Only joking!

Prostrate Juniper edged this delightful path above the valley for most of the way down.

Thunder rolled ominously around, walking by the Esk towards St Catherine’s Church. We arrived at the camp site by 4.30pm.

Liz made a welcome cuppa. Vanessa, Anita & Ralph had been and gone but I didn’t see them. (Head in the clouds again).

I assumed our ‘Scafell Crew’ would be on their way, but we were concerned for their safety as fork lightning was seen over Hardknott. Heavy rain ensued and we sheltered under the van awning; Liz battened down the hatches and mopped up. Eventually the rain eased and out came the sun for Helen as she arrived from Muncaster Castle.

A memory from June 2023 — I was caught in a thunder storm on Rhinog Fawr, unaware lethal ground currents could travel quite some distance!

Then followed WhatsApp messages

  • Vanessa; …Did you get down OK Chris?
  • Chris; …Just got your message, I did thanks
  • Dave M; …We could be late for dinner
  • Vanessa; …Shall I arrange for a 7.30 meal?
  • Vanessa; …Not avail but send your menu choice.

However, ‘The Crew’ arrived back with seven minutes to spare (according to Andrew).

After dinner we couldn’t resist wishing a “Happy Birthday to Brian B” .... could we? It will have been a memorable birthday!

Quote from Alfred Wainwright: “The whole walk is a delight, and best saved for a sunny afternoon in August.”

But this walk on a sunny day in May suited me!

What an enjoyable weekend Dave, and great to catch up with everyone.

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