The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Friday, 6 March 2015

Cracoe Fell

Wednesday 5 March


This is the hill we would have visited yesterday, had the little lane running to its south not been closed. One impact of that closure was that we capitalised on the diversion sending us north, by bagging a couple of more-northerly hills which weren’t in the plan for this trip, and another impact was that we now needed to approach this hill from a different direction than planned. So, it was from a layby just south of the village of Cracoe that we strode off, for an objective that was really quite close:


The obelisk atop the hill was much more obvious with the naked eye. It just looks like a speck in this photo.

Our walk wasn’t as short as the closeness of the summit would suggest, as access rights required us to go to the southern edge of the ridge, before heading all the way back to the top. That was no hardship – it was a nice day (note how little snow there was, compared to yesterday!), and it’s a lovely (albeit soggy, on this day) ridge with grit-stone outcrops and a couple of interesting features…


…firstly with Rylstone Cross at the south end of the ridge…


Is it me, or are these trig points getting bigger and bigger?!

…and then the big old obelisk (a war memorial, actually) on the summit.

We weren’t minded to trespass off the summit to take the direct route back to our start point, and there was no obvious circular route available to us, so we simply retraced, noting as we passed across the farmland below that the section of dry stone wall that was just being demolished as we passed on our outward leg was now completely rebuilt. What speed! And, what quality – if it wasn’t for a bit of disturbed ground, we wouldn’t have even spotted where the work had taken place.

The muddy track past a farm saw us nearly back at our start point, with just an illicit nip across a field required to get us to our layby, where we arrived with 7.2 miles walked involving about 1000’ of up.


A bonus snap for the tractor fan(s)


1 comment:

  1. I've been up there many times in my climbing days. My last visit for Marilyn satisfaction was 13th March 2013, and I reminisced on the blog about a much earlier visit:

    I have climbed often at Rylstone Crag. My last visit (13th Sept. 1992) was not joyous.

    Tony, Rod and Pete had decided to set off at 12:30 from Preston. I was unhappy about the late start, so drove from Preston at 7:20 am to Whitbarrow (south Cumbria), did my one hour run and returned to Preston in time to meet up with the team at 12:30.

    The rest of the day was a mess:

    "Pete and I did Castrol VS. Pete took a long time leading it, and I got very cold. I had a desperate time on this climb, the worst since my return to climbing. We must have been two hours on this 30 ft. climb! My heart is not really in this gritstone stuff, but this has been the wettest August and September this century, and we haven't been able to get up to The Lakes. After Castrol we did Dental Slab. S., an old favourite which I led twenty years ago.

    All that way for two gritstone climbs!"