|18.6 km or 11.6 miles
|1044m or 3425ft
I headed to Ennerdale at the weekend, to do a walk listed on this here website. Walk 183 - Steeple, Scoat Fell, Haycock, and Caw Fell. Having walked part of the northern side of the Ennerdale valley on my last lakes walk, I thought I would head over to the other side, and perhaps admire previous accomplishments with some nice side profile views of Red Pike, High Stile and High Crag. Well at least that was the hope!
Leaving the carpark just after 7.30am, I headed along the shores of Ennerdale Water. A few people about. One chap behind. We exchange pleasantries when I hold the gate for him, after crossing over the crystal waters of the River Liza.
As I climb, I'm conscious that the cloud cover isn't showing signs of clearing, and the views I had into the valley have also reduced in range. But I keep going. It's not a particularly tough climb. As you get higher, the ridge narrows. There are some technical sections, but nothing challenging, other than maintaining grip on some of the wet rock.
Some nice rocky outcrops on the way. But visibility is now much reduced, and the wind is really picking up. The Met Office Lake District forecast was predicting gale force winds at 900m. Upon reaching the 819m summit of Steeple, I'm finding I need to lean slightly into some of the stronger gusts. The cloud moves quickly over the ground.
I had a quick bite to eat here, and sorted myself some gloves, as the fingers were getting a bit cold, then headed off for Caw Fell. About half way between Haycock and Caw Fell is Little Gowder Crag. If you're on the right hand side of the stone wall, you'll discover a significant drop to navigate around. Reduced visibility meant I didn't see it until I was almost on top of it. I crossed over the wall and made my way from there. This area is strewn with rock, and it really feels like you're climbing down a volcano.
As I continue, it's somewhere around here that the cloud below me opened up and all of a sudden I could see the path ahead. For all of about 5 seconds, my eyes fixed on the vibrant brown/green colours of the next 100m of grass covered fell below me. Aaand... then it was gone.
So anyway, I press on. Only Caw Fell to reach, now. It's relatively gentle undulations before the cairn comes into view. A quick photo, then it's about turn, back the way I came.
I retraced my steps in the hope of spotting the path to take me down the ridge between Silvercove Beck and Deep Gill. On my way up to Caw Fell, I had kept an eye out for traces of a path leading north, but hadn't seen anything. I thought maybe since I was heading back down it might be easier to spot, but there was nothing obvious. I couldn't see the ridge that I intended to descend, but I moved towards the edge above Silver Cove, where I spotted a path that hugs the edge. But because of my position, it didn't make sense to what was marked on the map. After analysing the map and my surroundings, I worked out there's a small 'indentation' in the line of the northern edge, and I simply needed to be on the other side of it, where the descent begins.
After about 20 minutes of descent, I finally re-emerge below the cloud, and views into the valley open up. It's a straight forward descent. Some grass. Some rocks. Quite a few dog walkers making there way upwards. I'm barked at by a little beagle puppy. Eventually the owner appears, and the barking stops.](https://flic.kr/p/YNRpU3) [Ennerdale comes back into view.](https://flic.kr/p/YNRpU3) by [Oliver Coats](https://www.flickr.com/photos/olivercoats/), on Flickr
The final section is back in woodland, as I make my way back down to ground level. Then it's a half hour walk back along to the car park.
Whilst I obviously did enjoy the walk, I can't help but be a bit disappointed that for over 2 hours I was in cloud, and missed out on even seeing the fells that I walked over. Steeple, especially. But I guess that means I'll just have to go back and do it again! It also meant I didn't have many photos to sort through - The silver lining.