A much anticipated post this one, in one quarter at least. Seasoned followers of Beating The Bounds will remember my old friend CJ, who has appeared on this blog on many occasions. Some while back he polished off the Wainwright’s. At the time, I tried to convince him that bagging the Birkett’s would be a suitable project for him to embark upon next, and I’m pleased to say that he has seen the light and is now busily pursuing that course. And so it was, right at the end of the summer holidays, that we parked-up, close to the end of the little minor road into Crookdale, and set-off on a round of Crookdale, to pick up some lonely Shap Birkett’s.
The summit of High House Bank (I suspect).
I should say, right at the outset, since CJ seems to be relying on me to be Watson to his Holmes and to document his exploits, that we successfully ticked-off High House Bank, Robin Hood, Lord’s Seat, Harrop Pike, Great Yarlside, Little Yarlside and What Shaw.
Robin Hood (quite possibly).
The photos suggest that we had pretty good weather. In fact, the forecast had been quite mixed, but in the end we had very little rain, and came off quite lightly. The Shap fells aren’t always very enthusiastically reviewed, but this was mostly very pleasant walking, hardly spectacular, but well worth a visit, I thought.
Last time I saw CJ (at X-Ray’s 50th party at the Gregson in Lancaster) he was demanding to know why I hadn’t got around to posting about this walk, and I’m afraid that now, at this remove, my recollections of the day are a bit sketchy. I know that we somehow managed to fill a long days walking with talk – one of the pleasures of walking with CJ is that the conversation is broad-ranging, often amusing and never flags.
At one point, CJ almost stood on this pair of mating dragonflies. I’m pretty sure that these are Common Hawkers – ‘a large, powerful, but wary hawker, most common in late summer in upland areas of northern and western Britain’.
Birkett isn’t very encouraging about the ridge to Harrop Pike…
‘Harrop Pike lies a considerable distance and height away at the head of upper Crookdale. The terrain of rocky knolls and peat hag do not allow it to be easily reached from here.’
But CJ wasn’t too sure whether he’d climbed it before, and to me it seemed a more logical route than to drop down into the valley and climb out again, so we continued and stopped by the large cairn there for a bite of lunch.
Looking back to Yarlside Crag.
In all, a very satisfying outing, and I hope that CJ and I will be bagging some more Birkett’s soon. Maybe we’ll manage to entice X-Ray out for a wander too, you never know.