Buckbarrow and Seatallan

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The first day of our annual Mayday camping weekend in Wasdale and the party had split.  Well, some had not yet arrived, having opted to stay in Harrogate to watch the Tour de Yorkshire whizz by. Others, including most of the kids, had decided upon a trip to the Sellafield Visitor Centre. It closed years ago, but TBH had read on the internet that it had been reopened by Brian Cox and that he had described it as ‘awesome’. However, when they arrived at Sellafield they were greeted by high fences and stern security guards. It turned out that Professor Cox had been at the opening of a display at the Beacon Centre in Whitehaven, of which he had actually said: “The new exhibition is absolutely wonderful.” So they went to have a gander at St. Bees instead, having already visited the excellent ice-cream parlour in Seascale which the kids now regard as an essential part of the weekend. The photo above shows the rest of the party, just off the top of Buckbarrow enjoying a leisurely lunch-stop and snooze out of the cold wind. Well, not quite all of the rest of the party…

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…B didn’t fancy Sellafield. He didn’t really want to go for a walk either, truth be told, but had found some scrambling near the top of Buckbarrow and had really enjoyed himself. He didn’t think much to our lackadaisical approach and was racing around looking for more bits of crag to scamper up whilst we lazed around.

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Yewbarrows and the Scafells.

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Wasdale Screes.

From Buckbarrow the walk over Glede How and up Seatallan was a long steady pull.

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B on Seatallan – the black shadow on the horizon is the Isle of Mann.

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Great Gable, Yewbarrow and the Scafells from Seatallan.

By contrast, the descent from Seatallan to Greendale tarn was very steep. Old Father Sheffield, who seemed to be on a mission to climb every hill in the area, took the logical route from there over Middle Fell, while the rest of us took the lazier option down by the beck, meeting OFS again for the walk over the fields and back to Nether Wasdale.

A fine walk – you might even say ‘awesome’.

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Buckbarrow and Seatallan

Indolence Time: Buckbarrow

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I didn’t take any photos on the Sunday of our Bank Holiday Weekend. The best that can be said of the weather is that it wasn’t as rough as it had been during the night – which was one of those nights in a tent when you lie awake listening, during moments of relative calm, as a wave of wind comes roaring down the valley, crashing through the trees until it hits the tent and sends it into another paroxysm of shuddering. After a very wet night, increasingly creatures of habit, we eventually opted to repeat last year’s Sunday outing and spent an afternoon between the beach at Seascale, beachcombing and throwing a ball around, and Mawson’s cafe and ice-cream parlour, which once again was a very big hit.

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On the Monday, after a bit of campsite faffing about: leisurely breakfast, taking photos of a goldfinch in the trees by the tents etc, we eventually all set off for a mass hike up Buckbarrow. There was a farm yard to navigate first, where there were cute and very tame lambs to be stroked….

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…and a not quite so cute donkey which also wanted a share of the attention…

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Then a short, sharp climb brought us to a superb little spot for lunch….

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Our provisions stretched to a rather fine little picnic complete with fresh tea with the aid of the pocket rocket stove I’ve treated myself to.

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I was pretty happy sitting in the sun enjoying a brew, but apparently it was time to move on.

Still, moving on wasn’t bad either….

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From the top of the crags here it a pleasant knolly ramble around to the top of Buckbarrow. Little S was, as usual, doing his best to test Andy’s cardiac health by selecting routes which would take him into exposed positions on vertiginous crags. I think all the kids appreciated the opportunity to chose their own route (with some guidance in the case of Little S!), picking out easy bits of scrambling to string together.

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B at the top.

Then, just beyond the summit…

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…another sheltered spot for second lunch, brews, sunbathing, a snooze, a natter etc.

The boys rarely keep still for long, but stashed at the bottom of my pack, for just such eventualities, I keep….

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….a pocket kite.

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It folds smaller than a small handkerchief and weighs next to nothing, and it kept all three of us amused for quite some time.

Sadly, all good things have to come to an end, and with time marching on, we needed to get back to the campsite to pack-up and take our tents down. (The good people of the inestimable Church Stile campsite having allowed us to leave our tents in situ to dry after the Atlantic Storms of the night before.)

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We split for the descent, with one party heading off in a hurry, down a steep direct route to get the inevitable mass football match started, whilst the rest of us took a more circumspect route which detoured down into Greendale Gill again, via this large, lonely and very tidy cairn.

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One of the Tongue Gills again.

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Greendale Gill.

The first part of our route back through the woods to Nether Wasdale was accompanied by a stunning profusion of wildflowers. The primroses were the most impressive, but sadly my photos really don’t do them justice at all.

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Wood anemones.

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Wood Sorrel

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The mass football match was in full swing when we arrived back. Sadly, for all concerned, it was to be deprived of it’s most cultured right-boot because I had to take the trailer tent down. There was one more treat in store however – a meal in the Strands Hotel before we all departed for our disparate homes. A brilliant weekend – roll on next year.

You can read Andy’s parallel account of the weekend here.

Indolence Time: Buckbarrow