29th March 2008

A walk up Great Calva before the rains came


Walk Overview
Time 09.30 to 12.50
Duration 3 hr 20 min
Distance 8.5 mile
Ascent 1980 ft
Walking with On my own
Peter House Farm - Dash falls - Great Calva - Little Calva - Dash Falls - Dash Beck - Brocklecrag - Horsemoor Hills - Peter House Farm
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Parking spaces, Peter House Farm, Orthwaite

The half a dozen or so spaces here are found along some very narrow roads around the northern side of the Lake District. In places, you just hope you don't meet anything coming in the opposite direction. Even though there isn't a great deal of space, this is somewhere I'm always confident about getting parked.

This spot offers convenient access to the Uldale / back of Skiddaw fells, and the track leading to Skiddaw House.


Route Map

"You needn't laugh, it may not be much of a step for you, but I'm still practicing at walking on all fours".

Binsey seen from one of the gates I passed through on the route between Peter House Farm and Dash.

The view across to Brockle Crag.
I was surprised to see any sunshine at all today, not after last night's forecast anyway. I think they said we were in for a day of persistent and heavy rain, so this was very nice; while it lasted.

Looking ahead, the track winds its way below Dead Crags, past Dash Falls and up to the wonderful moorland area generally called "The Back of Skiddaw". A more fitting name, which I've occasionally heard this place referred to, is "The Caldbeck Fells". I know I'm guilty as charged, but it does seem a shame that a whole section of the Lake District should be labelled quite simply as being the back of somewhere else.

Dash Falls.

Well, the sun had gone by now and it was looking like the day may change after all.
The amount of snow still hanging onto the north facing slopes was a bit of a surprise today, as I hadn't really expect it to have lasted this long.

Skiddaw and Skiddaw Little Man.

Almost at Great Calva summit now and I was astonished at how much the wind had increased and the temperature had dropped during the final ten minutes of the climb. The cairn in the distance is the summit, but it offers precious little shelter, on the right hand side of the fence however, there's a small stone shelter. I've no idea why, but unfortunately there isn't a stile or anything else in place to allow easy access to the shelter (unless you cross it here), so I'm afraid there's no other option than to climb over the fence. This is much easier said than done when the wind is so strong, but needs must I suppose and it was time to put a jacket and gloves on.

Peeping over the top of the shelter to take a picture of the Skiddaw Fells, , , , and , ,

, , , , also of Lonscale Fell.

Leaving Great Calva and heading down to the very wet area on route to Little Calva.
If you have a dislike for tramping across waterlogged, muddy fells, then this is not the place for you.

And looking back up to Great Calva.

Another photo of the Skiddaw Fells, this one was taken from Little Calva.
From here, the path does in fact continue alongside the fence and down to the top of Dash Falls. The final steep section of the path next to Dry Gill is a bit slippery at the best of times, but with patches of snow on the ground and generally wet conditions, I decided to miss this section of path altogether. So, where the fence turns sharp right I carried on in a straight line and took an off path route back down to the main track I'd been on earlier. This was a much more comfortable prospect, given the conditions under foot.


Standing near the top of Dash Falls and looking down the valley towards Binsey in the distance.

The bridge over Dash Beck.

Rather than go straight back to the car I decided to take a slightly longer route back via Brocklecrag and Horsemoor Hills. If only the extended route had have been about five minutes shorter as the heavens opened just before I got back to the car. On the other hand I should have walked a little quicker instead of dawdling about taking so many photos.

As if time doesn't seem to fly by quickly enough, before you realise it it's this time of year again.
"Don't be shy, go and say hello to your friends".
"I'm not shy Mam, I'm just struggling to get up this steep slope".

David Hall -
Lake District Walks