19th September 2009

Catstye Cam and Birkhouse Moor


Walk Overview
Time 09.15 to 12.30
Duration 3 hr 15 min
Distance 6.5 mile
Ascent 2490 ft
Walking with On my own
Glenridding - Greenside Road - Glenridding Beck - Kepple Cove Dam - Catstye Cam - Red Tarn - Hole in the Wall - Birkhouse Mooe - Mires Beck - Glenridding
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, Glenridding

Found in the centre of Glenridding, this car park fills up very quickly indeed. Not just because of the amount of walkers heading onto the Helvellyn fells, but with people just wanting to have a walk around the village. Arriving after mid morning during the summer months would be a bit of a hit and miss situation as far as getting a space goes.

To state the obvious; there is a charge for parking here.


Route Map

The forecast was spot on today. A dry start, and rain moving in by midday.
I took this picture of Birkhouse Moor and the Mires Beck route from the point where the road out of Glenridding splits; giving you the choice of walking along Greenside Road as I did, or heading to Mires Beck.
When I got back here towards the end of the walk, the rain was getting heavy enough for me to quicken the pace back to the car. Walking in the rain for hours is one thing, but getting soaked on the last ten minutes of a walk is something you're generally able to avoid.

Greenside Road.

Swart Beck might look a bit of a mess, but we must remember the beck runs straight through an area which is simply littered with old mine workings, and I'm sure it now has little resemblance to what it looked like prior to that first shovel full of stone being dug out of the ground.

Looking along Glenridding Beck.

And another picture looking in the same direction as the previous photo. This time showing the cloud creeping even lower down on Catstye Cam.

The large sheepfold found at the junction of Red Tarn Beck and Glenridding Beck.

I did intend to head up to the track leading to Keppel Cove Dam, but second thoughts suggested that I carry on and take an off path route alongside the beck instead. A good decision as it turned out.

The first of the waterfalls I passed on route.

And the second one.

Looking back down Glenridding Beck.

You couldn't call this remote by any stretch of the imagination, but simply leaving the paths and following a beck like this can give you such a different outlook on an area you might already be very familiar with.

Looking ahead to Keppel Cove Dam.

Gaining height on the very steep climb up Catstye Cam.

Sadly, it wasn't long before I'd reached the cloud base and, , ,

, , , , the long distance view was gone for a while.

Catstye Cam summit.

A brief gap in the cloud as I head in the direction of Swirral Edge. That's towards Swirral Edge, but not all the way. Just before reaching the edge, I turned left and headed down to Red Tarn.

And just before reaching the tarn I dropped below the cloud again.

With the thick cloud getting lower, the view down the length of Red Tarn was like looking towards the ends of the Earth.

For a short time at least, the cloud seemed to be getting lower all the time and it actually felt like I was just managing to stay below it.

Glenridding and Ullswater.

Glenridding Beck.

Well, the rain was well and truly setting in now, so it was time to zip up the camera case and walk (quickly) back to the car.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks