Total Distance:- 19.7 Km (12.2 ml)
Ave Speed:- 3.24Km/hr (2.01 mph) [11.17 am – 17.21 pm]
Max Elevation 514 m (1686 ft)
Total ascent:- 755 m (2476 ft)
Peter led, 5 in group. Leaving the bus on the A592 on a wet day, we made our way SE over a field & down to the R Eamont. After heading SW alongside the river, we arrived at the temporary bridge leading to Pooley Bridge. As it was after 11.30, it was time for coffee. We found a nice roomy shelter with benches (not sure whether it was a bus shelter or not) and we made ourselves comfortable. Peter M became even happier when he popped across the road to the cafe and obtained a cup of coffee for 75p (in the Lakes???). After 10 min or so, “onwards and upwards” came the call from yours truly. Upwards was the appropriate term as we climbed up the minor road to Roehead and then continued up a steeper track. At this point, the precipitation could probably be described as heavy drizzle – the type that soaks through you. Undeterred, we turned off the track onto a grassy path which we have used on previous walks. This was probably a bad move, as after crossing Elder Beck we made the slight error that had been made on a previous walk and ended up having to climb SSW through long vegetation with no path. In future, better to take the slightly longer but hopefully better bridleway to the south. Once on High Street, walking became easy and we headed westwards across Aik Beck where we left High Street for the lower path. Past Barton Park and under Whinney Crag, there were what should have been good views of Ullswater but the rain and low cloud made it look very dreary. Howtown was our planned lunch stop and Peter M advised me that there was a shelter near the ferry landing. Arriving at the shelter, we met Rob and his group just about to leave. We sat and ate lunch and then leaving the shelter with the rain no worse than before, and certainly not as bad as forecast, we made a group decision to stay with the original route up to Angle Tarn rather than take the low route around the lake shore. A further decision to stay on the road to Martindale rather than the footpath past Mellguards, proved a wise choice as we made very good time along the road. A quick look in to the old Martindale church, as some of the group had not been there before, and then it was on our way again towards Dale Head & Bannerdale. About 300 m beyond the church, we came across a group which actually comprised 3 separate groups who were somewhat lost. Two guys needed to get to Shap and after advising them that they were miles off-course, a couple of girls said that if they could get to their car, they would give them a lift. We directed them to Howtown and all seemed happy that they could proceed OK from there. We continued up the valley with the rain increasing and it was becoming thoroughly miserable. After the road ends at Dale Head, we took the footpath up the valley, at least we did when we could see it. The fact that I knew we had to follow the wall was a saving grace, although the path now leaves the wall under Heck Crag. Was it my getting older, the wet stony path or the high bracken, but this was certainly a harder climb than my last effort a few years ago. Anyhow, we reached the top and Angle Tarn lay before us. Unfortunately, so did the wind and heavy rain, so we never even stopped at the Tarn and made our way along the wet and slippery path around Angletarn Pike to Boredale Hause. Here we met Dave’s group descending from Place Fell and so the two groups merged as we descended to Rooking and thence to our destination of Patterdale.
What should have been a good walk was ruined by the weather, but there is always another time, if I am daft enough to attempt Bannerdale again!!
Apologies for lack of, and quality of, photos, but I am fortunate the camera is still working with all the rain that fell on it.