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Howes wild camp

4-5th January 2020

Route. 4th - Mardale - Old Corpse Rd - Swindale Head - The Forces - Nabs Moor - Howes ( about 4 miles 1700ft ascent)

Route. 5th - Howes - Captain Whelter Bog - Selside - Selside End - Old Corpse Rd - Mardale ( about 3 miles 350ft ascent)


Another sneaky overnighter squeezed in before the return to work on Monday..


Originally we ( April, Beefy, Squeaky and I ) had planned to camp over in the western Lakes but the forecast deteriorated as the week went by so our plans were changed to a camp in the extreme east of the national park where the forecast was for little if any rain although the wind was predicted to be quite strong. We parked at the bottom of the Old Corpse road in Mardale from where I took this pic of The wooded Rigg leading on to the Rough Crag ridge and High Street with Riggindale and the distinctive Kidsty Pike on the right.


Mardale Head with Harter Fell above.


Rowantreethwaite Beck tumbles down the hillside. I read that there is a grade three scramble straight up the beck, rather them than me !


The bad weather forecast for the central/western Lakes seems to be creeping our way.


Any rain that did reach us soon passed, and on the whole we had pretty good conditions. Here April,Beefy and Squeaky take in the views from one of the old huts on the Corpse road..


As we crossed over the moor we could see that the Naddle fells above Swindale were getting a bit of sun.


Looking down on Swindale.

We are heading for the Forces waterfalls seen here on the left.


This lovely old lane is followed along Swindale.

After leaving the lane the path passes over and through some drumlins. The quirkily named Hobgrumble Gill is the stream falling down the crag.

April and Beefy had never visited the Forces and were quite taken with them, even making plans to come back in the summer to spend some time photographing and maybe even swimming. ( so you have been warned)

Sunlight lights up the hillside  The footbridge is part of a new path which has been created so that you can have a circular walk around Swindale..

This highest fall in the Forces.

Although the path by the Forces is steep ( and non existent in places) there is so much interest in the falls that you seem to reach the top in no time at all. We are out of Swindale now and into Mosedale. The weather at the head of the valley looks a little worrying but we are heading to the high ground on the right.

We cross the fence on Nabs Moor heading for Howes. The fence climbs the seemingly never ending convex slope to Selside that I climbed a few months ago.

Passing the cairned top at 544Mtrs.

Looking down to Mosedale Cottage bothy which was our plan B if the weather ( or I should say the wind) become too severe.

Just below Howes we pass Wainwright's "unexpected tarn" ( Outlying fells page 234 ) Part of the reason for choosing this route is my ongoing ( long term..or more likely  very long term ) project to visit every named tarn in the lake district and although this small tarn is not named on the O/S map it is named as Howes Water on some maps.

The "very slim chance of rain" had become a reality and as Beefy had found this fine pitch spot we raced to get the tents up. Thankfully the strong wind didn't materialise though so we all slept well.

It rained all through the night and all morning so I only took this one photo on my phone just to show the change in conditions from the day before


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