Place Fell is one of several in the Lake District - others being, for example, Lingmoor Fell, Loughrigg, Causey Pike, Mellbreak and so on - that offer a fine mountain experience in their own right, despite their relatively lowly height, and at the same time provide ideal ‘viewing platforms’ for admiring the grand range of neighbouring fells among which each of them is situated. They are thereby especially handy for outings on days when the clouds may be down on the summits of higher fells, when daylight is short, temperatures low, and so on, all features of the conditions on this occasion.The ascent was from Patterdale, but, rather than going up from there via the slanting path to Boardale, as I have usually done in the past, I decided this time to proceed in the opposite direction, by first of all taking the higher of the two lake shore tracks. Then, just before this climbs to a knoll and descends to the lower lakeside path, I branched off diagonally up on another path that eventually emerges at the summit area near ‘The Knight’. I then trended south, skirting round the western rim of the summit, on the upper part of the Grey Crag, before turning east to the summit proper. From there, the descent was back down my usual line of ascent, via Boardale Hause.There are several advantages to this route: i) it provides better views across to Glenridding and Grisedale than the other one, right from the start; ii) the main part of the ascent is on a reasonable well-graded and well-defined path throughout; iii) it leads out to near the best higher-level viewing spots in the summit area; iv) if ascending from Boardale, it would provide a quicker and less tedious means of descent than the rather dull trudge from the summit via near High Dodd to the shoreline (though it would admittedly also leave out some of the best parts of the latter).Views were not of the best, as the cloud failed to lift to the extent that had been forecast, but there were still some fine panoramas westwards, as can be seen, and deer were out in relative abundance (though no sign of Santa and his sleigh, unless he was using one of the two helicopters that also flew past). Definitely a route to be savoured once again as soon as appropriate weather ensues!Highest point (Place Fell): 2154 ft./656 m. Distance: 4.1 miles/6.7 km. Ascent: 1848 ft./ 563 m.
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