A Swindale Round

This was the latest in a series of Easter-tide fell-walks with Sarah and Jim Mercer (see, e.g., here and here), and once again was a very fine outing in glorious weather and excellent company! 

By popular request the venue was Swindale, last tackled in December by Jim and yours truly, but this time approached in an anticlockwise direction and via a somewhat more 'elevated' route.  The walk started from the car-park at the northern entrance to the valley, up from there to the long, undulating ridge of moor-land that lies between the western side of Swindale and Haweswater, and then on to the summit of Selside Pike.  Throughout this stretch we were constantly serenaded and entertained by the antics of what were identified (after some dispute!) to be a succession of skylarks - a wonderful accompaniment to the scenery!

After some nifty compass and map-work, the course onwards from Selside Pike summit was established beyond reasonable doubt, soon involving a delightful 'tour d'horizon' of the crags at the southern end of Swindale, beginning with those to the west and then moving on to those lying east of Hobgrumble Gill. 

The delights of the day were then rounded off with a descent down the western side of the spectacular series of waterfalls and cataracts which comprise Forces Falls, followed by the long, leisurely walk back along the valley floor to the starting point.  The schedule also permitted a subsequent quick visit to the nearby 'Crown and Mitre' in Bampton Grange, thus ensuring that we also met what had become increasingly clear throughout the day was Jim's primary objective of the outing!

(Distance:  7.2 miles/11.6 km.  Ascent:  1668 ft./508 m.  Highest point (Selside Pike):  2149 ft./655m.)


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