Kentmere 'Three Peaks'

For anyone bored with the long, dull trudge that constitutes the ascent of Yoke from the top of Garburn Pass, a 'full frontal' assault on its eastern face - Rainsborrow Crag - offers a potentially attractive alternative.  I say 'potentially' because, of course, the steep and mostly pathless way up may not appeal to everyone, but in my view it represents a much more interesting route because of the very fine scenery involved as well as the exhilarating/knackering (depending on your point of view) - but never boring! - nature of the terrain to be negotiated. 

Having parked up in Kentmere village, the walk began by first of all trekking to the base of Rainsborrow Crag near Reservoir Cottage.  From here I followed a beck up to an area just above the quarry cave, crossed over to the left, and after a few bits of slithering about on steep slate spoil heaps, made it to the said cave.  From here I retraced my steps to where I had crossed the beck and began the pull up to Rainsborrow Cove, followed by a left turn on to the edge of the Crag.  From here onwards it was a question of threading my way up via a maze of steep sheep trods to the summit arête, after which conditions eased considerably.

The summit gained, it was an easy stroll north along the Troutbeck/Kentmere ridge to Ill Bell and then Froswick.  Descent involved retracing my steps to the lowest point of the ridge between Froswick and Ill Bell and then picking up a faint but very helpful path down from there to the main part of the 'cwm' lying below.  From here an easy grassy stroll down to the Kentemere Reservoir shoreline followed, and so back from there to the base of Rainsborrow Crag once again and then on also to Kentmere village.

Great views throughout, especially of the upper Kentmere valley towards Nan Bield Pass, though mid-summer conditions do not provide the contrasts of colours that come at other times of year, so I will definitely be back to savour them in due course.  Also, although the quarry cave is substantial and has an interesting 'second chamber', its relatively low elevation makes it a less attractive prospect than, say, the Priest's Hole of Dove Crag (which  it has a strong resemblance to in other respects, however).  In addition, my friend and usual walking companion, Jim Mercer, was unfortunately unavailable, and so the walk did not conclude on this occasion in the customary manner at the nearby 'Eagle and Child'.  But no real complaints - altogether, this was another great day out on these very fine fells!

(Highest point (Ill Bell): 2484 ft/ 757 m. Distance: 8.8 miles/ 14.1 km. Ascent: 2898 ft./ 883 m.)

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