Weather: cool north easterly breeze but a gradually brightening picture throughout the day, still patchy snow above ca. 2,500'
Where: Lake District, Northern Fells
|Dash Falls (White Water Dash)|
Each April Rob & Margaret Bianchi (Outdoor Development Ministries, ODM) run a walking week at Blaithwaite House. Last year I gave Rob a hand by taking a group out in the fells & so this year we did the same again.
A group of seven opted to do a day in the Northern Fells - the plan was Little & Great Calva - it was calculated that the combined age of the seven (not including myself of course!!) was well over 400. We set off from Peter House Farm and walked in along the Cumbrian Way, this is always enjoyable as there is a real feel of walking in to a mountain environment with the bulk of the Skiddaw group to the right and the Pennine like "Cockups" off to the left, ahead is Dash Falls which today were carrying plenty of water after heavy overnight rain. We stopped briefly a couple of times on the way up to the falls to take pictures and look at a few examples of the slatey rock at the foot of Dead Crags.
A slightly longer stop at the head of Dash Falls gave the guys a chance to prepare for the major ascent of the day alongside the boundary fence which provides an excellent handrail feature all the way to both Calva's. There isn't really a path for this ascent and ageing joints felt the strain - I have to say I was incredibly impressed and inspired as folk of 78, 79 and even 84 years of age made relatively light work of this short sharp ascent. The fell levels off considerably as Little Calva is approached and there was a genuine and well deserved sense of achievement as its summit was gained.
A couple of minutes drop off from the summit enabled us to collect those who did not do the last ascent and then we were able to continue descending as a group across open pathless fell and springy heather in the direction of Dead Beck, the skies steadily brightening. The beck offers another good handrail feature, helpful when visibility is poor, leading directly back to the "motorway" of the Cumbria Way. When we hit the main track we took a right for the walk out which ultimately completed a day of about seven miles and just under 2,000' of ascent