Wild-camping at Bowscale Tarn

Name of walk Wild-camping at Bowscale Tarn
Date of walk 2010-08-25
Distance walked (miles) 12
Duration of walk 6 hours 0 minutes
Weather Sunny and warm
Peaks on walk Bowscale Fell, Bannerdale Crags, Mungrisedale Common, Souther Fell
I haven’t done any wild-camping since over-nighting on the summit of Carran in County Kerry over two years ago. Brendan and I haven’t done any together since touring the Outer Hebrides 20 years ago!  Where did all the years go? So on Wednesday afternoon, with the forecast for two days of good weather, we set off for Bowscale to camp out at Bowscale Tarn. Then in the morning we could climb Bowscale Fell (2306ft), Bannerdale Crags (2230ft), Mungrisdale Common (2068ft) and Souther Fell (1680ft). A circular walk of 12 miles. We left Tom “home alone” with the job of feeding the cats.
We weighed our packs before we left. Mine was 1 stone 9 pounds, and Brendan’s was 1 stone 10 pounds. As Brendan carried all the food and water his rucksack would get lighter and lighter, I had the tent and cooking equipment so mine would stay exactly the same for all 12 miles!!!!! I guess there is a down side to being fit!

Walking up the valley path to the tarn takes about an hour or so


Good reflections in the tarn as there was no wind at all




Bowscale Tarn from above. Our tent is seen on the left, 1/3 of the way down.


Well now I know that sheep still go "Baaaaaaa...!" in the night, and that planes over-head are incredibly loud! It was a full moon so it was never very dark. We get up at seven to sunshine and blue skies. Early morning is one of the rare times that the tarn sees direct sunshine, it is in shade for most of the day. Brendan making a cup of tea.


The girls have slept well!



Taking a walk around the tarn in the sunshine.


View up the tarn.


After breakfast we pack away the tent and at 8.30am take the track up the grassy rake on the right, to the top of the fell. It is the steepest bit of the walk, but easy enough with care.



View down from the top.


Looking over to Skiddaw, Great Calva and The Knott.


Walking up to Bowscale Fell summit with High Pike and Carrock Fell behind.


At the summit shelter on Bowscale Fell with the route to Bannerdale Crags going left and a cloudy Blencathra ahead.



Bannerdale Crags.


Looking down into Bannerdale with our final fell of the walk, Souther Fell opposite


Looking back to Bowscale Fell summit from the route up Bannerdale Crags


Bannerdale Crags summit looking at Blencathra..


Heading for Mungrisdale Common. A Wainwright but a long, wet trudge into the middle of nowhere!


Behind Brendan is the back of Blencathra. (Sneaked in a bit of alliteration there...did you notice? :-) We head for the "summit" of Mungrisdale Common.


Close up of the mountains west of Derwent Water.


The summit cairn, small so very difficult to spot from a long way off! Is it a sheep? Or is it a cairn? It is surrounded by bog. Good view to the back of Skiddaw!


We trudge back, this time along the edge of the Common.


Back to the Glenderamakin Valley. We take the path down on the left


We pass under the Sharp Edge route up Blencathra.


Eventually we crossed the bridge to the other side and made our way up towards Souther Fell. Looking back to the valley.


Looking back from the route up Souther Fell.


Souther Fell cairn with Bannerdale Crags behind. We stop for some lunch.



Looking back along Souther Fell to Great Dodd and Clough Head on the left.


The ridge route Ged and I took off Bannerdale Crags in July. I told you it was steep!


The opposite view of the Bannerdale Valley that I photographed this morning


Looking down on Mungrisdale and The Mill Inn from the end of Souther Fell. Unfortunately there is a long detour off right around a field, just when you think you are within a stones throw of a drink!


Finally! A cold drink and a coffee. We got to the pub about 2.30pm, so the walk had taken six hours. Not bad going considering the weight I was carrying!

There was no point in both of us walking from Mungrisdale back to the car at Bowscale. So I stayed with the rucksacks at the pub while Brendan drew the short straw and walked the 20 minutes to pick up the car.
A good trip out! My shoulders are a little stiff today and my hip bones feel bruised due to the weight of the rucksack on them, but otherwise no ill effects! We`ll have to do it again…..Angle Tarn would be a great spot, if we ever get two good days in a row again this summer!