Morning in Mosedale
Overnight it rained on and off and the wind, though gusty, wasn’t as strong as I had expected. Nevertheless when I got up, the tops were under cloud and the weather didn’t look very promising. I didn’t fancy going over the High Stile range in clag, with no views. I was also reluctant to risk hurting my back further. The sensible option seemed to be to walk back to Braithwaite, either via Coledale Hause or to reverse the previous day’s route, except to descend into Newlands via Rigg Beck. I wouldn’t need to make the final decision until Buttermere.
I wasn’t in any particular hurry, so I didn’t leave until around 10:30. From the sheepfold, I followed the track at the southern end of Mosedale to Scale Force. It was obvious fairly quickly that the Coledale Hause alternative was not very attractive with the tops under mist.
Robinson and Whiteless Pike
It wasn’t long before I reached Scale Force. The picture doesn’t really do justice to an impressive series of waterfalls in a deep ravine.
I followed the high level path down to the end of Crummock Water passing a herd of docile cattle. Looking across the valley, the top of Grasmoor and the surrounding fells were under cloud.
Grasmoor obscured by cloud
While the wind wasn’t quite as strong as the previous day, it was still quite breezy. Fleetwith Pike and Honnister Pass at the head of Buttermere looked atmospheric, half obscured by hill fog.
Looking towards Fleetwith Pike
In what seemed no time at all I was back in Buttermere. I eschewed a pub meal and walked back through Ghyll Wood. I decided to have lunch in the shelter of the wood. I didn’t linger too long as the wind made it a bit chilly.
I followed the track above Sail Beck. Instead of heading to the higher level track that I had used the previous day, I stayed low, following the beck. Out of interest, I kept my eyes peeled for any likely places to camp for future reference, but I couldn’t see any decent spots.
At first, the path was quite good, but about half way up the valley, it petered out into more marshy ground. I could see the higher level path, so I decided to climb up the steep slope to avoid the wetter ground.
Looking up to Scar Crag below Crag Hill
I was surprised that, given how low the cloud was, I hadn’t encountered more than a spot or two of rain. Just before the watershed of Sail Beck and Rigg Beck, the path bifurcated with the upper branch heading up towards Sail, where I had descended the previous day. This time, I followed the lower branch to the head of Rigg Beck.
The path down Rigg Beck was quite steep in places with some small patches of scree. I was impressed by the tenacity of the trees on the flank of Causey Pike, which form a considerable wood in a rather unpromising situation.
Lower down, I spied a possible place to camp near a broken down sheepfold. The lower I got, the better it looked. I weighed up whether I should stop here or carry on for another hour or so back to the camp site in Braithwaite. On inspection, it seemed close to perfect, so I pitched my tent.
Camp at Rigg Beck
After collecting some water and having a wash in the beck, I settled down to a lazy late afternoon in the tent. The wind dropped and a few insects came out. I closed the tent door to prevent any invasion 🙂 .
It started to rain late afternoon and continued through most of the night. I wondered whether I might have to stay for the morning until it let up, but by around 7.00 am the rain petered out, which was ideal. There was a strong enough wind to blow off most of the raindrops on the flysheet as well. Even better!
There was no hurry to pack, so again, I wasn’t away until about 10 o’clock. As I descended to the road, there were a couple of brief showers, which I combated with my trusty umbrella. The walk back to the camp site took about an hour and was only remarkable for the number of pheasants I saw in the fields just before Little Braithwaite.
Looking back up the Newlands Valley
Back at the camp site, my tent and car were still there. Phew! All in all, despite a sore back and indifferent weather (although it only rained at night!), it had been an enjoyable little jaunt. Sometimes it’s nice to explore the valleys rather than the peaks. Rigg Beck, Sale Beck and Mosedale are all, in their own ways, gems.