Expeditions, Navigation, Guided Walks and Trekking

Bessyboot or Rosthwaite Fell that is the question? #166

Bessyboot, looking up to Rosthwaite Cam and Glaramara

Rosthwaite Fell is at the end of the long spur coming down from Esk Hause, ending in Stonethwaite, Borrowdale. Geologically, its the end of the Scafell range, so it would make a great route up. A long day out, but its not a route, there is no easy way up Rosthwaite Fell.

Another thought, why is the fell top Wainwright describes actually Bessyboot, rather than the highest point of the fell, at Rosthwaite Cam, even shown on his map. Andy Fell suggested that the reason must go back to the maps he was using. Apparently it was the latest 2 1/2inch map, which shows a trig point and spot height at Bessyboot and just naming the other places on the fell.

For my Wainwright list, Rosthwaite Fell/Bessyboot has hung somewhat embarisingly without a tick on my tracking spreadsheet. I was spreadsheet expert at work, so please give me some credit. It became the final fell in the Southern Fells left to complete. So when I was invited to meet friends at the campsite below the fell, I had to get up there. Steve and Nas were glad of an easy walk that morning, they had backpacked over from Wasdale the day before. So in return for a lift up to Honister they joined me on a lighweight walk up Bessyboot.

A path up the west side of the fell starts from our campsite at Chapel House Farm (ask about their discount voucher for the pub meals, good incentive!) . Oddly, this path is only mentioned by Wainwright in the small print on his ascent route only discovered after we had been up and down; but we wanted to find an easy route for the sore backs of the backpapers. It winds up through the fields above the extremely picturesque Old Mill and alongside the fells, loosing its way as the fell top becomes crowded with the small crags and desceptive summits. But the Tarn at Leaves was easy to find, with Bessyboot just above it surrounded by small crags. Althought a bit overcast, we had great open views down Borrowdale and up towards Glaramara.

The Old Mill, Stonethwaite.

Not long after setting of down Stanger Gill we worked out why Wainwright had used this as his way up. The steep fellside is extremely slippy after a damp night. The Fix the Fells path helps the ascent, but in descent was a hazard. We all had falls, apart from the dogs of course. By way of compensation though, thisway down passes the Langstrath Inn and the whole walk wonderfully timed to get there for lunch.

After a lovely pub lunch I took the wild-campers up to the top of the pass and walked with them along Moses Trod. They headed back to Wasdale, while I revisted Brandreth and Grey Knotts on the way back to the carpark.

Summit of Brandreath as the rain closes in.

So thats it, Southern Fells completed, which is a shame as it contains the highest, most scrambly and rugged fells and some of the best views. I wonder what next, will have to get a move on, at this rate I will only be able to do the Outlying Fells before my knees give way.

One comment on “Bessyboot or Rosthwaite Fell that is the question? #166

  1. Nas Haque
    September 22, 2019

    It was a lovely walk up but very slippery coming down. Tea at the top was out of this world. Best but no fiddly bits!

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This entry was posted on September 22, 2019 by in Blog, Lake District, Wainwrights and tagged , , , .
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