Monday, 11 August 2008

place fell and ullswater

The day dawned dry and overcast - the sun from yesterday long forgotten.

Place fell sits to the east of Ullswater and the walking guide promised unfolding views of Hellvelyn, Fairfield and Ullswater so this route was a natural choice given our location. We headed up the path from the farm to Boardale Hause and it was along here that we spotted a red squirrel bounding along a dry stone wall - my first sighting of one in the wild. As we gained height Brothers Water hove into view. Unfortunately after taking a quick snap my camera batteries failed. From the ruins of the chapel the path heads north to the summit of Place Fell (657m) on the way we passed a solitary worker building steps to counter the erosion of the way. After a short scrambly section we were on the summit plateau. From the top the path drops down to a saddle to the east of High Dodd. We were following our noses at this point and rather than follow the path down to Cat Crag we continued on over Sleet Fell (378m) and descended to the path that runs along the lake and back to our starting point. It was here that disaster struck, on the decent my left knee started to hurt. An old climbing injury that hadn't bothered me over all the miles and mountains I'd walked these last few years suddenly just flared up. To add to the misery it had also started to rain. The guidebook claimed that this is one of the most picturesque routes in the lakes. It did remind me of the West Highland Way where it follows the edge of Loch Lomond and there are a couple of places where you can stop and enjoy the view. Sadly I was in no mood to enjoy the scenery wanting just to hobble back to the campsite and take some pain killers and rest my leg.

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