The Old Crown Round is always a challenge and was made even more so this time for those who had cycled 70 miles the previous day to celebrate the Secretary’s 70th birthday! Initial numbers were eight including guest Ingrid from faraway Bellingham who had left home with Barbara at 6.30am. Meeting at Peter House farm meant that the cars could be left a mile or so up the Dash farm road thus shortening the total distance a tad. Mighty Skiddaw is the first obstacle when starting the Round from the West but the road to Skiddaw House gives an easy start until leaving it at the top of Dash falls.


Soon into mist the ascent via Bakestall along the fence line was uneventful until we broke out of cloud near the summit to enjoy the usual expansive views while still in shirt sleeve order. The party was augmented by one here as guest Norman from Carlisle had walked up from Keswick in the hope of meeting us. A quick stop for coffee on Sale How preceded the descent to Skiddaw House and the long trudge up the back of Blencathra visiting the magnificent Wainwright of Mungrisdale Common en route. Various routes were taken to the summit before dropping down for lunch above the Glenderamackin col.


 Cries of ‘the hard work is all done’ proved inaccurate as we embarked on the long descent into Mosedale taking in Bowscale Fell on the way. Crossing the Caldew allowed the Secretary to enjoy a reviving dip in the tourist pool before the pathless slog up Carrock Fell was started. The summit was eventually reached where rendezvous was made with walk mastermind and new leader Louise who, together with Gill, had been awaiting our arrival for some time. With numbers now at eleven relatively easy walking lead across to Great Lingy Fell becoming pathless again in the crossing of Roughton Gill where a diversity of routes saw the group coalesce for a quick tea stop on Great Sca Fell.


 With the end now nearly in sight the short climbs of Meal Fell and finally Great Cockup were not too painful. The descent past Dash Farm back to the cars saw the group arrive in two stages finishing in slightly under ten hours. A long day of twenty miles and 2,000 metres of ascent was rewarded by the issue of badges and certificates for those who value such things before all went their separate ways.


Louise adds her version of events!

Figures began to appear along the flank of Carrock Fell above Mosedale.  They appeared to be going in all directions initially, each taking their own route over to the summit.  Soon Gill and I were able to make out individuals and shortly everyone was at the summit cairn (with the exception of two who had gone on along the ridge a little) enjoying a well-earned refreshment break.From here the going was straightforward, in the direction of High Pike, which we were not visiting today.  Our route veered left beneath High Pike and we picked up a stony track for a short distance before heading ‘off-piste’ towards Great Lingy Hill. 

‘Off-piste was the order of the day between Great Lingy Hill and Great Sca Fell, a trackless, grassy, boggy expanse of fell which characterises the ‘Back ‘o’ Skiddaw’ area of Northern Lakeland.  We took the opportunity for a re-group on Great Sca Fell and another refreshment break.  Although it appeared to be ‘downhill all the way’ from here; this was not the case, due to a couple of minor undulations, namely, Meal Fell and Great Cockup; the last fell on the list of those required to complete the ‘Old Crown Round.’ 

Some confusion ensued at this point as two members of the group continued to the second cairn of Great Cockup, whilst the rest of the group headed down the heather clad flank of the fell towards the cars, which were parked on the lane leading to Dash Farm.  Back at the cars, much discussion took place as to which of the cairns was the true summit of Great Cockup.  The two lucky members in the ‘breakaway group’ seem to have bagged it, whilst also avoiding the energy sapping heather!  Perhaps Great Cockup was an appropriate fell to complete the round!  A tough walk for those who completed the full round, particularly the 70th birthday cyclists!  Certificates and badges were duly awarded to the conquerors! 

(The first cairn is the true summit so everyone bagged it!!  Ed.)