Nine members and two visitors from East Lancs LDWA set out from Carlingill Bridge on the back road to Sedbergh, a former Roman road and somewhat quieter prospect than the nearby M6.  With Clare leading, the route initially followed Carlingill Beck up the valley, which narrowed dramatically towards its head and scree slopes had to be negotiated en-route to the waterfalls.  The first steep pull of the day alongside the waterfall was made, which gained the higher ground and the next objective was Fell Head.  At Fell Head summit, we were joined by a third visitor from East Lancs LDWA.  Easy ridge walking with some small undulations took in Breaks Head, Windscarth Wyke, Bush Howe and Height of Bush Howe before arriving at the plateau summit of The Calf.  Whilst approaching The Calf, figures could be seen running along the skyline and once at the summit, hordes of trail marathon runners were encountered, from the fresh and going well to the exhausted.  Well done to all! 


After a photo call, the opportunity for a coffee stop out of the wind was taken just below The Calf.  Clare sounded the two minute warning, at which point somebody remarked that they had longer coffee breaks at work!   The route continued down the bridleway towards Sedbergh, still encountering stragglers from the trial marathon, with lovely views of the rolling, grassy Howgill Fells.  Just before Winder, we left the bridleway and followed the well-worn footpath down Settlebeck Gill.  Immediately above Sedbergh, the route turned north east and followed field paths to Ellerthwaite and the end of a minor road, before continuing to Fawcett Bank for a lunch stop.  A convenient telegraph pole, lying on its side, provided a group-sized lunch perch.  At this point, runners were encountered again, on their way back to Sedbergh for the (welcome) finish!  We shared the path with runners coming in the opposite direction, as far as Cautley Beck and the footbridge.


The prospect of the second sharp pull of the day, Cautley Spout, was looming.  Rather unhelpfully, it tried to rain but this was short-lived.  The next section of the route involved a sharp turn in a north westerly direction, up Cautley Holme Beck, towards ‘The Spout.’  Figures could be seen ascending the path beside the waterfall.  Fortunately, the rocky steps of the path made the ascent easier than it first appeared.  Having gained the top of the waterfall, the route continued up Red Gill Beck, past one of Andy Goldsworthy’s sheepfolds, to the point where we had a coffee break earlier in the day.  After a brief pause, we reached The Calf summit for the second time, giving the trig point just a cursory glance; no photographs this time!  From The Calf, the morning’s route was retraced to Fell Head and the final decent over Linghaw, Knowles and Back Baulk was made, to the welcome sight of the waiting cars.