Half A Kanter 10th March 2024

Led by Paul

Seven members of the Cumbria group and one member from the North Yorkshire group who was staying in the village met at Braithwaite for a figure-of-eight walk, being half of a possible future challenge event comprising of four loops from a central checkpoint, each culminating in a Wainwright Fell.
It was decided to do the more exposed South loop to Causey Pike first, as the weather forecast was for a showery day with gusty winds likely to be stronger after mid-day. This would be followed by the longer but more sheltered West loop.
From Braithwaite village the group took the minor road and then track up to Barrow Door before a gradual descent through the heather to meet the old miners' track alongside Stoneycroft Gill. Going up the track the party soon met and followed the path climbing diagonally up the slope towards Causey Pike. From here an easier ascent led past several false summits to the true top (637m/2089ft), where we did not linger long owing to the misty, wet and breezy conditions.
Retracing our steps to the track alongside Stoneycroft Gill, we visited the nearby but dilapidated sheepfold for a coffee stop then continued down towards Uzzicar in the Newlands Valley before returning to Braithwaite via the shoulder of Barrow (another Wainwright fell) and Braithwaite Lodge farm.
After a break for lunch back at the cars (for most of the group) or at the house (for visitor Chris), we tackled the longer but less exposed loop to Barf. The route crossed the footbridge festooned with prayer-flags, passed the Scout centre and before long ascended the first of several tracks within Whinlatter Forest. The trees provided a lot of shelter which was welcome.
As we neared the top of the forest Barf could be seen ahead for the first time, and a pleasant, gently descending track took us down to a stile before the final ascent to the rocky summit of our second Wainwright (468m/1535ft). Here again we did not linger long as the wind was gusting more strongly, but the view of Bassenthwaite Lake was still impressive.
The group then retraced its steps before taking a good track down to the village of Thorrnthwaite and a low-level off-road return back to the starting point.
Walk stats:
South Loop (Causey Pike): Distance 10.7km (6.6 miles) with 600 metres (1962 ft) ascent in 3 hrs 17 minutes (moving time)
West Loop (Barf): Distance 11.4km (7 miles) with 580 metres (1900 ft) ascent in 3 hrs 15 minutes (moving time)

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