Cumbria Scenes – 30.3.12

Ennerdale from Great Borne

Today’s scene is the first of a pair: a magnificent mountain scene, from an overlooked viewpoint, showing the distant and secretive valley of Ennerdale in glorious fashion.
I’ve already written about this lonely and moderately inaccessible valley, but it does hold a certain fascination for me. I’ve always been dependant upon a car to get me to the best places from which to start the most attractive and interesting ascents, and thus Ennerdale’s restrictions, and the long valley miles to reach even the start of a walk have kept it more of a mystery to me than almost every other major valley.
The view here is from the summit of Great Borne, which borders the northern shore of the Lake. It’s a striking looking little fell from lake level but lacks the height to back up its appearance, but an ascent by the out-of-favour Floutern Tarn Pass, and the scramble up Steel Brow, is a worthy half-day expedition, especially with such a view.
Ahead lies the rising ridge separating Ennerdale from Buttermere: in the foreground, Starling Dodd, and beyond, Red Pike and the swelling bulk of High Stile: two thirds of a range that presents its best face to the Buttermere Valley.
To the right of the picture, snow-capped, is Pillar, the monarch of Ennerdale, presenting a majestic aspect, even as it turns a noble southern flank to the more popular (and car-accessible) Wasdale. Beyond it, Kirk Fell, showing some of its hidden cliffs, and, touched briefly by cloud, Great Gable. Beside the latter, and always in its shadow, Green Gable.
The Lake is invisible in this shot, but the long, silent valley stretches out between the two ridges, carpeted in green by the Forestry Commission. That’s my abiding memory of Ennerdale valley: the shrouding trees. But if you want to escape the crowds…
Great Borne was my sole walking expedition out of Ennerdale. From here, I continued to Starling Dodd before retracing my steps a ways, and picking out a tiny fold in the ridge that developed into a steepening beck. By this way, I avoided repeating too much trodden ground and came out onto Floutern on the Mosedale side of the ridge, leaving me a short, and thankfully none-too-boggy, climb back to the summit, passing the sheltered Tarn itself.

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