All the Fells: Ling Fell

Ling Fell – The North Western Fells 1,224′ (69)

Date: 1 May 1988

From: Wythop

What can you say about a fell that Wainwright describes as being the shape of an upturned Xmas Pudding? How about: you have to climb it one day? The description is not all that appropriate any more, not through any improvement in Long Fell’s appearance or appeal, but rather because Twenty-First Century Xmas Puddings are not made that fully-rounded shape any more. Anyway, I hate Xmas Puddings: give me jam sponge, with custard, any time. But Ling Fell had to be climbed at some point, and it and its fellow ‘Sentinel of Wythop’, Sale Fell, were perfectly positioned and the perfect height for a Sunday afternoon ‘training walk’, a get-the-legs-in-gear stroll in time for more taxing and exciting expeditions throughout the week. The biggest difficulty looked as it it was going to be the complete absence of anything resembling a ‘ridge’ route between the fells, but in practice, as far as Ling Fell was concerned, it was the total absence of any parking in the village. I had to carry on, up the hill, in the eventual direction of Cockermouth before striking the upper farm road towards the Wythop Valley’s unique head, with off road parking at hand, not much more than a couple of car lengths along. I changed into my boots, followed the farm road onwards and gained access to the fellside, doubling back on an easy path that spirals around the fell until disappearing, presumably out of sheer apathy. From there, there was really no point in doing anything but go straight up until I reached the top. The slope wasn’t even worth zig-zagging across to make it easier and, apart from the curiosity of the limited views inwards, including the dreary Wythop Moss, there was nothing except counting off the summit to provide a reason for doing this at all. If it were to be done, then best it be done fast: I just headed straight downhill until I struck the path, regained the road and began working out how best to get over the valley to tackle Sale Fell next.

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