All the Fells: Silver How

Silver How – The Central Fells 1,292′ (24)

Date: 30 April 1985/18 June 1995

From: Grasmere/Blea Rigg

Silver How was part of an unusual double, when I climbed the same two fells in widely separated expeditions but in different directions. Silver How was definitely the destination. This was the holiday where I’d lost two Keswick-based days to wet weather, and it didn’t look any better when I checked out to try my luck in Ambleside. But, crossing Dunmail Raise, I was surprised to find a great hole in the clouds roughly the size of the Vale of Grasmere, so I put my foot down, checked in and raced back. It was still there. I was still limited as to the height I could reach, but Silver How was an elegant and attractive sight across the Lake so I focussed on that. This meant a start towards the Red Bank road, though only until past the lakehead, then onto a wooded path that crossed the ridge onto Great Langdale. It was easy walking, gradually growing steeper, which was good because this was my first walk since the previous year. So I was feeling pretty loose by the time it came to turn off, along the prominent gulley, and come round to the little round top from behind. Of course, having come that far so simply, I could extend myself to follow the sprawling ridge towards the Langdale Pikes and Blea Rigg. A long time later, I did the walk in the opposite direction, from Easedale to Blea Rigg and then a long, lonely walk, following the path down to Silver How again, a delightful terminus with better views in better conditions. But rather than completely reverse the original walk, I came back down and descended towards Wray Gill, and had myself a fun and sporting scramble down the gill, moving agilely down the enclosed channel, before emerging in the centre of Grasmere Village, having had a wonderful time. I should have done a few more scrambles than I did, thanks to my issues with self-confidence: they were so much fun.

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