Some Outlying Fells: Caw

Caw – The Outlying Fells 1,735′

Date: 9 September 1996

From: Seathwaite-in-Dunnerdale

From the approach to our beloved holiday destination of Low Bleansley Farm, there were views of the eastern side of the Duddon Valley beyond. Two fells stood out, Stickle Pike and Caw, especially the latter for its elegant, pyramidical lines. When I grew old enough to start poring obsessively over the Wainwrights, I deeply resented its exclusion from The Southern Fells on its behalf, and would frequently apply to the map to try to prove that Wainwright’s arbitrary boundary line actually passed behind it, meaning it should have been included, so there. When The Outlying Fells was announced, I knew it would get it’s due at last, and was delighted to discover that it was the only top in the whole book to get the traditional ‘space-station view’: recognition long overdue. That said, it was over twenty years before I climbed Caw: the ‘official’ fells came first. It was a warm September afternoon and I parked at Seathwaite before taking the old trail between valleys known as Park Head Road, which would have led me to the Lickle Valley, if followed, where Low Bleansley still stands, proudly, to this day. Views over the head of the Duddon, with Harter Fell in the foreground and the Scafell massif in the background are never short of spectacular, and I enjoyed these to the full, both from Park Head Road and the little summit, reached by a scramble directly up the fellside from the disused Caw mines. I followed the return route in a wide loop over the subsidiary peaks of Pikes and Green Pikes, zig-zagging down the fellside in roundabout fashion, back to my car. An ambition that I’d had since the Sixties was finally realised, and I was so buoyed up that I didn’t change out of my boots when I drove back towards Ambleside, and parked up and climbed Black Fell again, just for the fun of it.


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