At the weekend me and beautiful wife were due to meet up with her family at her brother’s caravan near Grizebeck, but as expected, we decided to make it a bit more of an adventure. Looking out from the caravan you can see the hill of Black Combe, the largest hill on the periphery of the lake district. On a good day it looks like the photo below.
Yesterday it definitely wasn’t like that. It chucked it down on the drive over, the wind was blowing a gale, and clouds completely blocked out the summit. Perfect fell running weather.
We parked up in Silecroft and followed a couple of footpaths across fields, although the second field had a few inquisitive young cows who wanted to say hello. From there the path to the top is well marked and well used, and heads straight up. In his books Wainright describes Black Combe as an easy walk that the elderly can manage in carpet slippers. I was puffing and blowing as we were reduced to a steady walk. It also wasn’t long before we were hidden in the clouds, which did mean that we had no idea where the summit was, although I knew that it would be slightly less than 3 miles, all up hill. The fairly impressive Strava elevation profile can be seen below.
As we neared the summit the winds increased, until we spotted the Trig point, surrounded by a small circular wall, which we ducked down behind for a little shelter.
Moments later I stood up.
Sensibly, instead of looking for a different route down and probably getting lost in the clouds, we opted to return down the way we had come up. When we return in better conditions then we’ll probably take the longer route.
Surprisingly it was far easier running down, although we did have to stop when the track split into two. We hadn’t noticed the other track on the way up. Not long after that we dropped out of the clouds, and as you can see Helen was pleased to have a view to look at.
As we neared the bottom the field with cows now had a bull, so wisely we detoured onto the road, into the other field and back to the car.
The rest of the day was spent with Helen’s family, eating and drinking, interspersed with a walk along the Ulverston Canal and the Ulverston food festival. Overall a great day.