Great Borne and Starling Dodd

This was a "clean-up" exercise, to climb two Wainwrights which reside on the end of the Buttermere range to the west of Red Pike, and which we had cravenly omitted from our tour of Buttermere some weeks earlier.  Although we could have tackled them from Buttermere, that would have implied crossing one of the boggier Mosedales, and both AW and Bill Birkett recommend an approach from Ennerdale, which seemed a good idea, since we hadn't been in Ennerdale all summer. 

Here are the pictures (click on any picture for a larger version):

We parked under Bowness Knott half-way along Ennerdale Water, and walked back to climb up around the forest under Herdus, the fell in this picture. 
Having climbed to the level of Bowness Knott, which is out of sight on the right, we could see most of the high fells on the other side of Ennerdale, notably Pillar, with Pillar Rock in profile.

The eastern end of Ennerdale Water (and lots of trees, of course)
You will not have seen this view before, I am sure, since nobody to date would have been foolish enough to choose this route up Great Borne (which is on the left).  We should have gone straight up Herdus, and then across to Great Borne, but I thought I would try a short-cut!  Underfoot the conditions changed from bracken ( I can do bracken now) to a mixture of boulders, heather and bilberry bushes, all on an increasingly steep slope.  The larger boulders were almost too much for Sophie, and we had to find a route suitable for both her and me, which was not easy.  But isn't the heather pretty...?

Some considerable time later, we arrived at the summit of Great Borne.  Sophie was a little tired at this point, as was I.  The best way of making the ascent, for me, had been to pull myself up by the heather and bilberry bushes at chest level in front of me.  Sophie is not too good at pulling herself up anything, and she had to JUMP up and over the plants, for many minutes on end.  And she was still wagging her tail at the end of it...
The view south-east from Great Borne, with Starling Dodd in front of Red Pike (the pointed fell-top) and High Stile.

Closer up.
The metal cairn on top of Starling Dodd.  Makes rather a nice change, I think...

Lokking back down on Ennerdale Water from the top of Starling Dodd.
Mellbreak, Crummock Water and Grasmoor.

Looking back up at Red Pike, as we were dropping sharply down to Ennerdale off Starling Dodd.
The view from the forest path at Gillerthwaite, looking up at Starling Dodd.  Lots of bracken, but in fact the path was wide and clear enough for it not to be a problem.  You can (?) see that the forest is now not entirely evergreen fir trees, thank goodness; we saw quite a variety of deciduous trees, including a surprising number of silver birches (what are they used for?).   Incidentally, I was recently being rude about fir-trees to a family friend and she was horrified!  She is German, and delighted in gloomy forests (and also thoroughly disliked all these bare fell-tops she was being subjected to).  Takes all sorts...

If you would like to sponsor me and the dogs in our quest to walk all the Wainwrights for the Great North Air Ambulance Service, please click here - and thank you for your generosity!