Walk 196 in Borrowdale

January 12, 2022

WALK 196: Rosthwaite Fell (1,807 feet above sea level, number 287 of my second round). 6.5 miles, 2,000 feet of ascent.

Over the last twelve-and-a-half years I have accumulated plenty of data on the typical weather conditions that affect the Lake District (and Northern England more broadly). So I know that it is always worth keeping an eye on the weather forecast for early January; I have had some stellar January days in the past (e.g. walk 48, walk 157, to name but two). And it’s usually a flexible time at work.

Rosthwaite Cam, one of the Birkett summits reached today.

All this certainly worked out for yesterday’s trip into Borrowdale to rebag Rosthwaite Fell on walk 196. Back in 2010 (walk 19) I attained this top only by hauling myself up a crag that I had no reason to be dangling off, and that was only the first stage in a much longer walk, so I had few memories of the summit. But it proved itself today to be an interesting fell, well worth specific exploration — exploration that is not helped at all by paths, but on a clear day that was part of the appeal. It’s sometimes fun to have to work out the route for oneself.

There were also three Birketts bagged today, including Rosthwaite Cam (pictured above) which one might think would be a better case to be called the summit of the fell than the nearby, and rather lower, tor of Bessyboot (pictured below) to which Wainwright gives the accolade. But never mind, this just gave more reasons to look around. A recommended walk, therefore. (But I wouldn’t try it in the mist.) As usual, see the walk page for details and more photos.

Bessyboot, Wainwright’s chosen summit, with Helvellyn in the background.

As of today, then, I have bagged 287 of the 330 Wainwrights in my second round, so have 43 to go. If there are any more weather forecasts of the quality of yesterday’s then I do intend to get back at some point in January, before things busy up again in February.