Carrock Fell

Carrock Fell, viewed on the walk to High Pike

Height: 2169 feet above sea level (the first edition had it at 2174′).

Volume: Book 5 (The Northern Fells)

Date climbed: First round: 25th July 2012 (walk 59). Second round: 8th April 2015 (walk 94).

Bagged as numberFirst round: 183 of 330. [ << Gowbarrow Fell (182)  (184) High Pike (Caldbeck) >> ]

Second round: 14 of 330. [ << Souther Fell (13)  (15) High Pike (Caldbeck) >> ]

Route of ascent and descent: First visit: Came up from Mosedale, supposedly via one of the routes shown on page Carrock Fell 7, but neither of these can be picked out very easily on the ground and I suspect I sort of came up halfway between them both.  Left via the ridge to High Pike.

Second visit: Ascended via the much more well-frequented path from Stone End (see page 8 of the Wainwright chapter); but it’s a stiff climb. Left, again, for High Pike.

Summit of Carrock Fell

Looking to the summit of Carrock Fell. A welcome sight after the stiff ascent.

What Mr Wainwright says (from pages 2 and 3 of his chapter): “This rough little height is, first and foremost, a very rich geological field, for here the extensive area of Skiddaw slates and shales, the basic foundation of practically the whole of the Northern fells, abruptly terminates against a rugged upthrust of igneous or volcanic rocks of different series dovetailed in such a way as to provide an absorbing study for the geologist….  Its summit is unique, being ringed by the collapsed walls of an ancient hill-fort of unknown age and origin, thought to be early British, which must, in its time, have been a remarkable stronghold….

“Carrock is a delightful climb, as rough as one cares to make it. In the northern area of Lakeland it ranks next to Blencathra for interest and excitement and beauty of surroundings…. visit the cairn, of course, for yet another of Carrock’s manifold attractions is its glorious view.”

Carrock Fell from Skiddaw Forest

Carrock Fell pictured from near Skiddaw House.

What I say: Wainwright definitely has a thing for Carrock Fell, going so far, at the end of volume 7, to list it alongside Haystacks and the Langdale Pikes as ‘second ranked’ fells, which only don’t make his ‘Best half-dozen’ because of a lack of altitude.

But I have to say I don’t really get it; not that this was a bad climb, it’s certainly an interesting fell, but not among the greats or even the nearly-great. I wonder whether after a couple of years tramping around the wild and lonely, but smooth and unspectacular fells and dales of the Northern region he might just have got a little too enthusiastic about Carrock’s undeniable ruggedness. It does look different to its fellows, yes: and the hill fort is interesting, at least in the imagination (I kind of have this picture of Edoras, as seen in the Lord of the Rings movies). I say this even after having gone up it twice, so can’t rank this one that highly – sorry. Which is not to say it’s not worth a visit.

[ << Carl Side     Carron Crag >> ]

4 Responses to “Carrock Fell”

  1. Hazel Edwards said

    Just come back from a week in the Lakes, staying at Blakebeck Farm near the lovely village of Mungrisdale. Carrock Fell was our first planned walk, from Stone Ends. Halfway up, past Rake Trod, the going became steep, into the Further Gill Sike gully, I froze and couldn’t go any further. That was the end of the climb for me. Disappointed to say the least and to date (30+ Wainwrights bagged) the only one which has defeated me. Both my husband an friend completed the climb and did say that it became steeper still.
    And the purpose of this post; to say that I will try from a different start point the next time.

    • Drew Whitworth said

      Hi Hazel,
      It’s a couple of years since I did it but I must admit I also found Carrock a tough climb. I couldn’t find anything resembling the route that Wainwright (in the original edition) described on page 7 of the Carrock Fell chapter; I haven’t tried the route you mention but it doesn’t sound easy. perhaps the best way is to go further up the road (towards Caldbeck) and go up the gentler slopes from there?

  2. Hazel Edwards said

    Hi Drew,
    I have had a look at the Caldbeck route and although longer, it certainly looks achievable. We plan to return in June for a short break and maybe for another week in August/September time. Carrock Fell musn’t be allowed to become my nemesis!!! Will keep you posted.

  3. […] in the north-east of the District. I bagged three Northern Fells for a second time (Souther Fell, Carrock Fell and High Pike) and then — the real point of the hike — nabbed the hard-to-reach Faulds […]

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