Great Cockup, from Meal Fell

Great Cockup, from Meal Fell

Height: 1720 feet above sea level.

Volume: Book 5 (The Northern Fells)

Date climbed: 16th October 2010 (walk 26).

Bagged as number: 81 out of 214. [ << Coniston Old Man (80)  (82) Meal Fell >> ]

Route of ascent and descent: Ascended from Bassenthwaite, left on the ridge to Meal Fell.

Orthwaite Bank (part of Great Cockup) viewed from Horsemoor Hills

Orthwaite Bank (part of Great Cockup) viewed from Horsemoor Hills; bridal path clearly visible

What Mr Wainwright says (from page 2 of his chapter): ‘Viewed from a distance, Great Cockup appears as a modest but extensive eminence with no obvious summit and nothing calling for closer inspection. First impressions are confirmed by a tour of exploration, the fell underfoot proving no more attractive than the fell at a distance… The fell terminates abruptly in the deep cut of Trusmadoor; beyond, a ridge continues the height of land over Meal Fell to the major summit of the Uldale group, Great Sca Fell.’

What I say: The best thing about Great Cockup is that marvellous, Pythonesque name. How did it get it? I mean, did the phrase not always have the connotations it has now – but if that is the case, what is, or was, a Cockup anyway? And why apply the phrase to this particular fell?

Or is this one of those occasions where a Victorian cartographer fell over in a particularly comical or annoying way and scrawled ‘Great Cockup!’ on his field notes to remind him of this event for some reason and forgot to rub it out before the map went to the printer?

As for the fell itself: yeah, it was OK actually, some good views over to Dash Falls and Bakestall as well as north to the Solway. Not exciting, as none of the fells on this walk were, but there’ve been several worse.

[ << Great Carrs      Great Crag >> ]


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