Ill Bell summit

Ill Bell summit. Windermere in background.

Height: The first edition listed 2476 feet above sea level but the second has it as 2484′.

Volume: Book 2 (The Far Eastern Fells)

Date climbed: First visit: 9th April 2010 (walk 12). Second visit: 5th August 2016 (walk 115).

Bagged as number: First round: 39 of 330. [ << Yoke (38)  (40) Froswick >> ]

Second round: 60 of 330. [ << Froswick (59)  (61) Yoke >> ]

Ill Bell and Froswick

Ill Bell (left) and Froswick viewed from Kentmere, pictured on walk 35 (2/4/11)

Route of ascent and descent: First visit: Approached along the ridge from Yoke and continued on to Froswick.

Second visit: Reversed this.

One can climb Ill Bell direct, according to Wainwright, but it’s a tough proposition. Almost all ascents will be made along the ridge in one or other direction.

What Mr Wainwright says (from page 6 of his chapter): “The walker who toils up to the top of Ill Bell may be pardoned for feeling that he has achieved a major climb that has played a part of some consequence in mountaineering history, for he finds himself confronted by an imposing array of fine cairns that would do credit to a Matterhorn. And in fact this is a real mountain-top, small in extent and very rough; it is one of the most distinctive summits in Lakeland…. The Troutbeck flank is steep, the Kentmere side is very steep and rough.”

Yoke and Ill Bell

Yoke (left) and Ill Bell, from Mardale Ill Bell

What I say: On my first visit, as with its neighbours, persistent low cloud meant I saw nothing on the day of Ill Bell. This was a shame because subsequent visits to the Kentmere district showed that this is a noble fell with a classic mountain form.

My second visit proved the worth of this part of the world. With proper visibility the ascent of Ill Bell and its satellites becomes a real classic; this is definitely one of the best ridges in the district. It’ll require quite a long walk to get there and back — even with a car — but it’ll be worth it.

[ << Humphrey Head     Illgill Head >> ]


One Response to “Ill Bell”

  1. […] one of the classic Lake District walks. From Hartsop, up over High Street then along the fantastic Ill Bell ridge, one of the best walks in the […]

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