Kirk Fell from Beck Head.

Height: 2630 feet above sea level.

Volume: Book 7 (The Western Fells)

Date climbed: First visit: 29th July 2012 (walk 60b). Second visit: 24th July 2021 (walk 191).

Bagged as numberFirst round: 191 of 330. [ << High Crag (190)  (192) Great Gable >> ]

Kirk Fell summit.

Second round: 279 of 330. [ << Grange Fell (278) (280) Sergeant’s Crag >> ]

Route of ascent and descentFirst visit: Climbed up from Black Sail hut, via the pass of the same name and then up Kirkfell Crags. Left down to Beck Head and then went up Great Gable.

Second round: Came up from Beck Head, having negotiated the South Traverse of Great Gable to get there. Descended back there, then went along Moses’ Trod and eventually finished the walk at Seatoller.

Kirk Fell from Wasdale Head
Kirk Fell pictured from Wasdale Head. Note the pub and the path  up the fell behind, the ‘straightest and steepest ascent in Lakeland’, according to Wainwright.

What Mr Wainwright says (from page 2 of his chapter): “Bland the southern aspect may be, but the dark north face is very different. Here, shadowed cliffs seam the upper slopes in a long escarpment, a playground for climbers, above rough declivities that go down to the Liza in Ennerdale. Linking with Great Gable is the depression of Beck Head in the east; westward is a counterpart in Black Sail Pass, linking with Pillar. And between is a broad undulating top, with tarns, the ruins of a wire fence, and twin summits: on the whole a rather disappointing ornamentation, a poor crown for so massive a plinth.”

What I say: The previous paragraph pretty much does cover Kirk Fell, it seemed to me. It’s shaped rather like a cake, with steep sides but a circular, flat and expansive plateau on top (a shape very apparent from Great Gable: see the picture below). Although the summit is not that inspiring, the climb up Kirkfell Crags provided a decent challenge, not as hard as (say) Yewbarrow or Pillar, but enough of an effort to give the ascent a sense of achievement.

The best reason to visit the top is the amazing view of Great Gable, which looks completely unassailable from this angle. See the picture on the walk 191 page.

Kirk Fell from Great Gable
The Kirk Fell ‘cake’, as seen from Great Gable.

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One Response to “Kirk Fell”

  1. […] 191: Kirk Fell (2630′, no. 279). 11 miles, 2,800 feet of […]

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