Place Fell summit

Looking up to the summit of Place Fell through the mist

Height: 2154 feet above sea level.

Volume: Book 2 (The Far Eastern Fells)

Date climbed: 18th February 2011 (walk 32).

Bagged as number: *fanfare*… number 100 out of 330. [ << Helm Crag (99)  (101) Hallin Fell >> ]

Place Fell, viewed from Boredale

Place Fell (on right), viewed from Boredale

Route of ascent and descent:  Ascended from Patterdale, via Boredale Hause. Descended via Low Moss to Boredale, before going on to Hallin Fell.

What Mr Wainwright says (from pages 1 and 2 of his chapter): “Few fells are so well favoured as Place Fell for appraising neighbouring heights. It occupies an exceptionally good position in the curve of Ullswater, in the centre of a great bowl of hills; its summit commands a very beautiful and impressive panorama….

“Place Fell rises steeply from the curve formed by the upper and middle reaches of Ullswater and its bulky mass dominates the head of the lake. Of only moderate elevation and considerably overtopped by surrounding heights, nevertheless the fell more than holds its own even in such a goodly company: it has that distinctive blend of outline and rugged solidity characteristic of the true mountain. Many discoveries await those who explore…”

Ullswater and Place Fell

Place Fell in the curve of Ullswater, viewed from St Sunday Crag (picture taken on walk 23, August 2010)

What I say:  Beyond the significance of this being my one hundredth fell, my first impressions of Place Fell were a little disappointing. No fell is at its best in low cloud, and I missed entirely the view that, clearly (see pages 7-10 of the chapter), is an excellent one. But I was also struggling to see why Wainwright clearly rates this fell very highly, ranking it with other mini-classics like Haystacks in a list to be found at the end of Book 7 of his Guide.

However, on taking the path that lies between its slopes and Ullswater, on the northern and western side, it starts to make more sense; this is a spectacular walk, leading the walker to discoveries like Scalehow Force and the gullies under Grey Crag which all look worth further exploration. This is a fell I will be returning to on a nicer day. There is more to see of it yet.

[ << Pillar      Ponsonby Fell >> ]

2 Responses to “Place Fell”

  1. Rob Berry said

    Just watched a 2007 programme by Julia Bradbury in which she said Helm Crag was in A.W.’s top 6 but it is not in yours (or rather your description of his) – discuss.

    • Drew Whitworth said

      Rob, I pulled the list out of the ‘Personal Notes in Conclusion’ at the back of The Western Fells (Volume 7); what I guess has happened is that Bradbury was quoting the list of Wainwright’s top six summits, which do indeed include Helm Crag, as well as Slight Side, Harter Fell (Eskdale), Steeple, Eagle Crag and, er, another one (I don’t have the list to hand at the moment). For him the top summits were all ‘small, neat peaks of naked rock with a good view’.

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