Great Calva via the Magnificent Hause Gill

3 08 2020

Sat 9 May 20 (and repeatedly since)
A couple of weeks before, I’d walked Knott and Great Calva via Trusmador and Burn Tod Beck and discovered Hause Gill on my descent – it was superb!

All photos:
my Zenith manual film SLR

I liked this gill so much, and it’s so easy an ascent, that I’ve made it a regular walk this year. I hadn’t realised it was actually a route suggested by Wainwright in his Northern Fells Guide and didn’t even know about the existence of this gill. I just spotted a path cutting downhill from the col between Knott and Great Calva and decided to follow it down on my return from Great Calva.

All the Skiddaw/Dash Falls etc. parking was closed off but I’d found a new parking spot which was actually better than Peterhouse Farm and also free! This is now my regular spot – no more paying to park for me! 🙂

I set off up the road on the short (half-mile) walk to the vehicle track under Great Cockup at Orthwaite. This was during our lovely 2 month dry spell this year so the track was very hard, dry and dusty. I did it again today after all the rain we’ve had and it was more pleasant. Great views to Bakestall and Skiddaw!

On the day I did this walk, it was way too hot to take the bridleway which climbs over the shoulder of Great Cockup – I just stayed on the vehicle track until the grassy path which rises by the fell wall at the bottom of the same shoulder. Even during the dry spell, some of this was quite boggy (which the bridleway isn’t).

I was soon at Burn Tod Beck which I needed to cross to the start of Hause Gill…

Burn Tod with Hause Gill winding round its right-hand flank to the col

A lovely herd of Belted Galloway cows with calves was by the beck crossing…

A path sets off from the beck crossing – at first on a wide, grassy shelf above the beck and then becoming heather and scree…

The gill then narrows and becomes more dramatic. You have to cross the beck a few times in the narrow sections…

I took a couple of shots back down the gill into the sun…

Soon, it was all over and I was up on the col – at that time of the year, pleasantly dry – as was the path onward to Great Calva. I’ve been up again today and can tell you, that has all now changed – it’s really wet and boggy all the way from the col now!

Great Calva appears! not as far as it looks…

You’re soon up on the ridge with not far to go. There is a stile over the fence which is great in dry weather. However, when I was back there today, it was in a lake of its own. The fence is easily stridden anywhere as it is only low with plain wire.

Even in wet weather, the ridge path is drier than it looks!

Pretty soon, it was time to make the final climb up the short rise to the summit/s (there are three) where there is a great view across to Lonscale Fell…

From the summit I decided that, as it was very dry, I’d head off back down the ridge over Little Calva to Dash Farm – a track headed off in that direction. The path petered out (or I lost it) a couple of times but it was easy enough going downhill and I kept re-finding paths.

There were nice views to Great Cockup and Burn Tod Beck as I descended…

and also back to Hause Gill under Burn Tod…

I explored the end of the ridge and then found a track heading down above Dash Farm…


more great views of Bakestall

After I’d passed the farm, I cut down onto my initial vehicle track but decided to take the tarmacked track out to Peterhouse Farm as a variation…

The ‘steep route’ up Bakestall – I quite fancy that gill too!


Update: I’ve now done that gill – hopefully a future report although I forgot my camera so now have to get wet doing it again!

Brockle Crags looked lovely and white across the Dash Valley on the walk out…

Soon I was back on the road for the short walk down the hill to my car. I drove back on the Overwater road and got this lovely view across to Skiddaw to round off a superb day’s walking…

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20 responses

10 08 2020
Badass Female Travelers

It’s crazy to see such a difference between hiking trails around the world.
I couldn’t dare to hike the hills we have here in Las Vegas. We get 0% humidity and 120F heat here!!
Wonderful to see your adventures in the green outdoors, though. Enjoyed the reading. -Dee

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10 08 2020
mountaincoward

I’ve walked hills in deserts and things (e.g. Jordan) and don’t find it too bad – the key is to just go really slowly and set a nice, steady pace.

Liked by 1 person

11 08 2020
Badass Female Travelers

You’re absolutely right – the grass may look greener on the other side for hiking trails, but all trails have its pros and cons. Just gotta adapt to that heat😅thanks for the advice👍

Liked by 1 person

9 08 2020
tessapark1969

That looked great!

Is the car park at Peter House still shut? I’ve still got Great Calva and Bakestall to do and that seemed the obvious start point.

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10 08 2020
mountaincoward

No, they’ve deigned to finally open it again now…

Bakestall makes a great descent from Skiddaw, especially as the end of a round from Ullock Pike… You can do that whole route from Peterhouse area as there’s footpaths joining both ends… I’ve written that up in one of my earlier posts “Skiddaw via the Ullock Pike Ridge”…

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14 08 2020
tessapark1969

I totally forgot to ask – where’s your alternative parking spot?

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9 08 2020
chrissiedixie

I know the area but not been up the gill – looks really nice!

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10 08 2020
mountaincoward

That gill is smashing. Really pretty and really easy walking. Best left for the next spring drought now though as the rest of the walk is now very wet indeed!

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9 08 2020
Badass Female Travelers

Interesting to compare and contrast between hiking trails around the world. Compared to the brown hills and canyons we have here in Las Vegas, these photos like the garden of Eden! Enjoyed reading your adventures in the backcountry.
– Dee

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10 08 2020
mountaincoward

Hi Dee, sorry for the delay in moderating your comment – I went away for a day and night and am offline when not at home.

I like the look of a lot of your walking as I don’t mind dry countryside and love dry, hot weather. Our country is really green because it’s so soggy!

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6 08 2020
underswansea

Sounds like a great day. I enjoyed all the photos. That fence line goes a long ways. Is the land owned by the Crown (government owned land in Canada is called Crown land) or is it privately owned?

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7 08 2020
mountaincoward

I think those hills will just be included in the Lake District National Park but very near the northern border. The National Trust also own a lot of the land in the Lakes but not this bit.

There are a lot of long fences over the hills – many of them are boundary fences between one landowner and another, or one parish and another…

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5 08 2020
Alli Templeton

I’m not surprised this has become a regular walk for you, it looks and sounds a wonderful way to spend a day. Your photos, again, are stunning and no doubt do the inviting landscape justice, and that last one has to be a competition entry.

One thing I have to ask though – how on Earth did Great Cockup get it’s name? Someone who decides these names must have had a good sense of humour when they chose that! Great post, makes me want to don my walking boots and escape up there. 🙂

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5 08 2020
mountaincoward

I like the first photo better – that’s probably my favourite of the bunch.

Great Cockup is hilarious isn’t it. Not only that, opposite on Skiddaw there’s a Cockup to match. But Great is probably funnier. But there are a lot of funny mountain names. Lord Hereford’s Knob (Lord Berkeley has one too I think) for a start. And, if you translate from the Gaelic, a lot of other funnies, e.g. Lochnagar’s summit is ‘Carn Cac Beag’ which means ‘Big shitty cairn’. Also, Devil’s Point was only translated as that for Queen Victoria – the Gaelic actually means Devil’s Penis.

You can’t beat a nice, secluded gill ascent for an interesting way up a hill. I’ve found a couple more great gills recently but didn’t have my camera as they were after work. I’ve now got to go back again with my camera on a decent day and get wet all over again!

Liked by 1 person

8 08 2020
Alli Templeton

I look forward to seeing the other great gills you discovered, then.

I had no idea they could have such hilarious mountain names! Lord Hereford’s Knob – really? 😀 Love it! I supose such names for prominent geographical features must be an established tradition, because reading your very funny list has reminded me of one of the caves I’ve been in in Derbyshire before – it was called the Devil’s Arse!

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10 08 2020
mountaincoward

I must have a look for the Devil’s Arse next time I’m in Derbyshire!

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4 08 2020
John Bainbridge

Haven’t done that yet. Looks enticing.

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4 08 2020
mountaincoward

It’s listed in Wainwright’s Northern Fells book for Great Calva but, somehow, I missed it during my previous reads of his book! Not sure how. It’s a lovely route – one of the nicest things is the very easy gradient all the way. It’s very wet now though from the top of the gill to the top of the hill. Best left for another dry spring I think…

Liked by 1 person

4 08 2020
Blue Sky Scotland

Not an area I know at all. Looks hot even in the photos but nice scenery. Weather here has gone right downhill. Very cold and wet so that will dent the masses somewhat.

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4 08 2020
mountaincoward

It was pretty hot for slogging up hills – but that’s the advantage of a gill ascent – you’ve got a beck (burn) all the way up to slurp! 😉

I’m typing this up in my attic where the wind is trying to tear my roof off and we keep having torrential showers. Nothing like August! 😦

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