Brant Rake, Eskdale

4 02 2021

Wed 7 Oct 2020

One of the few trips Richard and I had last year between all the lockdowns and Tiers was to Eskdale – one of my favourite Lakeland valleys.  I’d had my eye on an interesting zig-zag path up the fellside leaving Eskdale in the direction of Devoke Water for years now – I’d looked on the map and seen this was ‘Brant Rake’.  As I’d broken my toe in the hotel room the night before, we needed something easy so I decided this was the day…

We parked up near the pub at the junction where the road goes down to Dalegarth – it was about a mile to the start of the rake from here.  There were plenty of blackberries in the hedgerow so I grazed my way out and back along the lane 😉

My broken toe was okay in boots along the flat lane but, soon, we turned off at a gate to follow rough ground alongside a wall to reach the foot of the rake.  This bit really hurt!  I ended up having to borrow Richard’s single walking pole so that I could take the weight off my foot.  In around a quarter of a mile, we reached the grassy start of the rake – much better.

The rake takes a lovely gentle stroll up the fellside courtesy of the zig-zags.  This looks a really old rake and is properly made and built up at the sides.  It’s also nice and dry and not muddy (which the path alongside the wall certainly had been).  The weather was making the surroundings look drab so we didn’t bother with photos on the way up.

We were soon up on the col between the two hills – Garner Bank and Brant Rake Crags.  There is a large moss (bog) behind these hills to cross if you want to get to the two Devoke Water hills of Rough & Water Crags – there are paths though – I might do that sometime…

Richard’s photo of the moss and Rough Crag

We set off up the slabby ascent of Garner Bank – it’s only a very small hill so the climb was soon over and we were at the small summit.

The slabby ascent – Richard’s digi photo again…

Garner Bank Summit (Richard’s digi)

There were a few lumps and bumps after this before the ground descended to the Birker Fell road so I insisted we had a visit to them all – this surprised the local sheep somewhat as they’re used to it being quiet up here!

Richard’s digi again

From here we set off back towards the col looking for the path we’d seen along the nearside of the moss but we never really found it so it was quite wet going.  The sheep got very fed up of us along here as, wherever they moved to, we popped up soon after on our way…

Cross-country to Brant Rake Crags (Richard again)

We had a quick coffee out of the wind near the col before setting off for the longer but grassier climb up Brant Rake Crags.  This climb was very straightforward and we were again soon at the summit.

Garner Bank from near the col (my film photo)

Water Crag from Brant Rake Crags Ascent (my film photo)

Brant Rake Crags summit (my film photo)

From here we couldn’t agree on a descent so Richard ended up cutting the corner and I ended up taking a grassy rake to get to the good path around the back sooner.  We then strolled around the bracken-edged grassy path admiring the views of Eskdale as we descended.  This western end of Brant Rake Crags looks like it would afford a very interesting scramble up all the small crags and large slabby areas to the summit – might try that sometime too…

Heading back down (my film photos)

As we neared the gate back onto the road, we noticed some climbers on the crags and watched them for a quite a while.  We’d seen a lot of cars parked up at the gate to Brant Rake and decided those must be their cars – it was a good job we’d parked a mile back down the valley as there was no room left at the walk start.

The walk was only a couple of hours and we dawdled a lot but it was very nice walking and I’m sure I’ll be up there again some day Covid permitting!

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20 responses

7 02 2021
bowlandclimber

So what was the story behind the broken toe?

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7 02 2021
mountaincoward

The usual – I’ve done it a few times… strange room, darkness, bare feet going to the loo in the night… bam! ouch! bugger!

Liked by 1 person

7 02 2021
bowlandclimber

What – no swinging from the chandeliers?

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8 02 2021
mountaincoward

Nope – separate beds – me and Richard are actually exes but share a room as 2 singles are too expensive… it’s not like we haven’t both seen everything before anyway 😉 We’re great friends now

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8 02 2021
bowlandclimber

Enough detail.

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9 02 2021
mountaincoward

well I did wonder when I posted it – sorry!

Liked by 1 person

7 02 2021
tessapark1969

I was in Eskdale a couple of weeks previously. Lovely part of the Lakes but a bigger to get to!

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7 02 2021
mountaincoward

Yeah it’s one of the more difficult places to get to – not so bad for us coming from Carlisle end now though…

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6 02 2021
bitaboutbritain

I can’t help thinking that most people with a broken toe would’ve stayed at home watching Netflix…loved the photos. 🙂

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6 02 2021
mountaincoward

Probably the worst thing you can do – toes don’t heal if you don’t get very good circulation to your feet. One broken big toe I had (which I was told to rest and not use) hadn’t started knitting in 10 weeks so I got fed up and started going walking again – it started healing immediately then!

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5 02 2021
underswansea

Very fine write up. Nice colour on your film photos. Looks like a great place to wonder around. I bet your toe was sore when you took your boots off. Take care.

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5 02 2021
mountaincoward

My toe was sore for a few weeks – didn’t stop me going walking though – I think exercise helps toes heal anyway as it helps with blood flow to your toes.

The film camera doesn’t mind dull days at all and usually still picks out those autumnal colours. The only problem is that, often, the processing doesn’t do very well nowadays (I think due to the low throughput of films to process).

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9 02 2021
underswansea

Do you have trouble finding film? Film expires, but sometimes you can get nice results from expired film. I thought I could see a slight purple tinge in your film photos and I wondered if the film was expired. Regardless, the results are wonderful.

Good that you don’t let a little thing like a broken toe stop you. 🙂

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9 02 2021
mountaincoward

I often wonder too – it’s quite hard getting film of any quality I think nowadays. You tend to get what you’re sent and it’s probably not always in date. Also, sometimes, the film is sat in my camera for a while as I have trouble getting it processed, especially during lockdowns and so on.

Not much will stop me going to the hills – if I have a problem, I just pick an easier hill! 🙂

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14 02 2021
underswansea

I thoroughly enjoy looking at your film photos.

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14 02 2021
mountaincoward

I get upset when I look at much older photos I took though and see how good the results CAN be from my camera with good film and developing!

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5 02 2021
John Bainbridge

We are missing the Lakes

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5 02 2021
mountaincoward

And, after my single visit this summer, I’m missing your area too!

Liked by 1 person

5 02 2021
bob

I like the rocky exposed tops you have down there, adds interest. I hear you might be getting a new deep pit coal mine in Cumbria, near Whitehaven, soon, stretching under the sea. Would love to go down that when its built. Hopefully, fingers crossed, the hills will be open again by the spring/early summer.

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5 02 2021
mountaincoward

Yes I just heard about the mine via CPRE yesterday – didn’t know about it before… They were wanting me to object but, to me, if we’re still going to be using coal (which we are), I’d rather we got our own out of the ground than imported dirty coal from places like China. With all the steam railways and people using coal on their home fires, I don’t see a reduction in coal usage any time soon – unless the Government ban its use of course…

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