Monday, 7 May 2012

Illgill Garnets

I was parked up by 09:00 in a small lay-by in the lane just south of the YHA at the foot of Wastwater.  Crossing Lund Bridge I headed up Whin Rigg in a sleet shower.  The primroses and blue bells were lovely in the woods and I heard my first cuckoo of the season.  Yesterday, when I had once more been at work, had been a lovely day.  Now the high fells were covered in grey clag and there was fresh snow on Gable.

At least the wind was light and I spent a long time exploring the small tarns and peering down into the incredible gullies dropping to the screes below.

I followed the edge of the drop off rather than the main path and eventually ended up on Illgill Head, a strange name as there appears to be no Ill Gill there abouts.  Now here's where the memory is faulty.   I remembered reading in my Wainwright guide that the Borrowdale Volcanic rocks on the summit of this fell contain garnets.  So as I eat my sandwiches I break a few open and sure enough there are beautiful little garnets the size of small peas.

The weather starts to clear as I photograph Yewbarrow reflected in Wastwater.  29 years ago I climbed it from the road and straight up the prominent gully visible on the south ridge.  I used to love those kind of lines in those days.

Spurning the tourist route I discover some interesting little valleys above Straighthead Gill.

I descend to the lake on the west side of Fence Wood and head back along the screes path.

The screes seem to go on for ever but I eventually reach the end and head back to the car with a red head.

The reference to garnets in Wainwright?  can't find it .  


Because They're There said...

That’s a great walk. And I chuckled at the bit where you said you went right up the gulley on Yewbarrow because that’s the sort of thing I used to do. In fact, I’ve got a feeling I climbed the gulley at the other end to Dore Head once over. I’m not so sure whether I’m going to believe your garnets the size of small peas. They didn’t fall out of your sandwich did they?
All the best, Alen McF

Greg said...

Well maybe a bit smaller than a pea.