Howgill Fells and Cloud Inversions

It’s Cautley, Calf and Winder that makes the Sedbergh Man’

Sedbergh* School song.Image

Climbing the Howgill Fells from Sedbergh – to the highest point at The Calf. On the journey to the town we drove through a blanket of thick fog, with somewhere above a strong sun, giving the possibility of cloud inversions below the tops.Image

We climbed up the steep and sometimes rocky Settlebeck Gill through quite dense mist, though with an occasional tantalising impression of the sun above.Image

Then, just as we approached the ridgeway track, we broke through into a world of bright sunlight and wide blue skies.

Walking up towards Arrant Haw we found ourselves well above clouds that swept and danced about the steep gills and the lower fells. In the distance a broad sea of white filled the greater valleys below, the hills of Westmorland and Yorkshire appearing as islands strutting out of this pale heaven.Image

Yet above the clouds, which had been chilling as we ascended, the weather was beautifully warm for a day in March – T-shirt weather indeed.

Even as we climbed the track up to Calders the clouds were still filling the deep valleys. From its summit and as we crossed Bram Rigg to the Calf itself, we seemed to be in two worlds. Ours bright and clear across summit fell and rounded hill, and the one below – white and ghostly.  Paler than the dazzling white of the calf trig point.Image

We travelled back much the same way, but taking in Winder, Sedbergh’s very own background hill, before taking a steep and grassy descent to Lockbank Farm and Howgill Lane before strolling into the little town. Then a very pleasant half hour in the huge second-hand bookshop.

Even today, the Howgills are very empty of people on a weekday, in comparison to the fells of the Lake District. Lovely and impressive rolling hills.

*Pronounced Sed-ber.


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