Duddon Valley – High Moss. June 9th, 10th, 11th
Co-ordinator: Chris Ambler
Present: – Dennis Chapman, Jenny Greenwood, Tom Greenwood, Malcolm Hopkins, Ken Peart, Chris Ambler.
Friday afternoon was fine and pleasant. Ken was the first to arrive and get his new motorhome established. Tom and Jenny arrived about 3:00 and set off up the Walna Scar road and met the rest of us in the Newfield Inn for the evening meal. When we arrived back at High Moss, Rucksack Club member, Dave Woolley was installed with his family – four generations.
Saturday morning the rain was filling the becks so that they could be heard from the door of the hut. The plan for Tom and Malcolm to head to Dow so that Malcolm could repeat one of his first climbs in the Lakes – C Ordinary – was not to be. So, we packed our lunches and headed up to Cockley Beck and over Hardknott into Eskdale. We did not have to wait too long for the next train to Ravenglass from Dalegarth. We sat in the semi-open carriages to get the full steam experience! It was still raining and blowing in Ravenglass so we went back on the same train.
Later on in the afternoon the rain stopped and a visit was paid to the ‘Duddon Dig’ about half way to Seathwaite Tarn. There was not much to see as the excavation should have started that day but they had been rained off. The excavations are on a medieval long house of which there a several in the area. At the end of the week there will be conducted tours. There is a website with daily updates that can be found by Googling ‘Duddon Dig’. Saturday ended with a communal meal – three courses plus cheese and biscuits for the princely sum of £5 per head.
Sunday morning was dry but windy. The forecast was for showers in the morning with rain in the afternoon and it was also quite windy on the tops – C Ordinary was left for better weather. Ken departed for Keswick where he had a booking on the camp site. The rest had a short local walk and back for lunch at the hut. On the walk we crossed the swollen Duddon on stepping stone which had a steel wire handrail that was not very tight. Part way across Malcolm slipped and although he was submerged up to his hips his cagoule and over trousers kept the worst out. We came down past Wallowbarrow Crag which would have been dry enough for climbing. Lunch taken, we were packed up and off by 1:00.
The Duddon really is a very pleasant and unspoilt valley with plenty of low level paths and access from High Moss to the hills and crags.