Saddle Fell,Fair Snape & Parlick.

Recee for the next A party walk.

The predicted snow had arrived. There had been heavy falls in Cumbria and the Peak District, but would we be OK in the Forrest of Bowland?. We would soon find out.

As we turned off the motorway we could see snow on the hills in the distance, but it looked to be only a sprinkling. We set off from the village of Chipping and headed north along field paths. Our route description appeared good even giving grid references but it was not entirely accurate. 20 minutes were wasted trying to find the correct route. We walked along the access track to Saddle End farm and after passing through the farmyard we climbed up onto the moors. At about the 1000 ft contour we reached the snowline, only a couple of inches but it made the going harder. On Saddle Fell things began to get interesting. The snow was crisp and even, but where was the path. Frequent reference to the GPS led us to a cairn and then to a fence. We now headed east across the moor crossing some boggy sections. No way of knowing which were the boggy sections until you began to sink. All good fun. Eventually we reached the summit cairn of Fair Snape Fell and stopped to have lunch in the nearby shelter.As we got up to leave we glanced to the west. The sky was almost black and more bad weather was closing in. Time to descend. The way was straightforward following the wall past Nick’s Chair. We had dropped down below the snowline but were now hit by a hailstorm. The summit of Parlick was free from snow but the descent was tricky. It was very steep and muddy so we had to take it slowly. The final two miles from Fell Foot back into Chipping was along roads. It was pouring with rain but at least it washed the mud off our waterproofs.

Hopefully we will have better conditions when I lead the walk on the 18th.

Alan

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