Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Capel Fell

Walk Summary
The route off Broken Back down to Selcoth Burn
and up Clough Head on the other side
Mixed feelings of disappointment combined with satisfaction after today’s walk.
Disappointment because only managed two of the four planned peaks and disappointment that I had not read the contours sufficiently during the planning stage to realise there was too much descent then re-ascent between Capel Fell and Croft Head. Maybe it is achievable on a warm summer afternoon with plenty of water onboard (topped up in Selcoth Burn) by traversing up west of Nether Coomb Sike, but certainly not this afternoon in the windy showery gloom at 2pm in January.
Satisfaction though that despite the difficulties I managed 12.38 miles in 5 hours 16 minutes, a creditable 2.35mph. Achieving the main purpose of the trip to prepare me physically but more to the point mentally for the winter mountaineering and winter skills course booked with Mountain Vision next week. Most satisfying was recognition in the grip of ‘summit fever’ that I was not going to get up Croft Head without a lot of physical effort and in the time available to be back before dark, even off the fell before dark and on to the relatively safe Southern Upland Way (SUW). The revised plan devised the night before, was to loop back over Croft Head via Broken Back and pick up Scaw’d Fell on the way back but after ending up in Selcoth trying to find a suitable crossing over the wide, steep sided, fast flowing Selcoth Burn decided in view of the weather, time of day and time of year to trudge back to the van along the A708 with my tail between my legs.
Still a massive steep decent to cross Selcoth Burn at Selcoth.
Then whole ridge to ascend to Croft Head
Don’t like giving in but this was the correct decision. With the days experience behind me I should have started at Selcoth (there is a convenient car park for both walkers and fishermen near the fish farm) going up Capel Fell along the west ridge via Broken Back then carrying straight over the top down to the SUW approaching Croft Head up Cat shoulder, returning down the ridge I declined today and back to the car.
Really if you have gone to the trouble to plan a route before the trip in a comfortable armchair don’t get seduced into changing it to pull in that extra peak. On the other hand the original plan was floored so would have needed changing as conditions dictated.

So the lesson from this walk is to stick to the plan you carefully devised from the comfort of your armchair but adapt it as the conditions of the day dictate. The second point worked today and would have worked on the original plan because having discovered the steep descent and reascent I would still have been fresh enough to return to Capel Fell, find my way to the SUH and get up Croft Fell. OK I would not have had the chance of Scaw’d Fell but 3 Marilyn days are rare and are rare for a reason. They are bloody hard work.

Walk Statistics
Walk Date - 27 January 2015
Walkers - Steve Smith

Accommodation -  
Start Point - Craigburn (GR - NN ***** *****)
Start Time - 10:00
Finish Point 
Craigburn (GR - NN ***** *****)
Finish Time - 15:16
Duration - 5hrs 16mins
Average pace - 2.35mph
Distance Walked - 12.38miles
Height Ascended - ****.**metres

Other walks on this trip

23rd Hart Fell
24th White Coomb
26th Broad Law
27th Capel Fell

Peaks visited
Munro (282)

Murdo (443)

Corbett (221)
Graham (224)

Capel Fell (1)
Marilyn (1218S - 1552E,W&S))

Capel Fell (39S - 120E,W&S)
Hump (2168S - 2976E,W&S)

Capel Fell (50S - 184E,W&S)
S: Scotland. 
E,W&S:England,Wales & Scotland


To Follow
Walk Description
Capel Fell

Craigmichen Scar and pyramidical lump
of Capel Fell from SUH.
Top is hidden beyond false summit

Broken Back


Broken Back on right immediately behind trees
+ first indication of drop to Clough Head


More Photographs
Lunchtime view near summit of Ben Lui down Glen Lochy towards Beinn Cruachan and Loch Etive
Click on photograph to view slide-show

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