An eagle's eye view of the walk
Follow the road continuing from the Institute keeping left when confronted by a gate. Passing The Grove turn right at the fork, signed ‘Troutbeck via Garburn Pass’. The rough track leads by a newly installed gate (thankfully denying access to 4x4 traffic) and along a walled section above the massive Brock Stone (Badger Rock) with it’s sprig o’heather. Look beyond to the pele tower at Kentmere Hall Farm to the narrow Kentmere Tarn, tautilogical ‘tarn’ and ‘mere’ both mean small lake. Passing through a further gate continue on an open track winding up the trail, gravel becoming a pitched track to the Garburn Pass gate.
Pass through and step onto the marshy ridge right accompanying the wall. The drier and more orthodox path branches right further west, where the adjacent wall turns left. By either means the less than exciting ascent progresses up to a ladder stile bound for the bare gently domed summit of Yoke at 706m/2,316ft. Each of the three summits Yoke, Ill Bell and Froswick have lower by-pass paths on the west side, symptomatic of the hasty passage of fell racers. Pass a solitary cairn at the brow leading on the summit cairn, resting upon a small outcrop. Within the last six months the clear ridge path has been given a thorough make over, inverting the substrate to create a firm, durable causewayed path through the eroded peat hags. The path descends, peer right, over the brink into the barren Rainsborrow Cove with old slate quarries at its foot. Climb steadily from the depression to the characterful peaked summit of Ill Bell at 757m/2,484ft, the cluster of cairns and ribbed-slate outcropping hugely distinctive. Take time out to revel in the memorable situation. The stony path heads north-west down to the next depression climbing again to Froswick’s far less impressive cairn. A moments pause, then descend to the next depression above Over Cove climbing now upon the Roman Road, hoof-prints and bike treadmarks mingling with vibram treads. The 14-foot beacon (see below) built into a wall corner on Thornthwaite Fell at 784m/2,572ft, the inevitable lure.
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© Mark Richards 2007