Ascent of Mickle Fell on 2011-06-12

Climber: James Warren

Others in Party:Clare
Date:Sunday, June 12, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mickle Fell
    Elevation:2592 ft / 790 m

Ascent Trip Report

Successful summit of England's most awkward peak! Parked at Cow Green Reservoir, followed Pennine Way from reservoir to Maize Beck and followed boundary fence for 2 miles southward, uphill to summit. 5 hour round trip. Easy - except its not quite that simple!
1. This is privately owned land and a major MOD firing range, with access very much restricted. As per MOD website (and others) you need a permit from the Range officer at Warcop range for each person and can only enter the range after 1pm on Sundays or certain weekends. You can go on the public footpaths within the range are without a permit but these will not get you anywhere near the peak.
2. The nearest carpark, to the north at least, is at Cow Green Reservoir, about 1m north of the Dam, reached by lane from Teesdale. Its about an hour's walk in from there along the Pennine Way to reach the Maize Beck crossing and the boundary of the range.
3. Leave the Pennine Way at the large flag (by the earthworks, about 1m W of the farm) and follow a line of fence posts set at c50m intervals round the hill to the Maize Beck. When they stop, there are a couple of cairns to guide you to the crossing by the boundary fence. This is a v obvious post and wire fence and goes right to the summit ridge, although there is no path.
4. MOD instructions say you must phone when you are about to enter the range and immediately you leave. As this is one of the most remote valleys in the country, mobile reception is non-existent at the crossing and for most of the valley! Suggest you call when you leave Cow Green Reservoir and say you'll be entering in an hour's time, and then when you are back at the car.

Overall, the logistical challenges made this quite a fun peak to do, although the 1pm restriction meant that we waited in glorious sunshine during the morning and then spent 4 hours doing the peak in increasingly heavy rain and could not see a thing from the summit as the cloud was low - very frustrating. However, we saw no-one for 4 hours (almost unheard of in England) and the lack of people means there are plenty of birds to see.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1198 ft / 365 m
    Extra Gain:115 ft / 35 m
    Round-Trip Distance:7.5 mi / 12 km
    Route:Pennine Way / Boundary Fence
    Trailhead:Cow Green Reservoir  1624 ft / 494 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Open Country, Stream Ford
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Raining, Cool, Very Windy, Low Clouds
Ascent Statistics
    Time:3 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 

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