Hills: Bakestall and Great Calva
Date: Saturday 30th December 2023
Company: Just myself
Distance: 13.4km, Ascent: 750m
Time: 3Hrs 55Mins

I drove to Peter House Farm this morning for an ascent of my two remaining Northern Fells Wainwrights. There is free parking for several cars at the start of the walk.


I set off walking before sunrise as MWIS suggested there would be a lull in the storm around dawn. While the skies were clear, it was already windy. Both the MetOffice and MWIS suggested the weather would worsen as the day progressed with heavy rain forecast from 10:00 onwards.

View towards Little Calva and Cockup from just beyond starting point:

On reaching the track junction, I took the bridleway leading towards Skiddaw House via Dash Falls instead of taking the road leading to Dash Farm.

Bridleway towards Skiddaw House via Dash Falls:

Had the weather stayed as good as it was at the outset of the walk, this would have been a nice day. The forecast was however correct.

Little Calva:

Dash Falls may warrant a return visit with my DSLR and a descent to the base of the falls to get some better photos.

Dash Falls:

Ascent towards the top of Dash Falls:

The top of Dash Falls:

Beyond the top of Dash Falls I reached a gate and wall. The path ascending Bakestall starts here.

Path ascending Bakestall:

I first followed the wall and then the fence leading towards the top of Bakestall.

Following the fenceline up Bakestall:

During the ascent, the storm front hit. The clear skies and fairly strong wind were replaced with snow and strong wind.

Above the snowline:

The wind was so strong, had I put anything on the ground it would certainly have blown away. I had to hold my iPhone in both hands to take photos or it would likely have got blown out of my hand.

Ascending Bakestall:

On reaching the summit area, I visited the cairn and the alleged high point located 17 metres south-west of the cairn. After taking a few photos and a short video, I returned back the same way to reach the main track.

At the summit of Bakestall:

At the summit of Bakestall:

Descent from Bakestall:

While at the summit of Bakestall, because of the strong wind, I ruled out also ascending Great Calva.

On reaching the main track, I had a look at the map and suspected an ascent of Great Calva would be much more sheltered because of the wind direction. I therefore changed my mind and set off to also ascend Great Calva hoping my deduction was correct.

Back onto the bridleway leading towards Skiddaw House:

Start of path ascending Great Calva:

It was a relief to find the ascent of Great Calva almost wind-free. I knew however that the wind would strengthen significantly as I approached the top.

Ascending Great Calva:

Looking across to Skiddaw:

Circa 60 meters below the summit, the almost wind-free ascent changed to a battle against the wind.

Ascending Great Calva:

On reaching the fenceline, I followed it to the summit, took a few photos, then immediately descended to get out of the wind.

Following the fence to the summit:

Great Calva summit:

Great Calva summit:

It didn't take long to get back onto the main track which I followed out to the car. During the walk out, the rain became even heavier and the wind became really strong. Had I started this walk any later, the ascents would have been a struggle.