These are the summits Wainwright mentions in "Black Combe" (Chapter 36). I have already climbed Black Combe and didn't include it in this trip.
Note: W does not list Stoupdale Head after the chapter heading as he does with other inclusive summits in each chapter, but his map shows it but not visited on the route. List compilers generally include it as one of the 116, so don't overlook it if you embark on this campaign.
Black Combe SD 135 854
White Combe SD 154 862
Stoupdale Head SD 151 873
Today's plan was for a different chapter accompanying BC, but he had to unavoidably cancel, so this was my plan B. I think I subconsciously contrived to remedy my missed visit to the bakery café in Broughton on Monday. The route is near enough, and short enough to give time for a visit to that café.
Faffing is often a feature of walks and I am never sure if it derives from some anal desire to delay proceedings or from genuine needs, but this morning I faffed, then the car displayed the windscreen washer fluid warning light, and in any case I needed to fill up with diesel. I then found the coolant also needed topping up, and the filling station which incorporates a mini supermarket had a long checkout queue - I thought I was never going to get off.
The parking spot was empty, but before I set off another car arrived and two chaps emerged and started donning boots. I was irritated thinking they would be coming on behind me. I decided to walk the short, unpleasant, footpathless road section first so I would return directly to the car from the lane opposite the parking.
An old drove road leads on pleasant turf nearly to White Combe summit, but it is unremitting and quite a slog. I watched the farmer on his quad bike with his two dogs rounding up sheep, and then he made his way to meet me and we had a pleasant chat. His family have had the farm below for 96
years. Interestingly he said he was cold, there was a ferocious nippy wind, but he was virtually inactive on his contraption whilst I was steaming with the effort of steep uphill walking.
At the summit I saw the two guys from the parking approaching, they were doing the circuit the opposite way round. We had a friendly chat and it was then a short slightly rising trek to Stoupdale Head and descent by the attractive steep sided Whitecombe Beck valley or more accurately, ravine. The beck is a glorious tumbling cascade of endless mini waterfalls with water of total clarity, a sheer delight all the way.
Despite my earlier faffing frustration I arrived at the café for 2:0 pm and all was well up to standard. A pot of tea and imaginative flapjack with hazelnuts and raisins. Mission accomplished.
|The Duddon estuary towards Barrow|
|Farmer and dog rounding up sheep - he came to talk to me - decent guy|
|White Combe summit|
|Modest cairn on Stoupdale Head. What is that monster approaching from bottom right?|
|Starting the descent of Whitecombe ravine|
|Looking back up the ravine|
|Lively tributary of the Whitecombe Beck|
|I sent this pic to BC. He was convinced I had bought a new hat!|