Walks in the Lake District - 2001

Great Gable by Barrie

Pudding Stone – Boulder Valley – Levers Water – Monday 17 December – we weren't feeling like doing anything too strenuous so a short walk from the top of the Walna Scar road was just right. I've always liked it there as you are right out in the wilds as soon as you leave the car. The walk took us past the interesting and large boulder, the Pudding Stone. It was warm enough to walk without jackets for a while and we had a pleasant butty stop at Levers Water before it clouded over. A bit of Christmas shopping in a pleasant and quiet Hawkshead finished another enjoyable day in the Lake District.

Levers Water

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Blea Rigg – Monday 3 December – yet again the weather wasn't very enticing. Parking at the New Dungeon Ghyll NT car park, we found the cloud level was about a couple of hundred feet below our intended summit. I couldn't miss another Wainwright and the forecast had said it would clear so off we set up Stickle Ghyll. We followed the usual path up up to Stickle Tarn, a journey made more interesting by walking parallel for quite a way with a group of adventurous men going up the stream bed. As we ate our lunch by the tarn, the cloud cleared a couple of times and we got a brief glimpse of Pavey Ark. I don't think I'd have fancied Jack's Rake in those conditions. We persevered to Blea Rigg but after a very short stop set off back as the rain started. We missed the turn off back down to the tarn but ended up on the path which AW gives as the original path. It comes out further down Stickle Ghyll and on a better day would have been fun. By this time I was too wet to enjoy it properly. The rain continued all the way back to the car but once again, it was worth the discomfort. As all walks in the Lake District are – and took my total on to 180!

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Easedale Tarn

Easedale Tarn – Monday 19 November – Tarn Crag was the intended objective but the weather once again was not very enticing. By the time we'd had a butty and a brew, the weather improved and we set off for Easedale Tarn. It was unseasonally mild and we were dressed for normal cold November weather so several stops were made to remove layers – by the time we reached the tarn we were a lot slimmer but the rucksack was a lot fatter! We sat and ate our lunch looking up at a rapidly disappearing Tarn Crag and decided not to go for it but have a pleasant return walk through Far Easedale instead.

The path on the north side of Easedale Beck is boggier than the main path but quieter and leads to some interesting rock and dry stone wall combinations. There's a huge fir tree and a monkey puzzle tree along the Far Easedale path which are well worth a photo. It didn't add to my Wainwright total but it was another very enjoyable walk in beautiful surroundings.

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Hartsop above How – Monday 5 November – the weather forecast for the day wasn't very good at all but as we left home it was a beautiful clear morning and the fields were white with a light frost. Conditions deteriorated as we passed by Kendal and by the time we parked at the layby just south of Bridgend it was raining steadily. After a coffee and butty we were feeling that much stronger and decided to go for it. It's a fairly gentle climb but longer than you think it's going to be. Nowhere is very steep and the views all round would have been superb if it had been clearer. But the rugged crags of the Fairfield group looked pretty impressive and forbidding. At certain points along the ridge there are lovely views straight down to Brotherswater.

We didn't linger at the summit – a few quick photos taken and we headed back. Though it rained for most of the walk and we got rather wet, somehow it didn't spoil it. The mist kept away and even the high fells disappeared only occasionally. There was a lovely atmosphere somehow and it was a very enjoyable walk.

Looking towards Hart Crag from Hartsop above How

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Stone Arthur from Grasmere

Stone Arthur – Monday 8 October – the journey from Silsden to Grasmere was a very grey and wet one. I was full of cold and not feeling at my best but we decided to brave the weather and set off for Stone Arthur. It's quite a steep path and in places was more like a stream but the views back down to Grasmere are worth the effort. Stone Arthur, seen from Grasmere, looks like a separate fell but is just the end of a spur of Great Rigg. It's an interesting little rocky summit – but too windy unfortunately when we were there to stop for long and admire the views. It was a bit of a struggle but it's one I'll enjoy doing again when the weather's better – and I'm not full of cold!

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Armboth Fell, High Tove, High Seat and Raven Crag – Monday 24 September – another good walk – just a bit wet though, especially underfoot. We parked at Armboth west of Thirlemere intending to do only Armboth Fell and Raven Crag. But looking at the lie of the land from the summit of Armboth we decided to carry on to High Tove (which isn't far away but across some very wet ground. Wainwright wasn't exaggerating about the wetness of the area). From there it was another wet trudge – underfoot and overhead – to High Seat then down to Raven Crag where the sun came out and there were marvellous views straight down to Thirlemere. Not a place to linger if you suffer from vertigo! And I wouldn't like being anywhere up there if the mist came down.

Thirlmere from Raven Crag

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Looking back across Striding Edge

Birkhouse Moor, Helvellyn and Catstycam via the Edges – Monday 10 September – We had a great walk on Monday – left Glenridding car park at 11.30 and took the Miresbeck path up to Birkhouse Moor (Wainwright number 172 for Liz). Then started the exciting part of the walk – Striding Edge, but as it was very windy we decided to take the lower path which was still an exhilarating traverse. The final scramble up to the summit is a bit indistinct and rough but great fun. After butties and a rest at the shelter and watching the mist swirling round Swirral Edge we headed that way and down over the rocks (which are not as bad as Striding Edge but still a bit hairy).

By the time we reached Catstycam summit (Wainwright number 173 – I've done Helvellyn before), it was in mist and we couldn't see what should have been super views back to Striding Edge which was a bit disappointing. It was then a long walk back to Glenridding but the thought of chocolate cake and coffee kept us going. Sam could have done another 10 miles! A super day though.

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Looking south from Glenridding Dodd

Glenridding Dodd – Sunday 26 August – we decided to brave the Bank Holiday crowds and set off for Haweswater and Mardale Head intending to do Branstree and Selside Pike. However, arriving at Haweswater we found that area was all closed and Plan B was put into action. It was a shame as the weather was beautiful and Haweswater looked very attractive in the sunshine. Arrriving at Glenridding early afternoon we were lucky to find a place in the main carpark and quickly headed off up the Greenside Mines road and up Glenridding Dodd to escape the crowds. It's quite a tough pull up from the road but once the col is reached between the Dodd and Sheffield Pike, the short walk to the summit is only a short easy stroll away. But the best views of Ullswater are east of the summit with more or less a full length view of the lake.

It's only a short walk but a super place to be on a busy Bank Holiday Sunday!

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Red Screes, Middle Dodd, Little Hart Crag and High Hartsop Dodd – Monday 21 August – from Kirkstone Pass up Caiston Glen to Scandale Pass. From there we went on to Red Screes and Middle Dodd then back across to Scandale Pass and up on to Little Hart Crag and High Hartsop Dodd. Unfortunately, you can't come back down the front of High Hartsop Dodd at the moment and we had to descend by Scandale Pass and Caiston Glen. The weather was dry with a pleasant breeze, perfect for taking photos – the views down to Brotherswater were particularly impressive. But the ground was very wet underfoot and I'd decided to wear my canvas boots which wasn't one of my better ideas!

Looking north to Brotherswater from Red Screes

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Scafell Crag from Lingmell

Camping at Wasdale Head – Monday 23 – Sunday 29 July – a lovely week camping at a very quiet National Trust campsite at Wasdale Head. We enjoyed one of the hottest weeks of the year – we couldn't have asked for better weather for walking. Perhaps a bit cooler but I wasn't complaining.

We had 3 super walks – Scafell Pike and Lingmell, Kirk Fell via Black Sail Pass and Scafell via Lords Rake. Twice up Brown Tongue in three days! We also enjoyed a day relaxing by Ennerdale Water. A fuller report will follow when I have time.

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Yoke, Ill Bell and Froswick – Monday 2 July – a lovely but long walk up Garburn Pass, and via Yoke and Ill Bell to Froswick. This only increased my total by one as I'd already done the first two. The day started off warm but cloudy and having washed and disinfected our boots at the access point on Moor Howe Road we set off at 11.20. By the time we were on the open fells the sun had burnt through but a nice breeze kept the walking pleasant. The descent from Ill Bell toward Froswick isn't a pleasant one – a loose, shaly path – but luckily it can be avoided on the way back. The hardest part of the walk was the last lap from the top of Garburn Pass back to the car – walking into the sun, no shade and feeling absolutely shattered. It was a super walk – as they all are anyway! The photo is looking to Froswick from the slopes of Ill Bell with Thornthwaite Crag in the distance in shadow

Ill Bell with Froswick behind and Thornthwaite Crag in the shade

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Langdale Pikes – Monday 18 June – after 4 months off the fells owing to the Foot and Mouth epidemic (which is by no means over), it was great to get back on the fells and what a great walk to start back with – the Langdale Pikes, taking in Loft Crag, Pike O'Stickle, Harrison Stickle and Pavey Ark. The weather was perfect for walking – warm with a light breeze. We took our time (6 hours!) but it was too good to hurry and many stops were taken just to take in the scenery and feel the peace and be thankful to be back up there. But next time we do Pavey Ark, we're going up Jack's Rake!

Loft Crag from Pike O'Stickle

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The Gables from near Esk Hause

Allen Crags and Seathwaite Fell – Saturday 17 February – my total of Wainwrights reached 157 after a super walk from Seathwaite via Grains and Ruddy Gill, over Allen Crags then past Sprinkling Tarn to Seathwaite Fell. The weather was beautiful but cold, the views were stunning especially to the Gables. We found our way down to Styhead Gill just as the clouds descended and the walk ended with the last couple of miles done in the dark, the clouds having cleared to give a beautiful starry sky which nicely rounded off an ideal day.

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Troutbeck Tongue – Monday 5 February – another lesser Wainwright but what a struggle. Troutbeck Tongue is only 1191' but it felt like 11191' at least. We battled through rain, wind, snow, slush, ice and sleet and what should have been a pleasant stroll took nearly 4 hours. And though there were times I'd nearly had enough and wanted to turn back, I'm glad I persevered and made it! I've never been so glad to get back to the car and have a hot drink! But yes, in spite of the weather I did enjoy it. And it was Wainwright number 155.

Troutbeck Tongue

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Sallows and Sour Howes – Monday 15 January – the first walk of the new year and something not too strenuous was needed after the excesses(!) of Christmas and New Year so Sallows and Sour Howes fitted the picture perfectly. We parked at the end of Moor Howe Road and set off at a good pace to get warmed up. The day was bitterly cold but beautiful and clear and took my Wainwright tally onto 154. The walk to the top of Garburn Pass always seems to go on and on forever but the views south over Windermere were well worth it. But unfortunately I took no photos so will have to go back sometime to take some.

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Seat Sandal – Wednesday 27 December 2000 – this was taken on the summit of Seat Sandal at about 3pm on our walk just after Christmas. Although the day was bitterly cold with the temperature below zero, frequent stops were taken to admire the stunning views and on reaching the summit a warm glow was felt – possibly with pleasure at reaching the summit with no serious mishaps on the icy patches by Raise Beck. Certainly with the pleasure of walking with someone who feels the same way.

And I know this walk is 2000 and the page is 2001 but I've only just decided to write about my walks and it seemed silly to have a page with just one walk on it! Don't suppose anyone will notice it anyway.

Seat Sandal summit

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