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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.



Postby JonetCol » Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:00 pm

Date walked: 17/02/2011

Time taken: 4.5

Distance: 12.5 km

Ascent: 990m

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This started as an attempt at Fairfield Horseshoe, but snow and v poor visibility forced a re-think. I set off from Ambleside Rydal Road car park in fairly clear weather, hoping cloud clinging to the peaks would lift. I continued up Kirkstone Road and Sweden Bridge Lane to follow the track N to Sweden Bridge, an idyllic little spot. I crossed the bridge, taking the left fork to move W for 200m then took the R fork to move N again to join S ridge of Low Pike. The ascent steepens but views back to Ambleside and Windermere and E along Scandale Beck are superb.The path runs alongside a stone wall which continues over Low Pike (detour R for summit) and on to High Pike, then Dove Crag. From the top of Low Pike the clouds came in and stayed for the remainder of the walk. The views were now confined to my boots and a few metres ahead at best, but a check of the map confirmed the wall continued for a good way, greatly reducing the risk of straying from route. There was now snow on the ground too, varying in depth from12-25cm. The wind was cold but not too strong. I continued through deeper snow over Dove Crag and Hart Crag and on to Fairfield where the visibility reduced to negligible. This being my first time on Fairfield and having read that morning that it was an easy place to get lost in hill fog (with 'precipitous slopes awaiting the unwary' ) I elected to return the way I came (where navigation would be safer once I rejoined the wall) rather than try to complete the horseshoe.
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