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Martindale Circuit: Place Fell to Loadpot Hill

PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:06 pm
by poppiesrara
A testing long, and pretty damp, loop of the Far Eastern Fells…

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Much the best part of this route comes early – from the remote hamlet of Martindale (two churches, not an awful lot else!) the unfrequented northern approach to Place Fell is up a lovely zigzagging grass path above Boredale. Much of the summit ridge – and the hoped-for vistas of Ullswater – was lost in mist, but it’s still an interesting rocky approach across crags and up to the naked point of the summit. You skirt by High Dodd, too late, with a little bit of regret – I’m sure I won’t be the first or last to ponder on what made little nothing-bumps elsewhere ‘Wainwrights’ but leaves distinct peaks like this one pretty much unvisited…
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Leaving Martindale, Steel Knotts behind

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North over Hallin Fell

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Ascent path over Hart Crag

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Martindale below the clouds from Place Fell summit

The weekend crowds gathered on the very well-made path down to Boredale Hause and rising again towards Angle Tarn, views starting to open up to the several Dodds and Waters south, and the half-scrambles up to the twin Angletarn Pikes and down to the striking tarn itself are an interesting little challenge.
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Descending on the good path to Boredale Hause

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Glenridding and the tip of Ullswater

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Brothers Water, framed by Hartsop, Middle, & High Hartsop Dodds

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Angle Tarn...

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...and from the far side, the south Pike behind

But this was very much one of those ‘walks of two halves’… Leaving the handsome bowl of Angle Tarn, the rain started to fall and rarely relented for long over the next three or four hours; skies closing in, underfoot conditions worsening, much of the rest of the day starting from the slog over Rest Dodd and steeply, marshily back up to the Knott turned into a dull, routemarch trudge. It’s usually easy to find plenty to enjoy in any walk, and in several previous visits to the Lakes there had been little but that…, but today, legs hurting and conditions not of August, it was getting harder to do so. Even Kidsty Pike, such a feature from other angles and with a fabulous clifftop situation, doesn’t have such a charm approached from this flat moorland side and with barely a view into Mardale.
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Rest Dodd and The Nab, from the ascent of The Knott

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Riggindale from Kidsty Pike

Without views much beyond next-door Rest Dodd, it seemed a long 3-mile slog north along the very broad High Street ridge to Loadpot Hill, among those high moors that are flat enough to ‘hold water for a long time’ (one of the very many fellwalking euphemisms there for: ‘it’s a marsh’…). It’s always hard to feel like giving up, and there wasn’t really much of an easy way out from here anyway, but after a lot of boghopping and by the time of the descent (strike out following the compass N then NW from the summit to locate a pretty good but steep grass path down into Fusedale), I’d probably had enough. Several other peaks were within short striking distance, but by now even the little rise back up into Martindale – doubtless a lovely track on other occasions with its views to Ullswater and Hallin Fell – was plenty. Aging legs?, or just a bad day?, but this shouldn’t really have been such a test. I’ll perhaps love it another time...
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Rest Dodd, and higher fells somewhere in those clouds...

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Round lumps on a big ridge: Loadpot & Wether Hills

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Loadpot Hill trig

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Hallin Fell & Ullswater from the descent

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Steel Knotts & Place Fell beyond Fusedale

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The north of Ullswater

Re: Martindale Circuit: Place Fell to Loadpot Hill

PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:37 pm
by johnkaysleftleg
Enjoyed the report at pics Poppie even if you didn't enjoy the second half of the walk :wink: Still beats sitting in the house.

Re: Martindale Circuit: Place Fell to Loadpot Hill

PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:39 pm
by SusieThePensioner
Shame about the weather and everything is so very boggy when it shouldn't be like that at this time of year :?
I hope you'll go back one day in better conditions and get more satisfaction :)
I enjoyed reading your report and some photos with great views :thumbup:

Re: Martindale Circuit: Place Fell to Loadpot Hill

PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 12:03 am
by ChrisW
Great report P, real pain in the butt about the weather though. At first it looked 'atmospheric' but then it clearly got much worse. That's a fair old stint in those conditions and looks a nice hike overall, you even managed to get some great shots of it in spite of the weather :clap:

Re: Martindale Circuit: Place Fell to Loadpot Hill

PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 9:31 am
by garyhortop
Great report P although sounded like a bit of a slog in not so wonderful weather - well done...I think I would have given up and gone to the pub!! :D

Re: Martindale Circuit: Place Fell to Loadpot Hill

PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:28 pm
by poppiesrara
Thanks, everyone.

I feel a little bit churlish now for doing all that moaning... - of course it's still better than a day sitting at home, or in the office (perhaps not the pub!). Better things to come, but it wasn't that bad really...!

Re: Martindale Circuit: Place Fell to Loadpot Hill

PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:10 pm
by nigheandonn
I did love the Loadpot Hill ridge, but then I had glorious weather - and I like walking on the flat, so it's nice to do it high up where the views are good! Shame it was so miserable for you.

Re: Martindale Circuit: Place Fell to Loadpot Hill

PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:24 pm
by malky_c
Hmm, squelch!

Was looking at precisely this route for a future walk, but it may not happen for some time. Cheers :)