Thursday 16th April 2015 Hartsop circular walk
I set off from Sykeside campsite after a frosty night. The sky was blue and the sun was warming things up quickly. I arrived at Hartsop village and headed for the top car park and the footbridge to cross Pasture Beck.
I had a good view of the first hill of the day, Hartsop Dodd from here. The path follows the wall and then left up the north ridge. It was fairly steep but straightforward climb and I arrived at the top greeted by lovely views all around. I could see all the hills I would be on later.
looking back to Hartsop Village
the path up
Gray Crag zoom
Red Screes Dove Crag
From the top I followed the wall to Stony Cove Pike and had a snack, taking in the scene eastwards.
Froswick, Ill Bell and Yoke
looking west Helvellyn range
Descending via John Bells Banner, that leads to St Raven’s Edge above Kirkstone Pass, and then to the inn for a refreshing pint. Sitting on a bench outside, I studied the path going up Red Screes which looked very steep, and watched some others going up the hill. The path is actually very good and quite easy to follow being constructed from stone.
Red Screes from St Raven's Edge
Kirkstone Pass Inn
At a certain point high up the path abruptly turns left and there is a marker indicating the route. This takes you away from the Kilnshaw chimney route, but I was quite happy to follow this path to the top.
After a short climb from here I soon arrived at the grassy summit plateau and then the trig point at the top. I found a seat sheltered from the cool southerly breeze and had lunch looking north. I had climbed Red Screes several years before; from Scandale, and then down the south ridge back to Ambleside.
The view back to Kirkstone Pass
Red Screes -summit tarn
Sca Fell range
Great Gable and High Stile
Looking north to Middle Dodd
I then made the easy descent to Middle Dodd and returned trending right to contour around to Scandale Pass. I should have stayed a bit higher than I did, as there are several streams to cross and wet ground making the going difficult.
Middle Dodd looking back to Red Screes
Looking up to Little Hart Crag from Scandale Pass
At Scandale Pass it was a short climb up to Little Hart Crag, the penultimate Wainwright of the day. Again the views were great; there was hardly a cloud in the sky. One particular thing I like about the hills is hearing the sound of larks. I don’t remember hearing many larks today though, apart from one on Hartsop Dodd. Maybe it’s a bit early for them.
Red Screes from Little Hart Crag
Looking down into Scandale and Scandale Tarn
St Sunday Crag, with Helvellyn just behind to left
I followed the ridge to the end lump which is the top of High Hartsop Dodd, so called because it’s higher up the valley than the other ones not higher in elevation. It was a fairly steep descent from here to the valley and the fields of Hartsop Hall farm. Looking back at this fell and Middle Dodd, they look a lot more impressive than from the ridges leading to them.
Top of High Hartsop Dodd looking back along the ridge
Looking down to Sykeside campsite
Looking back up at Middle Dodd and High Hartsop Dodd
What a really great day weather-wise and a memorable round of hills as well.
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