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A Farfield Horseshoe ( the better one).

PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:18 am
by colgregg
Start time: 12 15pm.
We set off from Patterdale cursing Weatherline's forecast for today as they'd failed to predict the bank of cloud sitting over the fells at around 2500ft.. Their prediction did come true, however, as the cloud lifted as we rounded the shoulder of Birks and started the steady climb to the Summit of St. Sunday Crag (2756ft). Behind us were ever improving views to Ullswater backed by Place Fell. From the Summit of St sunday you get a detailed view of Helvellyn with it's neighbouring fells, Dollywagon and Nethermost Pikes although Striding edge doesn't look as dramatic from here. Ahead is Fairfield, the main objective. There now follows a steady drop of 700ft to Deepdale Hause and the path leading to Grisedale Tarn for those wanting to make an early return, backed by Seat Sandal.
There's a stiff ascent to the minor top of Cofa Pike which is a great place to stop for snacking, before the final climb to the summit of Fairfield which at 2863ft is the highest point. As expected The all round view is exceptional with many fells to the West visible, the Hellvelyn range to the North and Eastwards the fells around Kirkstone and High Street also prominent. The lakes of Windermere and Coniston provide the water scenery with Morecambe Bay in the background
Our walk continued South East to The next summit of Hart Crag, an easy mile's walking, before the long descent of the ridge of Hartstop above How (another superb viewpoint) and finaly down to the main road at Bridgend. Half a mile along the road we were back in Patterdale for a pint at the White Lion. Had we more time then I'd liked to have extended the walk to include Dove Crag and continued on to Scandale Pass, returning to Patterdale via Caiston Beck and Brotherswater. Still that could be for another day and what we did was well worth it. Another advantage was that there were relatively few people walking this.
In my title I put this as the better horseshoe. My Reasons? In my opinion there is greater interest with this route as you are walking on the more dramatic side of the Eastern Fells. St Sunday is a great summit in it's own right and you get to see Fairfield's Crags which aren't seen on the western approach. All in all scenically I think this route ranks a lot higher than the "original" horseshoe.
A small selection of pics from the walk.
St Sunday - Fairfield 011.JPG
Ullswater from St Sunday Crag

St Sunday - Fairfield 014.JPG

St Sunday - Fairfield 023.JPG
The Far Eastern Fells

St Sunday - Fairfield 032.JPG

St Sunday - Fairfield 036.JPG
Grisedale Tarn from Deepdale Hause

St Sunday - Fairfield 039.JPG
Cofa Pike, St Sunday Crag and Grisedale.

St Sunday - Fairfield 045.JPG
Fairfield Summit.

St Sunday - Fairfield 065.JPG
Place Fell and Patterdale from Hartstop above How

Re: A Farfield Horseshoe ( the better one).

PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:23 pm
by icemandan
Fully agree that this is a much better horseshoe than the Rydal one. Dovedale is one of the best kept secrets in the Lakes.

Re: A Farfield Horseshoe ( the better one).

PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 10:34 pm
by fedupofuserids
Agree with you both. I'm usually unlucky on Fairfield, on about 5 visits to its summit, I've only had clear skies once !