walkhighlands

This board helps you to share your walking route experiences in England and Wales... or overseas.
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.

Half a Lucky Horseshoe

Half a Lucky Horseshoe


Postby johnkaysleftleg » Fri Jan 22, 2021 1:40 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Fairfield, Great Rigg, Heron Pike, Nab Scar

Hewitts included on this walk: Fairfield, Great Rigg

Date walked: 04/11/2020

Time taken: 5.25

Distance: 13.6 km

Ascent: 946m

6 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Please note walk completed in early November in compliance with the regulations of the time

Last Lakeland catch up report of what will probably be my last hill walk till the spring at the earliest, depressing thoughts but other than plodding on with life what can you do? If I'm a bit light on route details that's because Trailmasher completed a fine report fairly recently on a very similar route.

The large layby on the A591 at Grasmere must really upset the national park authority as it provides off road parking at no charge. I'm sure they'll find a way of making walkers pay for the privilege at some point but for the time being it enables people to walk from a honeypot without paying through the nose.

I was one of the first to turn up here on what looked like it was going to be a great day for walking. Intermittent cloud cover and some wonderful autumnal colours set the scene and with Hughie my Westie in tow I set off up towards Alcock tarn.

Image
First light on Silver How

Image
Greenhead Gill

Image
Greenhead Gill again higher up

There was some beautiful light play over the Vale of Grasmere as we made our way steeply upwards with the Coniston fells also being blessed by the morning light. Slow and steady was the call with my knees complaining, thanks in part to lack of recent use, at the effort involved but as ever one foot in front of the other gets you there. We arrived at Alcock tarn to be greeted by more fine views to the South with layered ridges and wisps of morning mist between, stretching away to infinity.

Image
Looking back to Helm Crag

Image
Early light on the Coniston Fells

Image
The Central Fells Across the Vale of Grasmere

Image
Grasmere Village

Image
Hughie strikes a pose

Image
Along the wall to Alcock Tarn

Image
Butter Crag with Great Rigg beyond

Image
Gateway

Image
Alcock Tarn

Image
Layers of Lakeland

Image
Winter is coming

Image
Alcock tarn panorama

I thought about having breakfast here but couldn't really find any shelter from the cool breeze so set off up the diagonal path up onto the the main ridge. A small drop down took me to Nab Scar and here we broke our fast enjoying the ever changing conditions. Well I did, Hughie spent his time trying to find something to roll in :roll: By the time we had finished a very light rain had started, enough to create some rainbows but scarcely enough to warrant any waterproofs.

Image
Looking south

Image
Helm Crag

Image
Glorious Grasmere

Image
Lord Crag mono

Image
Windermere

Image
Nab Scar Summit

Image
Hughie

The Fairfield horseshoe is popular not only for it's great views but also because it provides some nice easy walking with a comfortable plod taking me up to the next summit on the ridge in the shape of Heron Pike. At this point Fairfield itself looked fairly grim so I decided to leave the decision till atop of Great Rigg as to whether I would include it in todays itinerary.

Image
Light on Loughrigg

Image
Rainbow over Grasmere

Image
Looking back down the ridge to Windermere

Image
Gloomy over Fairfield

Image
Glorious light over Rydal Beck

Image
The magnificent Earn Crag with a hint of Rainbow

Image
Heron Pike

Image
Hughie over the Rydal valley

We stopped before Great Rigg and ventured a little off the path to sit overlooking Rydal Beck and consume some rations. To be honest I was feeling quite tired, I have found hill fitness impossible to attain this year never mid maintain but the nagging feeling looking at the ever rising number of infections and hospital admissions provided me with enough motivation to make the most of this day, unsure as to when the opportunity to visit these wonderful hills would next present itself.

I slogged my way up Great Rigg to see that Fairfield was now sun kissed and cloud free. Complaining knees and lack of fitness be damned! I wasn't going to waist this opportunity, looking back I'm very glad I took it.

Image
Langdales looking superb

Image
Conditions clearing

Image
Boots!

Image
Light on the Greenburn Fells

Image
Rydal Head

Image
Looking down Greenhead Gill

Image
Looking back to Heron Pike

Image
Looking down to Stone Arthur from close to Great Rigg

Image
Rydal Beck

Image
Seat Sandal

Image
Hughie finds some snow!

The slow plod I had fallen into got me there in the end and I made the most of being up here and explored a bit before sitting and having another snack. Fairfield has been very kind to me over the years, every time I've visited the conditions have been glorious, as a result it's one of my favourites. I love some of the views from the edge of the plateaux and still have one last route, via Cofa Pike, to explore. Part of me was tempted to go that way now but that would leave Stone Arthur sat smugly un-bagged on round two so steps were retraced towards Great Rigg and down the ridge to the last "top" of the day.

Image
Looking towards Deepdale from Fairfield

Image
Helvellyn and friends

Image
St Sunday Crag

Image
Ill Bell Ridge from Fairfield

Image
Ridges

Image
Alcock Tarn and Heron Pike

Image
Illuminated

One day I will have to actually climb up to Stone Arthur, that way it might actually feel like a fell rather than a brief levelling of a ridge. Still the views are nice and with the weather continuing to be superb it was a good place to stop for a while. I'm not sure we took the correct route off as it involved several down scrambles but soon it was back on level(ish) ground and back to the car.

Image
Stone Arthur

Image
Grasmere from Stone Arthur

Image
Compression

Image
Light splashing near Helm Crag

Image
Grasmere Village

Image
Helm Crag from the A591

So an end to Lakeland adventures for another year, a year that will live in all our memories for the wrong reasons. My deepest condolences to those who have lost somebody in 2020 and sympathies to those who have suffered far worse than me and mine during this terrible pandemic.


Half Fairfield.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

User avatar
johnkaysleftleg
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 3204
Munros:25   Corbetts:10
Grahams:10   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:7   Hewitts:166
Wainwrights:214   Islands:8
Joined: Jan 28, 2009
Location: County Durham

Re: Half a Lucky Horseshoe

Postby trailmasher » Wed Feb 03, 2021 9:07 pm

Another fine report JK, albeit mostly pictorial, photos taken with your usual care and attention showing the day in all its glory and moods :clap: The Alcock Tarn route is a great way to reach Fairfield and fair play to you for taking the pain of bad knees and lack of fitness to complete the walk :clap: , fitness that I think many of us will be lacking once we are able to start up again :(

The climb up to Stone Arthur is quite a steep one :? and a bit of a slog but as you know worth the effort for the views once you get there :) Hughie looked in fine fettle JK :D
User avatar
trailmasher
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 1244
Munros:11   
Hewitts:179
Wainwrights:214   
Joined: Nov 26, 2014
Location: Near Appleby - Cumbria

Re: Half a Lucky Horseshoe

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Fri Feb 05, 2021 1:39 pm

trailmasher wrote:Another fine report JK, albeit mostly pictorial, photos taken with your usual care and attention showing the day in all its glory and moods :clap: The Alcock Tarn route is a great way to reach Fairfield and fair play to you for taking the pain of bad knees and lack of fitness to complete the walk :clap: , fitness that I think many of us will be lacking once we are able to start up again :(

The climb up to Stone Arthur is quite a steep one :? and a bit of a slog but as you know worth the effort for the views once you get there :) Hughie looked in fine fettle JK :D


Thank you once again TM. This was a really glorious day to be out, good job as it's going to have to sustain me for a while :(
I think my initial return to the hills (when allowed) may well be something a bit more gentle than the Lakes. I fear even Roseberry Topping will seam like a true mountain once we get the go ahead.
User avatar
johnkaysleftleg
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 3204
Munros:25   Corbetts:10
Grahams:10   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:7   Hewitts:166
Wainwrights:214   Islands:8
Joined: Jan 28, 2009
Location: County Durham

6 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).




Walkhighlands community forum is advert free


Your generosity keeps this site running.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by donating by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Outside Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests