Whilst staying with my father in Salford over the Easter weekend I decided to take advantage of the settled weather and do a hill walk, either in Sonwdonia or the Lake District, as a bit of training for my Scotland trip in June. Thinking Snowdonia was going to be rammed and the Lakes being slightly quicker to access, I decided to go to Haweswater reservoir to climb some of the surrounding fells.
The weather was near ideal. Perfect temperature, dry and intermittent sunshine. The only minor niggle was the haze which restricted the distant views. As there wasn't much chance to warm up before starting the first (longish) climb, I decided to go at a much slower pace than normal, which meant I didn't need to periodically stop to catch my breath, so probably wasn't any slower than trying to power-walk up and having to stop every 200 meters. The tortoise and the hare approach. Headed up to the Gatescarth pass from where there was a nice view down into Long Sleddale and turned right and headed up to Harter Fell, the first of many summits. Some fine views of the reservoir and the eastern slopes of the High Street ridges running down to the shoreline. Followed a path around the head of the Kentmere valley, a nice fingerprint of the last ice age, and headed south to Ill Bell summit, from where there was a good view of the Southern Lake District and Lake Windermere, although the haze partially suppressed the view. Backtracked north and started to feel discomfort in my knees when going downhill, so decided that due to this and the time I would refrain from climbing Stoney Cove Pike and head more or less to High Street and back east to the reservoir. Summitted Thornthwaite Crag where I met a large group of people that were attempting all the Wainrights, then walked over High Street. I decided to head a bit north to Kidsey Pike and descend down the east ridge via Kidsey Howes but the knee pain was getting steadily worse, even though the descent from High Street isn't steep. On the final long descent to the shoreline I had to keep stopping to let the knee pain subside, and sods law says that there has to be a ramp up in the steepness half way down, which didn't help at all. Once I got to the shoreline and was walking on the flat that was the end of the discomfort, and it was an easy fiiniish to the walk along the reservoir to the car park. I am going to have to bring my poles next time I pay my family a visit.
The scenery was surprisingly bleak, with little greenery. This is probably because it is still early in the year and the plant life hasn't got going properly yet, combined with the UK having accidentally picked up someone elses semi-arid climate again.
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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.