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Above the clouds on Grisedale Pike

Above the clouds on Grisedale Pike


Postby johnkaysleftleg » Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:32 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Grisedale Pike

Hewitts included on this walk: Grisedale Pike

Date walked: 11/03/2012

Time taken: 4.5

Distance: 8.5 km

Ascent: 763m

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Sometimes the most difficult thing about going for a walk in the Lakes is deciding which fell(s) to walk. A somewhat complex fell forecast suggesting an East West split should have made it easy, pick a walk in the East of the district, enjoy the sunshine and stay away from the clag. But the forecast had mentioned the magic words, "temperature inversion" with the higher fell tops being above the clouds. I had originally planned to stay at modest heights given we had only one fell walk in around 3 months but the promise of the spectacular drew us Westwards and towards the shapely peak of Grisedale Pike.
The drive over the A66 included plunging into drizzly fog over the Pennines but by the time we descended towards the Vale of Eden the Far Eastern Fells were gleaming in brilliant morning sunlight. We resisted their all to obvious charms and pushed onwards. The first sight of Coledale confirmed we'd made the right decision. The huge bowl was filled with constantly moving clouds and looked quite magnificent.


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Following a little bit of bother parking we set off up the initially steep lower slopes excited about what lay ahead.

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Starting out


The path soon levelled off and for a short while we were alone as we made steady progress over the Birkett top of Kinn. Walking along the grassy carpet, Coledale beck glinting in the sun several hundred feet below and a light breeze wafting about on what had already become a wonderful springlike morning I was left to wonder if life ever got any better than this? 8)

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Lovely walking lower on the ridge


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Looking down to force crag mine.


My reverie was soon broken however by the thud of trainers as a gaggle of fell runners sprinted past, no doubt on their way to completing the whole Coledale round in half the time it would take to us to get up Grisdale Pike. I'll take my time and the views in thank you very much.

The View of Coledale from higher up was breathtaking with Causey Pike in particular attracting a constantly changing coat of swirling cloud.

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Causey Pike


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Ahead to Grisedale Pike


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Looking back towards Skiddaw


Soon the easy level ground gave way to increasingly steep terrain and excuses to stop and admire the views became more frequent.

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Grisedale Pike


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Hughie having a bit sniff


Suddenly cloud breezed into Grisedale filling it like a steaming cauldron, below us an excited cry of "Broken Spectre!" went up. I was gripped with contrasting emotions as I was filled with the urge to go running down the steep rocky path in a desperate attempt to catch a glimpse of the hill walkers holy grail. Images of the inevitable trip, smashing my camera or face to many pieces won the day. So close yet so far. :(

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Cloud filling Grisdale


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...and looking up the ridge


And so to the now cairnless summit of Grisdale pike. Pictures from only a few years back show a decent sized cairn but something (or somebody) has obviously taken offence at the structure and scattered it around the top leaving only the splintered slate ridge in its place. The views from the summit were awesome. The clouds were in constant motion revealing and hiding neighbouring fells under the bright blue skies above. Skiddaw and Blencathra to the East, Sail, Crag Hill and Grasmoor close by to the South and The Scafells making fleeting appearances further afield.

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Scafell and Great end beyond the Sail Pass


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Swirling Clouds


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Sail pass


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Grace on the Summit


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Heading down


Interestingly Helvellyn and the Eastern Fells were below a blanket of cloud, sometimes when deciding where to walk you make the right choice. :D

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Grace backed by a cloud covered helvellyn
Last edited by johnkaysleftleg on Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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johnkaysleftleg
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Location: County Durham

Re: Above the clouds on Grisedale Pike

Postby SusieThePensioner » Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:12 pm

Wow, you certainly got some brilliant photos, John :thumbup:
Enjoyed your report as well and glad you had such a good time :D
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Re: Above the clouds on Grisedale Pike

Postby colgregg » Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:28 pm

Seems like you had the better weather on Saturday. In fact I can see cloud I was engulfed by on my walk!!!
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Re: Above the clouds on Grisedale Pike

Postby ChrisW » Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:17 am

WOW, absolutely stunning. What a wonderful day in the hills captured beautifully in your excellent photos :D
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Re: Above the clouds on Grisedale Pike

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:53 pm

Thanks folks for the kind words.

p.s. Just noticed I got the date wrong. We did the walk on Sunday. I'm reliably informed that Saturday was a canny day also however.
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johnkaysleftleg
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Re: Above the clouds on Grisedale Pike

Postby L-Hiking » Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:23 pm

Great to see you had good weather and Grace seems to be enjoying the hiking

colgregg wrote:Seems like you had the better weather on Saturday. In fact I can see cloud I was engulfed by on my walk!!!


I was over there a couple of weeks ago and could not see 10yards in front at the top just like CG said


Like the clouds around the tops :thumbup:

Cheers
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Re: Above the clouds on Grisedale Pike

Postby Mal Grey » Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:26 pm

Good stuff! Looks like the Lakes had weather similar to that we got on Moel Siabod on Sunday. Can't beat it! Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Above the clouds on Grisedale Pike

Postby icemandan » Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:05 pm

Saturday was a bit overcast but sunday was magical. I was cycling over Kirkstone and Shap on Saturday and it was pretty gloomy. Sunday was a real spring day. Fantastic photos.
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Re: Above the clouds on Grisedale Pike

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:21 pm

icemandan wrote:Saturday was a bit overcast but sunday was magical. I was cycling over Kirkstone and Shap on Saturday and it was pretty gloomy. Sunday was a real spring day. Fantastic photos.


I overheard somebody on the way up saying they had a good day. Thats the lakes for you however, don't think the fells north of whinlatter pass saw the sun all day.
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Location: County Durham

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