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Size isn't everything.

Size isn't everything.


Postby johnkaysleftleg » Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:34 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Ard Crags, Castle Crag, Knott Rigg

Date walked: 07/04/2012

Time taken: 4.5

Distance: 11 km

Ascent: 700m

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Given the rough weather we've been getting of late it was a pleasant surprise to find that Saturdays forecast was fairly decent. We managed to get up early so we were parked up and ready to go at Newlands Hause for 10AM. Only problem during the journey was meeting a tractor on a single track road. Turns out that the width of the road was equal to a Ford Focus plus a tractor and about 2 inches :shock:


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Newlands Hause is a beautiful place, Moss Force waterfall the centre piece of a scene filled with hills, mountains and crags. The path up Knott Rigg, the days first target, is directly opposite the car park and rises steeply up the increasingly defined ridge. "So when are we going to do a walk with a gentle start the dad?" I was asked. :lol:
Fortunately for Grace the steepness doesn't last long and soon we were at the diminutive summit cairn of Knott Rigg.

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Moss Force

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Robinson Crags

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Hughie at Knott Rigg summit

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Higher North Western fells in cloud


Wainwright described this ridge over Ard Crags and Knott Rigg as a little bit of heaven and this morning it is all ours as we arrived at Ard Crags equally understated high point without seeing another soul. An early lunch coincided with a shower passing us by to the South but as luck was on our side we got nothing more than a little fine mizzle. The views to the East in particular are fantastic with the only blot being the hideous new path up Sail's East ridge. Now I'm fully aware of the need to try and lessen the erosion caused by walkers on popular routes but constructing a path that looks worse than the scar it's trying to remove and will undoubtedly be ignored by many who wish to take a direct route is a waste of valuable resources.
Our private claim on the ridge couldn't last and as we finished our cheese savoury stotties a couple of other walkers were spied coming up from Aitkin Kott.

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View to the North East

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Grace at Ard Crags summit

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Eyesore

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Looking over Buttermere Moss


In all honesty this little ridge deserves a circular traverse but as that would require road walking in the Lake District on Easter Saturday we decided to give it a miss.
We retraced our steps as the shower cleared away and soon were back at the now full car park.
Next target was Castle Crag so we set off down the pass towards Buttermere. Turns out we were not alone in attempting to take advantage of the good forecast and we must have passed up to 100 parked cars on the way to the charming village of Rosthwaite. Once again fortune favoured us and we found a parking spot with little fuss.


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Castle Crag isn't really a real fell, more a view point, but in all honesty this short walk contains more interest than many tops over twice the elevation. It's rare that former quarry workings enhance a place but in Castle Crags case it's true. The Grassy summit is a lovely place and made even better by enjoying a flask of Hot Chocolate (Yippee lent is over! :D )

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Magic Garden at Rosthwaite

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Rosthwaite Bridge

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Looking towards Eagle Crag

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Slate cairns

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Looking down Borrowdale

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Castle Crag

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Looking up Borrowdale

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Very young lambs


Another fine day in Lakeland bagging three diminutive fells all of which showed that size isn't everything.
Last edited by johnkaysleftleg on Wed Apr 11, 2012 1:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Size isn't everything.

Postby SusieThePensioner » Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:30 pm

John, two great walks, and, as you say, size isn't everything! Some lovely photos and beautiful views :D
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Re: Size isn't everything.

Postby simon-b » Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:53 pm

Superb views on those two routes, John. There are so many beautiful sub-2000 ft climbs in the Lakes.
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Re: Size isn't everything.

Postby ChrisW » Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:39 am

Great report John and as you rightly say size isn't everything, I often find the views to be much better from lower down, your lovely photos clearly demonstrate the point :D
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Re: Size isn't everything.

Postby garyhortop » Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:59 am

Really enjoyed this report John....some really good shots as well.....just goes to show that you can find some amazing walks at lower levels as well! :thumbup:
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Re: Size isn't everything.

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:10 am

Many thanks to all for the kind words. I think it's the great variety of routes that make the Lakes special. Best thing about attempting to bag all the Wainwrights is you walk places you may not have botherd with otherwise.
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Re: Size isn't everything.

Postby colgregg » Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:00 pm

The Ard Crags walk looks quite a good little walk and would make for a good alternative to the Traditional Newlands round walk. I've only done Hindscarth from Robinson before but a good trip would be to go up it from the valley then go to Robinson, Newlands Hause and back round over knott rigg and Ard Crags.
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Re: Size isn't everything.

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:46 pm

colgregg wrote:The Ard Crags walk looks quite a good little walk and would make for a good alternative to the Traditional Newlands round walk. I've only done Hindscarth from Robinson before but a good trip would be to go up it from the valley then go to Robinson, Newlands Hause and back round over knott rigg and Ard Crags.

I did consider that but thought the three rocky steps on Robinson's North ridge might be a bit damp. Certainly would have been following the shower.
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Re: Size isn't everything.

Postby simon-b » Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:48 pm

colgregg wrote:The Ard Crags walk looks quite a good little walk and would make for a good alternative to the Traditional Newlands round walk. I've only done Hindscarth from Robinson before but a good trip would be to go up it from the valley then go to Robinson, Newlands Hause and back round over knott rigg and Ard Crags.


I did a route quite like that in January 2011, Col.

Up Robinson from Little Town via High Snab Bank, as per Waiwright's NW Fells, Robinson p.5 (although this did involve the three rock steps you mention, John). Then down to Newlands Hause, onto Knott Rigg and Ard Crags, and down over Aikin Knott. Finally down to Rigg Beck, only a short walk from the Little Town car park. An excellent round with great views.

It sounds like the route you suggested, Col, goes up Hindscarth first so wouldn't involve those rock steps. But I'd certainly recommend the ascent of Robinson from Little Town (as did Wainwright, he preferred Hindscarth - Scope End as a descent). Those three steps aren't that bad, John. They were a bit icy when I did them, but I was overtaken there by three runners and a border collie who shot up the steps like Spider Man.
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Re: Size isn't everything.

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:34 am

We haven't done Robinson, Hindscarth and Dale Head yet and I'm fully intending on ascending via the three rock steps. Just some of the things I'd read suggested they could be quite slippy when wet so I was leaving them to a totally dry day. Thanks of the reassurance that they are OK. :thumbup:
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Re: Size isn't everything.

Postby ciderpeter » Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:47 pm

Nice report and pics! I love the ridge between Knott Rigg and Ard Crags, I think it is one of those that is surrounded by bigger, more popular fells so it isn't as visited.

You will enjoy the Hindscarth Edge route, that is a fine walk with great views!

I have never thought to combine the two walks though - maybe that is one for the summer! :lol:
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Re: Size isn't everything.

Postby simon-b » Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:17 am

While we're all enthusing about the Newlands ridges, let's not overlook the valley. The approach to Dale Head that way could be interesting.

An option Wainwright doesn't mention on his Newlands Valley approach to that fell is to ascend by Dale Head Pillar, which could be quite exhilarating. It's a grade 1 scramble so should be OK for anyone who can manage Sharp Edge or Jack's Rake.
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Re: Size isn't everything.

Postby DaveB1 » Fri Apr 13, 2012 8:54 pm

Cracking report JK, it is a wonderful little ridge we did it in the pouring rain in May 11 then dived off Ard Crags to do Wandope and Grasmoor for a long day out, thankfully the weather improved. I know the path on Sail is an eyesore at the moment, but I've been up and down it in the last year and it is probably the lesser of two evils as the alternative appeared to be a very wide eroded track which would only get worse. If Mother Nature is left to do her bit then hopefully the ground around it will regenerate and the path blend in better. I think I'lll appreciate the zig zags more as the knees, thighs and energy decrease with age :lol:
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Re: Size isn't everything.

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:20 pm

K
DaveB1 wrote:Cracking report JK, it is a wonderful little ridge we did it in the pouring rain in May 11 then dived off Ard Crags to do Wandope and Grasmoor for a long day out, thankfully the weather improved. I know the path on Sail is an eyesore at the moment, but I've been up and down it in the last year and it is probably the lesser of two evils as the alternative appeared to be a very wide eroded track which would only get worse. If Mother Nature is left to do her bit then hopefully the ground around it will regenerate and the path blend in better. I think I'lll appreciate the zig zags more as the knees, thighs and energy decrease with age :lol:


It's just too regular for me. Looks more like a modern art sculpture than a path. Hopefully it'll wear in eventually
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