by 37lumleyst » Sat Dec 19, 2009 5:11 pm
Wainwrights included on this walk: Barrow, Causey Pike, Eel Crag, Grasmoor, Grisedale Pike, Hopegill Head, Outerside, Sail, Scar Crags, Wandope
Hewitts included on this walk: Causey Pike, Crag Hill (Eel Crag), Grasmoor, Grisedale Pike, Hobcarton Crag, Hopegill Head, Sail, Scar Crags, Wandope
Date walked: 18/12/2009
Time taken: 8
Distance: 18 km1 person thinks this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
It was very cold (-4 according to the car) with a predicted wind chill of -18 above 450 meters and with clear sky’s I was hoping to gain some height before the sun came up. I walked the short distance back into an through Braithwaite taking the track that leads through Braithwaite Lodge and onto the slopes of ‘barrow’ Nothing was moving as I walked along by the light of my head-torch, with the exception of a dog barking as I passed through the Lodge’s driveway. Once clear of the early ‘village’ parts I found myself on the grassy slopes of ‘Barrow’ which gave a steady but swift climb up to 455 meters. I could see across to the East the first shafts of light glowing over the Helvellyn range and knew that an early start was going to be worth it. From ‘Barrow’s’ relatively small peak I followed the well defined path passed barrow Door and started to climb onto ‘outerside’ I knew it was a cold morning as my breath was freezing in front of me but with a steady pace and the hill work I was toasty warm as I pulled up the first few hills. Once I reached the 568 meter summit of ‘Outerside’ I could feel the icy wind which was blowing across from the North East with a hungry bite. I didn’t hang around as I knew I had bigger fish to fry and also wanted to pop on my outside layer on ready for the more lofty peaks which were on the menu.
I dropped down towards ‘High moss’ but I was conscious that i wanted my Coledale round to start from its South Eastern point of ‘Causey Pike’ so I didn’t want to loose too much height as I came off ‘Outerside’ I decided to head for the summit and started the first steep climb of the day. I was in the lea of the prevailing icy wind which was good as I would have been very hot climbing in all my gear. As I approached the ridge like summit of Causey I could feel the icy wind swirling as it tumbled over the ridge so decided to don my outer layer, scarf and thick mountain gloves; I’m glad I did because as I came over the ridge the wind was bitterly cold. I turned left and walked the short distance out to the end of the hill and admired the views as dawn broke North across to ‘Skiddaw’ and ‘Blencathra’ and East across to the Helvelly range.
I doubled back across the ridge and started the ‘round’ by crossing over ‘Scar Crags’ heading towards ‘sail’ the path followed the ridge and then broadened as it climbed a little more steeply up to ‘sail’ there were a few scramble bits as I approached ‘sail’ which would be very simple in warmer weather but given the dusting of snow and abundance of Ice I took these slowly and steadily. It was fully light now with a bright sun above the Eastern horizon and from ‘sail’ I was rewarded with stunning views of the walk ahead as well as great views of ranges away in the distance. I could clearly see the snowy North Pennines and South West across to Great gable and Sca Fell.
After a short descent I started to climb again on to ‘Crag hill’ which would be the 2nd highest peak of the day coming in at 839 meters. The climb was steady and without incident so I quickly came up to the summit cairn of ‘Crag Hill’ and surprisingly there was little wind on the top. I descided that this would be a great place to break out some breakfast and have my first hot drink of the morning. I enjoyed some stunning views whilst refuelling and think that this is one of the best vantage points on the entire walk. I could also clearly see the next section of my route which would take me down and around ‘Addacomb Hole’ and out onto ‘Wandope’
By now my camera was feeling the effects of the cold and was continually telling me it had flat batteries, so unfortunately the pictures are a little thin from here on in.
From ‘Wandope’ I headed North up the broad grassy slopes of ‘Grassmore’ which was the heighest but easiest peak to reach at 852 meters. It gave some cracking views across Buttermere and the High-stile Range opposite but alas my camera was having non of it so no pictures. I back tracked and then dropped down to ‘Coledale Hause’ for another refuel and hot drink stop before continuing North up and onto ‘Sand Hill’ Up until now most of the slopes hade been either craggy of grassy but this one was completely void of any vegetation of soil, it took on the appearance of a wind swept lunar scene dusted with snow and wind formed frost.
‘Sand Hill’ was a windy summit so I didn’t stop with the exception of coaxing a photo out of my pool camera looking into the North col of ‘Grasmore’ which looked more like a drawing from a Wainwright book than an actual scene. The dusting of snow and clear sky gave a very ‘black and white’ appearance to the mountains all around. From ‘Sand Hill’ there was a short climb onto ‘Hopegill Head’ which gave me some fantastic views out to the North West and also across to my last summit of ‘Grisdale Pike’ via my route which took me around the imposing cliffs of ‘Hobcarton Crag’
I could really feel the bite in the wind across the only exposed part of my face and could also see some lower cloud heading my way. I decided the best thing to do was to push on whilst I still had clear sky’s as the wind had increased in speed and I didn’t think it would be long before the cloud would envelop my last summit.
I passed ‘Hobcarton’ quickly and climber onto ‘Grisdale’ without a fuss.
I took a long last look around at the stunning scenery and turned my attention to getting down and back to the car. An event free descent form ‘Grisdale’ followed but its worth noting that in places this is quite steep with amore lofty feel than its humble 791 meters would have you believe.
I took it easy until the path widened onto the more grassy slopes of ‘Sleet How’ and after a very enjoyable day arrived back at the car at 1500
by Paul Webster » Sat Dec 19, 2009 10:07 pm
(ps. you aren't really allowed to upload a scanned map though - breaks Ordnance Survey copyright rules, though hopefully these will change next year.)
- mountain coward
by susanmyatt » Sun Dec 20, 2009 2:10 pm
by johnnyaztec » Sun Dec 20, 2009 9:57 pm
Spare batteries for the camera next time im guessing is on your to do list, unless its a power pack battery of course keeping the camera next to the body works as well to preserve life in the batteries.
Agree with the other posters it is one of the best rounds in the lakes, even better on a day like you had.
by Dannyboy » Mon Dec 21, 2009 9:20 pm
I do like the difference in hill names between up here and down there
- its like a different language(i know it is but it does!)
by canisp » Mon Dec 21, 2009 10:08 pm
by 37lumleyst » Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:32 am
I like the idea of comming off the hill and passing folk that are just starting their walk. As for my camera, well............
I think I must have the s**t'est camera going as I cganged the batteries half way round thinking that the cold had got to them. I also carried the damn thing in my inside jaket pocket too, so it was as warm as I was. Might have to ask Santa for a new one (hope your reading this dear wife )