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The Fairfield Horseshoe

The Fairfield Horseshoe

Postby jonathan - norfolk » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:43 am

Wainwrights included on this walk: Dove Crag, Fairfield, Great Rigg, Hart Crag, Heron Pike, High Pike (Eastern Fells), Low Pike, Nab Scar

Hewitts included on this walk: Dove Crag, Fairfield, Great Rigg, Hart Crag

Date walked: 14/10/2014

Time taken: 7

Distance: 15 km

Ascent: 1150m

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Given the time of year and the amount of daylight available, I made an early start on this one and was on my way up Nab Scar by 07.30. Excellent path and an easy to follow route all the way up and along the ridge via Heron Pike to Great Rigg, at which point I found myself climbing up into the mist. Some care was needed navigating around the top of Fairfield in these conditions though. Until the summit of Fairfield I'd seen absolutely nobody since starting my walk but here a couple of walkers briefly emerged out of the gloom. Hereafter, I did meet an occassional couple or solitary walker on the ridge, but they were few and far between until I reached High Pike. Hart Crag and Dove Crag were particularly interesting in the mist. I had been up here on this part of the ridge once before, but as that was more than 40 years ago the previous experience wasn't much help. However, as I dropped down towards High Pike I also dropped out of the mist, and it now being mid-day the mist started burning back quite quickly. By the time I reached Low Pike all the summits of the Horseshoe were clear. Getting off Low Pike to Rydal proved to be much trickier than I'd expected. I'd had a check for the track from Rydal before I set out, without seeing anything obvious. From the ridge I couldn't make out anything like a track at all around the col just before the top of Low Pike {which is where I should have descended] and made the mistake of following what looked like a very good track along the ridge towards Rydal - not a good idea. It became very rough, and then disappeared into a sea of braken-covered rocks and steep ground. I took much longer than originally expected to get down, but then it would have been a bad place to get an injury, so a lot of care was needed. From the bottom the way down (as indicated by Wainwright's maps) was rather clearer now [improved visibility may have been a factor at this time] and clearly would have been a better alternative. No harm done other than a lost 3/4 hour in the pub, but since I was there by lunchtime, no harm done there either. An excellent walk and one I've wanted to complete for some time. :D :D :D :D
Last edited by jonathan - norfolk on Sun Dec 28, 2014 1:39 am, edited 3 times in total.
jonathan - norfolk
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Re: The Fairfield Horseshoe

Postby martin.h » Tue Oct 21, 2014 6:39 pm

Nice report for a good route. I can imagine the top of Fairfield is a bit tricky in the mist and I'm sure mist must have some form of intelligence, especially when it always seems to disappear when we're well on our way down.
Thanks for sharing.
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Location: Halifax, West Yorkshire
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