Snow, falling on icy untreated roads, made my early morning drive to Haweswater an interesting one. Mine was the only car in the car park at the head of the lake - on a day when I had the hills entirely to myself.jacob wrote:There's some lovely pictures in between them. Nice one.
Above the car park, the "North Face" of Harter Fell loomed in the dawn sky.
IMG_2870 by Tim Pearce, on Flickr
The plod up to Gatescarth Pass was uneventful, but by the time I reached the summit of the pass the sun was fully up and illuminating the higher fells - but Harter Fell itself cast a deep shadow over the valley.
IMG_2879 by Tim Pearce, on Flickr
I've climbed Harter Fell many times - this was one of the most memorable. As I reached the northern top of the fell, I could see across to Blea Tarn and the skyline of High Street, Rampsgill Head, Kidsty Pike and High Raise.
IMG_2919 by Tim Pearce, on Flickr
Snow layers patterned the summit ridge.
IMG_2920 by Tim Pearce, on Flickr
And I could look down on the full length of Haweswater surrounded by frosty fells.
IMG_2923 by Tim Pearce, on Flickr
More snow layers in the foreground of this view over towards Kentmere Pike: Morecambe bay in the background.
IMG_2930 by Tim Pearce, on Flickr
Harter Fell's summit cairn combines stones and old bits of iron - "spectral weirdness... an adornment that has a nightmarish quality" says Wainwright. However today it looked more like a Christmas cake covered in icing sugar.
IMG_2949 by Tim Pearce, on Flickr
I could see right over to the Western Fells - skyline is Crinkle Crags, Bowfell, Scafell, Scafell Pike, Great End.
IMG_2940 by Tim Pearce, on Flickr
There was also a nearer view of the Ill Bell - Froswick ridge, with the faraway Coniston fells beyond.
IMG_2956 by Tim Pearce, on Flickr
As I started down the ridge towards the Nan Bield col, I noticed this wind-blown pattern of snow layers.
IMG_2957 by Tim Pearce, on Flickr
Kentmere reservoir, Yoke and Ill Bell from the slopes above Nan Bield.
IMG_2973 by Tim Pearce, on Flickr
More snow formations, these near the top of Mardale Ill Bell.
IMG_2979 by Tim Pearce, on Flickr
I wandered over to the southern edge of High Street's summit plateau for the view towards Windermere and Morecambe Bay.
IMG_2982 by Tim Pearce, on Flickr
The wall at the top of High Street was plastered with blown snow.
IMG_2998 by Tim Pearce, on Flickr
Looking westwards from the summit - Fairfield's Cofa Pike and St Sunday Crag, with a skyline of Dollywaggon Pike, Nethermost Pike and Helvellyn beyond.
IMG_2994 by Tim Pearce, on Flickr
Similar but wider shot - left of Helvellyn is Catstycam, White Side, Raise, Stybarrow Dodd, Great Dodd and Blencathra.
IMG_3011 by Tim Pearce, on Flickr
Wind-scoured snow alongside the wall north of High Street's summit.
IMG_3021 by Tim Pearce, on Flickr
It was as if someone had used a giant brush and comb set.
IMG_3016 by Tim Pearce, on Flickr
Soon I could see Hayeswater, with lots of ice on it.
IMG_3025 by Tim Pearce, on Flickr
A cloud started growing on Fairfield. The sunlit hill in the foreground is Knott.
IMG_3054 by Tim Pearce, on Flickr
The top of Rampsgill Head gave me a great view down into Martindale.
IMG_3057 by Tim Pearce, on Flickr
Cloud was building over the higher fells as the sun started to go down. This is a view from the col between Rampsgill Head and Kidsty Pike.
IMG_3079 by Tim Pearce, on Flickr
After visiting Kidsty Pike and High Raise, last stop before the descent was Low Raise, with a sombre twilight prospect of Blencathra above a series of frosty ridges.
IMG_3084 by Tim Pearce, on Flickr
The cairn on Low Raise was plastered with snow on the east, and looked back towards massing cloud on the high fells.
IMG_3086 by Tim Pearce, on Flickr
The west side of the cairn, in contrast, looked out over a peaceful evening scene towards the Pennines.
IMG_3083 by Tim Pearce, on Flickr