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Spring around the Coledale

Spring around the Coledale


Postby The English Alpinist » Thu Mar 17, 2016 10:18 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Barrow, Causey Pike, Eel Crag, Grisedale Pike, Hopegill Head, Outerside, Sail, Scar Crags, Whiteside

Hewitts included on this walk: Causey Pike, Crag Hill (Eel Crag), Grisedale Pike, Hopegill Head, Sail, Scar Crags, Whiteside

Date walked: 16/03/2016

Time taken: 5.75

Distance: 19 km

Ascent: 1682m

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0 Scar Crags.JPG
Scar Crags.


Another one down, only 3 to go!

That's 3 more walks to do to achieve my goal of all the Wainwrights in one winter. The deadline is Saturday 26th March, a week and 3 days from the date of this walk. The clocks go forward at 2 a.m. on the Sunday morning, so technically I have until then. I'll try not to leave it that late though!

1 Penrith.JPG
A familiar morning sight for me lately: Penrith Castle, as I arrive on the train.


This one went far more smoothly than yesterday's near-disaster. These were well established paths, the classic Coledale horshoe, with a little bit extra. The early bit was a little fiddly. You can ignore one or other out of Barrow or Outerside, but both being Wainwrights they were compulsory for me! After this spot of zig-zagging, it was straight-forward ridge-walking around the rest of the horseshoe. It's been some time since I've done it, and I was a bit surprised how progressively higher each fell got. The drop from Eel Crags to Coledale Hause is substantial. I thought it a nice idea to continue along the ridge and descend via the crags, rather than the main roundabout path. What I was doing was 'official', marked with cairns and marked on the map, but I lost the path half way down and finished up with yet another of those tricky rock and scree scrambles. After that, it was the brief slog to Hopegill Head, a striking viewpoint. Here I could view the trek out to Whiteside. This had to be respooled and added 45 minutes to the day, but even so I made good time. What a difference good paths and good weather make!

2 Braithwaite.JPG
Ascending Barrow from Braithwaite.


3 Pike view.JPG
The day ahead: Grisedale Pike, hope to be there later.


4 I cairn builder.JPG
I, cairn builder (Barrow did not seem to have one until I came along).


5 up Outerside.JPG
The ascent of Outerside, look at that blue sky!


6 Causey summit.JPG
Over on Causey Pike now.


7 path!.JPG
Now, that's what you call a path! Up to Sail.


8 Sail summit.JPG
Sail summit.


9 Eel summit.JPG
Eel Crag summit.


10 Eel.JPG
Along Eel Crag.


11 Whiteside view.JPG
Down to Coledale Hause, and Whiteside in my sights.


12 Hopegill.JPG
Almost at Hopegill Head, and still blue sky.


13 Whiteside Edge.JPG
The excellent Whiteside Edge.


14 cairn!.JPG
I probably made this top heavy, it was fine as it was.


Whiteside was one of the highlights of the entire campaign, a truly aesthetic ridge with grand views all around. The end cairn is not actually the summit, but it would have been unacceptable not to visit it. It offers a stunning vantage point of Crummock Water below and the Western Fells across. It was especially satisfying for me to view Mellbreak, done in less than pristine conditions just 4 days ago, a day which caused me bad leg rashes and bad knees. Today, the knees were feeling a lot better. Also I made an interesting discovery today. I experimented by walking in base layer leggings with shorts over them, not caring how ridiculous I looked. I believe they wicked the sweat off, which the walking trousers fail to do, and far from getting worse as I feared, the rashes amazingly improved during the walk.

Oh, and I saw the Isle of Man! As anybody familiar to Lake district fellwalking knows, various summits are kind of defined by their ability to spot the Isle of Man from. Old Man Coniston is one, but fat chance I had on that day (or is that Blackpool Tower?). On every other walk it's either been impossible to spot or I've forgotten to look, such as on Pillar when I was too busy feeling cold and deciding which way to descend. This time, I got talking to the only other person on the end of Whiteside, and he said, "Did you see the Isle of Man?" I hadn't thought about it, so hooray for that chance meeting! Sure enough, there it was, a thin grey strip poking out of the sea, just distinguishable from cloud. That was a neat moment, particularly as I'd had a family holiday out there last summer. Finally I've spotted the Isle of Man from England!

15 Whiteside.JPG
Got to do an about turn next, but worth it. Great views.


16 The Pike.JPG
The approach to Grisedale Pike.


17 clouds close in.JPG
Became cloudy, but behaved itself.


18 Summit.JPG
The finale, Grisedale Pike no less.


19 descent.jpg
Is this the most famous ridge in the Lake District?


20 forests.JPG
Descending Grisedale Pike.


As a very satisfying bonus indeed, I found I had made such good time I could catch the earlier of two buses: the 16.35 from Braithwaite instead of 18:09. This meant an extended relaxing coffee time in Keswick where I reflected on the fact I'm a mere 3 legs away from success. Body and weather conditions are looking good, and this is the first time I truly believe I'm going to make it! The High Stile ridge above Buttermere is up next, and plenty can go wrong on that, so no room for complacency. After that, it's revisiting Dollywaggon Pike, which I missed substantially in December's whiteout, and Angle Tarn Pikes where I just missed the northern one. That is annoying, but it needs to be done. I can tie those jobs together in a rather long day, but get a rest in Patterdale in the course of it. Finally, the last day - a few simple (if probably boggy) Central Fells from Castlerigg Stone circle bringing me full circle from my starting point on October 31st. I can hardly contain myself, but mustn't get ahead of myself. It's not done yet!

21 lower.JPG
Loads of time for the bus today!


22 flood.JPG
More aftermath of November's flood damage. Braithwaite this time, Coledale Beck.



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23 daffoldil!.JPG
Truly it is Spring.
Last edited by The English Alpinist on Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:01 am, edited 6 times in total.
The English Alpinist
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Re: Spring around the Coledale

Postby ChrisW » Fri Mar 18, 2016 5:30 am

Great to see it all coming together TEA, as you say not yet time to celebrate but you can at least put the champagne on ice. The 'hands on hips/blue leggings shot' is spectacular....you look like a character from the fast show :lol:

Great to see you enjoying consecutive good weather days too, look after those knees for a few more days and you're done :clap: :clap:
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ChrisW
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Re: Spring around the Coledale

Postby The English Alpinist » Fri Mar 18, 2016 6:32 pm

ChrisW wrote:Great to see it all coming together TEA, as you say not yet time to celebrate but you can at least put the champagne on ice. The 'hands on hips/blue leggings shot' is spectacular....you look like a character from the fast show :lol:


The Fast show happens to be my favourite comedy! i just hope we're not talking Colin Hunt :D i'm happy with the "brilliaaaant" guy though!
The English Alpinist
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Posts: 143
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Re: Spring around the Coledale

Postby trailmasher » Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:09 pm

Good report and pics TEA :clap: I've been following your posts and see that you're doing well on your mission :) good luck for the next couple of weeks and keep smiling :clap:
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Re: Spring around the Coledale

Postby made in Scotland » Sat Mar 19, 2016 2:43 pm

I've been following your challenge since the first report - thanks for all the great reports by the way! It took me 3 separate walks to do the ones you did here. I guess you are out walking today - nice day for it - so looking forward to the report to follow. Good luck with the last few.
made in Scotland
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Re: Spring around the Coledale

Postby LoveWalking » Sat Mar 19, 2016 4:04 pm

Wow, that looks like an amazing walk...good luck for the next few days :)
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