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A warm, wet walk to Sheffield Pike and Glenridding Dodd

A warm, wet walk to Sheffield Pike and Glenridding Dodd


Postby trailmasher » Thu Apr 14, 2016 9:25 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Glenridding Dodd, Sheffield Pike

Hewitts included on this walk: Sheffield Pike

Date walked: 12/04/2016

Time taken: 4.27

Distance: 14.71 km

Ascent: 837m

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Sheffield Pike and Glenridding Dodd.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


Well it's that time of the month again - no, not that time - when Chris is pounding at my front door at 7 am with dry lips and gagging for a cup of coffee. I let him in out of the dampness of the morning and oblige his parched tongue as we discuss the merits of which, where, and what to do today. The weather forecast was similar to the one of our last walk to Lingmoor Fell with wind and rain easing as the day wore on with poor visibility for most of the day.

We knew that we wouldn't be able to see much so there was no point in driving too far to see nothing and as Chris still has a lot of nearby Wainwright's to clock up we decided on Sheffield Pike and Glenridding Dodd that would increase his tally of tops by two. They are not big hills by any means but giving that they are in a position to come up with the goods if the fog lifts and it's a new area for Chris these are the ones we chose to do today.

Chris is now armed with a Garmin Dakota 10 that he has borrowed off a friend as he wants to get familiar with a GPS before taking the plunge and purchasing one for himself. I have put the route in for him, shown him the basics for now and fully expect him to lead on. We'll see.
It is warm and there is a steady but light drizzle falling as we got donned up in our wet gear before setting off up the road - towards Glenridding - passing the church with its great swathe of daffodils surrounding the many gravestones…
We arrived at Patterdale, pulled in at the end of the farm track that leads to Side Farm and parked up on the area that is in front of the old school which is now some sort of outward bound centre. There is room for around five cars if parked sensibly and leaving good access for the farmer would be a good idea.
1 - The car park at the end of Side Farm lane.JPG
The car park at the end of Side Farm lane.

It is warm and there is a steady but light drizzle falling as we got donned up in our wet gear before setting off up the road - towards Glenridding - passing the church with its great swathe of daffodils surrounding the many gravestones…
2 - Patterdale Church daffodils.JPG
Patterdale Church daffodils.

and then turning left just before Grisedale Bridge to take the side road with its large sign board naming and indicating the purpose of Patterdale Hall which is of an outdoor pursuits nature. As we walked past the grounds of same we could see evidence of some of their activities in the way of rope walks, crawl boards, various types of suspended bridges and the like amongst the trees. As the first bend is arrived at, the road steepens as it passes by Home Farm and then levels out for the longish walk along the tarmac to its termination at where we now turned north to pass over the bridge that spans Grisedale Beck.

Once over the bridge the path climbs quite steeply - and today slippery - up the field to arrive at a gate stile. Whilst we were climbing up the bank the hounds started to herald our arrival but not having the russet brown and furry nature of Old Tod the fox we had nothing to fear from these fine animals.

One may ask why did we start at Patterdale to climb these two hills when Glenridding is only a cock stride away from them. Well, the walk would have been too short as Chris has driven over 80 miles to get to my house so the day has to be worth his efforts in coming over to the Lake District. The walk up the road to Greenside Mine is pretty boring and the route that we took would allow Chris to visit Lanty's Tarn and take a fairly high level route that commanded excellent views over the whole valley of Glenridding and a good part of Ullswater, weather permitting. Apart from that he is keen to get to know the area and looking down and over the surrounding landscape is an advantage from looking up and sometimes seeing nothing of value to assist you on your way. Yes, there are good views to be seen from low down but many landmarks, paths, escape routes, etc can be seen and logged in the memory banks for future reference when above and looking down on them.

We hadn't arrived at the top of the bank before meeting a couple of groups of youths who appeared to be on the D of E required walk and would have passed us silently by if not prompted to acknowledge our good mornings to them. We came across another couple of similar packs who didn't bother to return our greetings so maybe they have been reading about Wainwright's greetings policy.

Once through the gate stile we turned northeast and uphill on a good stoned up track that took us to the pine tree surrounded Lanty's Tarn.
6 - Lanty's Tarn.JPG
Lanty's Tarn.

It's still raining, not too heavy and it's warm in the wet gear as we arrive to watch the rain falling on the dark water. A photo or two is taken and then we left the tarn by way of another gate stile to pass onto the dead bracken covered fell side overlooking Glenridding and the southern end of Ullswater.
10 - Glenridding and Ullswater.JPG
Glenridding and Ullswater.

The tops of the fells are covered in clag, lower down it's causing hazy conditions through which we can make out what is below us and some distance across Ullswater and up towards the cottages alongside the mine road.

The path is good at this point despite the rain. It's fairly hard packed and then we started the short drop off but now on a paved section that has lost quite a few of the large stones that have been used for this work. When the paved section ends we now started to walk on a very wet, muddy, and narrow path to arrive at the next gate stile, but as we arrived at the wall and gate I realised that we had just continued on to the tarn instead of turning northwest on the grassy track across the end of Brownend Plantation that would have kept us on the higher path that runs beneath Little Cove. We are now, in effect, on our way back.
9 - We're at the wrong place.JPG
We're at the wrong place.

"Struth," I says, or some other such expletive, "I wonder how this has happened." There is only one explanation that I could arrive at; Chris has been talking too much, and taken my attention away from the job in hand. Apart from that he now has a GPS which I thought that he might have had his eyes glued to, and although traipsing behind me could have, nay should, have corrected our forward passage to uphill instead of downhill. It happens. Well as it so happens the path that we need to be on is only just about 50 metres above us, and to our left and roughly following the wall there is a faint path through the grass and dead bracken that will put us back where we need to be.
11 - Let's go up here then.JPG
Let's go up there then.

It takes but a few minutes to climb up and arrive at the correct path where the wall more or less sits alongside it. From here we would now continue following the wall down the once again paved path to Mires Beck. For now this path is a lot drier than the previous ones that we have walked on until that is we started dropping down to Mires Beck. The descent down to the beck is rocky in parts made slippery by the incessant rain, and then as the path levelled out we are walking in water once again.
13 - Nearly at Mires Beck.JPG
Nearly at Mires Beck.

We cross over a second beck and then a third by way of a small boarded footbridge that is tight against the wall.
14 - Footbridge near Mires Beck.JPG
Footbridge near Mires Beck.

From this footbridge the path widens again to nearly track status as it once again climbs up the fell side and still following the wall. Before we set off on this walk one of my concerns was whether there would be any footbridges still in service around this area after all the flooding that has occurred around here. Fortunately all that were on our route were still intact and safe to use.

From where we are just now we take a few photos over Glenridding and Ullswater but we are not hopeful of getting anything of any quality. We continued on the steady climb upwards with the path getting narrower the higher we climb. It's still raining although it has eased off somewhat and it seems to continue in that vein for most of the day. Sometimes the rain is quite heavy then it eases off and almost stopped a couple of times but it makes no difference to the clag as that remains with leaving nothing much to see just yet.

After about another 40 metres of climbing from Mires Beck we cross over Bleacove Beck and just passed there we passed the damage caused by a washout down the beck. The force of the water had washed tons of stone down and forced its way through the dry stone wall that stood just below the path.

The path is still rising as a welcome sight appears before my eyes. They have cut down the pine trees that were behind the Youth Hostel and other buildings sitting below us. Greenside Mine is in view with its massive spoil heaps that are slowly getting greener as more work is done to repair the damage done all those years ago when the lead mining activities were in full production.
17 - Greenside Mine.JPG
Greenside Mine.

Swart Beck is in full flow with the evidence of the recent storm damage sitting in the area below Lucy's Tongue. As we walk further northwest more of the old mine workings come into view and rounding the northern corner of Birkhouse Moor the more recently constructed weir and the footbridge over Glenridding Beck appear.
18 - Chris crossing  Glenridding Beck at the ford and weir.JPG
Chris crossing Glenridding Beck at the ford and weir.

From here on and until we get to the top of the old mine road that winds its way up the side of Stang End, the underfoot conditions - although a lot rougher than we have just walked on - should be a lot drier as we are now walking on stone. Just after the third bend on this mini Skiddaw like Jenkin's Hill we decided to pull up a rock and stop for a short break as the rain has all but stopped for now. It's very warm but for obvious reasons can't strip anything off so we just have to cope with it for now.
19 - Looking down the valley from the old mine track leading to Sheffield Pike.JPG
Looking down the valley from the old mine track leading to Sheffield Pike.

Continuing on our way up the roughly stoned old track that is lined with stunted juniper trees on both sides it gets narrower…
20 - The old track continues on the way to Sheffield Pike.JPG
The old track continues on the way to Sheffield Pike.

21 - A misty view over Greenside Mine.JPG
A misty view over Greenside Mine.

as we approach the top and passed over the old flue that took the smoke and lead fumes away from the mines to the chimney that was perched on the west side of the mine works midway between Raise summit and Stang End. I once followed the mostly collapsed flue up the fell side to the site of the old chimney's base and was surprised at how good a condition that the flu was in after all these years. Constructed of stone on all four sides one has to marvel at the time and effort that went into not only digging out for the line of the flu but for the laying of it and building the chimney at roughly the 680 metre contour.

Having left the old track we are now back on wet ground, the path which now heads off to the northwest being of brown mud and a bit of grass. We are well into the clag by now and visibility leaves something to be desired as we now start to walk over to the footbridge that sits over the head of Swart Beck and the path is now what could be called in good dry conditions as sandy shingle.

The ground surrounding the footbridge area is a picnicker's delight as it is akin to quite a large beach comprising of the sandy shingle that we have just walked over on the path. It's still raining but thankfully there is no wind, not even a breeze to blow the rain onto my camera lens today so apart from the fog there can be no excuses for poor image quality, ha! As can be expected there is plenty of water running down the beck but the bridge sits high above it on sound stone abutments so having survived the recent devastating storms I don't think that there is much danger of losing this one to storm damage.
22 - Footbridge over Swart Beck.JPG
Footbridge over Swart Beck.

Leaving the footbridge and after crossing over the 'beach' we are now on a path that runs northeast over the rough moor grass and is quite dry underfoot. But, within too short a time we are walking through mud and water again and the path has grown wider and wider as previous walkers have tried to avoid the mess. A bedraggled figure loomed out of the fog that proved to be some elderly gent who was well slarted up with mud and grass and stopping for a chat he just let us know that the ground was wet up there. Looking at him he must have just horsed on straight through the bad ground instead of trying for a workaround.

There are always wet areas on the approach to Sheffield Pike but today the ground conditions apart from the lack of hags and groughs were as bad as any that I have so far tramped through on my travels over the Pennine hills.
23 - Heavy going to Sheffield Pike through this lot.JPG
Heavy going to Sheffield Pike through this lot.

The path continues northwest until reaching Nick Head and then heads off east up the ridge making a bee line for the summit. With the bad ground and working around it, from the footbridge to the summit took us just over ½ hour with only firmer ground to be found as we approached the odd rocky higher knolls that are passed over before reaching the summit cairn.

There's not much to see as we arrived at the cairn which is sat on the grass and rocky top and is now just a flattened mound of stones and not quite as it looked like when I first saw it a few years ago when it stood much higher than now.
24 - Chris at Sheffield Pike summit cairn.JPG
Chris at Sheffield Pike summit cairn.

There is an old boundary stone laid on top of the cairn with the letter H and ER 1830 carved on it.
39 - Boundary stone on Sheffield Pike summit cairn.JPG
Boundary stone on Sheffield Pike summit cairn.

The H marks the Howard estate of Greystoke which has been in the family since 1571. Because they were Catholics the castle was laid waste during the civil war in 1648 but was rebuilt and enlarged in 1789 then rebuilt again to a new design between 1838 and 1848. The estate still belongs to the Howards. It must be great having enough money to continually rebuild your castle and stately home. I'm happy as I am, walking in the rain and clag

We didn't linger as there was no point really. We considered refuelling in the stony arms of the shelter but with the rain and fog decided to get out of the clag and down to the wall below Heron Pike.

Continuing east for a short way over the same bad ground conditions the path made its way up and down over the various stony humps and bumps until turning off southeast as we started to descend down the southeast ridge of Heron Pike. There are a number of small unnamed tarns scattered about between Sheffield Pike summit and the top of Heron Crag and on a good day maybe a decent photo could have been taken of them, but today I'm seeing enough water falling out of the sky and landing under my feet to bother taking a picture of a clag bound unnamed tarn. The path down is fairly rough and a bit steep in places but nothing to worry about really. The wet conditions made it a bit greasy in places but with care all went well, even for Chris.
29 - A bonsai juniper tree on a rock.JPG
A bonsai juniper tree growing on a rock.

Somewhere under Heron Pike we lost the main path but continued on our descent on a thin one that ran through the grass and dead bracken as it took us east over and behind the lowest crag of Heron Pike. This path looked as though it is little used but is clear enough to follow its fairly steep descent down, once again over grass and dead bracken until it levelled out at the col between the bottom of the ridge and Glenridding Dodd.
32 - We came off the ridge by the grassy rake centre of picture.JPG
We came off the ridge by the grassy rake centre of picture.

30 - Glenridding Dodd in mist.JPG
Glenridding Dodd in mist.

We continued across to the stone wall that encircles our next port of call from where we then turned south to follow it until arriving at and going through a gap in the south facing wall from where we then turned east and followed it for a short distance before parking up to have a drink and a bite to eat before giving Chris his second Wainwright of the day.

Glenridding Dodd rises out of the mist in front of us with the path plain to see as it first runs east alongside the wall over grass towards the base of the fell from where the path is now a well stoned up one as it continues to follow the wall northeast as it climbs easily uphill.
31 - The path to Glenridding Dodd.JPG
The path to Glenridding Dodd.

Just before reaching the stand of larch trees the path turns to the south now rising over some very boggy ground once again.

Despite the bit of boggy ground and the climb up to the neat summit cairn of small stones that is to be found on a rocky knoll it took but a few minutes to arrive there.
33 - Heron Pike from Glenridding Dodd summit cairn.JPG
Heron Pike from Glenridding Dodd summit cairn.

The views although there, are still a mist shrouded disappointment but we do what we can in the way of record shots with the camera. A view over Glenridding and Ullswater are but hazy reminders of what could be seen on a good day and tell Chris that when we climb Place Fell which is opposite to where we are now he will get a good look over what he can't see just now, hopefully.
37 - Glenridding from Blaes Crag.JPG
Glenridding from Blaes Crag.

We followed the path east that drops down to the front of Glenridding Dodd and took a few photos and just being able to see far enough pointed out to Chris the route that we would take back to Patterdale instead of walking down the road. The path from this point continued down and around the front of the fell, but not knowing whether it went all the way around, down, and across to The Rake, plus my right knee was acting up again - I thought that I'd cured that little problem - we retraced our steps and descended back to the col and followed the decent path down The Rake and made a detour onto the top of the small outcrop of Blaes Crag.
38 - The Greenside Mine road from Blaes Crag.JPG
The Greenside Mine road from Blaes Crag

From there we continued down the hill and reached the mine road just east of the row of Rake Cottages from where we walked down the tarmac before turning off southwest to cross Rattlebeck Bridge at Gillside from where we simply followed the road/track uphill to then cross the lower footbridge that spans Mires Beck at this lower location. From the footbridge we just followed the path uphill to reach the gate stile where we first realised our error in navigation and followed our outward route back to Lanty's Tarn.

Having got past the tarn we were going to take a path that was showing to the left of us through a gate in the wall but there is a sign on it advising of no access that way. Whether that has been officially closed or it's just the land owner's decision we didn't know so we continued down the hill and upon reaching the wall turned left and followed it southeast along a decent enough track that took us behind three houses and towards Patterdale Hall.

The track deteriorated somewhat as we passed under trees and then turning south down a short grassy bank, passed by Grassthwaite Howe, back into the woods of Patterdale Hall, crossed over a bridge spanning Grisedale Beck from where we then continued on to a gate and the side road that leads to Grisedale Bridge, the main A592 road and the car park.

Another day of walking in the rain has been pleasant enough. The rain never really stopped and wasn't hard until the last ½ hour of the walk. It's been warm and we've been stinking like polecats beneath our waterproofs, our two breaks were had under light rain and shrouded in mist. The worst and slowest part of the walk was getting up to Sheffield Pike summit from the footbridge over Swart Beck and looking into the clag gives no perspective of distance or size. It's been a while since I was on these two hills and I'm glad to have revisited them in spite of the weather conditions. No matter where we had gone today it would have been no better and Chris doesn't mind as long as he's out.

Oh! I nearly forgot. As we left Rattlebeck Bridge and upon closing in on the lower crossing of Mires Beck Chris complained of chafing around the nether regions, Being the person I am and not of a sensitive nature I offered to administer a copious layer of Savlon - which I happened to have with me - to said affected area. He refused the offer and said that he would continue suffering even when I suggested using one of my trusty poles and an old glove to treat his ailment.

Happen as well.
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trailmasher
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Re: A warm, wet walk to Sheffield Pike and Glenridding Dodd

Postby thefallwalker » Fri Apr 15, 2016 1:25 pm

:clap: :clap: Yes another rain sodden day in the lakes! i'm beginning to think it's better to walk in winter :lol: and i'm glad you mentioned a walk where i didn't visit the ground backside 1st, but only just :D also special thanks for the sharing of my chaffing issues :lol: but joking aside a good walk was had and looking forward to many more, come rain or rain :roll: :D take care mate
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Re: A warm, wet walk to Sheffield Pike and Glenridding Dodd

Postby trailmasher » Sun Apr 17, 2016 3:52 pm

thefallwalker wrote: also special thanks for the sharing of my chaffing issues :lol:


Thanks for your comments TFW :D re the chafing 8) but you were warned against wearing those hip hugging, nylon, speedo type undies :lol: :lol:
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Re: A warm, wet walk to Sheffield Pike and Glenridding Dodd

Postby ChrisW » Tue Apr 19, 2016 11:54 pm

Another cracker TM chafing issues for Chris aside, the mental picture painted by the "glove on a pole" savlon applicator was hilarious :lol: :lol: Sheffield Pike looked bloody miserable and to be honest the weather didn't help the rest of the route either but that Patterdale Church shot with those lovely daffs covering the entire graveyard is a beauty :clap: Another really entertaining read mate :clap: :clap:

p.s. what's with the knee....is it playing up again or was this a one off caused by the bogfest on Sheffield Pike :roll:
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Re: A warm, wet walk to Sheffield Pike and Glenridding Dodd

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Thu Apr 21, 2016 10:45 am

Sheffield Pike is boggy enough at the best of times so well done for pushing through especially with added chaffing :lol:
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Re: A warm, wet walk to Sheffield Pike and Glenridding Dodd

Postby trailmasher » Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:08 pm

ChrisW wrote:Another cracker TM chafing issues for Chris aside, the mental picture painted by the "glove on a pole" savlon applicator was hilarious :lol: :lol: Sheffield Pike looked bloody miserable and to be honest the weather didn't help the rest of the route either but that Patterdale Church shot with those lovely daffs covering the entire graveyard is a beauty :clap: Another really entertaining read mate :clap: :clap:

p.s. what's with the knee....is it playing up again or was this a one off caused by the bogfest on Sheffield Pike :roll:


Thanks for your comments Chris and they're always welcome :D :D I'm thinking of getting one of those paint ball guns as a future applicator of medication and just take pot shots as wouldn't want to get too close a view :lol: :lol: Re the church shot, I think I was lucky with that one as must have caught the light right :)
Now the knee. I was on ice a few years ago and took a bad fall with the knee getting the brunt of it and me being a stout Yorkshire man and with the help of my mate walked about 3 miles back to the car which didn't help any. The consequences of that was that I was out of action for around three months and every now and again it reminds me good style of the day it happened :( :(
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Re: A warm, wet walk to Sheffield Pike and Glenridding Dodd

Postby trailmasher » Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:16 pm

johnkaysleftleg wrote:Sheffield Pike is boggy enough at the best of times so well done for pushing through especially with added chaffing :lol:


I've been on Sheffield Pike a few times and your right, the ground is bad enough on a good day :crazy: I think that a combination of warmth, wearing wet gear all day, and probably wearing tight black silk undies contributed to Chris's dilemma stern side :lol: :lol: Thanks for your comments and always welcome JK :D :D
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