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But what about the Children! (and dogs)

But what about the Children! (and dogs)


Postby johnkaysleftleg » Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:59 am

Wainwrights included on this walk: Blencathra, Fleetwith Pike, Haystacks

Hewitts included on this walk: Blencathra, Fleetwith Pike

Date walked: 14/05/2016

Distance: 16 km

Ascent: 1535m

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Sometimes you just have to get away from your children, not for long, but time spent as a couple is always nice especially when spent in the wonderful environs of Lakeland. We left Grace, despite her emotional blackmail attempts for an evening spent with Grandma. Also remaining was Hughie, so a warning to all of his fans, this will be the last mention of him in this report.
So with sad baleful eyes left behind we headed for The Lakes. We had booked a night in the Lodore Falls Hotel, a place we'd driven past on countless occasions but never stopped once at and it was to be the same again as we passed by the impressive building on the way to Gatesgarth Farm and Fleetwith Pike's North Western ridge.

Fleetwith Pike & Haystacks 8km 720m

This is certainly a walk to shake off the confines of the car quickly, you are afforded a few hundred yards at most before the steep climb sets in. Although it was quite hazy it was a fine day and really quite warm with a definite hint of summer in the air meaning a sweaty climb past several false summits and a few minor scrambles before we topped out. The most fortunate thing about this climb is that the near constant urge to have a breather is rewarded when you turn around and see one of the finest (in my humble opinion of course) views in the district.

ImageMemorial on Low Raven Crag by Anthony Young, on Flickr

Image
Looking Across to Haystacks by Anthony Young, on Flickr

Image
The Only Way is Up by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageLooking down to Gatesgarthdale Beck by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageView to Buttermere from the Ridge by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageHigh Stile Ridge by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageLooking down Fleetwith Gully to Pillar by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageFleetwith Pike Summit by Anthony Young, on Flickr

We had lunch over looking Warnscale Bottom and the fine crags of Haystacks before moving off towards our next target of the Birkett of Black Star. This was missed the last time we were here and it's a nice top with as you'd expect a quite dramatic view down to the Honister Pass. The name is quite odd however, perhaps some mining reference? We made our way though the quiet mine workings with increasing company towards AWs fave, Haystacks.

ImageFleetwith Pike from Black Star by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageBothy at Dubs Bottom by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageBlackbeck Tarn by Anthony Young, on Flickr

It's easy to see why AW was seduced by Haystacks; its numerous tarns, Fine crags, big fell feel, great views, many hidden corners, it really has the lot, apart from, since he named it his favourite, any solitude. We still found a relatively quiet spot at Innominate Tarn and sat for a while taking in the views and serenity of this special place. We tore ourselves away and took in the summit before scrambling our way down to Scarth Gap. I suppose this catches out a few people who expect a gentle walk to a summit beloved of a gray old man but it's all good fun.

ImageOn the way to Haystacks by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageLooking back to Fleetwith Pike by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageInominate Tarn by Anthony Young, on Flickr (click on pic to see bigger version)

ImageGable and Innominate Tarn by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageHigher nameless Tarn by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImagePillar from Haystacks Summit by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageButtermere from Haystacks by Anthony Young, on Flickr

The path down from Scarth gap seams quite improved from when we first did this route over five years previously, far more solid under foot. We were rewarded for our efforts with the lovely surprise of the Ice cream van present back at the farm :D

ImageHaystacks by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageOur Route by Anthony Young, on Flickr (click on pic for bigger version)


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The Lodore falls Hotel lived up to it's billing, old fashioned in many ways but immaculate and totally charming. The food was exquisite with Nicola declaring her veggie fair the best she had ever tasted while my more carnivorous menu also hit the spot. Following this far too much wine was consumed and at some unknown time in the wee hours we fell asleep.

We awoke feeling somewhat delicate but nothing puts me off a full English so it was kill or cure time and I forced down the lot. We had decided the previous evening that we'd climb Blencathra, this time via Doddick Fell so it was a short drive to Threlkeld on an already roasting morning.

Blencathra via Doddick Fell ridge 8km 815m

As hangover cures go climbing a steep ridge on a hot day probably isn't top of the list, somewhere just above putting your head in a tin bucket and getting someone to throw bricks at it at a guess, but that's what we did at an understandably leisurely pace. Considering Doddick Fell would struggle to make the top three routes up Blencathra goes to show just what a great hill this is as for many Lakeland summits it would be easily number one. The ridge is well defined but never particularly narrow with just a little minor scrambling. By the time we reached the popular route up to Halls Fell and the main throng climbing the hill, hangovers had been banished and replaced with admiration of the splendid views.

ImageSetting off by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageLooking up Gate Gill by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageLooking up Doddick Gill by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageStarting to Climb by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageHallsfell top and Doddick Fell by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageLooking down to Scaley Beck by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageOn Doddick Fell Ridge by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageHigh on Doddick Fell Ridge by Anthony Young, on Flickr

From the 'top' of Doddick it's an easy wander up the well built zig zags to the summit while occasionally watching people making very slow progress across Sharp Edge. The top was as busy as expected but with space a plenty a spot for a leisurely lunch and a lie in the sun was found on a very summery day.

ImageSharp Edge by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageView from Doddick Fell by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageOn the way up Hallsfell by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageClassic View from Hallsfell by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageSkiddaw by Anthony Young, on Flickr

Following a while spent sunbathing and listening to some very odd conversations of other groups we set off towards Gategill Fell along Blencathra's main ridge line. This is a fine lofty wander with views to remember all over the easiest of ground. We paused for a while to check out the ridge up Gategill Fell which look very promising if also very steep at the finish, one for another day perhaps in ascent.

ImageLooking back to Halls Fell by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageLooking down Gategill Fell Ridge to Knott Halloo by Anthony Young, on Flickr

An easy descent followed, over Blease fell and then down the easy path back to the car. I must admit the hangover, which had been on hold, came back with a vengeance once sat in the car so it was off to find some strong coffee for the drive home.

ImageBlease Fell by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageGategill fell by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageTowards Derwent Water by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageKnott Halloo and Blease Fell by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageLooking up Blease Gill by Anthony Young, on Flickr

All said and done a lovely weekend great for Nicola and I to get away but also great to get back home to Daughters and dogs who missed us even if they probably won't admit it. :wink:


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johnkaysleftleg
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Re: But what about the Children! (and dogs)

Postby simon-b » Wed Jun 08, 2016 7:58 pm

A nice weekend, Anthony. That Fleetwith - Haystacks is an old favourite and always enjoyable, but I've yet to do Doddick Fell. There are always new things to do in Lakeland.
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Re: But what about the Children! (and dogs)

Postby trailmasher » Wed Jun 08, 2016 8:37 pm

Good report and photos Anthony :clap: Doddick though not as exciting as Halls Fell is still a great way to ascend this my fav mountain :D A little less wine may be advisable before your next climb :lol: :lol:
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Re: But what about the Children! (and dogs)

Postby Alteknacker » Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:21 pm

Sensational pics, as usual (no surprise, but still a great pleasure to view). Somehow it's never looked as attractive as this when I've viewed it from the Pillar/Gable side of the valley, but it does look most enticing. I always associated the LD with mega-crowds, and forget how amazing it is.

Just forwarded the link to this report to my brother as a suggestion for the future....

Thanks for posting.
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Re: But what about the Children! (and dogs)

Postby ChrisW » Sun Jun 12, 2016 5:12 am

Always nice to get a weekend away from the kids JK....but leaving Hughie behind .. :shock: that's just not right :lol: Great shots as always mate but missing that one 'epic Hughie' to finish them off :lol: :lol:
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Re: But what about the Children! (and dogs)

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Mon Jun 13, 2016 9:31 am

simon-b wrote:A nice weekend, Anthony. That Fleetwith - Haystacks is an old favourite and always enjoyable, but I've yet to do Doddick Fell. There are always new things to do in Lakeland.


Cheers Simon. Doddick would probably make a nice descent route following on of the more exciting ways up Blencathra, I certainly intend on having a look up Gategill some time in the future.

trailmasher wrote:Good report and photos Anthony :clap: Doddick though not as exciting as Halls Fell is still a great way to ascend this my fav mountain :D A little less wine may be advisable before your next climb :lol: :lol:


Thanks TM, I think the wine was a self sacrifice to the mountain gods for the great weather :lol: Lasted for our entire week on Arran as well :D

Alteknacker wrote:Sensational pics, as usual (no surprise, but still a great pleasure to view). Somehow it's never looked as attractive as this when I've viewed it from the Pillar/Gable side of the valley, but it does look most enticing. I always associated the LD with mega-crowds, and forget how amazing it is.

Just forwarded the link to this report to my brother as a suggestion for the future....

Thanks for posting.


Thank you once again, the Lakes is only really busy on certain Honeypot summits and ridges, you can still wander many miles and see nobody/very few people in the right places.

ChrisW wrote:Always nice to get a weekend away from the kids JK....but leaving Hughie behind .. :shock: that's just not right :lol: Great shots as always mate but missing that one 'epic Hughie' to finish them off :lol: :lol:


:lol: Several epic Hughie poses to follow from our great week on Arran so don't worry
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Re: But what about the Children! (and dogs)

Postby Broggy1 » Mon Jun 13, 2016 6:48 pm

Super pics of a lovely quiet ridge of a popular mountain :clap:

I'd probably put Doddick at 3 after Halls and SE as a route up.

I've done Gategill and that initial climb is a slog and there's not much of a path but again it's a quiet option and pretty great near the end.
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Re: But what about the Children! (and dogs)

Postby pamfox » Mon Jun 13, 2016 8:49 pm

Stunning pictures Anthony, and they both look like great routes. Maybe I could borrow them :) I've done Fleetwith Pike and Haystacks but would happily do them again. I loved Haystacks, it felt like I was on the moon.

I was on Arran a month ago for the Mountain Festival. I did The Castles and Witches Step walk, but not the rock climbing bit though. It looks even worse in real life than on the photos :crazy: I want to go back next year and do the really meaty walks
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Re: But what about the Children! (and dogs)

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Tue Jun 14, 2016 2:02 pm

pamfox wrote:Stunning pictures Anthony, and they both look like great routes. Maybe I could borrow them :) I've done Fleetwith Pike and Haystacks but would happily do them again. I loved Haystacks, it felt like I was on the moon.

I was on Arran a month ago for the Mountain Festival. I did The Castles and Witches Step walk, but not the rock climbing bit though. It looks even worse in real life than on the photos :crazy: I want to go back next year and do the really meaty walks


Thank you Pam. most kind. Arran is amazing, we didn't do the Witches step but did manage the north ridge of Goatfell (crest of the ridge all the way) and the NW ridge of Mullach Buidhe which had is slightly fraught moments :shock: as far as scrambling goes.
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Re: But what about the Children! (and dogs)

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Fri Jun 17, 2016 3:51 pm

Great photos of two of the finest Lakeland walks.

by the way, this link is for everyone who has gone up Fleetwith from Gatesgarth and wondered about the white cross. A sad story and a reminder that even the innocuous walking pole has its dangers...
http://scafellhike.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/fanny-mercer-fleetwith-pike.html
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Re: But what about the Children! (and dogs)

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Sun Jun 19, 2016 7:03 pm

HalfManHalfTitanium wrote:Great photos of two of the finest Lakeland walks.

by the way, this link is for everyone who has gone up Fleetwith from Gatesgarth and wondered about the white cross. A sad story and a reminder that even the innocuous walking pole has its dangers...
http://scafellhike.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/fanny-mercer-fleetwith-pike.html


Many thanks, it is indeed a sad story and shows we should all respect the fells
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