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A Different World

A Different World


Postby johnkaysleftleg » Wed Feb 08, 2017 5:15 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Dove Crag, Hart Crag, Hartsop above How, High Hartsop Dodd, Little Hart Crag

Hewitts included on this walk: Dove Crag, Hart Crag, Little Hart Crag

Date walked: 29/01/2017

Time taken: 5.5

Distance: 11 km

Ascent: 830m

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With Royal ascent given from my better half Hughie and I decided to head off to the Lakes as Grace cracked on with GCSE related things and Nicola pushed on with her doctorate (yes it's easy to see where the brains of the relationship are :wink: ). The forecast for the Sunday was all over the place in the preceding days but had finally settled to fairly optimistic so an early start saw me and my canine partner in crime arrive at Cow Green car park in Hartsop a little after eight.

Suited, booted and a small donation to the contributions box later we set of up the steep path up through the trees onto the Hartsop above How ridge. It soon became apparent that the optimistic forecast might just be wide of the mark as we quickly ascended into the clag which we wouldn't leave until we were descending High Hartsop Dodd several hours later.

ImageLooking down to Hartsop by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageOn the Hartsop above How ridge by Anthony Young, on Flickr

It was at least dry unlike my previous walk up here and at this point the occasional brightening of the sky and tantalising glimpse of other ridges gave hope that things would improve. As we slowly gained height a tiny sprinkle of snow became a soggy covering and then a fairly dry covering much to Hughie's delight as he indulged in snow baths at every available opportunity.

ImageBirks makes a fleeting appearance by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageSnow Bath Triptych by Anthony Young, on Flickr

I've always thought Hartsop above How was a very odd name as Harsop is the name of the area below the hill (how). It's not a surprise that the local name is Gill Crag rather than some strange moniker decided upon by the OS surveyors in days gone past. Musings on hill nomenclature apart it was obvious that the weather wasn't shifting anytime soon and with the wind picking up and the ground becoming increasingly frozen the question of should I carry on had to be asked. The truth was I felt OK and wasn't cold at all and as Hughie was having a great time in the snow I thought I'd at least continue to the steeper pull up Hart Crag and see how I felt about it.

ImageLooking down Gill Crag by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageHartsop above How Summit by Anthony Young, on Flickr

Following the path was becoming increasingly difficult given the snow cover and poor visibility so after what seemed an age of mindless trudging through the snow the ground started to steepen and become rougher. I checked my position and saw I was to the South of the path, this wasn't an entirely bad thing given the precipitous crags on the Deepdale side to the North but did leave me with a boulder field ahead. This was another time to take stock and consider options, if the snow had been much deeper this would have probably been it for the day but as the boulders were all visible I decided to give it ago. It seems daft to say but the snow covered boulders weren't anywhere near as slippy as they would have been if they were wet but it was still a laborious climb, checking every foothold and using hands often before the ground started to level out.

Image
Icicles by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageBoulder field up Hart Crag by Anthony Young, on Flickr

Following this Game of Thrones style ascent visibility at this point deteriorated still further to around five meters at most, given the flatter less featured ground it was close to a white out even without it snowing. I continued in what I thought was the right direction before the disorientation was broken by two figures looming out of the fog, Conditions suggested they might be white walkers :shock: but it turns out they were the first other people of the day that I had seen.

ImageRime Ice by Anthony Young, on Flickr

Frozen cairn located I didn't linger and headed off in the direction of Dove Crag, now with my micro spikes on which were working perfectly in the conditions. By now it was also snowing but fortunately not too heavy as we made our way, with handy footprints and then a wall to follow to the next destination. It was while ascending Dove Crag that I suddenly felt very tired so I had a brief stop so Hughie could have a meal bar and I could force down a half frozen breakfast bar and a few gulps of coffee.

ImageHart Crag Summit by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageAnother Snow bath? don't mind if I do! by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageA Different World by Anthony Young, on Flickr

This seemed to do the trick and we soon reached Dove Crag and continued onwards. My plan had been to continue to Scandale Head to get views of a different valley but with chances of seeing anything at all hovering around the zero mark I left the ridge early and followed the line of broken fence posts down towards Little Hart Crag.

ImageSketch of a Fell Top by Anthony Young, on Flickr

I must admit to having felt a little intimidated by the conditions at times so far but now I was heading downwards I relaxed and started to enjoy this strange world I was spending a few hours in. The simplicity provided by the white backdrop with no views past the immediate vicinity gave every thing a sketch book quality, almost like one of old AWs drawing in his guide books.

Image
Heading down from Dove Crag by
Anthony Young, on Flickr

Image
Bleak by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageDisused fence posts by Anthony Young, on Flickr

I'll admit that leaving the line of fence posts at the right time to locate the hidden Little Hart Crag would have been difficult without the help of GPS as I was almost on top of it before I could see the upthrust of ground. A short and simple climb saw me at the summit before I found a nice place to sit and have a bit more to eat. I didn't have much appetite to be honest but managed to finish a sandwich, Hughie on the other hand rapidly demolished another meal bar before attempting a Jedi mind trick on me to force me to give up my own repast.

ImageFrozen Tarn by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageLittle Hart Crag by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageAnother Frozen Tarn by Anthony Young, on Flickr

The considerable persuasive power of a Westie overcome I set off once again with Wainwrights description of Little Hart Crag being, "not a place to be in bad weather" nagging in my head. A bit of hunting about later I found the path off and was just about home free on the level ridge to High Hartsop Dodd. This is one of Wainwright's "Valley bottom" fells i.e. No really a fell but they look like it from the bottom of the valley. Small cairn passed I was soon starting the steep descent on the winding path, passing a breathless couple coming the other way when the spell of this weird world started to break. First the noise of traffic and sheep before the view of the fields and steep fellside ahead of me opened up. I don't think I've ever experienced such a dramtic change in atmosphere before in the fells as I went from a frozen white world to a valley filled with the colours and sounds of a typical Lakeland winter.

ImageHigh Hartsop Dodd by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageOut of the Clag by Anthony Young, on Flickr

I picked my way down the path with care, as anybody who has come this way will testify to it's steepness, only ending up on my backside the once before I returned to flat ground and a walk past Brothers Water. As it turns out getting up early for this walk was probably not the best Idea as once I'd got back to the car sunshine was starting to break through and the clag level was lifting. The drive back up by Ullswater confirmed this theory as what was a lovely spring like day was being enjoyed by many with fell tops aplenty out of the clouds. In all honesty however the walk I'd just done was special in it's own way, I've never experienced the fells quite like this before, It had been a memorable day.

ImageNearly down to the valley by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageHello! by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageLooking up Dovedale by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageHigh Hartsop Dodd by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageTowards the Kirkstone Pass by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageDovedale Beck by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageCaudale Moor catches some light by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageBeetham Cottage by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageMordor by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageBrothers Water by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageHartsop Dodd by Anthony Young, on Flickr


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johnkaysleftleg
Walker
 
Posts: 2900
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Re: A Different World

Postby dav2930 » Wed Feb 08, 2017 7:28 pm

Great stuff JK, that looked quite an adventure in those near white-out conditions; the sort of experience that would have stimulated Coleridge's fevered imagination!

You did well to navigate your way round safely (GPS is a big help isn't it?). Some of those photos do have that AW-sketch-look about them don't they? It's good to see some snow on the fells at last! :clap:
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dav2930
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Re: A Different World

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Sun Feb 12, 2017 11:12 am

dav2930 wrote:Great stuff JK, that looked quite an adventure in those near white-out conditions; the sort of experience that would have stimulated Coleridge's fevered imagination!

You did well to navigate your way round safely (GPS is a big help isn't it?). Some of those photos do have that AW-sketch-look about them don't they? It's good to see some snow on the fells at last! :clap:


Cheers Dav, the conditions certainly added an edge to proceedings. Once or twice I did ask myself just what I was doing and without a GPS safety net I'd have turned back. Great to be in the snow however and combined with the mist it gave a magic atmosphere.
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johnkaysleftleg
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Re: A Different World

Postby Guinessman » Sun Feb 12, 2017 8:11 pm

Good effort in the conditions. I was on Fairfield and Seat Sandal the day after in a whiteout which eventually cleared about 14.30hrs in conditions just like yours.

I've been up the way you came down , steep indeed.
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Guinessman
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Re: A Different World

Postby Guinessman » Sun Feb 12, 2017 8:20 pm

Just checked my photos and it was actually the same day! I came down from Seat Sandal as it was clearing and then went onto to do Raven Crag and High Rigg. The few photos I took that day showed a clearing north of Thirlmere with dense cloud hanging around Grasmere/ Fairfield area which would have been the clag you were in.

ImageDSC00318
ImageDSC00319
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Guinessman
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Re: A Different World

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:27 am

Guinessman wrote:Good effort in the conditions. I was on Fairfield and Seat Sandal the day after in a whiteout which eventually cleared about 14.30hrs in conditions just like yours.

I've been up the way you came down , steep indeed.


Cheers Gman, thanks for the pics
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johnkaysleftleg
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Re: A Different World

Postby trailmasher » Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:18 pm

Nice one JK, a great walk and report :clap: It's a shame about the visibility but sometimes we have to take what we are given :) or give up the walking game :( and that would never do :) It looks like Hughie didn't have a care in the world, good on him :lol:
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trailmasher
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Re: A Different World

Postby ChrisW » Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:41 am

A real stunner JK with wonderful pics...but you already know I'm going to be going for the snow bath images as my favourites :lol:
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ChrisW
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Re: A Different World

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:54 am

trailmasher wrote:Nice one JK, a great walk and report :clap: It's a shame about the visibility but sometimes we have to take what we are given :) or give up the walking game :( and that would never do :) It looks like Hughie didn't have a care in the world, good on him :lol:


Cheers TM, didn't mind about the visibility that much as I managed not to get lost :wink: Hughie always likes his days out in the fells, all the more if there is snow to roll in!

ChrisW wrote:A real stunner JK with wonderful pics...but you already know I'm going to be going for the snow bath images as my favourites :lol:


Cheers Chris, Hughie has loved snow since he was a pup, never cared about it being cold.
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johnkaysleftleg
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Re: A Different World

Postby Alteknacker » Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:18 pm

What a brilliant way to make the best of an indifferent day! Brilliant pics! :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: A Different World

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:33 am

Alteknacker wrote:What a brilliant way to make the best of an indifferent day! Brilliant pics! :clap: :clap: :clap:


Cheers AK
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