walkhighlands

This board helps you to share your walking route experiences in England and Wales... or overseas.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

A Promise Kept

A Promise Kept


Postby Gordie12 » Sun Oct 04, 2015 2:38 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Birks, Dollywaggon Pike, Dove Crag, Fairfield, Hart Crag, Helvellyn, Nethermost Pike, Raise, St Sunday Crag, Stybarrow Dodd, White Side

Hewitts included on this walk: Dollywaggon Pike, Dove Crag, Fairfield, Hart Crag, Helvellyn, Raise, St Sunday Crag, Stybarrow Dodd, White Side

Date walked: 03/10/2015

Time taken: 10

Distance: 34.6 km

Ascent: 2140m

5 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

In June 2014 I walked the Coast to Coast from St Bee's to Robin Hood's Bay. I had four fantastic days in the Lakes and I remember being a bit disappointed arriving in Shap and realising that section of the walk was over. I'm not sure why but the climb up to Grisedale Tarn and then from the tarn looking around at all the dramatic hills just felt a bit special. From the tarn it seemed like a long walk down to Patterdale and I spent most of it looking around me and promising that I would come back and climb some of these hills.

So, 20 months later and with the alarm set for 3am the time had come. I was on the road for 3.45am, arriving in Patterdale at about 7.40am. The layby by the church (between Glenridding and Patterdale) has a 2 hour limit and the lay by beyond The White Lion was already full so opted for the car park at the Patterdale Hotel (£4.50 for the day).

Walking by 7.50am I was off in to the gloom of the promised foggy start and heading along the path by the side of the road to Glenridding. After just a few minutes I left the road behind and walked up the path with the camp site on my left and the river on my right. A busy campsite with everybody getting prepared for the day ahead. I surprised myself by walking past the little café doing a roaring trade with all the hungry campers - on reflection it would probably have made sense to grab some hot food as I had already been on the go for 5.5hrs but I was keen to gain height and get out of the gloom.

I reached the road, turned right over the bridge and picked up the road going up to the YHA which was initially quite steep but levelled off and made for a good quick start. Just beyond the YHA I followed the signs for the Sticks Pass (I had considered all the different approaches to Helvellyn but went for this one as it would bring me out further along the ridge and give me more opportunities to climb some extra hills), the initial climb was steep and after about fifteen minutes I was out of the fog.

1.jpg
1st view of the day


The path is really good, easy on the feet and after the initial climb away from the YHA it's on a steady and easy gradient with Sheffield Pike on my right.

2.jpg
The final part of the climb on the Sticks Pass


3.jpg
Looking back down the path


I had heard stories about how busy the hills were in this part of the world, I must be on a much quieter route as so far I have only passed one lone walker and two couples. Once up on the wide ridge my first planned summit was off to my left (Raise) but Stybarrow Dodd off to my right was tempting me and I gave in and headed off.

I wasn't timing it but it didn't take long to get to the top with the views west opening up. With low cloud over Thirlmere the distant hills were just popping their heads up out of the sea of white.

4.jpg


5.jpg
The path up Raise and beyond


6.jpg


7.jpg


After taking in the views I dropped down to the Stick Pass and climbed up to Raise.

8.jpg
From Raise looking back to Stybarrow Dodd


From the top of Raise I now get a good view over to White Side and Helvellyn and so I have a good idea of what lies ahead (a steep climb up White Side followed by what looks like an easier walk over to the top of Helvellyn).

Sometimes from a distance hills can look steep but then when you are up close they aren't that bad, White Side was steep but short lived.

9.jpg
White Rise on the right with Helvellyn to the left


10.jpg
The final bit of the climb up White Side


11.jpg
View west at the top of White Side


12.jpg


13.jpg
Looking back to Raise


I could see people coming up the hill from my west and was expecting to see a few people at the top of White Side but I was on my own, six people had walked straight past with their sights set on Helvellyn.

The walk over from White Side to Helvellyn was really straight forward with little climbing involved. Now things are different, the top is busy and if feels like the English equivalent of Ben Lomond or Ben Nevis.

14.jpg
Looking back


15.jpg
Helvellyn ahead


After a few quick photos I was keen to get on my way.

16.jpg
Looking down to Red Tarn


17.jpg
Swirral Edge


18.jpg
Swirral Edge again


I think I'll need to come back and do Striding Edge and Catstye Cam - it looked stunning.

Next targets, Nethermost Pike followed by Dollywagon Pike are both in view and I follow the path towards them. Again there seems to be by-pass paths and I'm still amazed that people are ignoring these hills and the views on offer but on the plus side, they're both quiet.

20.jpg
Still misty lower down


21.jpg
Looking over to Dollywagon Pike


22.jpg
Dollywagon Pike zoomed


23.jpg


24.jpg


Both Nethermost Pike and Dollywagon Pike were easy summits with very little effort involved. I knew from my C2C last year that there would be a fair drop off Dollywagon Pike down to Grisedale Tarn (from the tarn the zig zag path up DP looked very steep). Starting the descent it was noticeable that there was now a lot of cloud around on the tops and the conditions seemed to be changing.

25.jpg
Grisedale Tarn


My next hill should have been Seat Sandal but for reasons I can't explain I didn't fancy it. I continued down to the tarn and walked round it to the point where I would start the climb up Fairfield. I could see a couple coming down off Seat Sandal and they seemed to be struggling with the steepness and their footing and so with the hill clag bound I turned off for Fairfield and started the climb.

This quickly felt like hard work and for the first time since the climb up White Side I had to engage my tried and trusted trudge gear which got me to the top slowly without stopping. Wow, for the first time since Helvellyn (if you don't include Grisedale Tarn) there are a lot of peeps about. I can't be bothered hanging about waiting for the chance to get a photo of the cairn at the top so just grab a bit of chocolate and head off. There's also nothing to photograph now as the clag has set in and the surrounding hills have disappeared.

At this point things turned to mush (polite version). I carry a map and compass (that I can use!) and also have my trusted Garmin which comes in to it's own in clag but hey, I don't need any of that there is a great big wide track to follow so off I trot. After a fair amount of undulation and 45 - 50 minutes walking the brain finally clicks that St Sunday Crag is taking a hell of a time to reach so I stop to check my position, I'm beyond Dove Crag and heading for Ambleside :shock: :shock: :shock: I've turned a fairly long day into a very long day (and unbeknown to me picked up an extra couple of Wainwrights along the way :D ) and start to retrace my steps back to Fairfield. I had been starting to feel my legs but suddenly I had some impetus and was much quicker getting back to the top of Fairfield where although still clag bound my mistake was obvious and glaring.

It's now decision time, take in St Sunday Crag and Birks or head back down to Grisedale Tarn and head down the valley floor to Patterdale. I decide I have enough daylight and I have my head torch with me if I need it. At this point I took a break to get some food down me and hope the clag might clear, I know this is a great route over to St Sunday Crag and I want to see something but it turned out the views were gone for the day and the camera could have been put in the rucksack.

26.jpg
View of the route over to St Sunday Crag before it disappeared completely


The descent off Fairfield was steep and the climb up St Sunday Crag felt equally steep but with an element of uncertainty over how long this route would take me compared to how much daylight was left I seemed to gain some extra oomph.

After St Sunday Crag, Birks was straight forward but the drop down to pick up the Patterdale path felt hard on the legs and feet. Back on flatish terrain it was a nice finish on a good path as it slowly descended down through the woods and into Patterdale arriving back at the car at 5.50pm giving me a 10 hour day in the hills (and a bit more daylight left over than I expected).

In summary, this was a great round of hills (albeit some of them were not planned) and was just as good as I hoped it would be. It would have been better if the tops had remained clear all day (as MWIS suggested) but the views I had before the clag set in made the effort worthwhile.

All that was left now was the three and a half hour drive home....................

PS I asked for advice on the forum a couple of months ago and got some great help with both hills to include and parking in Patterdale so thanks to those who responded.
Last edited by Gordie12 on Wed Oct 07, 2015 9:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Gordie12
Walker
 
Posts: 1790
Munros:112   Corbetts:62
Grahams:17   Donalds:21
Sub 2000:35   Hewitts:24
Wainwrights:24   
Joined: Sep 6, 2012
Location: Nr Forfar

Re: A Promise Kept

Postby trailmasher » Sun Oct 04, 2015 3:46 pm

Great report and pics on a good days walking :clap: . Pity about being mist bound from Fairfield but at least you got a couple of extra miles in :lol: and after a long day St. Sunday can seem like a drag up that long ridge to the summit :roll:
User avatar
trailmasher
Walker
 
Posts: 1129
Munros:11   
Hewitts:180
Wainwrights:214   
Joined: Nov 26, 2014
Location: Near Appleby - Cumbria

Re: A Promise Kept

Postby thefallwalker » Sun Oct 04, 2015 5:26 pm

great report and the photo's showing the mist/cloud make the place look amazing!
User avatar
thefallwalker
Walker
 
Posts: 98
Hewitts:113
Wainwrights:210   
Joined: Jul 21, 2015
Location: Middlesbrough

Re: A Promise Kept

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Sun Oct 04, 2015 5:53 pm

Wonderful pics :clap: looks like you picked the right place to walk for the day. I spent just about all of my day around the Kentmere round starring at misty whiteness and not a lot else.
User avatar
johnkaysleftleg
Walker
 
Posts: 3054
Munros:25   Corbetts:10
Grahams:10   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:7   Hewitts:166
Wainwrights:214   Islands:8
Joined: Jan 28, 2009
Location: County Durham

Re: A Promise Kept

Postby ChrisW » Sun Oct 04, 2015 9:43 pm

Great report Geordie,
I carry a map and compass (that I can use!) and also have my trusted Garmin which comes in to it's own in clag but hey, I don't need any of that there is a great big wide track to follow so off I trot.

:lol: we've all done this mate.....more than once :roll: in fact I did it a couple of weeks ago en route to Frozen Lake, luckily it only cost me 4km.

All in all you put in a hell of a shift for these, great photos along the way but I'd have been walking on stumps by the end of it I reckon :lol:
User avatar
ChrisW
Scrambler
 
Posts: 4940
Munros:18   Corbetts:5
Grahams:3   
Sub 2000:6   
Joined: Jan 25, 2011
Location: Cochrane- Alberta - Canada

Re: A Promise Kept

Postby litljortindan » Sun Oct 04, 2015 10:25 pm

Some excellent photos Gordie and a pleasant surprise to find you on "BBC2".
User avatar
litljortindan
Walker
 
Posts: 1733
Munros:111   Corbetts:55
Grahams:26   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:47   Hewitts:12
Wainwrights:10   
Joined: Dec 11, 2011

Re: A Promise Kept

Postby Gordie12 » Mon Oct 05, 2015 8:28 pm

trailmasher wrote:Great report and pics on a good days walking :clap: . Pity about being mist bound from Fairfield but at least you got a couple of extra miles in :lol: and after a long day St. Sunday can seem like a drag up that long ridge to the summit :roll:


Thanks trailmasher - I think I might have been spoilt on Saturday, just a stunning day to be out (at least until about 2pm).

It's a bit of a journey for me to get down to that part of the world so I guess that's it for this year. Now I have to find another route that can match this one and I'll make a point of another cross border raid next year.
User avatar
Gordie12
Walker
 
Posts: 1790
Munros:112   Corbetts:62
Grahams:17   Donalds:21
Sub 2000:35   Hewitts:24
Wainwrights:24   
Joined: Sep 6, 2012
Location: Nr Forfar

Re: A Promise Kept

Postby Gordie12 » Mon Oct 05, 2015 8:30 pm

thefallwalker wrote:great report and the photo's showing the mist/cloud make the place look amazing!


Thanks - you can't beat a good inversion. A really special feeling to walk about in blue sky and sunshine with all the low cloud below you.
User avatar
Gordie12
Walker
 
Posts: 1790
Munros:112   Corbetts:62
Grahams:17   Donalds:21
Sub 2000:35   Hewitts:24
Wainwrights:24   
Joined: Sep 6, 2012
Location: Nr Forfar

Re: A Promise Kept

Postby Gordie12 » Mon Oct 05, 2015 8:32 pm

johnkaysleftleg wrote:Wonderful pics :clap: looks like you picked the right place to walk for the day. I spent just about all of my day around the Kentmere round starring at misty whiteness and not a lot else.


Local knowledge johnkaysleftleg, local knowledge :wink:
User avatar
Gordie12
Walker
 
Posts: 1790
Munros:112   Corbetts:62
Grahams:17   Donalds:21
Sub 2000:35   Hewitts:24
Wainwrights:24   
Joined: Sep 6, 2012
Location: Nr Forfar

Re: A Promise Kept

Postby Gordie12 » Mon Oct 05, 2015 8:35 pm

ChrisW wrote:Great report Geordie,
I carry a map and compass (that I can use!) and also have my trusted Garmin which comes in to it's own in clag but hey, I don't need any of that there is a great big wide track to follow so off I trot.

:lol: we've all done this mate.....more than once :roll: in fact I did it a couple of weeks ago en route to Frozen Lake, luckily it only cost me 4km.

All in all you put in a hell of a shift for these, great photos along the way but I'd have been walking on stumps by the end of it I reckon :lol:


Thanks Chris - good to know I'm not the only idiot :lol: :lol:

By the time I got home there was no time for the traditional soak in the bath so it was a quick shower and settle down for the rugby I had recorded. Fair to say on Sunday morning I did a great impression of an 85 yr old trying to get out of bed.i
User avatar
Gordie12
Walker
 
Posts: 1790
Munros:112   Corbetts:62
Grahams:17   Donalds:21
Sub 2000:35   Hewitts:24
Wainwrights:24   
Joined: Sep 6, 2012
Location: Nr Forfar

Re: A Promise Kept

Postby Gordie12 » Mon Oct 05, 2015 8:36 pm

litljortindan wrote:Some excellent photos Gordie and a pleasant surprise to find you on "BBC2".


Thanks - BBC2?????????????? I'm probably being a bit slow (again).................
User avatar
Gordie12
Walker
 
Posts: 1790
Munros:112   Corbetts:62
Grahams:17   Donalds:21
Sub 2000:35   Hewitts:24
Wainwrights:24   
Joined: Sep 6, 2012
Location: Nr Forfar

Re: A Promise Kept

Postby litljortindan » Mon Oct 05, 2015 8:55 pm

Gordie12 wrote:
litljortindan wrote:Some excellent photos Gordie and a pleasant surprise to find you on "BBC2".


Thanks - BBC2?????????????? I'm probably being a bit slow (again).................


I just mean the less frequently viewed forum, a bit like how BBC2 used to be the less frequentlly viewed tv channel.
User avatar
litljortindan
Walker
 
Posts: 1733
Munros:111   Corbetts:55
Grahams:26   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:47   Hewitts:12
Wainwrights:10   
Joined: Dec 11, 2011

Re: A Promise Kept

Postby Gordie12 » Mon Oct 05, 2015 9:25 pm

litljortindan wrote:
Gordie12 wrote:
litljortindan wrote:Some excellent photos Gordie and a pleasant surprise to find you on "BBC2".


Thanks - BBC2?????????????? I'm probably being a bit slow (again).................


I just mean the less frequently viewed forum, a bit like how BBC2 used to be the less frequentlly viewed tv channel.


As I say, a bit slow on the uptake.

Must admit, I tended to flit between the walks in Scotland and the long distance routes because that's basically what I do (I'll try to have a more rounded approach from now on :lol: ).

The walk on Saturday probably opened my eyes a bit. My previous experience of the lakes was limited to one trip about 25 years ago for a friend's retirement weekend. We drove up from Coventry (where I lived at the time) and arrived at the hotel for about 7pm on the Friday night. I then had to stay in our room all night as I was violently sick. In the morning I was shattered, couldn't face breakfast and we left to drive up to Scotland for a family reunion so I didn't have happy memories of the area.

I'll definitely be back.
User avatar
Gordie12
Walker
 
Posts: 1790
Munros:112   Corbetts:62
Grahams:17   Donalds:21
Sub 2000:35   Hewitts:24
Wainwrights:24   
Joined: Sep 6, 2012
Location: Nr Forfar

Re: A Promise Kept

Postby dav2930 » Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:49 pm

Bit late coming to this but what a great report of a grand walk! :clap: Amazing temperature inversions captured in some fantastic photos. Wish I'd been up on the the tops that day!

It's all too easy to take the wrong path on Fairfield in the mist, as it's a flat hub for three different ridges :?

I don't blame you for missing out Seat Sandal. I did exactly the same when doing the Ullswater Watershed - it just looks like far too much ascent only to lose all that height again almost immediately! :(

I don't mean to be a pedantic spoilsport, but two of your pics which are labelled 'Striding Edge' then 'Striding Edge again' are in fact of Swirral Edge and Catstycam! The latter is a very photogenic peak though.

Glad you enjoyed your trip to the Lakes Gordie - your report was a great read and a feast for the eyes. :clap:
User avatar
dav2930
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1331
Munros:237   Corbetts:13
Grahams:12   Donalds:42
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:161
Wainwrights:214   
Joined: Feb 13, 2015
Location: Cumbria

Re: A Promise Kept

Postby Gordie12 » Wed Oct 07, 2015 9:31 pm

dav2930 wrote:Bit late coming to this but what a great report of a grand walk! :clap: Amazing temperature inversions captured in some fantastic photos. Wish I'd been up on the the tops that day!

It's all too easy to take the wrong path on Fairfield in the mist, as it's a flat hub for three different ridges :?

I don't blame you for missing out Seat Sandal. I did exactly the same when doing the Ullswater Watershed - it just looks like far too much ascent only to lose all that height again almost immediately! :(

I don't mean to be a pedantic spoilsport, but two of your pics which are labelled 'Striding Edge' then 'Striding Edge again' are in fact of Swirral Edge and Catstycam! The latter is a very photogenic peak though.

Glad you enjoyed your trip to the Lakes Gordie - your report was a great read and a feast for the eyes. :clap:


Nothing wrong with being pedantic and yes I clearly got my Swirral/Striding Edges mixed up which is pretty sad as I got the map out at the top of Helvellyn to check what I was looking at. I half thought about Catstycam (when on Helvellyn) but decided it would turn into a definite head torch job at the end of the day and I wasn't sure what it would be like coming off Birks either at dusk or in the dark.

If you read this, any thoughts on a comparable walk I could consider (in the Lakes) for Spring next year???
User avatar
Gordie12
Walker
 
Posts: 1790
Munros:112   Corbetts:62
Grahams:17   Donalds:21
Sub 2000:35   Hewitts:24
Wainwrights:24   
Joined: Sep 6, 2012
Location: Nr Forfar

5 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Next



Walkhighlands community forum is now advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Outside Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests