A Taste of The Far East

Wainwrights: Harter Fell (Far Eastern Fells), High Street, Mardale Ill Bell
Hewitts: Harter Fell (Far Eastern Fells), High Street

Date walked: 20/06/2020

Time taken: 4.5 hours

Distance: 13.25km

Ascent: 807m

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With lockdown restrictions continuing to ease in England, my friend Laura and I decided to go that little bit further afield, that extra half hour, to The Lake District. After a few months away from these hills, I was beyond excited as we chugged our way along the A66, poring over the map of what was to be a new area of the LD for me - the Far Eastern Fells around Haweswater. I naively thought it might be quiet in this area of the lakes, but how wrong I was. Mardale Head was certainly the busiest I have ever seen a car park in the area - but thankfully there are so many walking routes, we didn't see many other people once we left the car park. There was a large tent pitched not far from the car park, and a collection of nature's finest doing their best to turn one of the most gorgeous starts to a walk anywhere into a holiday camp. Fortunately, it seems they were moved on. But the posts on social media the following day from people clearing up litter in this very spot made me sick :(

However, the weather was gorgeous, the conditions crystal clear, and we strode towards The Rigg with smiles on our faces, before doubling back and straight up the Riggindale ridge towards the first objective of the day - Rough Crag. The beginning of the ridge reminded me very much of Low Pike/High Pike stretch of the Fairfield Horseshoe, and the view back to Haweswater was glorious.

ImageHigh Street & Harter Fell by Christopher Watson, on Flickr

ImageHigh Street & Harter Fell by Christopher Watson, on Flickr

The path that winds its way to Rough Crag is just exposed enough to be exhilarating, which I don't think I'd quite expected - it was a wonderful little scrambly journey to the summit, from which the view down to Blea Water and ahead to the Long Stile ridge were quite stunning. Long Stile is a wonderful way up to High Street, it makes for a real mountain adventure on a fell that, once attained, is flat as a pancake.

ImageHigh Street & Harter Fell by Christopher Watson, on Flickr

ImageHigh Street & Harter Fell by Christopher Watson, on Flickr

ImageHigh Street & Harter Fell by Christopher Watson, on Flickr

Once on the famous fell that is High Street, it was easy walking along the Roman route that is High Street, and I was tempted to continue to the beacon on Thornthwaite Crag, given that when I last climbed that hill the weather was poor and the views non-existent. We did enjoy the view cross to Windermere from the Roman road, but decided to stick with the planned route and swung round towards the next summit, Mardale Ill Bell.

ImageHigh Street & Harter Fell by Christopher Watson, on Flickr

ImageHigh Street & Harter Fell by Christopher Watson, on Flickr

Mardale Ill Bell offers stunning views back towards Haweswater Reservoir, and we had ourselves a lunch break in a sheltered spot shy of the summit. More easy walking on a good path took us down to the head of the Nan Bield Pass, before we plodded straight back up the 'other side' to climb Harter Fell, my 126th Wainwright. This really is a glorious horseshoe walk, and I felt I had underestimated the rocky, dramatic beauty of some of these Far Eastern Fells.

ImageHigh Street & Harter Fell by Christopher Watson, on Flickr

ImageHigh Street & Harter Fell by Christopher Watson, on Flickr

From Harter Fell it was an easy descent on the more grassy slopes (and good path) to Gatesgarth Pass, from which a new-looking but rough (and long) track took us all the way back to the car park at Mardale Head. A glorious walk on a glorious day, and it was wonderful to be back in the Lake District.

ImageHigh Street & Harter Fell by Christopher Watson, on Flickr

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Comments: 5

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This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
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Hewitts: Red Screes
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Views: 411


User avatar
Location: Gateshead
Occupation: Musician
Activity: Walker
Mountain: Cir Mhor
Place: Outer Hebrides
Gear: Map & Compass
Member: Associate member of The Rucksack Club
Camera: iPhone

Munros: 12
Corbetts: 29
Grahams: 28
Donalds: 74
Wainwrights: 126
Hewitts: 121
Sub 2000: 92
Islands: 25
Long Distance routes: Annadale Way    Clyde Walkway    West Island Way    Berwickshire Coastal Path   

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Trips: 21
Distance: 397.65 km
Ascent: 13996m
Grahams: 1
Donalds: 12
Hewitts: 6
Wainwrights 16


Trips: 56
Distance: 1011.64 km
Ascent: 45721m
Munros: 4
Corbetts: 5
Grahams: 12
Donalds: 35
Sub2000s: 6
Hewitts: 50
Wainwrights 51


Trips: 34
Distance: 613.54 km
Ascent: 24905m
Munros: 1
Corbetts: 4
Grahams: 2
Donalds: 3
Sub2000s: 5
Hewitts: 16
Wainwrights 17


Trips: 12
Distance: 279.6 km
Ascent: 5709m
Sub2000s: 1


Trips: 2
Distance: 27 km
Ascent: 772m

Joined: Oct 21, 2017
Last visited: Jul 04, 2020
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