Haweswater Jaunts + A,N Other

Wainwrights: Birkhouse Moor, Branstree, High Raise (Far Eastern Fells), Kidsty Pike, Rampsgill Head, Selside Pike, The Knott
Hewitts: Branstree, High Raise (Far Eastern Fells), Rampsgill Head, Selside Pike

Date walked: 02/06/2022

I decided that I should still try to finish the Wainwrights, even though R is no longer around to encourage me, so booked a week each summer month in the Lake District. The first, early June, I booked in at Dockray, with the misguided idea that there were a lot of red dots on my Wainwright map around there. True, but there was at least one, and sometimes two massive Lakes between them and me, and I might have been better at Pooley Bridge.

May 31st

One that was certainly on the same side as me was Birkhouse Moor. I couldn’t understand why we hadn’t done it, until I got near the top and realised that we weren’t bagging Wainwrights, just big hills when we came to do Helvellyn via Striding Edge, and we would have had to divert by something like 50 metres to climb it then.
Light showers were forecast. I parked at Glenridding and decided to go up via the tarn. It was a mistake, since the path doesn’t actually go via the tarn, just somewhere near it, and I added quite a bit of extra up and downs,
Here I passed a mum and dad with a toddler released from her back carrier. The Lakes having plenty of low hills seem to attract far more back-packing families than I am used to in Scotland.
Eventually I got to the Striding Edge path, well made up to protect it from the thousands of feet that must come up here every year
It had begun to rain and people were ploughing on without any evidence of rain wear, but I heard no reports of MRT being called out
Another couple went swiftly past. I met them later in the hotel, English teachers whose kids were being minded by grandparents. Ours were always too far away, we got one weekend from 2 sets of grandparents. I have memories of minding 2 of mine the year Madeleine McCann disappeared, and we got strange looks from people as we carried a shrieking 4 year old home with quite a likeness to Madeleine who had wanted to carry on rolling down a grassy slope for ever, bawling “I WANT MY MUMMY!”
Once on the ridge the memories of Striiding Edge came flooding back, but today as the rain got heavier, I was glad just to be going to Birkhouse Moor
A grandad and two kids passed on my way down, one had done Striding Edge two years ago and now it was the other’s turn. Half an hour later with the rain now quite uncomfortable, they must have decided on doing it next year and skipped past me. These days my descents are even slower than my ascents

June 1st

The next day, showers were forecast again with better weather the day after that, so I decided to go on a reconnoitre of starting points. I found my attempt to climb The Nab from Dale Head would probably be doomed to failure. Not only would I probably have to park at Martindale Church rather than Dale Head, but the path was marked private. I know someone’s WH report takes them this way, but I felt too timid. I stopped to take a photo of people kayaking on Ullswater
Then I drove round and found, after a coffee in Haweswater Hotel there were still spaces at the end of Haweswater, so that’s where I would come next day.
Lunch in Pooley Bridge then a visit to Aira Force and I went back to the hotel to spend the evening chatting with a couple doing marginally less ambitious things, and the English teachers. He had hurt his leg so they too were dialling down the activity level/

June 2nd

I was outraged that a hotel in an area where the main activity was walking should have a first breakfast at 8.30 a.m., but not outraged enough to insist on one at 7 a.m. so just had instant porridge in my room and set off at 7 a.m.
A good move, as the photo I took half way down the hill towards Ullswater got a BBC Weather Watcher’s Editor’s Pick. I have no idea if it hit a forecast.
There was plenty of room at the end of Haweswater Resrvoir, though I was still too late to get my car into the car-park proper
A family soon pulled ahead of me: they intended to turn right at the top and head for High Street. The dad had somehow managed to get the two lads to carry all his gear. They might be visible below if you enlarge it to the nth degree

The woman I saw walking up behind me was just dog-walking and turned back when she got to the turn off to Branstree. Again, the sharp-eyed might just spot her

After the turn-off it was squelchy for a little while, but the path soon lead to the strangest summit I have ever seen. My shadow went to investigate, but refused to go any nearer
In such wonderful weather as this it was easy to see where to go next

And then over to Selside

I had been intending to come back the same way, just because I knew it, but here I met a couple of guys who persuaded me to go down the way they had come up, taking a path down from Selside and following the Corpse Road (here in the Lakes they are much blunter. I am sure that in Scotland we call them Coffin Roads.) I also acquired a new facebook friend.
Up to the summit

Here I met two youngish women with dogs. Again, the Lakes seems to have far more of these combos than Scotland, but maybe I just THINK that because I haven’t been up many Munros lately.
I tried this on the Weather Watchers, but they didn’t want it.
I was really pleased to have been persuaded to descend this way, though as an approach, the view of Selside probably doesn’t have all that much to recommend it.
I wonder if the corpse carriers stopped off here for refreshments, or maybe they mined slate or something and the miners lived here. Someone will know.
The descent was very steep, and though picturesque, hurt my hips. I was sitting at the bottom rummaging in my rucksack for ibuprofen when a couple of cyclists came past eyeing me strangely. Later, in a café, they confessed they thought they should have stopped to ask if I was OK.
I walked back along to the car park, but the guys I had met on top who said our paths would cross on the road, had been much speedier than me and had gone.

June 3rd

I decided on another rest day. I would catch the boat from Glenridding to Pooley Bridge.
After a leisurely 8.30 breakfast, I stopped at the same place as yesterday, and got another Editor’s Pick for the gloomy view of the same place.
This meant that by the time I had finished stuffing the meter with coins and got my rucksack organised, I was just too late to catch the 10 am boat and had to wait for the 11 a.m one.

Taking photos from boats is always harder than I think it is going to be. All the things that looked so near and interesting look tiny and bewildering on a photo. At the other end I went for a short walk to see how the Ullswater Way gets round the tight corner at Pooley Bridge and filed it away in my memory for future use. Then I had coffee and cake with about a zillion calories
Looking at the bridge itself.
It looks as if locals must have contributed to its rebuilding as there are names embedded in its pavement.
However hard one might have tried, one couldn’t avoid the Jubilee. Another WW picture they didn’t want.

I got talking to two Romanian couples. They all had jobs in the UK, though one used to do long distance lorry driving until someone gassed him in his cab. He could hear what they were doing, namely stealing his diesel, but he couldn’t move. What really upset him was his boss docked the cost from his pay. Suddenly the rain came down in sheets, and we were only under a canopy on this boat, not inside it.
Alas, you are not allowed Weather Watcher pictures with recognisable people in them.

June 4th

When I handed in my usual information about my route to the hotel and told them I would be having instant porridge in my room, they provided me with a packed lunch for the next day, which was one up on individual baby-bel cheeses and oatcakes.
I drove round to Haweswater again, trying the same place for a possible Weather Watcher’s pick, but maybe the cyclists ruled it out, or maybe they reckoned I had done it once too often
Today I was aiming at Kidsty Pike, and since I would probably have to climb it again to get the others, High Raise, Rampsgill Head, and The Knott
To start with the track followed Haweswater, more or less

Then struck off uphill finally leading to a slightly more scrambly bit.
I took another photo of the reservoir about half way up

Thence to the triangle that gives Kidsty Pike its name
Someone kindly took my photo. I had changed my sun hat for a woolly hat as the wind was getting up
Several people seemed to be on their way to High Street
But I made my way to High Raise, Rampsgill Head, both of which were so unremarkable I forgot to take their photos. A woman was struggling uphill from The Knott and pointed it out, so I went down, had my lunch and talked to another woman who had decided the day was long enough for her to do The Nab from here. I had already decided to combine it with some of the hills I could see from where we sat.

En route back to Kidsty Pike I took this (below

I must have been making a meal of walking through the rocks, since a young guy training for some works event where he had to climb 10 hills hung back to see I was OK and saw me down to the track by the lake. As it turned out, I WASN’T OK, as my left leg suddenly and inexplicably crumpled beneath me, and it took an age to hobble back to the car. Luckily I could work the clutch with it, but fell out on it again when I stopped at a café. I spent all night plotting how I could get my sister in law to drive me home, but by mid-morning it had recovered enough for me to go home by myself. So now, three days later and having phoned 111, I have exercises to do and it seems to be getting better….gradually. However I am now worried it might do it on top of a hill rather than at the bottom.

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User avatar
Location: Fife
Activity: Munro compleatist
Mountain: Last one climbed
Place: Home
Gear: Headtorch
Member: MCofS, NT, RHB
Camera: Panasonic Lumix TZ90
Ideal day out: A few new hills in (mostly) sunshine in (mostly) good company...and an eagle or two.
Ambition: Lifelong hill walking.

Munros: 282
Tops: 100
Corbetts: 222
Grahams: 219
Donalds: 89
Wainwrights: 173
Hewitts: 145
Sub 2000: 569
Islands: 58
Long Distance routes: West Highland Way   

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Trips: 5
Hewitts: 4
Wainwrights 7


Trips: 3
Distance: 23.5 km
Ascent: 1175m
Grahams: 1
Donalds: 1
Sub2000s: 7


Trips: 8
Distance: 23.5 km
Ascent: 1175m
Sub2000s: 10


Trips: 4
Distance: 47.6 km
Ascent: 2500m
Munros: 1
Grahams: 1
Sub2000s: 8
Hewitts: 2
Wainwrights 5


Trips: 5
Distance: 33.2 km
Ascent: 1557m
Donalds: 2
Sub2000s: 5
Wainwrights 1


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Distance: 26.9 km
Ascent: 4252m
Sub2000s: 5


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Sub2000s: 7


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Distance: 49.6 km
Ascent: 2370m
Sub2000s: 4


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Distance: 20 km
Ascent: 2000m
Corbetts: 5


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Joined: Nov 15, 2010
Last visited: Jul 02, 2022
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