Friday, November 29, 2019

The Deepdale Horseshoe

Date: 29/11/2019
Start/Finish: Bridgend/Patterdale
Wainwrights: Birks, St Sunday Crag, Fairfield, Hart Crag, Hartsop above How
Distance: 10.5 miles
Max Elevation: 2864 feet (Fairfield)
Total Ascent: 3415 feet
Time Taken: 6-7 Hours

The Route - Anticlockwise from Bridgend
It was 10 years ago when I last hiked this route. On that day I was clagged in the whole way round and saw nothing. I'd made a mental do it again in fair weather and well …. it was fair weather, so it was time for 'The Deepdale Horseshoe round 2'. This is a classic route. Tougher that the Fairfield horseshoe although not as far. I'd walked it clockwise 10 years ago and remembering the scary descent down Cofa Pike I decided that anti-clockwise would be more prudent, and that does seem to be the most popular way to tackle it.

A 10 minute video of the whole walk


Black Crags


Views over the Grisedale valley

Frosty ground on the path to Birks

The onwards route to St Sunday Crag
I missed the path up onto Birks so had to take a slight diversion back up to its summit.  


Views to Helvellyn from St Sunday Crag

St Sunday Crag summit

Mist and glare over the Deepdale valley

The onward route to Cofa Pike and Fairfield

Grisedale Tarn

Cofa Pike
It's a steepish scramble up Cofa Pike, unless there is an easier route that I missed. The use of hands was required at certain points.

The Deepdale Valley

Dollywagon Pike, Nethermost Pike and Helvellyn

Looking back over St Sunday Crag

Grisedale Tarn

Fairfield summit views

The path to Hart Crag

Looking down the Rydal valley to Windermere

The head of the Deepdale valley

Hart Crag summit views towards Dove Crag …

… and back to Fairfield

The Deepdale valley and the forward path to Hartsop above How

Views back over to St Sunday Crag

Hartsop above How summit view 

The forward view back to Bridgend ...

… and the backward view to Hart Crag

Sun just setting on Angletarn Pikes and Place Fell

Nearly back, in the fading light

When I did this route 10 years ago it took me around 5 hours. Today it more like 7 hours. This may be because I'm now 10 years older and less fit … Or it may be because the ground conditions were quite icy and careful foot placement was required. I'm going with the latter ….

Friday, April 12, 2019

High Rigg from Thirlmere

Date: 12th April 2019
Start/Finish: Smaithwaite Bridge, North Thirlmere
Wainwrights: High Rigg
Distance: 7.5 Miles
Max Elevation: 1224 Feet
Height Gained: 2470 Feet
Time Take: 3 1/2 Hours

The Route : Clockwise from Bridge End (most southern point)

This was first time back in the fells after a 6 month hiatus. I've lost a bit of fitness so decided to peruse the less lofty fells on my Wainwrights 'to-do' list. High Rigg seemed like a nice option. Indeed Wainwright described this very walk as being "... suited to old and rickety fellwalkers long past their best". Perfect for me then! He also suggests doing the walk clockwise so that the lovely views of Blencathra are always in front when on the higher ground. I therefore followed this advice. 

I parked right by Smaithwaite Bridge on the A591. There is a stile and gate within the dry stone wall just north of the bridge where the path heads along St John's Beck. A steepish path then branches off on the left towards Wren Crag. The hillside is littered with uprooted trees following the recent winter storms.

The Stile on the A591

Views down to St John's in the Vale from the upwards path

The first of many uprooted trees on the hill side

Looking back towards Great How

The path up to Wren Crag

Glimpses of Thirlmere behind

Views from Wren Crag looking north - Mart Crag with Blencathra and Skiddaw on the horizon and down along the 'St Johns in the Vale' valley 

A little un-named tarn between Mart Crag and High Rigg

The path up to High Rigg

High Rigg summit views of Blencathra ...

… and back towards Thirlmere

From High Rigg I decided to extend the walk over Low Rigg and Tewet tarn. The path passes the little church and youth centre. 

Low Rigg over the Youth Cente 

There can't be a more picturesque Youth Centre in the UK ?

Looking back over High Rigg

Skiddaw from Low Rigg summit

Tewet Tarn

I then headed back via Yew tree farm and the main path skirting Rake How and heading towards Low Bridge End Farm following the course of St John's in the Vale Beck. Overall a lovely little walk perfect for blowing off the cobwebs.