Showing posts with label high pike. Show all posts
Showing posts with label high pike. Show all posts

Monday, June 10, 2024

Back O'Blencathra

Date: 31/05/2024

Wainwrights: Carrock Fell (661m), High Pike (658m), Knott (710m), Great Calva (690m)

Start/Finish: Mosedale Village

Total Distance: 14.5 miles

Time Taken: 8 Hours 

The Route : Anti-clockwise from Mosedale

                        A Video of the Hike

It has been a long time since I was last in the fells. 12 months to be precise, when I climbed up Jacks Rake with my lad. Lots of excuses - mainly the appalling weather and the fact that at my time of life, I really don't want to be braving the elements and suffering unnecessarily in bad weather for zero chance of a summit view. So today was time to make amends and continue the quest which started 15 years ago and had been stuck on 198 Wainwrights for far too long. 

I only had 4 fells left in the Northern Region and they were ones at the back of Blencathra, namely: Carrock Fell, High Pike, Knott and Great Calva. It was going to be a long hike to link these 4 together but I wanted to get them done in a single stretch so a route was planned and I headed off to the Lakes at first light on a cold but clear Friday morning, hopeful that my fitness hadn't completely abandoned me. 

I parked the car in Mosedale and then headed along the road northwards for about a mile. The scenery is dominated by the impressive looking Carrock Fell on the left side. 

Carrock Fell from Mosedale

Most of the fells north of Blencathra and Skiddaw are quite benign in appearance, being mainly grassy mounds with little in the way of rocky scenery. No so with Carrock Fell though. It is decidedly craggy and imposing with steep gnarly flanks. The only accessible path on the OS map was on the eastern face and that was where I headed. The path leaves the road by a small lay-bye and heads upwards, flanking the right side of a steep gully, before emerging onto the summit. 

The way up Carrock Fell

The summit of Carrock Fell is a shattered pile of rocks with an impressive looking cairn and a wind shelter. The views are impressive in all directions. 

Carrock Fell Summit

After a 20 minute respite, I head off westwards on a good path, which then veered northwards towards High Pike. 45 minutes later I was stood on this interesting summit.

High Pike

High Pike Summit looking East ...

... and looking West

High Pike summit is dominated by a large triangular pile of rocks which could be clearly seen from Carrock Fell. What was unexpected is the lovely stone bench and an impressive trig point. The bench is a memorial to a young boy who loved this area but tragically passed away aged 16 in 1944. 

The Memorial Bench on High Pike Summit

The route then re-treads the path back down High Pike before veering off South-Westwards towards Knott. About halfway along the route is Lingy Hut Bothy, one of just 4 Bothies in the Lake District. It is basically a wooden shed guyed down to prevent it from blowing away. Inside are very basic amenities and a sleeping platform. Perfect for a night out on the fells if you don't want to carry your own shelter.

Lingy Hut Bothy

Knott (as opposed to 'The Knott', in the Far Eastern Fells) is the highest fell on today's route, at 710 meters. It also has the least impressive summit of the 4. No trig point, bench or wind shelter. Just a small pile of stones.

'Knott' summit

From Knott, Great Calva is due South and looks impressively steep and mountainesque in its profile. The path continues westwards and then turns due South to climb up between Little Calva and Great Calva. 

Great Calva (left), LIttle Calva (right) & Skiddaw (background)

Little Calva isn't a Wainwright but I thought it might be worth the small detour onto its summit. It wasn't. 

Little Calva Summit
A good path now heads straight up onto the summit of Great Calva. This is another fell with impressive summit features including a large cairn and great views in all directions.

Great Calva Summit

It was now a case of tackling the steep descent off the eastern face of Great Calva down a heather invaded path which winds its way steeply down to join the Cumbria Way. It was then another 4 miles following the River Caldew back to Mosedale.

The path down the west face of Great Calva

The bridge over Grainsgill Beck

The Cumbria Way

Nearly back at Mosedale

So that's 202 Wainwright's done and dusted. Just 12 to go, over 3 hikes. Should be finished by the end of summer.

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Fairfield Horseshoe in Winter

Date : 3rd February 2012  
Start/Finish : Ambleside
Wainwrights : Low Pike, High Pike, Dove Crag, Hart Crag,  
  Fairfield, Great Rigg, Heron Pike, Nab Scar   
Distance : 11 Miles 
Height Gained : 3523 feet

The route : anticlockwise from Ambleside

 Horseshoe routes are always an attractive proposition. You walk along a ridge to a summit at the head of a valley and then return via the ridge on the opposite side. They are usually easy to navigate and are a good way of stringing a few fell tops together while spending most of the walk high up and enjoying the views. The Fairfield horseshoe perfectly defines all the characteristics of a great horseshoe route. Fairfield itself is the highest summit of the walk and stands majestically at the head of the Rydal valley around which which the walk circumvents. It is a classic Lakeland walk taking in 8 Wainwright fells and is enjoyed by many thousands of folk from Ambleside every year. It's also a popular route in winter due to its fairly gentle gradient and its wide ridges with good paths throughout. Today was clear & calm but with plenty of snow visible on the higher fells. Perfect weather to tackle this classic walk in winter.

I decided to take the anticlockwise option for the walk today. It doesn't really matter which way round you go but the views of Grasmere and Rydal Water on the way back are a great tonic for tired legs.   

Approaching High Sweden Bridge

How does it not fall down ?

Views over Rydal Water towards the snowy Coniston Fells

Looking back to Windermere in the early morning mist

Looking over the other side of the valley to Heron Pike and Great Rigg

First fell of the day : Low Pike

 For the first half of the walk you are accompanied by a wall which stubbornly follows the high ground along the whole ridge.

Low Pike summit panorama west

Low Pike summit panorama east
The snow line was reached at High Pike and became deeper with height. Thankfully the gradient is easy and the snow was fairly compact.

The onwards route from High Pike

Views eastwards over the Scandale valley
Dove Crag summit panorama west

Dove Crag summit panorama east

Looking back from Dove Crag

Hart Crag panorama south over the whole horseshoe

Hart Crag summit views east along the Dovedale valley

Link Cove looking over to St Sunday Crag & Helvellyn beyond

Striding Edge & Helvellyn from Hart Crag

Views back to Windermere
 Fairfield is the apex of the walk but its wide summit plateau tends to dilute the otherwise impressive views. A wander over to the eastern edge is recommended for great views along the Deepdale valley. 

Fairfield summit

Fairfield summit view east

St Sunday Crag and the Deepdale valley from Fairfield summit

The route back looking down to Great Rigg & Heron Pike

Views over to Seat Sandal, Grisedale Tarn & Helvellyn

Great Rigg summit panorama west

Great Rigg summit panorama east over to the route already trodden

Rydal Beck snaking its way towards Windermere

Crepuscular Rays over Grasmere

In was at this point that the decision to walk the route anti-clockwise was vindicated as the views down to Grasmere in the low sunlight were really quite something. Unfortunately my little pocket camera struggled to capture the dramatic light but perhaps the picture above gives some idea of the stunning scenery which kept me company all the way back down.

Looking back up the Horseshoe from Heron Pike

Heron Pike summit panorama across the whole horseshoe

Past Heron Pike the snow thinned and at Nab Scar had virtually all gone, which was just as well as from here the descent path is quite steep in comparison to rest of the walk.

Nab Scar view of Grasmere

Nab Scar view of Rydal Water and Windermere

Rydal Beck at Rydal Hall