BROCK CRAGS, HIGH STREET, THORNTHWAITE CRAG & GRAY CRAG
from HARTSOP

 


Summary

Date - 25th November 2007 Distance - 8.5 miles
Map - OL5 Start point - Hartsop-parking area through hamlet (NY 408132)

 

Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Brock Crags 1842 561 NY 4166 1366
High Street 2718 828 NY 4407 1104
Thornthwaite Crag 2572 784 NY 4314 1001
Gray Crag 2293 699 NY 4267 1186

 

The Walk

Uncle Bob had rung Dad to say that as he was extremely busy with work, he would not be able to walk with us this Sunday. We were very sad about not seeing him, but brightened up when Dad said that he would take us to the Lake District. The start was from the hamlet of Hartsop and to reach this we had to drive over the Kirkstone Pass. This gets its name from a large rock that seen when travelling south over the pass, looks like a church. We jumped into Dad's rucksack, and noted that our route was clearly sign posted by the gate.

Yes the plan was first to follow the path to the dam at Hayeswater. Grizzly & Allen needed to bag Brock Crags too, and Dad had said he would try to do this at the end of the walk - just up and down. However thinking about it as we walked along it was better to do this at the start and so lead into the rest of the walk. So the climbing started as the path wound its way across the fell. Part way up we had this good view of the lake called Brotherswater. Originally called Broad Water its name was changed in the 19th century after two brothers were drowned in it.

Dad began to wonder why he was seriously out of breath, as the ascent had not looked all that steep. However checking the map we saw that the contours were shown very very close together so it was indeed very steep. Still not wanting to let us down, Dad would not be beaten and finally we reached the summit cairn.

The wind was very cold and so we soon dived back into the rucksack and set off alongside the wall to Satura Crag where we joined the main path from Boredale Hause. It was very eroded and boggy in places, so, yes you have guessed it Dad's trousers got mucky as usual! The path finally began to rise steeply and we came to the junction where we would have come up had we continued to Hayeswater. Once we had rounded the hill called The Knott (we had climbed this before so we did not bother today), the path headed south towards our next objective High Street. Part of the route is known as the Straights of Riggindale, where we could look down into this valley.

The lake you can see is part of the reservoir called Haweswater. This valley too is the home to the only golden eagle in England. The female died a few years ago so the remaining male keeps a lonely vigil. We just hope that another female will come along soon. Despite keeping our eyes peeled we did not catch any sight of him. After a short but steady ascent by the wall we reached the flat plateau and the summit trig point of High Street. There were still some pockets of snow in the hollows by the wall. It was too windy to have our photo taken sitting on top.

There is much history associated with this hill. The Roman cohorts marched across it on their road between the garrisons at Ambleside and Brougham. Scots invaders were repulsed on the Troutbeck slopes. The shepherds, dalesmen and farmers centuries ago, made it their playground and feasting place at their annual meets, racing horses over the summit area! Here is the broad path below the summit that marks the course of the Roman Road.

In the other direction we had this view of almost the whole length of Windermere.

The next objective was Gray Crag. To reach the ridge leading down to its summit however, Thornthwaite Crag with its prominent tower of a cairn has first to be visited. Of all the fells one climbs this is the summit cairn that you can always recall.

There were quite few people at this summit, some asking Dad about us, and a gentleman and lady took our photos too! Dad had some trouble getting this photo, as he said that Tetley and Allen were showing off by jumping off the cairn. In all it took four attempts to take it. However, Dad did agree that it was really the wind the caused the problems. A gentleman kindly took Dad with us by the cairn. Don't you think he looks rather daft in that hat!!

We then descended the ridge to Gray Crag. Across the valley to the right High Street towers up, and the valley contains the lake Hayeswater. It was a steep and winding descent off the fell and rather exposed in the strong wind. The path went right and then left under the crags before reaching the path that we had walked at the start. Looking back we could see Gray Crag.

It was then a gentle stroll to the car passing this old barn.

Well that was another excellent walk under our paws. Returning home Dad called in at one of his favourite tea places - Wilfs, at Staveley, where he had a piece of chocolate tiffin, flapjack and pot of tea with extra hot water. A bit piggish don't you think?!

back