TWO WALKS FROM HARTSOP, LAKE DISTRICT

This hamlet lies at the bottom of the Kirkstone Pass with Brothers Water nestling nearby and on either side the fells rise steeply. Dad took us on two walks with Uncle Eric to explore these, going first up the fells to the west side and then those to the east.



GALE CRAG, HARTSOP ABOVE HOW & HART CRAG from COW BRIDGE

Grizzly's 4th Birthday Walk

 

Summary

Date - 1st July 2008 Distance - 6 miles
Map - OL5 Start point - Parking area at Cow Bridge (NY 403134)

 

Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Gale Crag 1680 512 NY 3927 1244
Gill Crag on Hartsop above How 1909 582 NY 3831 1200
Hart Crag 2698 822 NY 3690 1120

 

The Walk

A few steps along the track we veered off right to climb steeply through the woodland to reach the ridge. The views opened up as we climbed, first of the village of Hartsop nestling in the valley.

Shaun pointed, "pals, see the path from the rear of the village snaking up across the fell side. It leads up Hayeswater Gill and will be the route for our next walk with you, Uncle Eric, to summit The Nab."

"I will be glad to get that done", replied Uncle Eric.

"Yes", agreed Allen, "as Little Eric and I will also tick it off."

Climbing on Tetley stopped our progress, by calling out, "that's a superb view of Brothers Water, sparkling in the sunshine."

Grizzly said, "it was once called Broad Water, but the name was changed in the 19th century when two brothers drowned there."

The ridge gained, we all stopped to rest a few minutes and take in the views. "

"OK", said Uncle Eric, "I'm ready to go on."

The steady ascent continued to the first objective the Birkett summit of Gale Crag, where Allen said, "picture time."

From here we had a clear view onward towards the summit of Hartsop above How backed by Dove Crag, Hart Crag and Fairfield. "Wow", breathed Little Eric. "How majestic."

Our attention too, was drawn to the towering mountain that is St Sunday Crag (2758ft).

"It looks so benign today", remarked Tetley. "Very different to the day we climbed in February 2006. Then there was deep snow." Here is St Sunday Crag from Birks on that day.

Allen went on, "the day started off sunny, but as we got onto St Sunday Crag the weather closed in, and to an extent we had to follow footprints in the snow to reach the summit and then make the descent."

"Our records show that Dad rang Uncle Brian, from the summit, who told us that it was sunshine in Morecambe", added Shaun.

So reminiscence over we jumped back into the rucksack and off we went, descending first, before making the final climb to the summit of Hartsop above How. This is one of the Wainwright Fells, as well as Birkett summit.

Tetley spoke up, "Shaun and I having completed the Wainwright challenge, have been here before on 4th December 2003. We did four summits that day. Little Hart Crag, Dove Crag, Hart Crag and lastly Hartsop above How. For whatever reason Dad you did not take our picture here. So this is the only Wainwright for which there is no summit picture."

"Well lads get settled and I will rectify that now", said Dad.

Grizzly said, "I am getting near to completing the challenge too, and this is my last in Book 1 – Eastern Fells."

"In that case pal", said Allen. "You should have your picture taken on your own. Especially too, as it is your birthday!"

The next objective was Hart Crag just a mile and a half away, but the sting in the tail was that to reach the summit Uncle Eric and Dad had to climb 1000ft higher. It was quite an easy walk on grass at first but then there was a rough scramble over rocky ground to the cairn at 2698ft. Aren't we lucky to be inside the rucksack carried to the top?

As we ascended we enjoyed this view to Dollywagon Pike over Deepdale Hause. Across the Hause is a path linking the fells of Fairfield, Cofa Pike seen on the left behind the rocky foreground, and St Sunday Crag.

"Another magnificent view", breathed Little Eric.

It was extremely windy on Hart Crag but nevertheless we climbed up on to the cairn for our photo, Shaun saying, "it will be hard for you Little Eric, so come on ride on my back."

"Thanks pal."

Our return route was to descend into the lovely valley of Dovedale shown below, and then walk alongside Brothers Water to reach Cow Bridge.

"Thanks Dad and Uncle Eric for giving me such a super walk to celebrate my birthday", said Grizzly. "And here's to many more adventures in the future."



THE NAB from HARTSOP

 

Summary

Date - 15th July 2008 Distance - 7 miles
Map - OL5 Start point - Hartsop-parking area through hamlet (NY 408132)

 

Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
The Nab 1887 576 NY 4342 1519

 

The Walk

This summit is a long rib extending outwards from the fell called Rest Dodd, and for many years was actually off limits being part of the Martindale Deer Forest and home to the oldest herd of native red deer in England. Now most of the land is open to the public although walkers are requested to approach from Rest Dodd and as far as possible not disturb the deer.

The day could not have been more of a contrast to the previous walk because as soon as we started the rain set in and persisted for over half the walk, light and patchy at times but also some heavier showers. Still we are not to be put off and snuggled as low as we could in the rucksack.

The signpost by the gate clearly showed our route up Hayeswater Gill.

The gill flows out of Hayeswater itself and has a number of waterfalls. Allen said, "they will make a nice picture."

Once the lake was reached a steep and uninteresting climb over rough ground brought us to the main path from Patterdale to High Street. "We follow this for a while, then we need to strike right over the ridge of Satura Crag", instructed Shaun.

This done, Allen pointed, "there's The Nab, and that is Ullswater peeking out behind."

The weather improved as the day went on, and this picture was actually taken after we had returned from the summit.

Whilst at this point we were on a level with the summit it was first necessary to make a steep and rough descent down and across to the peat hags (the dark patches) before attaining the path that led to the summit. "Oh dear", sighed Little Eric. "This summit is harder to reach than it looks on the map."

"Yes pal", replied Tetley. "Despite being only 1887ft getting to it makes for quite a tough walk."

At the small cairn, Tetley said, "come on pals we need to get settled for our picture quickly as that rain shower is imminent."

"Great" cheered Allen,"that's another that Little Eric and I have ticked off. I doubt we will be coming back here again."

"Not very likely", agreed Dad.

Uncle Eric was a little way behind us, so safely hunkered down in the rucksack again, we waited patiently for him to arrive. He too bagged the summit and agreed he would not be returning here either.

Tetley's comments about it being quite a tough walk are further born out by the fact that from the summit there was nothing for it but to reverse the route, having again to climb steeply below the slopes of Rest Dodd. Then cross the wall and over the ridge to the right to gain the main path. "Definitely not coming here again", stated Uncle Eric.

Happily the weather improved markedly and it was a much more enjoyable walk as we descended to Hartsop.

On the first photo of the signpost you will see that a path is indicated to Pasture Beck shown in the picture below. This valley leads to a place known as Threshthwaite Cove and then steeply to Threshthwaite Mouth, a rough steep and stony col between Thornthwaite Crag and Caudale Moor.

In the 19th century there were lead mines in this area and a lead mill to extract the ore. Beside the beck in the picture below stand remains relating to the mill. The "U" shaped walls are where the water wheel was housed and the other walls carried the trough along which the water ran to turn the wheel and power the mill.

To make the return slightly different we had used the track from the Filter House on the opposite side of the gill. We passed through a gate by which were some Herdwick sheep. One of the lambs was inquisitive and gave Dad the opportunity to snap him. "Aww", said Grizzly, "they do have such lovely faces, and the markings seem to be different on each one like a fingerprint."

From here there was just a short walk to the start.

"A typical Lake District Day, with the weather contrasts", commented Grizzly. "But a good walk nevertheless and thank you as always Dad and Uncle Eric, for taking us."

"You are welcome lads", replied Uncle Eric. "It is always good to have your company."

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