Date - 2nd November 2008 Distance - 5 miles
Map - OL5 Start point - Glenridding car park (NY 386169)


Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Glenridding Dodd 1450 442 NY 3805 1755
Heron Pike (Glenridding) 2008 612 NY 3735 1781
Sheffield Pike 2215 675 NY 3691 1817


The Walk

For a few weeks we had been unable to go on any walks as Dad had a fall and injured his leg. He lost a bit of fitness as a result so did some easier walks to build up his stamina and check that the leg was properly healed. You can imagine our joy when he said that we were going up on to the high fells again.

The start was from the village of Glenridding on the shores of Ullswater, which we reached by going over the Kirkstone Pass and down past Hartsop where we had walked from many times.

"I never tire of this route via Kirkstone Pass", said Allen. "There are such dramatic views of the fells to either side."

As soon as Dad was ready we leaped into his rucksack and settled ourselves

Shaun pointed, "it is not very often that we can immediately see the hill we are going to climb, but as the name suggests Glenridding Dodd towers over the village."

Allen commented, "to the left behind Glenridding Dodd, is the south-east ridge of Sheffield Pike. That is our ascent route."

"Ooh that looks steep", said Little Eric. "There does not seem to be any path either.

Issuing start instructions Shaun said, "we walk through the village passing the Travellers Rest Inn, and then past the cottages that we can see, at the bottom of the hill."

Soon after Dad carefully over the cattle grid. "Now we want that path right", called out Tetley.

This zig zagged up to an electricity pole, where a another path branched off. "That's the way", advised Shaun.

Steeply now the ascent brought us above Bleas Crag, the outcrop on the left of Glenridding Dodd in the above picture.

Dad stopped for a breather. "What a wonderful view Ullswater and Glenridding", called out Grizzly. "One of the lake steamers is just leaving on it way to Howtown and then Pooley Bridge."

A clear path, known as The Rake, slanted up the fell, and a steady climb brought us to a col where a wall crossed in front.

"We go right along the wall round a corner and find the path to the summit", instructed Shaun.

This climbed gently and soon led us to the summit of Glenridding Dodd marked by a large cairn.

"Great cheered Allen. "That's another catch-up for Little Eric & I, as will be Sheffield Pike."

"Time for our picture then", called out Little Eric, as with the rest of us scrambled out of the rucksack and onto the cairn.

From here there was an absolutely stunning view of the length of Ullswater and we spent quite a few minutes marvelling at this and realising once again how lucky we are that Dad takes us to such wonderful places. We were to see this view many more times today and we will include some shots Dad took later in the story.

Getting settled again in the rucksack, Shaun told us, "we have to return to the col and the start the ascent of the steep south-east ridge."

Worriedly Little Eric said, "it looks even steeper close up, and I still can't see any path."

"Don't worry pal", replied Tetley. "Shaun, Grizzly and I had been up this way before and there is definitely a path."

Dad put best foot forwards, and soon we were ascending the narrow winding path. Looking back we had the advantage of that wonderful view, which Dad paused to look at after the first section. The ascent steepened, but finally we reached level ground.

Grizzly pointed, "we need to go right about 100 yards to get to the Birkett summit of Heron Pike that we will all tick off."

Soon after we arrived two young couples joined us at the summit and chatted to Dad. Then they noticed us in the rucksack and we were introduced. They thought it was great fun Dad taking us on the walks and this caused quite a lot of amusement. One of the gentlemen went so far as to say that they would remember this as STAG Pike!

Before leaving, we strolled the few steps along the path behind the cairn, to see in all its glory the view of Ullswater. "That is truly breathtaking", said Allen with wonder in his voice.

The small iron post in the right corner is of interest being inscribed 'H 1912' on one side and 'M 1912' on the other. Wainwright tells us that it was erected to mark the boundary between the Howard estate of Greystoke and the Marshall estate of Patterdale.

The hard climb was now over and the path led over rather boggy ground to climb gently to the our final summit today, Sheffield Pike. This picture is from the first ascent on 14th August 2004.

"Photo time again", called out Grizzly.

The stone pillar in the centre of the cairn is marked with the initials 'H' & 'M'. Another relic relating to the Howard and Marshall estates.

More stupendous views from here. "That's Great Mell Fell", pointed out Tetley. "Make a nice shot for the story."

And neither could we resist including the view of Ullswater, once again.

Our friends Ruth and Paul were very much in our thoughts today. The last time we were up here Dad went on to cross the valley SW and climb the fell called Raise and then on to White Side, where he met them. We all then went on together to climb Helvellyn. After descending Swirral Edge, Dad then took us up Catstycam, before meeting up with Ruth and Paul again walking down to Glenridding. That was 10 miles and probably over 3000ft of ascent. They had a drink at the Travellers Rest - we reckon they thoroughly deserved it too!

We were not doing that today, although looking across we could clearly see all these mountains and pick out the route. It was summer then, but now the days are short, so instead our return route was through the empty wild and beautiful Glencoyne Valley. After an initial steep descent we joined the clear track through the valley. Again the view of the lake was a joy to behold. We saw in the distance the roofs of a line of cottages and eventually the track led down beside them.

They are rather aptly called Seldom Seen, as they are not in view from the road, and even when descending from the valley above only glimpses can be had through the trees.

Onwards, Allen soon called out, "those trees in autumn colours as worth a picture."

Soon we reached the busy main road that runs alongside Ullswater. "I'm not looking forward to us having to walk along the road", said Tetley.

"Not a problem", replied Shaun, "There is a narrow path between the road and the lake that will lead us safely led us back to the village."

At one point we had to climb these old steps as we came near to Glenridding

We had had some of our picnic on the summit of Sheffield Pike and now we settled in the car to enjoy the rest and share some with our friends Citroen and Dougal who travel around in the car all the time.

We hardly need to say that Dad went to Fellbites Cafe that was very conveniently situated just at the side of the car park. A pot of tea (with extra hot water) and a gorgeous piece of chocolate cake were the order of the day. Then all that remained was for Dad to drive us home. It is just great to be on the high fells again.

"Thank you Dad for a wonderful day out", said Little Eric.


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