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. As soon as Dad was ready we leaped into his rucksack and settled ourselves in. It is not very often that we can see the hill we are going to climb, but as the name suggests Glenridding Dodd towers over the village...

Our way led along the road through the village passing the Travellers Rest Inn and then past the cottages that you can see in the photograph. A little further along Dad crossed carefully over the cattle grid and then took a path that zig zagged up to an electricity pole. A path now branched off and we climbed steeply to come above Bleas Crag (this is the outcrop on the left just below the shadow). We paused here to enjoy the view of Glenridding nestling by Ullswater. A lake steamer is just leaving too.

Now 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. Here we turned right along the wall and round the corner to find a path that climbed gently up and soon led to the summit of Glenridding Dodd marked by a large cairn, which we climbed up for our photo. Some of us had climbed these before but Allen and Little Eric did bag this and Sheffield Pike today.

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 Dad took a number of photos, the best we think being the one below taken from the summit of Heron Pike.

Once settled again in the rucksack we returned to the col and then started up steep SE ridge that would lead us to the summit of Sheffield Pike. Looking at it there did not seem to be any path at all, but we knew it was safe and soon we were on the way up the narrow winding path. Looking back we had the advantage of that wonderful view, which Dad paused to look at after the first section. Then after another longer steep section we reached level ground and about 100 yards to the right the intermediate summit of Heron Pike.

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 caused quite a lot of amusement. One of the gentlemen went so far as to say that they would remember this as STAG Pike!

The small iron post in the right corner is of interest being inscribed 'H 1912' on one side and 'M 1912' on the other. It was erected to mark the boundary between the Howard estate of Greystoke and the Marshall estate of Patterdale. Of course we had our picture taken and Dad got the Union Jack flag out too. The path behind the cairn leads to the iron post...

The hard climb was now over and the path led over rather boggy ground to climb gently to the final summit of Sheffield Pike. Photo time again. 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.

Dad and 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 Dad 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 could 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. Walking the track we passed these trees showing their autumn colours...

Soon we reached the busy main road that runs alongside Ullswater. There are not any pavements and we were not looking forward to walking along this, but fortunately there is a narrow path between the road and the lake that 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.


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