ST RAVEN'S EDGE, JOHN BELL'S BANNER, STONY COVE PIKE & HARTSOP DODD from KIRKSTONE PASS INN

Allen completes Wainwright Book 2 - Far Eastern Fells


Summary

Date - 15th September 2009 Distance - 5.25 miles
Ascent - 1600ft
Map - OL5/OL7 Start point - Kirkstone Pass Inn (NY 401080)

 

Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
St Raven's Edge 1946 593 NY 4060 0837
John Bell's Banner 2477 755 NY 4128 1007
Stony Cove Pike 2503 763 NY 4186 0999
Hartsop Dodd 2028 618 NY 4113 1185

 

Preface

Shaun, Tetley and Grizzly were looking over the records of their recent walks.

"It's ages since we walked with Uncle Eric", remarked Tetley.

"I know", agreed Grizzly, "but not for want of trying. If only the weather would improve, so they don't have to be called off"

"Here comes Allen, and he looks excited too", said Shaun, looking up.

"Good news", cried Allen breathlessly. "Dad has just spoken to Uncle Eric and we are going walking tomorrow"

"Where too", inquired Little Eric, who had just wandered in.

"We are climbing Caudale Moor and Hartsop Dodd, so I will finally finish Book 2. We are also taking in St Raven's Edge, which is one of the Birkett tops we have wanted to do for ages".

"That's just great", cheered Tetley, "roll on tomorrow morning."

 

The Walk

Tuesday dawned with blue skies and there was to be plenty of sunshine. It was rather windy at first, but this dropped considerably as the day went on. As a consequence there was clear visibility so we enjoyed superb views. The start and finish points were not the same, and to return to the start would have meant a long and arduous walk for Uncle Eric and Dad along the road up the Kirkstone Pass. To avoid this Dad met Uncle Eric at the end, where he left his car, and we all drove to the start in Uncle Eric's brand new car. It is very nice too!

The start was from the Kirkstone Pass Inn. This is the highest pub in the Lake District at 1480ft (450m) above sea level. Overall it is the third highest in England, behind The Tan Hill Inn in North Yorkshire (1730ft) and the Cat and Fiddle in Cheshire (1690ft). It is a popular stopping place for coaches, that disgorge their passengers to look at the views. About three stopped while we were getting ready for the off. Can't beat being on the tops though!

From the Inn a rough path climbed up to a stile then continued steeply on a rocky scramble to the ridge, marked by a large cairn. As we had climbed up there had been great views.

When Uncle Eric and Dad paused for breath, Tetley called out "there are some good photo opportunities, don't you think Dad"

"Yes", he agreed, and immediately got the camera out

First this is the view over to the northern reaches of Windermere and beyond. The road you can see leads to Ambleside. It is very steep and is nicknamed "The Struggle".

Immediately below were the buildings of the Kirkstone Pass Inn, from where we had started.

Because it was such a large cairn, Allen asked, "is this the summit of St Raven's Edge, Dad"

"No Lad, we have to walk north along to those rocky outcrops a short distance ahead, as they are the summit according to the Ordnance Survey", replied Dad.

This was soon accomplished and we scrambled out to have our usual picture taken.

The mountain rearing up behind is Red Screes. We have climbed this twice in the last year, the first time in thick snow. You can find that story elsewhere on the site.

Continuing we followed the edge along to its end, then bearing right to start the ascent towards Caudale Moor. At this point we could look back to our route.

Just before reaching the highest ground, we went left crossing the wall to visit the Mark Atkinson memorial.

Mark Atkinson was the landlord of the Kirkstone Pass Inn. He died in 1930 aged 60. The more recent plaque on the right is to his son William Ion Atkinson who died in 1987 aged 83.

Our direction was now north east, across the rough fell and climbing gently to reach the large cairn on Caudale Moor known as John Bell's Banner. It was flying too. Well, that is when Dad set us on the cairn with the Union flag, for our picture!

There were striking views across to the Helvellyn Ridge, but, walking just a few yards north, this wonderful view to Ullswater was revealed. The other lake below in the angle of the fells is Brothers Water.

A clear path now led east by the wall and climbed gently once again. Starkly to the left were the fells forming one side of the Kentmere Horseshoe. From left to right - Froswick, Ill Bell with its tall cairns and Yoke.

The path now soon crossed the north/south wall and the cairn at Stony Cove Pike was reached. This at 2503ft, is the highest point. This is the Wainwright summit in Book 2, which he refers to as Caudale Moor.

"What's that over there to the east", asked Little Eric.

"That is Thornthwaite Crag", replied Shaun, knowingly.

"There is a path going that way", persisted Little Eric.

"Yes, confirmed Tetley. "It descends steeply to cross Threshthwaite Mouth followed by a steep climb of some 620 ft to Thornthwaite Crag. Here you can see its tall distinctive cairn, behind Stony Cove Pike."

"Ooh that sounds like hard going", said Little Eric.

"Well fortunately that is not our route today", said Grizzly. "Instead we are heading north to Hartsop Dodd."

This can be seen plainly, in this picture taken earlier from John Bell's Banner. The higher fell rising behind is Place Fell.

First however it was time for lunch, so seeking shelter from the wind, we sat behind the wall. Ready for the off again, the wall was now our guide, leading us all the way to Hartsop Dodd. First descending to the col followed by a short climb to the summit, where Allen let out a "yippee" on his completion of all the fells in Book 2 - Far Eastern Fells. There is a cairn now just a little way from the wall, but the fence post that Wainwright notes as the summit, still stands against the wall, it clearly being the highest point. To mark Allen's achievement here he is on his own by the fence post.

"Is that Brother's Water, below?, asked Little Eric.

Not having walked as extensively in the Lakes as the rest of us, Grizzly helpfully replied, "Yes, and it is in fact the smallest of the 18 stretches of water that are designated as lakes."

"It has a lovely blue colour today", said Allen.

"Yes", agreed Tetley. "Please take a picture Dad".

Also as we all had sat for our picture, our eyes were drawn to the wonderful view to the fells on the other side of the valley to the west. We knew Dad could not resist taking this too, and we were glad, because we wanted to include this in the story.

The long ridge in front is Hartsop above How, rising to Hart Crag, which leads to Fairfield on its right. The long fell behind Hartsop above How, is St Sunday Crag. Behind it to its left side are Dollywagon Pike & Helvellyn.

Just out of shot on the extreme left is Dove Crag, which Wainwright tells walkers to aim for as a the line of descent. Uncle Eric soon spotted another old fence post as we expected, then soon afterwards we found the groove. This criss-crossed the fell on its steep 1400ft descent all the way to a green path. This soon led to the road, and a short walk along this brought us to where Dad had parked his car. It was just a few minutes drive to the top of the pass and Uncle Eric's car.

Another great adventure under our paws - thanks Dad, as always. We all bagged St Raven's Edge, while Allen & Little Eric bagged the other three tops. It was a second visit for Dad and some of our club, who were glad to do it again, as then it had been thick mist so the views seen today were obscured.

Time for tea now - what a surprise! Uncle Eric and Dad went to one his favourite cafes Wilfs, at Staveley. Dad had tea and a large piece of cake too, of course.

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