Date - 24th June 2011 Distance - 3 miles
Ascent -
Map - OL4
Start point - 1) Newlands Hause (NY 193176),
2) Cinderdale Common (NY 162193)


Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
High Snockrigg 1726 526 NY 1869 1689
Lad Hows 1398 426 NY 1720 1929



Allen, Grizzly & Tetley, were rather disconsolately leafing through walking books recalling past adventures.

"What with holidays and then Dad suffering back pain, it is weeks since we were out on the fells", said Allen rather downheartedly.

"I know pal and Dad's fitness will have suffered too", replied Tetley.

"That will mean that some of the higher outstanding tops may be out of the question for a while, but there are lower ones that we can do, when Dad is ready to take us once again", added Grizzly.

It was then that Shaun trotted in, Little Eric perched up on his back as usual. "I come bearing good news pals. The weather is good for Friday, so Dad and Uncle Brian have changed chip shop day to Thursday, so we can go walking."

"Yippee", shouted Allen doing somersaults round the room. "I think a mug of tea and biscuits are in order to celebrate, while you tell us where we are going."

"We knew you would say that, so we have brought the flasks", called out Little Eric laughingly.

So all settled with steaming mugs of tea, Shaun went on, "Dad said he is bound to have lost some fitness, so has decided to do two short walks, but nevertheless the two summits will be Birkett tops we have not visited before."

"Oh great. We need to get on with them if we are to have any chance of completing them this year", said Tetley. "Which ones are we doing?"

Shaun said, "the first is High Snockrigg from Newlands Hause, and then after driving down to and through Buttermere, we will climb Lad Hows."

"Wherever, it will just be wonderful to be out again", enthused Grizzly.


The Walk

We were up early and ready, as we did not want to delay Dad. Hearing the boot slam shut we dashed out to the car, Tetley calling out, "enjoy your quiet day, Uncle Brian."

"I will, and take care Lads. Have a good time."

The drive was north on the M6, and as we ran into rain around the Sedbergh turn off, Little Eric said worriedly, "I hope this is not what we can expect weather wise today."

"Don't worry Lads, its just the overnight rain clearing east", said Dad. "By the time we get to over Shap, it will be dry."

How right he was and for the rest of the day it was dry and clear with sunny periods especially in the afternoon. From Penrith we took the ever so familiar A66 west.

"I bet you could almost drive this road blindfold?", laughed Grizzly.

"Almost", agreed Dad.

Just past Keswick, we turned left to drive through the village of Portinscale, then on along the narrow winding road to Stair, where we joined the road from Braithwaite.

"That's Barrow, above, and look over there is Rowling End and Causey Pike, we climbed last year", called out Little Eric.

"That's right. You're really getting to recognise the fells now", replied Shaun.

"Yes, but not as good as you, and certainly not as good as Dad, who seems to be able to name them all from whenever we have a view."

"Well I have been climbing them a lot longer", said Dad.

Soon we were passing Stoneycroft Bridge, and then we started in earnest to climb up Newlands Pass. The views were stunning.

"That's Robinson ahead to the left", said Shaun. "We will soon be at the top of the pass where we park for the climb to High Snockrigg."

"Sure enough as we crested the last rise to Newlands Hause, there just round the sharp corner was the roadside parking.

Part 1 - Ascent of High Snockrigg

As Dad got ready, we sat looking across to the lovely waterfall of Moss Force, as it tumbled down the fell. "A good picture to start the story of our adventure", commented Grizzly.

"There is a path leading across to it", pointed Little Eric. "Is that our route?"

"No pal", replied Shaun. "That will involve a rocky scramble to the easier walking above. The sensible ascent is via that path to the right climbing steeply up the fell."

Dad took his time, and made a few stops to catch his breath, until after passing through a rushy groove, the gradient eased.

We had been able to enjoy the views down the Newlands Pass, along which we had driven and Allen said, "please can you take a picture for the story?"

"No problem lad", replied Dad.

Tetley set the scene. "Distantly Blencathra is in the centre. On the left is Causey Pike and Rowling End. Over to the right Skelgill Bank rises to Catbells."

A clear grassy path like a lawn was now followed, Shaun saying, "at each junction we take the right fork."

At one of the junctions, Allen said, looking at the map, "the path left here leads across Buttermere Moss and climbs on eventually to the summit of Robinson."

Our path today however soon led us to the cairn on High Snockrigg. The views were terrific, but Grizzly said, "first is the important matter of having our picture taken to record ticking the summit off."

Then turning round, we sat looking in wonder at the magnificent views. "Oh joy!", cheered Little Eric.

First to the north -

Shaun set the scene. "That is Crummock Water with standing above its far shore, Mellbreak. The long ridged fell in the foreground is Rannerdale Knotts. Distantly is Loweswater with to its right in deep shadow, the Fellbarrow group."

Then turning our gaze south -

Little Eric said, "with the help of the map let me have a go at describing this view. The lake is clearly Buttermere and the valley left is Warnscale Bottom with Haystacks, Wainwright's favourite fell, above right. The mountain partly hidden in cloud is Great Gable, to the right are Kirk Fell and Pillar respectively."

"That is exactly right pal", said Tetley. "You are certainly getting the hang of the names now."

"Such was the beauty and majesty of the view, we could have sat and looked at it all day, but after a while Dad said, "we'll have to go. Lad Hows beckons."

As we dropped below the summit, Little Eric said in wonder, "I do not think I have ever seen a more beautiful view."

After a few minutes another super view was before us. Tetley said, "that's Knott Rigg with dramatically Crag Hill and Sail behind. We climbed the latter two with Uncle Eric in June last year."

A Herdwick ewe with its lamb was sitting on the path, and Dad deviated slightly into the bracken to avoid disturbing them. They seemed quite unconcerned and even when Dad got close to take a number of pictures they and other ewes and lambs did not move. "Ok", said Allen. "They are our favourite sheep so I do not mind some pictures being included."

Part 2 - Ascent of Lad Hows

Dad drove carefully down the steep winding road to pass through Buttermere village, and then right by Crummock Water and park on Cinderdale Common.

Above towered Grasmoor. Shaun said, "the path is actually one of ascent routes to Grasmoor, but we are just going as far as the subsidiary summit of Lad Hows."

"Is it the nearest ridge of crags we can see?", asked Little Eric.

"No lad", replied Dad. "I reckon is the dark heather clad ridge behind.

Although not entirely clear, Shaun said, "the path is through bracken and across the pretty Cinderdale Beck, to then continue up to the left end of the ridge."

There were a number of falls on the beck, like the one below.

What are those purple flowers?", asked Little Eric.

"Foxgloves, pal", replied Tetley.

The climb to the ridge was pretty steep at times, but Dad said, "it feels harder than it really is, as a result of my long lay off."

As we climbed the views were superb once again, like this of Mellbreak across Crummock Water.

Shaun said, "the lower summit on the extreme left is Scale Knott, which is one of the tops we still have to do."

Dad replied, "once I have got a bit fitter again, I intend to soon take you all there."

Turning his eyes further left, once again Little Eric said in wonder, "wow, what a fantastic view."

Grizzly said, "that's Rannerdale Knotts with its steep craggy slopes. Behind is the so called Buttermere ridge. The three summits from the left being High Crag, High Stile and Red Pike."

"Must be about five years since we were on those fells", remarked Tetley, who as has been said before, an amazing memory of past adventures.

On reaching the ridge of crags, the path then went sharp right along these to then cross another rise, and finally up to Lads Hows summit marked by a tiny cairn, where we sat for our obligatory picture.

From here the ridge turns left and rises, to then eventually swing left again on the final very steep climb to Grasmoor, but today this was the climbing done.

In our picture we are looking to this route, but then we turned round to admire this superb view to the north.

Little Eric asked, "what can we see?"

Always helpful, Shaun replied, "Crummock Water and beyond the lake is Loweswater, with the Fellbarrow group to the right, and on the left Carling Knott and Burnbank Fell."

After a few minutes, Dad said, "well Lads we had better be getting on down."

Bursting out laughing, Allen said, "that's because you are ready to get to the tea room!"

"You know me too well", replied Dad.

As we proceeded down Dad came by a Herdwick, who immediately, climbed on the the rocky outcrop above, imposing his dominance and reminding us that they live here, and we are just the visitors.

Two more then appeared, and engaged in a bit of friendly butting.

Finally the descent was accomplished, Tetley pointing, "there's the Fellbarrow group. They hold a special place in our hearts as that is where we met Uncle Bob, with whom we have had so many wonderful adventures."

At the car Allen said, "time for a snack. Let's sit on the roof of the car, so we can see the view."

Just beyond the parking area the road narrowed, and this warning notice about sheep on the road had been erected by the farmer.

Quite right too, as this ewe and her lamb had just wandered along the road before coming to browse the grass on the verge.

So, now it was time to be heading home, Dad saying, "I am going to return over Whinlatter Pass, as it is an easier drive than Newlands."

Near the foot of this there is a viewpoint, Allen saying, "can we stop and see the view, please Dad."

"Beautiful of Bassenthwaite Lake with Binsey in the distance", said Shaun.

"And fabulous of Skiddaw with Lower Man and Lesser Man to the right", pointed Grizzly. The ridge in front is from the left Ullock Pike, Long Side and Carl Side. Below that is the bare top of Dodd."

"Worth the stop", said Little Eric. "Thanks Dad."

Joining the A66 we headed east, Dad turning off to Stainton, where he went to one of his favourite tea stops, Greystone House. Here he had the lovely sausage casserole, then gorgeous apple and summer fruits crumble with custard-this was absolutely yummy! Tea with extra hot water was served too.

As we headed home down the M6, Allen said, "thanks Dad for a lovely day and it was just great to be out on the fells again."

"You're welcome."


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