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 in 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, and we dashed out to the car when we heard the boot slam shut. The drive was north on the M6, and we began to wonder about the weather as we ran into rain around the Sed burgh turn off.

"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.

As can be seen, there is a path leading across to it, but to avoid the rocky scramble to the easier walking above, Dad had decided to use the clear path to the right that climbed 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.

The very distant mountain is Blencathra, while to the left stands Causey Pike and Rowling End. Over to the right Skelgill Bank rises to Catbells.

Now a clear grassy path like a lawn was followed, and at each junction we took the right fork. From one of these forks, if we had gone left we would have crossed Buttermere Moss and climbed on eventually to the summit of Robinson. Today however our path soon led us to the cairn on High Snockrigg. The views were terrific, but first there was the important matter of having our picture taken to record ticking the summit off.

After we sat looking in wonder at the magnificent views. Oh joy! First to the north -

Here 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 -

Here the lake is Buttermere, with the valley beyond being Warnscale Bottom, and Wainwright's favourite fell Haystacks on the right. Behind Great Gable is partly hidden in the cloud, with Kirk Fell and Pillar away to the right. Such was the beauty and majesty of the view, we could have sat and looked at it all day, but Lad Hows beckoned. So, settling in Dad's rucksack again, we headed back down the fell.

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

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 did not move.

Part 2 - Ascent of Lad Hows

Dad drove carefully down the steep winding road, to pass through Buttermere village and on by Crummock Water, parking on Cinderdale Common. Above towers Grasmoor (2795ft), and it was up one of its ascents, that our route lay to the subsidiary summit of Lad Hows. We mistakenly thought it was the near most ridge of crags, but as we were to find it was in fact the higher heather covered rise behind.

Although not entirely clear, the path led through the bracken to cross the pretty Cinderdale Beck and 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 admitted that it felt harder than it really was due to the 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."

Here is Rannerdale Knotts (1165ft), with its steep craggy slopes and behind, the so called Buttermere ridge, of the three summits, from the left, of High Crag (2443ft), High Stile (2644ft) and Red Pike (2478ft).

"Must be about five years since we were on those fells", remarked Tetley, who as had been said before has 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 climb to Grasmoor, but today this was as far as we were going. In the picture we are looking to this, 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, Lad", 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 and we had a snack sitting on the roof of the car, so we could 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 has just wandered along the road before coming to browse the grass on the verge.

So it was time to be heading home, but not before the stop at the tea room. This was one of Dad's favourites, Greystone House, at Stainton near Penrith. 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.

Thanks Dad for a lovely day and just great to be out on the fells again.


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