Monday, 12 March 2018

Arnison Crag Patterdale

After a week of great weather in the Lakes, friends Graham and Sandra plus Moira and I, decided to head over there in the vans for the weekend.  We parked up on the campsite at Sykeside and almost immediately it started to rain, and it did so for most of the next 24 hours.

It seemed pointless to head for the higher hills, so we chose to grab a Wainwright just above the village of Patterdale.  At only 1,421ft (433m) Arnison Crag is a diminutive little hill, but it provides some wonderful views over the head of Ullswater, or at least it should if it's not raining.  It also had the advantage of a pub at the bottom and another back at our campsite.  If done from Patterdale it only takes 50 mins, but we planned to make a day of it and walk from our campsite at Sykeside.

Setting off in the rain is never fun, but as we reached Brotherswater we could at least console ourselves with some rather atmospheric views. 
 I have now got my walking companions trained to spot potential photos.  Sandra spotted this zig-zag pattern reflected in the lake .

Moving on I grabbed a few more shots of the mist and clouds

It was hoods up most of the way, until we reached Patterdale where a brief lull in the rain tricked us into removing our waterproofs.  Five minutes later they were back on and stayed on for the rest of the walk.

We took the path on the left just before the White Lion Inn and after contouring through a little wood struck off up the hill following a drystone wall.  I wasn't sure where the summit was and the 1:50,000 map simply had Arnison Crag written large over an area several kilometres square, so we just plodded up hoping to spot likely tops in the vicinity.  As the clag became thicker this proved impossible and we initially missed the path where it branched off to the top.  Instead we found ourselves on a little craggy hummock surrounded by lots of other little craggy hummocks about 200m away from the main top.  After getting out a 1:25,000 map to check properly we wandered back the way we had come and easily found the top.  Unfortunately there were no views to be had at all.  With the patter of rain on our hoods we only stopped long enough for a coffee and a bite to eat, before deciding the pub would be a much nicer place to be.  

Near Oxford crags a brief window in the clouds gave us a rather atmospheric view over Patterdale towards the head of Ullswater.

The head of Ullswater from Oxford Crag
A pint of Wainwright's (what else) provided the enthusiasm for the walk back to the campsite.

Quite an enjoyable wee hill really, and one we probably would not have bothered with had it not been on Wainwrights list. In fact I might even head back on a nicer day given the potential for some decent shots when the light is better.

Distance 13.8km 

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