Friday, 28 June 2019

Wainwrights - Low Pike and High Pike from Ambleside

From the parking in Ambleside (£7.00 and toilets not open first thing) we (Moira, Graham and Sandra) headed up the Kirkstone road for a few hundred metres before taking a left into Nook Lane.

Under steel grey skies it was hot and muggy as we made our way along the lane leading towards High Sweden Bridge, the oppressive feel of the weather cheered slightly by Foxgloves lining the way.

To start with the views were limited by the high walls of the lane, but a little further along the views opened out westwards over the hay meadows.

High Sweden Bridge is a pleasant spot to stop for a while, however instead of a break by the stream we were keen to get up high in the hope of a breeze, not only to cool us down, but to get rid of the midges which while not in huge numbers, were annoying.

High Sweden Bridge

On the way to Low Pike we passed  through a boggy area that wasn’t really that boggy considering how much rain there has been recently.

The wall was then followed up to the top of Low Pike

High Pike our next objective with the craggy top of Little Hart Crag (right of centre) and our planned descent route back into Scandale from the col to the right.

From here the route up on to High Pike was warm work as the sun began to break through.

Windermere from the top of High Pike

The view NE across Scandale Head towards Little Hart Crag (rocky lump to left of cairn)

The Coniston Fells from just west of the summit wall

Our plan was to head up Thack Bottom Edge to pick up the path to Scandale Tarn before dropping down Scandale pass to meet with our upward route at High Sweden Bridge.

The wall running along Thack Bottom Edge from the summit

Looking ahead we could see the high cairn on High Bakestones so decided to head over and take that in on the way.

Impressive cairn on High Bakestones with Brothers Water just in view to the right

From here it was a pleasant if a little footsore walk down the rocky track back to our start point. On the way we met some rather handsome Highland cattle.

Two more ticked off leaving 48 left to go.

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Wainwright’s - Eagle Crag and Sergeant's Crag

Set between the wonderfully picturesque valleys containing Langstrath Beck and Greenup Gill, these two hills looked like they would make a great days walking.  Eagle Crag also looked like it would offer a bit of adventure in the form of some easy scrambling too.

The only slight worry today was that heavy rain was forecast mid-afternoon and added to last night’s rain we were a bit worried about how greasy the scramble would be and if any streams we had to cross would be doable. In the end we decided to avoid the Lining Crag decent route as this would involve an un-bridged stream crossing and instead do a clockwise walk using the bridges over the lower section of Greenup Gill to access Eagle Crag and then drop down off the north western slopes of Sergeant Crag into Langstrath. 

In the company of Graham and Sandra we made our way in pleasant sunshine along the valley from the Chapel House Farm campsite to Stonethwaite.  Here we used Stonethwaite bridge to get us onto the track on eastern side of the beck. 

Ahead we could see Eagle Crag, which looked impenetrable from this angle.

Eagle Crag with Sergeants Crag just visible to the right

This was followed north east up to Smithymire island to a second bridge at the confluence of Greenup Gill and Langstrath beck.

 Looking back the sunshine was already disappearing and the cloud ceiling dropping.

Stonethwaite Beck from the confluence of Langstath Beck and Greenup Gill
Once across the beck we only followed the path for a few metres before branching off to the left.  Crossing the fence via a stile a rather boggy path led alongside a small wood below Bleak Howe.  After passing through a couple of intake walls we then struck steeply up the eastern flank of Eagle Crag.

The short scramble, while a bit greasy was not a problem and made for a really enjoyable way up.

Traverse above the scrambling
Zigzagging up the final metres to the summit the sky began to look rather oppressive.  This suggested that the rain would arrive well ahead of the forecast.

Sergeants Crag from upper section of Eagle Crag
On top after the obligatory summit pose we had a quick break before heading off towards Sergeant’s Crag.

Borrowdale from the top
By the time we reached its summit the rain was falling and the cloud base was well down.

The summit of Sergeant's Crag 
The craggy nature of the ground to the west meant a direct descent could not be made into Langstrath so we followed the broad ridge south for a km or so towards Brown Crag. Once beyond this we made our way diagonally down steep ground to pick up the Cumbria Way. This was followed for the last leg to the campsite.

Heading down Langstrath on the Cumbria Way

With these 2 hills in the bag we have 50 left to go.

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Wainwright’s - Stone Arthur, Great Rigg, Heron Pike and Nab Scar

I am miles behind with my blogs so just a quick one of our progress.

This walk was done with our friends Graham and Sandra. 

Parking on the A591 we followed Rhododendron lined lane leading up towards Alcock Tarn. This eventually led to a gate giving access to the open fellside.

Here we took the left hand path and made our way steeply up the slopes of Greenhead Gill. The steep nature meant the views soon opened out. 

The view down Greenhead Gill towards Grasmere from part way up the Stone Arthur path
Easier going then took us onto the summit of Stone Arthur.

Grasmere from the summit of Stone Arthur

After a short break the broad ridge was followed up to Great Rigg.

Moira making her way up the final metres to the summit of Great Rigg. 

Our next top was Heron Pike.  This involved a short backtrack so that we could branch off onto the ridge leading to Heron Pike.

The walking here was pleasant and despite being very hazy the views weren’t too bad so we took a quick break on the north top of Heron Pike.

The north top of Heron Pike with the Wainwright summit of Heron Pike ahead
On reaching Heron Pike we only stopped for a quick photo before making our way over Lord Crag and then down towards to Nab Scar

The view towards Windermere from Heron Pike

The achievement of bagging Nab Scar our 4th and final Wainwright of the day was ruined somewhat by an irresponsible dog owner who let their dog run off and chase the sheep. 

Nab Scar
From here another short backtrack took us onto a path that led down to the pretty Alcock Tarn.  
Alcock Tarn

While here we made a short detour to Grey Crag 

Grey Crag and Grasmere
We then headed across to meet with the Greenhead Gill path, Steep going took us down to our start point just as the rain started.

Four more bagged leaving 52 to go.