Glenridding – Monday 29th Sept to Thur 2nd October 2014
The Youth Hostel Association offering me a good deal at Helvellyn YH inspired me to return to the Lake District to tick off a few more Fells. My target for the 4 days was to do around 30 fells.
I left Chester at 9am on Monday and arrived at the car park at Low Wood, Patterdale at the back of 11am, having driven some 119 miles. I was away walking at 11.30am on a lovely morning and completed 8 fells but alas only 2 being Wainwrights that I had not done before. Visibility was just wonderful and I was so tempted to do some more mountains but this was to be a four day walking trip and I did need to get back to my car and find the Youth Hostel up an unsurfaced road a mile or so up a valley past Glenridding. I was back to my car at 5.30pm and I arrived safely at my accommodation at 6.15pm.
Here my first action was to buy a bottle of Jennings Sneck Lifter and this helped me cook my pasta dish before getting out my maps and work out a couple of routes for Tuesday. I decision on which one I would do would be taken on Tuesday morning after assessing the weather conditions.
Tuesday was a dry morning but alas a lot of low moving cloud on the fells all around. My decision was made and I was away to the same car park and I arrived there at 9am and then it was a walk to the village of Hartsop and my first target was Gray Crag at 697m. As I ascended the steep lower slopes a shower of rain was seen to be coming my way and with the dense cloud above I decided to put on my waterproofs. I arrived at the top at 10.20am. I returned to the valley bottom beside Hayeswater as its blue waters were emerging out of the cloud. It was then up the opposite side and up to the top of The Knott 730m, arriving there at 12 noon with a very strong wind on the top. A quick snack as I walked saw me on the slopes of Rest Dodd 697m and at the top at 12.30pm. My next objective was The Nab a long way to the north in Martindale Forrest. This is the oldest red stag area in England and the “Rut” had began as roaring stags could be heard all around. The hairs on the back of my neck always stand up when first hearing these very frightening sounds but after a while you get accustomed to the noise that is intermittent and surrounds you. It was a steep decline down the ridge and my immediate thought was that I needed to come back this way to do my next fell. Once at the bottom it was a nice flat walk across moorland and onto the more gentle slopes of The Nab 577m and arriving there at 1.15pm. I was now in lovely sunshine, the low cloud had cleared in the area and the sunshine remained for the rest of the day.
Back on the top of Rest Dodd at 2.10pm I was now on my way, mainly down hill on a good path to Brock Crags 561m where I arrived at 2.20pm. I was taken back with the beauty of Angle Tarn, where I took some photographs. I thought long and hard of knocking off another 2 Wainwrights but as one was a long walk I decided both would be for another day and I commenced my descent back to Hartsop and then a short distance to my car, arriving at 4.30pm. I had been walking for some seven and a half hours. I stopped in Glenridding got a few things and went for an enjoyable pint at The Travellers Rest. Stuart from Edmonton in Alberta (he was also staying at the YH) and who had a great day on Helvellyn was finishing his pint so I gave him a lift back to the YH. After dinner I got my map out once again and came up with two routes for Wednesday. So far 14 fells and six new Wainwrights in 13.5 hours of walking – I was just under target!!
Wednesday was a duller morning with a slight drizzle but less cloud on the mountain tops. My decision as to where I was going was soon made and I was away to park at Aira Force and my target was to do some 7 fells, 3 of them being Wainwrights, in the north of the Eastern Fells. I was on the top of my first Wainwright, Gowbarrow Fell 481m at 10.15am. I could see rain clouds closing in so alas it had to be the fitting of waterproofs once again. I did this just in time as it got very wet and the rain did not clear until I was on the top of Great Mell Fell 537m at 2pm. I was down in the valley at 2.30pm and now it was a long walk back to my car in lovely sunshine. I took the opportunity to go and look at Aira Force waterfall, the most famous of the Lake District waterfalls, dropping a distance of 65 feet in lovely woodland surroundings. Red squirrels are also found in this area. In Dochray I passed the Royal Hotel which would be a good base for this impressive area. I arrived back at my car at 4pm.
Thursday was my last day and I was up at 6am to a lovely morning and at 8.30am I was leaving my car in Glenridding and bound for the fell above the village called Glenridding Dodd 442m, arriving there at 9am to wonderful clear views across Ullswater a most impressive lake. Early morning mist could be seen floating above the water and with the rising sun this would soon clear. At 12.45pm I arrived on the top of Raise 884m having done 9 fells. Being so early in the day I did want to go on and do a few more mountains along this wonderful ridge, but all the fells that lay immediately ahead had previously been visited and I had to think it would take me a couple of hours to get back to my car and then a further couple of hours to get back to Chester. I turned around and started my decent.
I was back at my car at 2.30pm and back to Chester at 6.30pm. I set out to do around 30 Fells and I succeeded in doing this number. Not a bad overall result and more importantly good and enjoyable walking (26 hours) over four days. Alas the number of new Wainwrights done only totalled 12, leaving me some 65 still to climb!
4th October 2014