8th May 2016
Hopegill Head from Grisedale Pike
Scroll down for photos and a description of the walk....
The Obvious Choice
Chris, Gary and Danny take a leisurely breakfast roughly 2 hours after Molly and I had ours - we have already been for two short walks. I offered the young men the option of a fellwalk before they went their separate ways to home. Chris and Danny excused themselves, but Gary was up for it and the obvious choice, as it often is from here, was Grisedale Pike.
Just above Braithwaite the aftermath of the December floods has left an untidy scene. "They" have removed trees from the beck sides both here and closer to the campsite. A bridge has gone and we had to improvise to step across the beck. Using the tarmac was also tricky due to the annual Fred Witton cycle race.
The Fred Witton Challenge
This year, there is the option of walking the 112 mile route and these two ladies are making good progress. Gary and his mates had also been camping at Scotgate and had been mountain biking in Whinlatter the previous day.
I suggested a "par" time of 2 hours from campsite to the top of Grisedale Pike. This is a fantastic fellwalk, one of the best!
The grassy slopes of Kinn and the next part of Grisedale Pike are easy to walk on. The views are excellent in the clear air which has replaced the hazier stuff from yesterday.
The mountain biking facility at Whinlatter is free* to participants and all the forest tracks plus the sneaky bits inbetween make for great riding for cyclists. * it costs up to £8 to park for a lengthy period of time at Whinlatter.
Gary and Molly on top of Grisedale Pike 2,593ft asl
Both have been up here before: Gary in 1995 and Molly in 2014. Gary has progressed to between 10 and 20 Lakeland felltops and Molly is somewhere in the 110 region. 1hr and 43mins to the top - PB, perhaps.
Gary on top of Grisedale Pike 10th July 1995
To Hopegill Head
The shelter was our choice for a short rest and some refreshments.
Me n' Molly on Grisedale Pike
Me and Jess on Grisedale Pike
Is suppose the great thing for me is that 21 years later I am still walking the fells, still enjoying it and still wearing hats. 12th time on top of Grisedale Pike, that will put it in my top 10 most visited fell tops.
Hopegill Head Summit 2,525ft asl
One of Lakeland's finest felltops with fantastic views all around. The underlying bedrocks of slate and shale have made cairn building difficult and hence many "north-western" fells lack summit shelters etc.
Ladyside Pike (north)
A little piece of Buttermere can be seen.
To Coledale Hause
To Coledale Hause with Eel Crag ahead. We have a little pressure of time and so call it quits after our two summits and will soon be heading down to Coledale.
Force Crag Mine
It is an Open Day at the mine and the National Trust are showing folk into the disused mining buildings. I've had a good look inside many years ago and it was quite interesting then, presumably they have spruced it up a bit and I've heard that cakes and brews are on offer!
The Miners Road
Easy walking along the miners road back to Braithwaite.
More felled trees on the path into Scotgate campsite. Maybe they are going to deepen the channel or raise the embankment?
On the way home, Molly and I stopped off at Kirkby Lonsdale for a leg stretch.
Devil's Bridge, Kirkby Lonsdale
Walkers: Molly The Dog, Gary Ratcliffe and Me.
Route: Scotgate Campsite, Braithwaite, Kinn, Grisedale Pike, Hopegill Head, Coledale Hause, Coledale, Braithwaite.
Weather: Warm and breezy.
Time Taken: 4 hours 25 mins over a distance of about 7.5 miles.
All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2016 ©