~Hartsop Dodd to Gray Crag~
20th November 2010
It's the weekend again and the weather forecasts are inconclusive. I wanted to visit a couple of summits in the "Far Eastern" Book that would be new to me. So, it's an early start and a trip to (Low) Hartsop for an ascent of Hartsop Dodd and the plan is for a 10-miler, taking in six fell tops. Peter Ratcliffe joined me...
Scroll down for photos and a description of the walk....
We had a drive down to Glenridding to take a look at the lake and then went back to Hartsop village to park up and start the walk.
At the moment the weather is looking good, we've travelled up under mainly clear skies. Looks chilly, hope the slopes are not too slippery.
The village of Hartsop where we parked the car and a view down to Ullswater.
has the snow streaks on it, Red Screes is in the cloud, Caudale Moor is on the left, mines in view.
Hartsop Dodd Summit
Is this the same piece of wood as per Wainwright's book? I have my doubts, this summit is unremarkable, Caudale Moor is further away.
Me on top of Hartsop Dodd
Peter on top of Hartsop Dodd
It's the wooly hat season. Peter and I work together and occasionally walk together, just as well we get on.
On Caudale Moor
The whole of our time on Caudale Moor was in mist, but it was quite an experience - bright, cold and compass time in places.
Mark Atkinson's Monument
Quite a feature of the fell. I think it's just as well we can't all have these, there'd be no room for walkers.
Luckily, I've been here on a clear day a few years ago. Up to this point, there are only two Wainwright fells that I have only ever visited in cloud, I don't want any more. This cloud is above 2000ft and I'm optimistic that it will not trouble us later on Gray Crag.
A mess of cloud creating interesting views.
We have descended off Caudale Moor and are now on the way up the 620ft climb to Thornthwaite Crag.
Meeting of paths, this is where we saw the most folk. We had beacon sandwiches for our lunch, it was rather chilly in a stiff breeze.
The lead runner asked me "Which one is this?" "Thornthwaite Crag" said I. They started off in the direction of Caudale Moor saying they were heading for High Street. Not sure why I put them right. A map, but no compass between them.
It's time for the walk to Gray Crag, I'm having doubts - if the walk is entirely in cloud, then I don't think we'll double back and we'll give High Street a miss on this occasion.
Ah well, the whole ridge in mist and quite unpleasant with the wind in our faces. So if we go back and then turn for High Street, we get another stint in cloud with the wind in our faces. Not this time, it's time to descend. Fell No.3 only ever visited in cloud, with no views.
Gray Crag Descent
What a shame! I've seen some wonderful photos of and from this ridge. The views are important to me, I wouldn't bother if it was usually like this.
Farm Building near Hartsop
Wath Bridge, Hayeswater Gill
Myers Head Lead Mine
Seven miles, instead of 10. No shame in cutting it short, an enjoyable walk in variable conditions.
Walkers: Peter Ratcliffe and Me
Time taken: 5hrs 10m over a distance of approx. 7 miles.
Route: Hartsop Dodd, Caudale Moor, Threshthwaite Mouth, Thornthwaite Crag, Gray Crag, Hayeswater Gill back to Hartsop.
Weather and conditions: Bright start, low and thin clouds taking over and sitting on the fell tops.
Greetings Count: One couple before and one couple after Thornthwaite Crag, plus about 20 folk at the Beacon.
Richard's Refreshment Review: Coffee and cake at The Giggling Goose, Ambleside. OK, I suppose - everywhere else was full in a bustling Ambleside, I think it was a Christmas Fair, or something - folk dressed up doing stuff and rattling buckets. No need for that.
The Giggling Goose in Ambleside
and on the way home....
Gary, Howard, Jason, Mark and Robbie
All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2010 ©