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About Summiteer

~A Fairfield Adventure~

30th May 2009

I had been invited by other members of the Online Fellwalking Club to join them on a walk up Seat Sandal and on to Fairfield. We were due to meet on Dunmail Raise at 10:30 and that's rather late by my standards, so I contrived a route that would allow me an eariler start and a warm-up before the main event....

Helm Crag

Me on top of Helm Crag

Scroll down for photos and a description of the walk....

Rydal Water

Early Morning Rydal Water

Normally you wouldn't be able to stop the car and take this photo, but it was 07:30 and this view of my favourite "little" lake drew my eye.

Helm Crag

Helm Crag

Helm Crag


Helm Crag

Two Summit Views on Helm Crag

I walked up Greenburn and then up the short steep ascent of Helm Crag that lies between HC and Gibson Knott. I knew I would be coming down the same way, so I left my weighty rucksac behind a wall and travelled light. I had the summit to myself and enjoyed a good exploration of this interesting summit. I trust that the headline photo in this report at the top of the page serves to confirm that I did get to the very top of this fell.

Raise Beck

Our party in Raise Beck

We met at Dunmail Raise and started our ascent of Seat Sandal by this route up Raise Beck.

Seat Sandal

John and Roger - holding hands?

Grisedale Tarn

Grisedale Tarn and St.Sunday Crag

Seat Sandal

Seat Sandal Summit

This was my first ascent of Seat Sandal, it's funny how some fells have escaped my attention down the years and yet they are not always hidden away. I suppose the smooth slopes on view to the Dunmail Raise traveller never tempted me. The group's plans have allowed me to explore new territory.


Fairfield Ahead

I am of the opinion that the ascent of Fairfield from this side is one of the LD's toughest ascents. It's loose scree most of the way and very steep. I'll not do this too often.


Helvellyn from Fairfield

Perhaps I can offer a link to my winter walk up here. The headline photo shows a similar view but in rather different circumstances. Click "Back to return".

Cofa Pike

Roger, Ann, John and Simon on Cofa Pike



We ate our butties on top of Fairfield and then some of our party went on a sortie to Cofa Pike. Unfortunately I had cramp in my legs and had to lie still for a while, before doing some rather awkward stretching exercises. The man with the radio aerial is an enthusiast of some kind, but just what I don't know.

Heron Pike

Heron Pike from Great Rigg

Seat Sandal

Seat Sandal from Great Rigg

Stone Arthur

Stone Arthur

Well here we are on the summit of Stone Arthur. Possibly unique in the Lake District for, as far as I can tell, it is a fell top that you can attain by descending alone. Most ridges with subsiduary summits do offer some element of ascent in order to claim another fell, but not this one. So, Stone Arthur - visited, not climbed.

Stone Arthur

Helm Crag from Stone Arthur

My first summit of the day on the other side of the valley, we were able to make this a circular walk by virtue of the fact that my car was at the foot of Dunmail Raise, whilst the other cars were at the summit. So a little ferrying about and everyone was back at their cars.


The Thirlmere Aqueduct and Grasmere


Jo and the dogs

Walkers: Roger & Ann Hiley, John Paterson, Jo Hall, Simon Howard and his daughter, Beth and Me.

Time taken: 8hr 30 minutes over a healthy distance.

Route: Greenburn, Helm Crag, Dunmail Raise, Seat Sandal, Fairfield, Great Rigg, Stone Arthur.

Weather and conditions: Clear skies, quite warm.

Greetings Count: Medium, lots of folk horseshoeing on Fairfield, otherwise fairly quiet.

Richard's Refreshment Review: Light refreshments at The Kings Head, Thirlmere. A fine place to have drinks on a warm day, we sat outside under a parasol.

All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2009 ©

Take me back to the start ....

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