Its weekend again and of course, we are lakelend bound. Steve and I have been wanting to do this particular round for quite a while but the conditions haven't allowed it as it collects very deep snow round here, so seeing a break in the bad weather we plotted a route and made plans to do it on Saturday the 27th Feb.
This route takes in three Wainwright summits:
The route looks like this mocked up in Google Earth.
(This is my exact route, recorded from my Suunto Ambit 3 peak with GPS fix every 1 second)
And the route looks like this on a map.
(GPS recorded every 5 minutes on my Viewranger iPhone App so mileage etc isn't as accurate)
I had to be back at 17:30 to pick up my little girl so we needed an early start. I left home at 6:30am and picked up Steve from his house at 7am. We hot the M55 and headed straight to the lake district. The weather was looking very nice indeed with no real change in the forecast from the night before which was a change from recent days as the weather had been very unsettled.
We parked up at Cow Bridge car park next to Brothers water.
It was a cold frosty morning and the light was harsh. I knew from the off that today wasn't going to be a great day for landscape photography, but it was going to be a great day for hiking no matter what. You really can't beat a cold sunny day on the fells. This is our view as we walk out of the car park and head for Horseman bridge.
This route takes us down an access road called Cross Gate. The first thing we see is this defibrillator. I hope I am not going to need it, but its nice to see I guess!
Cross Gate... Today's road to the fells.
The bridge crossing Angle Tarn Beck has been damaged by the floods. This was going to be a nice simple image, but Steve had crossed the beck and quickly photo bombed the scene, making it slightly more interesting and a good memory.
As the sun got higher, it started to light up the fells over towards Fairfield and Helvellyn. What a sight!
To our right, the less impressive looking side of Angle Tarn Pikes. The first summit of today's trip.
And it's about here that the ascent really begins as we climb away from the road and up the side of the fells.
The view looking back over the frosty fields towards Dove Crag and Fairfield.
The views across to Ullswater and Glenridding are lovely in this early morning light.
Which is handy, as I enjoyed many a stop to get my breath back and take pictures on the final steep ascent up to Boredale Hause.
The view over Patterdale.
We finally reach the end of the hardest ascent. This area is called Boredale Hause and it marks the junction of many paths. Place Fell and Beda Fell are two options.
But Angle Tarn Pikes are this way, toward Stony Rigg.
A view of the ascent up Place fell. We really considered adding that to our route but figured it was probably about an hour outside our time limit so had to concede that we couldn't add it on without putting us against the clock and ruining the day.
A full zoom view of Brothers Water and the car park as it came into view.
Summit one is close now... Here is Steve on the final section of the climb.
Summit 1. Angle Tarn Pikes and its view across to Angle Tarn itself. What a beautiful view of the tarn.
There are plenty of fells in view here. Middle Dodd, Red Screes, High Hartsop, Little Hart, Dove Crag, Hart Crag and Fairfield. I am quite proud to say that I have visited all but the first two. And three of them I have visited twice.
I love this image Steve took of me looking over the Tarn towards High Raise, Rampsgill, Rest Dodd, The Knott, High Street, Thornthwaite and Gray Crag. I remember looking over and thinking that after today there will be only 2 I haven't visited. Views like this always give me a plan to come back and box off sections of fells I haven't visited.
Its time we descended and found a place to eat.
Another quick shot of the tarn.
Then its time to set up a mobile kitchen.
After a rather fine bacon butty and a hot drink or two, we made tracks towards the second summit. Brock Crags. Its the summit to the rear right of the tarn.
As I had gone on ahead, I got a great image of Steve with Angle Tarn Pikes behind him.
The tarn itself is still partially frozen. I love these little trees growing straight out of the side of rocks.
I climbed up above them onto Cat Crag to see what the view was like.
From here Brock Crags actually seems further away than it did from Angle Tarn Pikes.
Steves awesome Rab Guide fleece was overheating him again (it was only -1deg C after all) so while he stripped it off I climbed up a little crag to get some more images.
And while I was up there, he got a great one of me.
I need a bigger rucksack. Just another few inches and it might hide my bald head!
I returned the favour when I came back down and took a shot of Steve. I really like this shot.
After a short while, we reach Brock Crags Summit. Brothers water is back in view now, its a shame the air quality is hazy as this would make a great location for some good images.
And from the summit, this is our view of the next destination. Rest Dodd. (Rear Right)
As we cross over the path at Satura Crags, we see quite a few folk going about their day, including a few mountain bikers going by.
Its still extremely cold up here, and as a result we get to take a few images of some awesome icicles!
They were huge!
Looking back on Buck Crag which hides Angle Tarn, it looks far more impressive from this side!
Unlike the bland ascent path ahead of us to Rest Dodd. I dont take any more images until we get up there.
Rest Dodd Summit. Its one of those "Is that it?" Summits where you slog up a boring muddy path hoping for at least an impressive cairn at the top! Thankfully, the view across to High Raise and Rampsgill is nice.
The cairn on the other side is prettier in my opinion.
Its time to head down now... Three new summits done. All that remains now is the walk down to Hayeswater reservoir which we can just make out from here.
Looking back at Steve on the descent.
Ah, Hayeswater. Such a beautiful place. Time for a spot of lunch I think!
And a hot cup of coffee.
As we eat and drink, we watch various groups of people descending Gray Crag ahead of us. We discuss adding that to our to do list, along with a couple more to make it a great horseshoe route.
Suitably fed and watered, we drop down to Hayeswater, its size and location really begin to strike us as we get closer. Its an incredibly serene setting for a body of water.
And I think this image conveys that nicely.
A couple of low level shot of its outlet.
Sadly, we cant stay here much longer. Its time to move on now. We follow Hayeswater Gill all the way down to ground level. There is a lot of work going on up here, all presumably to improve the reservoir in some way and no doubt some flood repairs.
The local sheep don't seem to mind though.
That building at 1000ft above sea level is the pumping station / filter house as far as I can tell from the OS map.
The path down is easy, safe terrain and the views are great. Its a shame the air quality was poor today, its been very hazy.
There is a lead mine marked on the OS map. We didn't see anything obvious in the area, bar this awesome looking building!
But somewhere in here is a mine. I would like to explore that area one day.
From there its about a 20min walk through Hartsop back to the car.
Annoyingly, the car park had been attacked by someone popping leaflets under the windscreen wipers. This annoyed me for two reasons. Firstly because this form of advertising usually really annoys me as they are messing with my car. But secondly, because it cost me £17. I went on Amazon and bought it! It looks really interesting. Ha Ha.
Here is some data downloaded from my Suunto Ambit 3 Peak watch.
(Health data courtesy of the Suunto smart heart monitor)
Finally, a little 60-second video of the route, also courtesy of Suunto.
Thanks for reading folks. I hope you enjoyed taking a little trip with us and that it inspired you to try the route. Remember, take your time, don't ever rush. The fells are there to be enjoyed, not endured. If you want a navigation GPX file for the route, just drop me an E-mail, I am happy to supply it. (For free)
While you are out there enjoying the beautiful fells, remember the golden rules...
"Take only pictures, leave only footprints and keep only memories".
All images in this blog were taken with my little pocket sized Canon G7X point and shoot. Its not a patch on my Canon 5D MK3 of course but I no longer lug all that around with me hiking as its just too cumbersome. When I find a scene worth of the 5D3's talents, I usually return one day to make the best of it.
Route Completed on February 27th, 2016 with Steve Waterhouse
New Wainwrights: 3. New Total: 124 of 214.
New Birketts: 2. New total 175 of 541.