Stewart Sanderson Photography: Blog https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog en-us (C) Stewart Sanderson Photography stewartsanderson@me.com (Stewart Sanderson Photography) Thu, 18 May 2017 08:15:00 GMT Thu, 18 May 2017 08:15:00 GMT https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/img/s/v-5/u770597210-o9226146-50.jpg Stewart Sanderson Photography: Blog https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog 120 77 The Full 13 Mile Kentmere Round - Perhaps now my favourite area! https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/5/the-full-kentmere-round Hello Folks,

The weather was promising quite a lot this weekend so my daughter Steph and I decided it's time we pushed the boat out and got a serious walk in. After much deliberation, I decided to plot this brand new route that neither of us had done before. It's known as the Kentmere Round.


This route will visit the nine separate summits of:

  • Yoke (2'316 ft)
  • Ill Bell (2'484 ft)
  • Froswick (2'362 ft)
  • Thornthwaite Crag (2'572 ft)
  • High Street (2'717 ft)
  • Mardale Ill Bell (2'493 ft)
  • Harter Fell (2'556 ft)
  • Kentmere Pike (2'395 ft)
  • Shipman Knotts (1'926 ft)

 

Parking Location:

  • Kentmere.
    (3 car slots by the church, or a field locally at the bargain price of £3.)

  • Nearest Postcode: LA8 9JL

 

Time & Distance Info

  • Distance walked: = 13.2 miles
  • Time Taken: = 9 hrs
  • Total Ascent: = 3'690 ft

 

Please Note:
All image description text is "above" the image that it is referring to on my blogs.
Some find that odd... But that is the way I like to do it.

 

This route, when viewed in Opentopo map looks like this: (North / South Orientation correct)
(Walking clockwise from the bottom)

 

And the view of the route as seen on Google Earth. (Walking clockwise from the bottom left)

 

Here is the elevation profile: (Height on the left axis, and mileage along the bottom)

 

Steph and I left ours at 7:30am and were parked up in Kentmere at 9:30 am. I had intended to park at the Church, but today that option was full. Luckily, Maggs Howe has opened up a field for parking at the bargain price of £3 per day in the honesty tub. So the first image is dedicated to their contact details, as without that field to park in, this blog wouldn't exist... there really is nowhere else to park in Kentmere bar the 4 spaces outside the church.

 

Leaving the car park at 9:30 am, we head up to the church. Already the views are incredible.

 

Follow the road past the church and onto Garburn Pass.

 

All the while enjoying the views as you gently gain height.

 

The path is pretty solid and well travelled.

 

You certainly don't need to consult your map for quite some time...

 

I liked this example of old tree Vs new tree.

 

There comes a point, 1.75 miles into the route that you need to come off Garburn Pass and onto the fells.

 

The first fell of the day, Yoke is now up ahead. We hadn't stopped at all this morning so we decided that we would stop at that fence up ahead.

 

And from there, we drank a cup of tea and enjoyed the views looking back over Windermere.

 

Onwards. The summit must be just up here....

 

No, of course, it isn't.... but it is just up there!

 

Summit one, Yoke. Done.

 

The onwards view to Ill Bell.

 

It's worth wandering the 50ft out to Scar Crag to look over the side for your first view of Kentmere Reservoir.

 

Ok, let's get the selfie over with!

 

Onwards, Ill Bell ahead.

 

Kentmere reservoir looks great from here. But it was actually those most intrepid of woolly mountaineers I noticed first!

 

Enough sheep photography, time to start the pull up to Ill Bell.

 

Breather stops allow plenty of time to look back down to Kentmere.

 

And across to Harter Fell and Kentmere Pike, our proposed return path. Oh, along with a sunbathing sheep.

 

Looking back along the ridge to Yoke. The weather conditions are great for photography today.

 

The view from the twin cairned summit of Ill Bell.

 

The onward path to Froswick as viewed from Ill Bell summit.

 

This was one of the best parts of the route, we both enjoyed this section very much.

 

Froswick Ahead... There is some ominous cloud here and there but it never hangs around. One of the joys of a windy day!

 

 

Looking back toward Windermere with Ill Bell now behind us.

 

 

And the view back to Ill Bell from Froswick Summit.

 

That's three summits visited so far today. Froswick was the last of my new ones on this trip as I have done the others during other routes. But Steph has plenty of new ones to come. Our 4th Summit is ahead. Thornthwaite Crag, home to one of the Lake Districts largest cairns I think.

 

Looking back across to one of the 27 Wainwrights I have yet to visit. Troutbeck Tongue.

 

Moving on.... Turn left at the blue and white sheep...

 

Then just keep on going....

 

Two of the very few people we saw today made for a nice image as they ate lunch.

 

Finally... Our lunch spot comes into view, below another dark cloud!

 

Thornthwaite Crag.

 

At around 6 miles, this is a great place to take the boots and socks off while we take a 45-minute lunch as I can feel the first tingles of a heel blister! I carry a first aid kit with all manner of things in, from arm slings to blister plasters, but I find 30mins drying off your feet works perfectly in most cases. Skin blisters when its soft and wet.

 

Fed and watered, we move on. You can just make out most of Hayeswater Reservoir from here.

 

And up ahead... that most famous of Roman Roads... High Street.

 

Which for me I'm afraid, has always been a bit...

 

Well... How can I put it?

 

Like a cairn in a field I guess. I know folk won't like that opinion, but for me High Street is one of Lakelands most disappointing summits. It cant be helped, its just too broad, and because of its width there is no view to speak of at all, so no real reason to hang around it.

 

Steph didn't think much either... so we moved on immediately. Mardale Ill Bell and Harter Fell are next.

 

The further you get from High Street summit, the nicer the view becomes.

 

Mardale Ill Bell ahead.

 

Mardale Ill Bell Summit.

 

From here onwards is one of the most enjoyable hours you can have in the lakes.

I have been up here about 4 times now, includingsat up here after sunset and I just love this section of the fells. Small water down to your left holds your interest as you negotiate the rocky path.

 

And the onward path to Harter Fell makes you seriously consider whether this is a good point to bail out.

 

I mention bail out, as we will soon be upon the only point of the route you can escape the Horseshoe and drop down to valley level. We stopped here briefly to consider our options as we are 7.5 miles in and feeling pretty tired with at least 4 miles to go even if we bail out.

 

As the wind was howling and making it difficult to talk up here, we decided to keep on moving down to Nan Bield Pass as there is a shelter there we can use.

 

Nan Bield Pass shelter ahead. Nan Bield Pass runs from Mardale to Kentmere. Kentmere is to the right. We stopped in that little shelter for Coffee and Food for about 30 mins. As you read onwards, remember that this was the point you can bail out and ignore the final three fells as I mention it again later. I had done the following three fells already and didn't think much of the last two, but Steph still hasn't done them so I leave the decision entirely up to her.

 

As always, Steph is keen to keep going so its onwards and of course upwards we go. This is the view back over Nan Bield Pass to Mardale Ill Bell.

 

The whole Mardale and Haweswater area looks beautiful in todays awesome light.

 

 

There is a brief flattish bit on the way up Harter Fell.

 

To our right, across the valley, the scale of today's first three fells is quite impressive.

 

As are the ones directly behind us. We have covered quite some area today.

 

Small water looks awesome as always, I love that little tarn. An excellent wild camping location!

 

Now, this is actually the only fell of the nine that Steph has been on before. But her last trip was not quite as nice on the weather front. I took an image of her right about here on her last trip. Here is today's image...

 

Here is the image from our last trip to this fell... Complete with the Ski Masks we had just dug out to protect us from the driving rain.

That, to be fair... was a rubbish hike! Ha Ha.

 

What a contrast... As far as Steph is concerned, she has never actualy seen this area before and is counting it as a new fell.

 

Harter Fell summit ahead.

 

 

The Cairn Shot, looking over to Branstree and Haweswater!

 

From the cairn, turn right and follow the fence.....

 

And then the wall....

 

Until you come to Kentmere Pike.

 

Then follow a fence again, seemingly forever!

 

Until it turns back into a wall. There is at least a stile to brighten up this section.

 

Finally you will reach Shipman Knotts summit. The final descent from here is now a very welcome view.

 

From here it's follow the wall again...

 

A quick shot with Shipman Knotts behind as it looks a LOT better from this side.

 

Eventually, you come to a big wide path that links Sadgill and Kentmere, just follow it to the right.

 

And from here, its virtually road walking, so well laid is this path.

 

Just enjoy the views as you leave the fells and head towards the middle of the valley.

 

Amazing to think that today we have covered all those fells and more besides.

 

Oh...  I did of course manage to capture an image or two of some lambs today, since its lambing season.

 

This little chap being my firm favourite. How cute are those little horns?

 

Kentmere ahead. (See the church to the right?)

So that was it, certainly my favourite hike of the year, if not of all time. Steph and I both agreed that this round has surprised us greatly.

For me, I think it really is my favourite walk now. Steph still maybe favours the Ullock Pike ridge route with Skiddaw, and it's hard to argue as it's half the mileage and just as interesting, but something about Kentmere has really captivated me.

One thing I will add though, if you are not summit bagging, then miss out everything after Nan Bield Pass. I suspect that coming down from there to Kentmere Reservoir will enrich this round immensely, and I intend to find out soon.

I'm going to go back and do just that, or maybe even do it in reverse. I want to see what the further reaches of this valley has to offer and I think it will be something better than Kentmere Pike and Shipman Knotts. Time will tell... :)

 

Here is some data from my Suunto Ambit 3 peak watch. 
Calories etc are pretty accurate as I use the Suunto Smart heart monitor on all my hikes. GPS data is updated every 1 second so it records every single footstep, thus mileage often looks a little different to most navigation apps as they are usually set to update far less frequently and so miss a few turns here and there. All that wandering around looking at views adds up.   

 

 

Here is a 3D representation of the route created by Suunto Movescount.

 

Finally, Here is an interactive version of the map.
You can scroll and zoom around this map and if you click it, you can go to Wikiloc and download the GPX file I created for this route.

Powered by Wikiloc

 

Author's footnote.
The fells are there to be enjoyed, not endured. When it stops being fun, turn back and go home. Above all, remember the golden rules:

1) "Getting to the top is optional - Getting back down is mandatory"

2) "Take only pictures, leave only footprints and keep only memories".

 

Camera Details:
All images in this blog that don't state they were taken on my phone, 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 worthy of the 5D3's talents, I usually return one day to make the best of it.


****

Route Completed on May 14th, 2017 with Stephanie Sanderson.

New Wainwrights: 3. New total: 187 of 214.
New Birketts: 3. New total 258 of 541.

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stewartsanderson@me.com (Stewart Sanderson Photography) Froswick High Street Kentmere Pike Lake District Landscape Photography Mardale Ill Bell Shipman Knotts Thornthwaite Crag Yoke harter Fell https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/5/the-full-kentmere-round Wed, 17 May 2017 22:08:03 GMT
Dollywagon Pike, Nethermost Pike and Helvellyn from Swirls - The Thirlmere Side. https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/5/dollywagon-pike-nethermost-pike-and-helvellyn-from-swirls---the-thirlmere-side Hello folks... Its been a while!
I have been very busy with work this year and havent really had much time to sit and put words to my blog. But I have still been out hiking, both alone and with family,  and I have racked up quite a lot of miles so far in 2017. 86 miles and 30'100ft of ascent in fact, as I was looking at my 2017 summary today on Suuntos website. So, I have lots of image editing and typing to do.

I have chosen this route to do first as it harvested some of the better images and memories... many of this years trips have been in bad weather, and who wants to look at pictures of rain and cloud?

Back in April, Steph and I decided to visit Helvellyn via the Thirlmere side. This route is Ideal for anyone wanting to avoid the notorious Striding and Swirrel edge aretes. Steph and I both love ridge walks, but we wanted to tackle Helvellyns neighbours too, and thats easier from Swirls really.

 

On this trip we will visit the summits of:

  • Dollywagon Pike (2'815 ft) 
  • High Crag (2'900 ft) 
  • Nethermost Pike (2'923 ft) 
  • Helvellyn (3'117 ft) 

 

Parking Location:

  • Swirls Car Park - CA12 4TW. (pay and display)

 

Time & Distance Info

  • Distance walked: = 9.8 miles
  • Time Taken: = 7.5 hrs
  • Total Ascent: = 3'210 ft

 

Please Note:
All image description text is "above" the image that it is referring to on my blogs.
Some find that odd... But that is the way I like to do it... perhaps because I am odd?

 

This route, when viewed in Opentopo map looks like this: (North / South Orientation correct)
(Walking Anti-clockwise from the top left)

 

And the view of the route as seen on Google Earth. (Walking Anti-clockwise from the top left)

 

Here is the elevation profile: (Height on the left axis, and mileage along the bottom)

 

Steph and I left Blackpool at 7am and after a breakfast stop were parked up in Swirls car park for about 10am.
One of the joys of this route is that it has a very long 3+ mile walk in that takes you along a nice forest track. Perfect for warming the legs up.

And when you need to stop for a breather... the views across Thirlmere are incredible!

 

The weather today is excellent. How beautiful does Dunmail Raise and Steel fell look today?

 

Looking back towards High Crags. We took about an hour to walk from Swirls to Dunmail Raise.

 

Only to reach a curveball... The Raise Beck footbridge is out.

 

We walk upstream and find a crossing place no bother, and then its hard upwards all the way. The hard work really begins here.

 

If you like becks and waterfalls, Raise Beck has to be one of the best stretches in lakeland as you follow this beauty all the way to the top at Grisedale Tarn.

 

This shot of Steph offers some scale perspective.

 

The view backwards to Dunmail Raise and Steel Fell.

 

At the top there is a little bit of respite for the burning legs as the route flattens out a little... It is very welcome indeed!

 

And then as your starting to relax and get your breath back - The great reveal at 1800+ft!
Grisedale Tarn and Fairfield.

 

We enjoyed slowly walking that section, just enjoying being there in great weather.
Looking back as we start the next ascent upwards, Seat Sandal looks wonderful behind the tarn.

 

A panorama was called for here when we stopped to snack and drink halfway up... Fairfield to Seat Sandal.

 

Suitably refreshed, we head upwards. The pull up to Dollywagon Pike is a hard one.

 

But as always... The hard work brings rewards. What a view back to Place Fell and Ullswater.

 

The views all around are great today, we have been extremely lucky with the weather.

 

Onwards to a bonus Birkett summit. High Crag.

 

I love this image of Steph here. I love hiking with Steph, these memories will last me until long after my legs can no longer bring me up here.

 

And its a great summit view from the top too. I have never walked in that valley, which is something I aim to rectify having now seen it from above.

 

Nethermost Pike up ahead...

 

St Sunday and Birks look great from this side too.

 

Looking across to Harrop Tarn.

 

And onwards for the final ascent of the day. The slog up to Englands third highest mountain. Helvellyn.

 

The view across to Striding Edge. As you can see, its a rubbish place to fall off!

 

As you approach Helvellyn summit there is a memorial to the artist Charles Gough who died on Striding edge. Legend has it that he lay there undiscovered for three months and was found by a shepherd who went to investigate the sound of a dog barking and found the mans skeleton with its skull split in two from the fall. The newspapers reported that the dog had eaten his remains to stay alive, whilst at the same time staying by his masters side. Nobody will ever know the truth I guess.

 

We stopped off here for 20 mins and just watched folk come and go while we ate and drank.

 

When we finally moved on, there were a lot of folk descending via Swirral edge.

 

Lower man ahead, we will be bearing left just before we reach the top of it.

 

The view of Catstye cam from the north.

 

We head for Browncove Crags and Thirlmere finally comes back into view. We are parked right at the northern end of it.

 

What a view. What a day!

 

This chap made a great image. He can see right up to Bassenthwaite from here.

 

This path descends steeply and drops us back behind Highpark Wood. Its a steep and fast descent, bringing us right back into swirls car park.

 

And that was the end of another fabulous day in the fells. Writing this one has got me geared up to write some more, so watch this space as I have quite a few more to write up.

 

Here is some data from my Suunto Ambit 3 peak watch. 
Calories etc are pretty accurate as I use the Suunto Smart heart monitor on all my hikes. GPS data is updated every 1 second so it records every single footstep, thus mileage often looks a little different to most navigation apps as they are usually set to update far less frequently and so miss a few turns here and there. All that wandering around looking at views adds up.    

 

Here is my Viewranger data.
VR members can sign in and view it on OS maps too. Feel free to scroll around, the map is active.

 

Finally, here is a 3D representation of the route created by Suunto Movescount.

 

Author's footnote.
The fells are there to be enjoyed, not endured. When it stops being fun, turn back and go home. Above all, remember the golden rules:

1) "Getting to the top is optional - Getting back down is mandatory"

2) "Take only pictures, leave only footprints and keep only memories".

 

Camera Details:
All images in this blog that don't state they were taken on my phone, 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 worthy of the 5D3's talents, I usually return one day to make the best of it.


****

Route Completed on April 2nd 2017 - With Steph Sanderson.

New Wainwrights: 2. New total: 174 of 214.
New Birketts: 3. New total 220 of 541.

]]>
stewartsanderson@me.com (Stewart Sanderson Photography) Lake District Landscape Landscape Photography canvases photography prints https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/5/dollywagon-pike-nethermost-pike-and-helvellyn-from-swirls---the-thirlmere-side Tue, 09 May 2017 21:05:39 GMT
Great Gable via Base Brown and Green Gable as a nice circular route. https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/1/great-gable-via-base-brown-green-gable-as-a-circular Hello and welcome to 2017!

With all the hustle and bustle of the festive period, I was very keen to get some time to myself before I went back to work on January 3rd. I managed to get out once over Christmas and did a great circular with my daughter Steph over Fleetwith Pike and Haystacks from Gatesgarth Farm, (Click to open that blog in a new window), but this time I fancied a solo. Folk who do it themselves will know what I mean when I say that walking the fells alone is absolutely unbeatable. It's a very different experience to doing it with other people.

 

For the first hike of 2017 I will visit the summits of:

  • Base Brown (2'119 ft)
  • Green Gable (2'628 ft)
  • Great Gable (2'949 ft)

 

Parking Location:

  • Seathwaite Farm - CA12 5XJ. (Side Verge - Free, or farmers field £4 for the day)

 

Time & Distance Info

  • Distance walked: = 6.4 miles
  • Time Taken: = 6 hrs
  • Total Ascent: = 3'000 ft

 

Please Note:
All image description text is "above" the image that it is referring to on my blogs.
Some find that odd... But that is the way I like to do it.

 

This route, when viewed in Opentopo map looks like this: (North / South Orientation correct)
(Walking Anti-clockwise from the top right)

 

And the view of the route as seen on Google Earth. (Walking Anti-clockwise from the bottom right)

 

Here is the elevation profile: (Height on the left axis, and mileage along the bottom)

 

I left Blackpool at 7am, heading over to Ings for my usual pre-hike breakfast at the Cafe Ambio there. Then I took a leisurely drive through the heart of the lake district, making it to Seathwaite for 9:15am. There is quite a lot of verge parking here, and if it fills up the farmer has a field open you can park in all day for £4. Ideal.

 

I have my boots on the fells for 9:45am. There is a hard frost on the ground as the sun has not been up long. East is over to my left so as it rises up above the Langdales it is just starting to illuminate my first fell for me. That being Base Brown, a new one to me.

 

The route today takes us up alongside Sourmilk Gill. Initially, just following this wall until I reach...

 

One of the most unusual ladder stiles I have ever seen.

 

It's steep and pretty hard going but as the reward, you gain height very quickly. The view back over Seathwaite Farm and the parked cars is nice.

 

I couldn't do this section justice with an image. It's quite scrambly and full hands on for a few minutes here.

 

Once it's boxed off though, you get a great view of the northern end of Base Brown.

 

And the Raven Crag end of Grey Knotts. Honister Slate Mine is on the other side of that fell.

 

From here, to do this route is quite tricky as there is no distinct path. However, the plan is to head directly for that huge boulder and pick up the path from there. It's a little easier to make out from over there.

 

The suns getting higher now and giving everything that gorgeous early morning glow.

 

On the OS map, this rock has its own label. The Hanging Stone.

 

Seathwaite Valley Selfie


I liked how the light was washing out the valley behind this little tree.

 

Seathwaite Valley... Looking right back to the Dodds and Helvellyn.

 

As I gain height, my first glimpse of Derwent water comes into view, with the magnificent Skiddaw and Blencathra to the rear.

 

Phew - Base Brown summit ahead.


Base Brown summit view of Skiddaw and Blencathra with Dale Head (I think) between us.

 

My onwards view to Green and Great Gables. This is looking steeper than I anticipated.

 

Yep - Steepness confirmed!


Great view to enjoy on my frequent breather stops though. This is the view back along Base Brown.


I had a brief chat with this gentleman who caught up to and overtook me. One of only three people I spoke to today.


After a lot of huffing and puffing, Green Gable summit came into view. But....

 

So did a far better one. Buttermere and Crummock flanked by Haystacks, High Crag, High Stile and Red Pike with Mellbreak back there for good measure too! What a view.


There is a guy taking his time photographing Great Gable with a tripod setup here at the Green Gable summit. I didnt interupt him... In fact, I took quite a few of my own.


What a stunner Great Gable is from up here. This angle shows my intended ascent path up the left-hand side of her.

 

The view down into Windy Gap. Before we can go up - We must first go down.

 

Which to be frank, just makes me want to eat! Time to settle down to some serious pasta and coffee - with a view to die for. With the 3'000ft Pillar holding back the clouds to the left.... Ennerdale Valley to its right with the High Stile range then separating Ennerdale from the Buttermere valley. Just serene. I almost wish I still smoked. This is a view to fire up a cigar with! Instead, I made do with a tomato pasta and a hot cup of coffee.

 

Lets zoom in and take a closer look at my favourite bodies of water in the lakes. Buttermere and Crummock. Wainwright's final resting place, Haystacks, lays between us and Buttermere. His ashes are scattered on Innominate Tarn which is just out of view in a depression just this side of and below Haystacks Summit.

 

Panning left brings me to a fell I haven't yet visited. Kirk Fell. It doesn't look too bad from this side. But then, about 2'500ft of the ascent up it isnt in view from this side either. Ha Ha.

 

But today's next challenge is Great Gable. Zooming in shows plenty of folk about, as there always are on this iconic fell.


I have noted over the last 30 mins or so the cloud has been building up. Hmm.... I wonder if Its going to spoil my day? I have been on Green Gable before and seen nothing, so today has beaten that already... but my only previous visit to Great Gable was view-less too. I am hoping for good views up there today.

 

You can see my onwards path from here. A descent down to Windy Gap and then upwards again for the long slog up to the top of Great Gable.

 

I decided to make a movie here before I left Green Gable.


 As I ascend Great Gable, The view down to Styhead Tarn is great. Which is handy as I needed a lot of stops on this stretch!

 

The view back across to Green Gable is lovely too.

 

But the cloud is moving in...

 

Blocking the view in all directions....

 

Oh well... All I can do is keep on moving. I love the diffused light that thin cloud cover creates.

 

After a lot of huffing and puffing I finally reached the top. I head directly for the Fell & Rock Climbing Clubs memorial. The memorial was placed in memory of their members who died in the first world war. This is a new plaque. The old plaque was removed on 10th July 2013 by the Royal Engineeers. A replacement plaque was installed September 2013, also by the Royal Engineers. I believe the old memorial was moved to the Armitt Museum, Ambleside.
 

The inscription reads:
"IN GLORIOUS & HAPPY MEMORY OF THOSE WHOSE NAMES ARE INSCRIBED BELOW
MEMBERS OF THE CLUB WHO DIED FOR THEIR COUNTRY IN THE EUROPEAN WAR 1914 - 1918.

THESE FELLS WERE ACQUIRED BY THEIR FELLOW MEMBERS & BY THEM VESTED IN THE NATIONAL TRUST FOR THE USE & ENJOYMENT OF THE PEOPLE OF OUR LAND FOR ALL TIME."

They really did aquire the fells. They bought them in honour of the fallen. There is a great article about the club and what they did here: (Click here to open the story in a new window)


I sat here for maybe 10 minutes with a hot coffee and a tuna sandwich, watching the hazy view come and go and reading what I could through the cloud and the snow stuck to it. I noticed there was a gentleman on the plaque who shared my surname. As my family are all originally from Cumbria I wonder if we were related?

 

Memorials like this are a sobering sight in any place. But up here, a tad below 3000ft It really hits home. I sit here and consider the people who climb up here in their hundreds every single year for rememberance day. That is serious dedication as its a serious walk.

I have no shame in admitting I stood here with my camera, all alone, wiping back tears from my eyes as the clouds suddenly cleared to reveal exactly what those guys were fighting for back then. Our freedom and our right to roam our beautiful country... We are all forever in their debt.


What a view. This is my first good view on Great Gable too, and it really was was worth waiting for.

 

It never cleared up fully, but for me the cloud makes the scene really.

 

The hazy view over to Buttermere.

 

The annoying thing about taking images of fell summits in moving cloud, is that an image just cant do the scene justice. There is something amazing about watching the cloud move around you. So.. I made a video to capture the moment.

 

Sadly, its time to go.... I have chosen to descend the Westmorland Cairn side, to Sty Head. A much easier path to descend on than the one I chose to ascend with.

 

Sprinkling Tarn looks great from here, perched to the rear of Seathwaite Fell. It also looks great because the cloud seems to have gone for good now. Well isnt that just typical?!

 

The nose of Seathwaite Fell is still basking in sunshine. Styhead Tarn below it is my next waypoint.

 

The path onwards is icy cold and treacherous. Great End looks fabulous from this side.

 

The last statement is quite well punctuated by the appearance of the mountain rescue stretcher box! Treacherous indeed...

 

I hope never to have any use for one of these. But its reassuring to know that these things exist. Along of course with the amazing team of volunteers that have the dedication and skills to come out and use them... Our awesome Mountain Rescue Teams.

 

Styhead Tarn.

 

Looking up at Great End from Sty Head junction.

 

Styhead Tarn and Great End... A glorious view.

That one there may well turn out to be my 214th and final Wainwright. I havent quite decided yet, as I have 54 of the 214 to do yet, but her name alone just seems to make so much sense as an awesome ending.

 

There is a footbridge at Pattersons Fold that will take you safely across Styhead Gill.

 

Did I say safely? Its in bad shape actually...

 

The onward path is icy and quite treacherous, but it is also well laid and sturdy. Only the cold weather has made it hard work.


After a mile or so you come to Stockley Bridge. I found a retractable dog lead a few meters prior to it and picked it up, expecting the couple up ahead of me with the dog had probably lost it while taking pictures. I was right.

 

I took a few pics of Stockley Bridge, trying to make it work well with Seathwaite Fell behind it. I think with my SLR and some filters I could make a very nice scene of this.


As I leave Stockley Bridge behind, I see Taylor Force Waterfall on the other side as the Sky turns orange and purple!

 

Another awesome hike over. I am on the home straight just as the sun sets behind Seathwaite Fell, leaving me with just one last image worth shooting before I stroll the last 15 minutes to the car. As end of solo hikes go - This was perfection.

    

Here is some data from my Suunto Ambit 3 peak watch. 
Calories etc are pretty accurate as I use the Suunto Smart heart monitor on all my hikes. GPS data is updated every 1 second so it records every single footstep, thus mileage often looks a little different to most navigation apps as they are usually set to update far less frequently and so miss a few turns here and there. All that wandering around looking at views adds up.    

 

Here is my Viewranger data.
VR members can sign in and view it on OS maps too. Feel free to scroll around, the map is active.

 

Finally, here is a 3D representation of the route created by Suunto Movescount.

 

Author's footnote.
The fells are there to be enjoyed, not endured. When it stops being fun, turn back and go home. Above all, remember the golden rules:

1) "Getting to the top is optional - Getting back down is mandatory"

2) "Take only pictures, leave only footprints and keep only memories".

 

Camera Details:
All images in this blog that don't state they were taken on my phone, 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 worthy of the 5D3's talents, I usually return one day to make the best of it.


****

Route Completed on January 2nd 2017 - Solo.

New Wainwrights: 1. New total: 160 of 214.
New Birketts: 1. New total 217 of 541.

 

]]>
stewartsanderson@me.com (Stewart Sanderson Photography) Base Brown Buttermere Great Gable Green Gable Lake District Landscape Landscape Photography Wasdale canvases photography prints https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/1/great-gable-via-base-brown-green-gable-as-a-circular Sun, 08 Jan 2017 19:41:21 GMT
Fleetwith Pike, Warnscale Bothy And Haystacks With Steph. A Great 5 Mile Circular https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/12/fleetwith-pike-warnscale-bothy-and-haystacks-with-steph-5-mile-circular Hello folks,

For those of you who have read my previous 60+ blogs, this one will seem a little odd. As it's Christmas, I have a little more time free than usual so this blog isn't JUST about our route... Yes, it's still about one of the greatest routes in Lakeland, but it's also about my love for a place called Buttermere and a little building called Warnscale Bothy. Perhaps you should put the kettle on for this one.


With Christmas now behind us and a couple of days still left off work, my daughter Steph and I wanted to get to the lakes for some hiking. I was feeling particularly lethargic as I gave up vaping (Electronic cigarettes) a couple of weeks ago and have been substituting the physical habit of smoking with eating. Christmas was a particularly bad time to do that and I have put on a load of weight. The smoking habit has certainly died now, so I am officially a non-smoker moving into 2017 which I certainly won't complain about, but I need to move some of this excess weight now. There is of course almost no better way to do that than hiking, so lets get a route planned!
 

This Hike will take us to the summit of two Wainwrights, namely:

  • Fleetwith Pike (2'126 ft)
  • Haystacks (1'959 ft)

 

Parking Location:

  • Gatesgarth Farm. CA13 9XA (£4 for the day)

 

Time & Distance Info

  • Distance walked: = 4.8 miles
  • Time Taken: = 6 hrs
  • Total Ascent: = 2'400 ft

 

Please Note:
All image description text is "above" the image that it is referring to on my blogs.
Some find that odd... But that is the way I like to do it.

 

This route, when viewed in Opentopo map looks like this: (North / South Orientation correct)
(Walking clockwise from the very top)

 

And the view of the route as seen on Google Earth. (Walking clockwise from the very bottom)

 

Here is the elevation profile: (Height on the left axis, and mileage along the bottom)

 

Lovers of Lakeland will probably know exactly where we are going today... I am of course heading to Buttermere, the jewel in the lake districts crown. The valley where everything just comes together to make you draw a breath and say "Wow" as you drive in and see it for the very first time.

Its incredible, and once you have been here its hard to forget the place. My photography journey started here when an old school friend of mine who does photography workshops (Melvin Nicholson) took me to this very place to teach me how to use a camera for landscapes properly. I could use a camera technically no bother, but I didn't really have the eye for Landscapes.

I was, until that day, one of those folk who thought the lake district was Windermere. This new place shocked me. I couldn't believe a place so incredible existed so close to my home. While we were here, Melvin used this ropey old tree to teach me a little about framing... and it all eventually just fell into place. :)


 

This is Buttermere at dawn from about 1 mile further up the shore from that tree... I have stood here maybe 50 times and of all those times, this is still my favourite image from there. The two prominent peaks in the middle of the image are todays summits. Fleetwith Pike to the left of center, and Haystacks to the right of center.

 

Buttermere is a 5 hour round trip for me and sometimes I did it twice a week just to stand there with my camera and enjoy the silence. Eventually I learned more about weather forecasting and how to pinpoint the suns rising and falling positions throughout the year with the use of various tools. This knowledge made my trips more fruitful and I started to come away with more "keepers". Eventually, with the right light I could always get worthwhile images from here which made the journeys so much more fun.

Even tiny parts of this place are photogenic when singled out. Did you see the small white boathouse over there below Haystacks in the image above? Well, that's a subject all of its own on a nice still morning with a good zoom lens...

 

Ok, You get the picture. This valley is gorgeous, it gave birth to my love of landscape photography and eventually also my love of hiking. (More about that later...) So enough Buttermere, we had best get on with the business of hiking. 

Here is one last image... Today we will be parked up by the house on the left. We will walk directly up the nose of Fleetwith Pike, then we will descend along the right-hand flank towards the center of this image to the building that started my hiking obsession. Warnscale Bothy. You can't quite make it out from here, but its left of centre by a grey triangle of grey slate. Don't worry, I will make it clear later for anyone wishing to go and find it.

From there we will go back up to the top dead center of the image and turn right, walking along to Haystacks summit, the highest point on the right in this image, passing the gorgeous Black Beck and Innominate tarns on our way. Bring it on...
 

 

We left Blackpool bright and early and had decided that we would drive through the lakes this time, rather than go up the M6 to Junction 40. That meant that we could call in at cafe Ambio at Ings for one of their great breakfast's en route before running up through Ambleside and Grasmere and along Thirlmere into Keswick. From there we will turn left and drive down to Rossthwaite, along Honister pass and down into Buttermere. There's no nicer drive to start a hike.

We finally got parked up at Gatesgarth Farm at the very foot of Fleetwith pike for about 10:30am. The pay machine was broken and the farm owners had just left the sign off the top of the machine on the floor to serve as a cash bucket. We gladly dropped our £4 in there and wondered how often people just help themselves to the money? I hope they come and empty it regularly!

 

So, walk out of Gatesgarth Farm car park, turn left onto Honister Pass and walk directly to the foot of Fleetwith Pike. You won't miss it...

As you can see from the image above, this one kicks off immediately. It's steep from the off, and it never lets up. We have stopped for a breather already. My calves are on fire. I like to plan a hike with a reasonably flat warm up, but the next nearest parking slot adds 4 miles to this hike.

 

There is a memorial here too, perhaps about 80 ft up into the walk.

 

The memorial is in memory of Fanny Mercer. 

Fanny was an 18 year old servant visiting the lakes with the family of her employer.  On the day of the accident Fanny, and two other servants were given the day off and set out for a walk over the fells. Eventually they arrived on Honister Crag and decided to return to Buttermere via Fleetwith Pike and Fleetwith Edge. It was on their descent, as they neared the road, that the accident happened.

Fanny, who was at the rear, apparently jumped off the ledge on which she was standing, using her alpenstock for support. The effect was to propel her upwards and outwards, so she fell a considerable distance and unfortunately struck her head on a rock, suffering severe head wounds. She was carried down to Gatesgarth Farm where a messenger was sent for a doctor from Cockermouth but, by the time he arrived, several hours later, Fanny had died.

Memorials on fells are a topic of much debate, but I personally think that the occasional reminder that mountains need to be respected is no bad thing. We can all be guilty of complacency at times.


Moving on... Up we go, enjoying the great view of Honister pass flanked by the huge walls of Dale Head.

The path essentially zig zags its way up from left to right.

 

Selfie.

 

As we reach the first crag. We get a great view of our second summit of the day. Wainwrights favourite and still mine too. Haystacks.

 

To her right, one of the finest trios in Lakeland. High Crag, High Stile and Red Pike. One of my favourite walks.

 

This is probably a good time to show you one of my favourite ever selfies. Taken on a tripod and operated by mobile phone while I am stood up there on High Stile looking right over to where we are stood today... Fleetwith Pike is that sharp ridge above my head.

Onwards... The first false summit dispensed with and we can now see the next two. The top in this image, is far from the top!

 

What a view back to Buttermere...

 

I can just about see the car from here Steph!

 

Just incredible. Buttermere and Crummock surrounded by some of Lakelands finest peaks. Such a shame so many people still think the Lake District is Windermere / Bowness. They truly don't know what they are missing out on by not driving further into the heart of the mountains. I know... I used to be one of them!

 

Back to the serious business of climbing this peak. Three points of contact needed on a few sections now... Its not difficult, but it's getting windy up here!

 

Second false summit ahead...

 

Dale Head was catching some nice light while we climbed today.


As we draw up above 1'500ft the views across to Haystacks start to open up a little so we can see the giants in the valleys behind.

 

Sometimes... Not often, but sometimes... Portrait orientation is called for!

 

What a stunning view this ascent provides!

 

Warnscale Bottom is some 1'500ft below us now. Views like this remind me to regularly check my shoe laces. Ha Ha.

 

An hour into the hike and a couple of folk were starting to catch us up. As it happens, Steph and I were just considering stopping for a brew and to change clothing. Its getting cold up here now.

 

Time to get the down jackets out and drink some coffee. Once I had changed, I took a selfie while Steph changed into her down jacket too.

 

Steph looks nice and warm now.


A quick shot of Robinson.


And Dale Head again.

 

And the third and final false summit. The real one isn't far beyond that lump.

 

This is about the last good view of the valley. I think it gets more obscured from here on upwards.

 

We are about level with Haystacks now and can make out some paths behind her. But more importantly for our immediate future...


Looking down on her flanks and across to Warnscale... can you see the quite famous and notoriously hard to find Warnscale Bothy? We are going there for lunch. If you can't see it, put your finger dead centre of the image, and then move it left until you come across a tiny grey rectangle. That's Warnscale Bothy's roof.


Here is Steph approaching the summit of one of her hardest ascents yet. The 2'126 ft Fleetwith Pike. It's far from her highest, she has done Scafell and Skiddaw with me for example, but they are both easier to ascend than this one.

 

Fleetwith Pike certainly can boast one of the best summit views though. High Crag, High Stile and Red Pike flank the left-hand shores of Buttermere, with Mellbreak next up flanking the left shore of Crummock water at the back. You can even see right back to Loweswater there. What a valley!

 

But we aren't staying her to enjoy the views... the wind was howling, it was freezing cold and we just wanted to move on. We took a few images and moved off the summit. As I mentioned before we are going to go and visit Warnscale Bothy. This will be Steph's first visit.

I have been to Warnscale Bothy tens of times as it was, in fact, my first ever Lakeland Ascent. As you now know, I first started coming to the lakes as an aspiring landscape photographer and I had seen other images of this bothy, including the huge one that takes up a whole wall of the Old Keswickian chippy in Keswick and I just knew I had to shoot it for myself. But that involved 1000 ft of ascent.

Armed only with scant knowledge based on Google Earth images and rough directions from a website, I hacked my way up the front from Gatesgarth farm to the Bothy which is situated at 1'300ft, just below Green Crag. I genuinely thought it might kill me, my heart rate was extreme, I couldn't breathe and I had to stop every 30 seconds. I considered just aborting it many many times. Looking back, it's hard to believe that very hike made me want to do this for fun... ha ha.

But then, I found it and this view is what did it for me.


I was devastated that there were people in it. I hadn't considered that being a possibility, but it turns out they made the scene for me as they went and settled here watching the light fade away while some moron climbed about the loose slate in his T-Shirt, huffing and puffing with his heavy camera bag and tripod.

As I sat there, I became hooked on the silence, the peace and the tranquillity. Suddenly all those idiots hiking up and down hills made sense to me. I wanted to do it too. I wanted to climb higher and take images from higher up.  My next ascent was Haystacks from Honister, and I have never looked back. I fell in love with hiking and the Wainwrights all thanks to this old stone bothy.
 

So how do we get there from Fleetwith Pike?
Well... this image taken from just off the summit of Fleetwith Pike shows you can clearly see the bothy from up there. Well, its clear if you know where to look. Can you see it yet?

 

If not, this next image will help. As Steph heads down the side of Fleetwith Pike I grabbed this shot with the bothy above her head. So look closely above Steph's head and you will see Warnscale Bothy at the foot of all the grey slate.

 

From here it's a matter of slowly picking your way down the side of Fleetwith and across to meet up with Warnscale Beck.

 

Which you then need to cross... remember, keep your eye on the slate trail, the bothy is at the bottom of it. You can still see it from here, if you know where to look.

 

After crossing the beck, you look back and get this view up to Fleetwith Pike showing the descent we have done. For those who have travelled up to find the bothy from Gatesgarth, you could follow the nice well-travelled path that takes you to dubs hut, and when you see the first signs of quarrying on your left, as seen in this image, cross the beck to your right and follow my images from there.

 

After crossing the beck, Warnscale Bothy is well disguised. It's no wonder so many people try to find it and fail.
Can you see it? Always follow the slate trail... the bothy sits at the bottom of it.

 

And here we are. Steph loves it and settles down to eat lunch and make some coffee. I climb above the bothy as always and grab some images.

 

This panorama shows the path up from Gatesgarth and the mining scars on the side of Fleetwith where you would leave the path if coming from that direction. Or indeed if you wanted to come down from Dubs Hut.

 

What a magical place.


 

It's great inside too, it has been recently renovated and has solid benches and some camp beds etc.

 

There you have it. Warnscale Bothy, the master of disguise.

It's the way that it blends into the surroundings that gives it so much charm for me. If you need a little more help to pinpoint it, use my map at the end of this blog. It should help you figure out exactly where it is on a map too.

 

But we must eventually leave. Haystacks awaits us. We leave the bothy and head upwards towards Great Round How.

 

The view up here back towards Fleetwith Pike.

 

And North East towards the famous Dubs Hut, the king of bothies for interior quality surely?

 

Moving on, keeping Green Crag to our right.


Green and Great Gable look awesome as always.

 

As does Blackbeck Tarn. I think I prefer this to Innominate. I kind of feel sorry for it as it's always ignored when talking about the area due to AW having his ashes scattered in the nearby Innominate Tarn.

 

I usually fill my flask up here too, in case I want a hot drink later on in the day. Its the last fast flowing water source before Haystacks Summit.

 

These are our first official steps onto Haystacks in my opinion. I feel the terrain takes a change in character here.


And it gives you a quick glimpse of the valley below as you make your way through the rocky terrain.

 

And up onto Haystacks flanks.

That wouldn't be a great place to trip over a loose shoe lace...

 

Looking back towards Fleetwith Pike and Green Crag.


Once you have traversed this uninteresting little section, a surprise awaits you immediately beyond the horizon...


Innominate Tarn. 
Made famous of course by the fact Alfred Wainwright had his ashes scattered here on March 22, 1991.

In his book, Fellwanderer, his final words were about Innominate Tarn. 

"A quiet place, a lonely place. I shall go to it, for the last time, and be carried;
someone who knew me in life will take me and empty me out of a little box and leave me there alone.

And if you, dear reader, should get a bit of grit in your boot as you are crossing Haystacks in the years to come, please treat it with respect. It might be me."

 

To the right of Innominate Tarn, Alfreds favourite summit, and still mine also. Haystacks.

I took a couple more images of Innominate to try and capture what it was Alfred Wainwright liked about it so much. It's certainly an atmospheric area. Almost a little creepy.

 

Ahead of us now - Haystacks.

 

The view slightly left. Ennerdale Valley and Ennerdale water.

 

Steph at the summit of Haystacks.

 

And the summit view.


In all my trips up here, this is the first time I have descended via Scarth Gap.


Its quite an interesting descent path. Very different to the other side we ascended from.

 

Ahead of us is Seat, with the huge High Crag behind. But our path is between here and Seat.

 

Down there in Scarth Gap.

 

Once you have located Scarth Gap Pass, its easy hiking back to the car.


A great view of Fleetwith Pike. I remember telling Steph how proud I was of her for pushing up it. Not an easy one.

 

Its a shame we are loosing light now, as the views back to Buttermere are awesome on this path.

But we make it back to the car just before dark to end yet another thoroughly enjoyable days hiking.

         

Here is some data from my Suunto Ambit 3 peak watch. 
Calories etc are pretty accurate as I use the Suunto Smart heart monitor on all my hikes. GPS data is updated every 1 second so it records every single footstep, thus mileage often looks a little different to most navigation apps as they are usually set to update far less frequently and so miss a few turns here and there. All that wandering around looking at views adds up.    


Here is my Viewranger data.
VR members can sign in and view it on OS maps too. Feel free to scroll around, the map is active.


Finally, here is a 3D representation of the route created by Suunto Movescount.


Author's footnote.
The fells are there to be enjoyed, not endured. When it stops being fun, turn back and go home. Above all, remember
the golden rules:

1) "Getting to the top is optional - Getting back down is mandatory"

2) "Take only pictures, leave only footprints and keep only memories".

 

Camera Details:
All images in this blog that don't state they were taken on my phone, 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 worthy of the 5D3's talents, I usually return one day to make the best of it.


****

Route Completed on December 27th 2016 with Stephanie.

New Wainwrights: 0. New total: 158 of 214.
New Birketts: 0. New total 216 of 541.

]]>
stewartsanderson@me.com (Stewart Sanderson Photography) Buttermere Fleetwith Pike Haystacks Lake District Landscape Landscape Photography Warnscale Bothy canvases photography prints https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/12/fleetwith-pike-warnscale-bothy-and-haystacks-with-steph-5-mile-circular Fri, 30 Dec 2016 00:18:16 GMT
A Low Pike - High Pike adventure in the snow with my daughter Steph. https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/12/a-low-pike---high-pike-adventure-in-the-snow-with-my-daughter-steph Hi everyone,
This weekend its just my daughter and I heading to Ambleside for a change. On the well known Fairfield Horseshoe route that starts and ends in Ambleside, there are two fells that I personally havent yet done. I have visited all the other Fairfield Horseshoe peaks in various other trips, so wanted to tidy up my list by doing these two.

 

Today we visited 2 Wainwright Summits:

  • Low Pike. (1'667 ft)
  • High Pike. (2'152 ft)

 

Parking Location:

  • Rydal Road Car Park. Ambleside

 

Time & Distance Info

  • Distance walked: = 6.5 miles
  • Time Taken: = 6 hrs
  • Total Ascent: = 2'030 ft

 

Please Note:
All image description text is "above" the image that it is referring to on my blogs.
Some find that odd... But that is the way I like to do it.

 

This route, when viewed in Opentopo map looks like this: (North / South Orientation correct)
(Walking clockwise from the bottom)

 

And the view of the route as seen on Google Earth. (Walking clockwise from the bottom left)

 

Here is the elevation profile: (Height on the left axis, and mileage along the bottom)

 

We parked up on Rydal Road car park in Ambleside and headed out across the roundabout as if to go over that most famous of south lakes roads, "The Struggle". Then you turn first left and pretty much just follow the path. As soon as we turned we were greeted with a clue of what was to come...

 

Its a beautiful area. I havent really spent much time around this area of the lakes and its Stephs first time ever on this range.

 

We follow this easy path over Low Sweden bridge.

 

Looking over Rydal water with a great view stretching right back to the Langdales.

 

Scandale Beck houses a Hydropower Station that provides clean energy for nearly 600 homes. I love how well they manage to disguise these things in the lake district. No mean feat.

 

Onwards up Low Sweden Coppice.


Its not long before the first signs of snow appear. Complete with a snowman sentry on guard.


Onto High Sweden Coppice, looking back to Windermere.

 

As we get to Sweden Crag the fells are pretty much in full winter condition. We cant believe our luck!
Lovely soft, deep, beautiful snow!

 

What a day so far! But its hard going. We had both forgotten just how hard it is trudging through snow. Not too bad on the paths, but when we venture off, as you cant help but do... its hard work breaking fresh trail.

 

Low Pike ahead.

 

From Low Pike Summit we can now clearly see the path up to High Pike Summit.


 

And also right across to the far side of the valley. Our original plan was to go right up to Scandale Head and come back along Scandale Pass. But it wasnt to work out that way in the end.

 

We were surprised by a quite friendly Herdwick appearing from nowhere up here. Love these guys...

 

Steph had just taken a fall and was rubbing off all the snow. I took the opportunity to take a shot of the view back to Low Pike!

 

High Pike ahead... The snow is deep up here in places.

 

Knee deep in fact.

 

The views are truly incredible. Zooming in far ahead to Scandale Pass.


The view over to Red Screes.

 

The view down into the valley below us.


And one of my personal favourites of the day. A snap of Steph on the last pull up to High Pike. I love the snow being blown off the wall in the background. It sums up the weather quite well.


High Pike Summit. Looking over to Scandale Pass just left of centre, and Red Screes to the right. The cloud up there looks very low.

 

A pano of our intended route onwards.  The route takes us along the wall far left, into the cloud, then turns right before Dow Crag and follows the cloud to that depression in the ridgeline which is Scandale Pass. Then we were to turn right and drop down into the valley to follow it back.

 

Gorgeous... But not very inviting. Steph and I are tired and that isnt looking like the direction to be heading right now.


High Pike Summit, looking onwards to Dove Crag.

 

As we hang around drinking coffee it becomes clear that the cloud seems to be settling and getting thicker up along the pass at Dove Crag. We do some reckoning and figure that if we turn back here we save just under 2 miles and avoid the challenges of that thick cloud ahead.

 

We have both had a really great day and have neither the energy spare or the will to do anything to spoil it. We agree together to bail out back the way we came. I do a quick video before we bail out... The cloud ahead is a little clearer by video. There was actually full commentary to this, but the wind drownded out all but the start and end. Perhaps no bad thing.

 

We pass another chap heading up there as we turn back. I thought his bright red coat made a great contrast to the white of High Pike.


15 mins into our descent I look back and see the cloud seems to have lifted over Scandale. Typical...


Looking right, over to Heron Pike.

 

And left, to Red Screes.


I climbed on the wall to try and get a good shot of a lot of the Fairfield Round.
Yep - The cloud has gone now.


An alternative view with Great Rigg left, High Pike hiding Fairfield in teh middle, and Red Screes to the right.

 

What a place to be! Maybe we made the wrong decision to turn back. The weather now is somethimng dreams are made of. many people dont get to see the upper end of the Fairfield round in this condition, and maybe now, we never will again either. But I regret it only for a second.
As Ed Viesturs says is the mantra that served him so well in climbing all of the worlds 8'000+meter peaks...

"To reach the summit is optional. To get back down is mandatory"

 

When we reach Low Pike again, we spot a chap up there enjoying the view. He was up there quite some time so we left him to it and stopped down here for a coffee and another sandwich.  We like to leave people to their own thoughts on Summits. You never know what it means to them. We had our time on the way up.


Around this time I grabbed a secret selfie that Steph doesnt know she is in!

 

And another one that of course she does know she is in... As an aside, I cant see how that hat of hers full of holes can possibly be warm? Ha Ha.

 

Back down below Low Pike now. Just taking images for the sheer pleasure of it as we are in no rush to leave.

 

I took a panorama of the valley with Steph stood on both sides of the image. I quite like it. If anyone wonders how you do this. Using any device that can do a panorama (iPhone in this case) start the panorama and once the person is off the screen, have them run round behind you quickly and position themselves in the scene to your right. Simple... or at least it wold have been had we not been stood very close to an unknown bog!

 

The ground down here is VERY boggy. It would be easy to dissapear crotch deep in some places. A lot of care is required in this lower area of the valley as all the snow melt is saturating the ground. I had to laugh though at the size of the frame that has been put up here to hold this tiny sign. It says "Warning - Deep Bog" But its so small, you have to stand in the bog to read it!


I bet that bog there will catch someone out once its covered completely in snow.

 

Back down near Sweden Crag now.

 

I cant remember what Steph was laughing about here, but it sums the day up. I am never happier than when I am out on the fells with my family. I hope that when I am gone, after they have cursed me for a few weeks for making them scatter my ashes on some cold, wet fell (Location yet to be decided) That they will remember me for all the great adventures we had together.

Conversely, I hope to lie there in my final hours doing the same thing. Lets face it... who ever laid on their death bed looking back fondly on the day they stayed in and watched Television?

 

Wiping my eyes and moving on....
The view over to Rydal water. Loughrigg Fell to the left with a mere dusting of snow on it.

 

It was here we decided to detour and cross the river. I have heard of High Sweden Bridge but never seen it and it. Its renowned to be quite pictruresque and it seems from the map we can just walk over to it from here... So off we go.

And as soon as we found the path was paved we knew that the trip onwards would be easy. I guess this is a popular area.

 

Suddenly... Its busy! It wasnt possible to get a shot with no people in, so I gave up trying.

Nice bridge though... I know a few photographers who would like to spend an hour or two here.

 

The path takes us back through an area on the map called Rough Sides. Easy walking.

 

Looking down onto Ambleside as we descend... This is the last image I took.

Thanks for reading folks. I hope you enjoyed taking a little trip with us and that it inspired you to try the route.

 

Here is my Viewranger data.
VR members can sign in and view it on OS maps too. Feel free to scroll around, the map is active.

 

Finally, here is a 3D representation of the route created by Suunto Movescount.


Authors footnote. The fells are there to be enjoyed, not endured. When it stops being fun, turn back and go home. Above all, remember the golden rules:

1) "Getting to the top is optional - Getting back down is mandatory"

2) "Take only pictures, leave only footprints and keep only memories".

 

Camera Details:
All images in this blog that don't state they were taken on my phone, 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 worthy of the 5D3's talents, I usually return one day to make the best of it.


****

Route Completed on November 20th 2016 with Stephanie.

New Wainwrights: 2. New total: 158 of 214.
New Birketts: 2. New total 216 of 541.

 

]]>
stewartsanderson@me.com (Stewart Sanderson Photography) High Pike Lake District Landscape Landscape Photography Langdale Pikes Low Pike canvases photography prints https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/12/a-low-pike---high-pike-adventure-in-the-snow-with-my-daughter-steph Mon, 05 Dec 2016 23:52:00 GMT
A 9 Mile Circular Hike Up Bowfell in The Snow Via Rossett Pike and Esk Pike. https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/11/a-9-mile-circular-hike-up-bowfell-in-the-snow-via-rossett-and-esk-pikes Hi everyone,
I am a little behind on my blogs of late due to such inconveniences as work and other such mundane tasks getting in the way, but fear not, we have been out in the mountains and grabbing some images as and when we can - They just need writing up into stories!

So, this one is actually the last hike we did. Sunday the 27th November. Steve, Steph and I wanted to get up into the snowline while we still had one as it was evidently melting fast. Steve was raring to go as always... Steph had treated herself to some new crampons and was keen to try them out... and me, well... I just needed to get out!

 

Today we visited 3 Wainwright Summits:

  • Rossett Pike. (2'136 ft)
  • Esk Pike. (2'904 ft)
  • Bowfell. (2'959 ft)

 

Parking Location:

  • The Old Dungeon Ghyll National Trust Car Park. (LA22 9JX)

 

Time & Distance Info

  • Distance walked: = 9.5 miles
  • Time Taken: = 10 hrs
  • Total Ascent: = 3'300 ft

 

Please Note:
All image description text is "above" the image that it is referring to on my blogs.
Some find that odd... But that is the way I like to do it.

 

This route, when viewed in Opentopo map looks like this: (North / South Orientation correct)
(Walking Anti-clockwise from the far right)

 

And the view of the route as seen on Google Earth. (Walking Anti-clockwise from the bottom)

 

Here is the elevation profile: (Height on the left axis, and mileage along the bottom)

 

We left Blackpool about 7am and were entering the new Cafe Ambio at Ings for about 8:15am to fuel up for the long day ahead. Suitably refreshed, we jumped back in the car and drove to the Langdale Valleys and were parked up at the Old Dungeon Ghyll National Trust car park for about 9:30am.

 

We got our gear on at a leisurely pace. We are carrying full winter kit now such as Ice Axe, Crampons and shelters, plus stoves for emergency hot food. No more travelling light until summer shows its face mid next year now. My back groans at the weight of it all as I drag it out of the car!

The path onwards from the car park starts behind the pub and is illustrated with a rather clear sign...

 

Its a couple of miles walk in for this one. Ideal for getting used to the big winter packs again and warming up the aching bones and muscles for the task ahead. That brown snow free tongue ahead is our descent path. We will come down there long after sunset tonight.

Our path upwards is up that distinct gulley right at the head of the valley where Rossett Gill comes down Rosset Pike ahead of Bowfell.

 

To our right... The Langdale Pikes look rather ghostly this morning, shrouded in a misty looking cloud. I've seen this effect before. It looks like a trick of the camera, but I promise you, it looked exactly the same in the flesh. Its a strange visual that seems to be brought on by very cold and wet cloud. Almost like a double vision.

 

Steph evaluating the task ahead. Our 1st summit is almost dead centre. Rossett Pike at around 2'100ft. The 2nd (Esk Pike) isnt viewable from here at all, but the 3rd summit, is the one in cloud on the very left. The almost 3'000ft Bowfell.

 

All the little Gills round here collect into one large outlet called Mickleden Beck. Gorgeous!

 

What a view!

 

If you wanted a mile or so longer walk, with a shallower ascent, you could bear right here and head up Stake Pass. You can follow that up and then turn left, which will bring you back to Rossett Pike and onto our path again. But today... its Esk Hause path for us.

 

Rossett Pike and its very own Gill.

 

Looking back to Pike Of Stickle. Its a gorgeous view, but for me...

 

The view ahead dominates. Look at this! The weather looks moody and rather uninviting to be honest but thats kind of what makes it so gorgeous to me!

 

I love the way all these little gills are running down the front of Bowfell like veins. The snow must be melting heavily up there. The cloud and light is causing the weird ghostly effect again too.

 

The sheer volume of water spilling out of the ground is pretty incredible.

 

Moving onwards. This is the first time I have seen the front of Bowfell reasonably clear of cloud today.

 

The path winds its way up the front, taking a distinct right turn at around 1'500ft, now heading towards Rossett Pike.

 

The view back down the Langdale valley as we gain height.

 

And the view ahead as we breach 1'700 ft. This seems a popular stopping point as the path turns to primarily snow.

 

Our destination... Rossett Pike was to our right.

 

What a view from 1'800 ft. Its great to see people up here enjoying the fells. We spoke to the group in this image. I remember them particularly as they had a young lad (maybe 8 or 9yrs old) with them and they were doing the same route as us, but adding Scafell Pike on. That seemed a bit ambitious to me with this current snowy terrain but hey, they arent as fat and slow as me. I hope they had an awesome day!

 

The path was steep in places from here.

 

My first view of Angle Tarn. Gorgeous.

 

But we need to turn right and head up to the summit of Rossett Pike before we can enjoy Angle Tarn.
We noticed we were the only people to be heading up Rossett Pike today... Everyone else was heading towards Esk Hause without pausing to enjoy Rossetts views.

 

Steve near the summit cairn of Rossett Pike.

 

What a view from here. Images dont do it justice. Its a surprise to have it to ourselves on a Sunday to be fair.

 

The view north - Ultimately right up to Skiddaw.       

 

Looking back towards our next destination - Steve had apparently got bored of Steph and I exploring up here, as he is back down at Angle Tarn now! Esk Pike makes for a dramatic backdrop to that tarn from this elevated vantage point. Steve looks small in front of the tarn there.

 

We head down there to join him.

 

And have some lunch! What a spot for it!

 

And for Steph to try her new crampons. Now Steve and I have Grivels, but Steph had been trawling the web and came across these for under a quarter of the price with good reviews. She figured they were worth a punt and, being off Amazon, if they were no good they could go right back for a full refund with no quibble. What has she to lose? And yes - She chose that colour from a choice of options! Ha Ha.

Turns out she was right to give them a go. They seem great and are fixed very firmly to her Scarpa Manta's and I cant see any perceivable movement while she walks. This was just the weather to test them in as the snow is too soft to really need them for safety, but the snow and ice around made for great practice conditions. As far as I am concerned, for 99% of Lake District conditions, these crampons are just as good as my Grivels and over £100 less! Well done Steph!

 

I spent some time taking pics of Angle Tarn while I ate my lunch.

 

And Steph spent some time looking for ice to walk on in her new crampons. :)

 

We must have spent about an hour here. What a great place. I would like to see its contrast in summer for a picnic.

 

Its time to go now though. We are planning to be on Bowfell for sunset and are starting to push for time. The next 30mins was really hard work. Absolutely strength sapping deep snow in many places.

 

The views were amazing though.

 

This is perhaps my favourite image of the day. I remember we were both pretty tired here as the last section of snow was thigh deep in places where we lost the path, but we could still have a laugh about it and we knew no matter what, we were equipped to deal with it and could just take 2hrs off if we needed to rest and eat. We have all the gear to stay up here in the dark for a while. But then... carrying it all is probably why we are so tired to start with. 

 

Moving onwards we crossed streams...

 

We hiked downhill....


We hiked back uphill...

 

And from time to time we went off path and broke trail. That was a killer!

 

But it got us to the viewpoint we wanted to be at. I figured from the map that being at the foot of Allen Crags, but a little north east of Esk Hause we would get a nice view of two great mountains. It turned out that I got more than I bargained for...

 

I was looking forward to seeing Green Gable and Great Gable from this side. And just look how incredible they dressed up for my visit. Full winter clothes and a nice cloudy hat to boot! Perfect!

 

After spending at least 20 mins there taking pics... we needed to move as we were getting cold.
Our path now takes us onwards towards Esk Hause  which is up to the right, and then we bear left and up onto Esk Pike pictured here. I bet this shelter is a relief up here in bad weather.

 

The view to Great End, Great Gable and Green Gable from just after Esk Hause on our way up to Esk Pike.

 

You can in fact, see right back to Skiddaw and Derwentwater from here!

 

Now the keen eyed amongst you might be thinking... "We havent seen much of Steve lately"
Well that will be because he decided to just quickly add on Great End while he was here... I chose not to because:

A) It would kill me.
B) That is my proposed end to the 214 Wainwrights. A 3 summit hike taking in Glaramara, Allen Crags and Great End to finish.

 

Steve is near the top in this image below, and hes going to catch us up on Esk Pike.


Esk Pike ahead.

 

Its getting quite dark now.

 

We were only on Esk Pike about ten minutes before Steve appeared with an extra 3000 footer under his belt.

The sky is looking nice behind the Scafells as we leave Esk Pike summit behind.

 

Bowfell ahead of us now... The final summit of the day. 

 

The Scafells to our right look as imposing as ever in this moody lighting.

 

And the fading light is going to outrun us to the final summit.

So near....

 

Yet so far. As I have learned so many times over the years... Sunset waits for no man.

 

After enjoying the view and grabbing a few images, we scramble up to the top of Bowfell at a tad under 3'000 ft to grab an image of the Scafells in the last light of day.

 

We were going to eat up here, but it was really cold and windy so we have a quick discussion and decide to get 500 ft of descent under our belt and eat in warmer conditions. On a warmer note - the car is down there somewhere...


Down we go... Our destination is "3 Tarns" between Bowfell and Crinkle Crags. We will turn left there and follow "The Band" back down into the valley. 

 

Steve leads the way... Ahead of him you can just make out Windermere in the distance.

 

Its going dark fast now. Blue hour doesnt last an hour tonight. Too much cloud around.

 

Heading towards the Crinkle Crags by Moonlight and head-torch.

 

The last reasonable image I have of the hills tonight before it became too dark to waste time taking pictures.

 

But head-torch pictures are ok. We stopped in total darkness for some food at 2'500ft.

 

And I had to boil up some fresh snow as I had run out of water for brews.

All in, the descent from the 3'000 ft Bowfell summit took us 3hrs. As always, that was three amazing hours in complete darkness and silence. The sky even cleared for our last hour so we could turn our torches off and enjoy the stars.

The night ended at the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hikers bar for some food. Perfect!
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... never rush.
The
fells are there to be enjoyed, not endured, remember the golden rules.

"Take only pictures, leave only footprints and keep only memories".

 

Also a new quote I read in a book that I am reading at the moment is worth remembering.

"Getting to the top is optional - Getting back down is mandatory"

Ed Viesturs - No shortcuts to the top

 

Here is some data from my Suunto Ambit 3 peak watch. 
Calories etc are pretty accurate as I use the Suunto Smart heart monitor on all my hikes. GPS data is updated every 1 second so it records every single footstep, thus mileage often looks a little different to most navigation apps as they are usually set to update far less frequently and so miss a few turns here and there. All that wandering around looking at views adds up.    

 

Here is my Viewranger data.
VR members can sign in and view it on OS maps too. Feel free to scroll around, the map is active.

Finally, here is a 3D representation of the route created by Suunto Movescount.

 

Camera Details:
All images in this blog that don't state they were taken on my phone, 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 worthy of the 5D3's talents, I usually return one day to make the best of it.

 

****

Route Completed on November 27th 2016 with Steph and Steve.

New Wainwrights: 3. New total: 158 of 214.
New Birketts: 3. New total 216 of 541.

]]>
stewartsanderson@me.com (Stewart Sanderson Photography) Bowfell Esk Pike Hiking Lake District Landscape Landscape Photography Langdale Pikes Rossett Pike Wainwrights canvases photography https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/11/a-9-mile-circular-hike-up-bowfell-in-the-snow-via-rossett-and-esk-pikes Wed, 30 Nov 2016 07:45:00 GMT
A Pre-Dawn Hike Up Place Fell In The Lake District https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/11/a-pre-dawn-hike-up-place-fell-in-the-lake-district Morning folks,
This weekend was a special one. Its my wedding anniversary. Mandy and I had a long weekend in the lakes, staying at the wonderful Whitbarrow Hotel in the northern lakes. On Saturday we both did a nice 6-mile hike up Bowscale and tagged on Bannerdale Crags too (Trip report coming soon). 

As we had spent quite some time out on the fells that day, come Sunday night Mandy didn't fancy doing Place Fell the next day but was insistent that I still do it. Given that it was our 2nd wedding Anniversary that day, and being keen not to spend it without Mandy, I hatched a master plan. I was going to set off at 5am and be back just after breakfast. That turned out to be great timing... not just by way of avoiding this being my LAST anniversary, but also by way of what I experienced due to the early start.

 

Today I visited 1 Wainwright Summit:

Place Fell (2'165 ft)
 

Parking Location:

Patterdale - Layby outside the White Lion Pub. (CA11 0NW) 

 

Time & Distance Info

Distance walked: = 4.7 miles
Time Taken: = 4.5 hrs
Total Ascent: = 1'844 ft

 

Please Note:
All image description text is "above" the image that it is referring to on my blogs.
Some find that odd... But then so is the author.

 

This route, when viewed in Opentopo map looks like this: (North / South Orientation correct)
(Walking Anti-clockwise from the left)

 

And the view of the route as seen on Google Earth. (Walking Anti-clockwise from the bottom)

 

Here is the elevation profile: (Height on the left axis, and mileage along the bottom)

 

I couldn't sleep as usual (I struggle to sleep in hotels) so I was up at 3am packing. I left at 5am as I needed to find an all-night garage to get some food, and was duly parked up in a layby next to the white Lion pub in Patterdale at 5:30am. It was pitch black and silent, but also very misty. It was time to switch on my head torch and get moving.

As an aside, if anyone is in the market for a good head torch I can't recommend the LED lenser H7R.2 enough. It has everything you need and more - rechargeable via USB and a very long battery life that will easily see you safely off the fells. At full power (which you NEVER need) it will last a minimum of 4hrs. At minimum power it will last up to 30hrs. I use it at about 50% power as a rule.

It has fully adjustable beam from spotbeam to full spread , a rotary brightness adjuster, a red LED at the back with various modes and automated SOS flashing... a transport lock and many more features. It is so good that after a few test hikes I bought another as my backup. 

Anyway... my outward path takes me over the bridge that crosses Goldrill Beck and on towards Rooking. Here is said head torch in action at approx 50% power and about 50% beam angle. If I have it set to full wide, you cant tell its dark, so I always adjust it for blog images.

 

I Imagine this is a beautiful path up onto the fells. Lots of little streams and such like and it runs right round the outside of Place Fell and gains height well. I can't see much of it really... but the sounds at night make up for the lack of views and of course, it makes it all the better when you come back and do it all again in daylight.

 

I hack onwards and upwards for a while and the mist seems to start clearing. At around 1000ft it clears completely and I am greeted with this... A full temperature inversion stretching the length of Ullswater. What a view!

 

As I reach Boredale Hause at 1250ft the path turns North. Its 6:35am now and well into blue hour. The view ahead is gorgeous.

 

For a while now I have heard the wild deer making quite a racket. This area is deer country and there are a lot of them. I had always hoped to bump into some on the Lakeland fells but as yet I've only seen them from afar, bar one I once saw just wandering down the A591 past the Travellers Rest pub at Grasmere. That was about to change... I heard the sound of hooves and saw this lot running away from me...

 

And then I saw them all settle a good distance away. I so wished I had my SLR and long lenses with me, but I made the best of the little Canon G7X and managed to grab a few decent shots of them. I love this one.

 

The view behind me is starting to turn pastel shades. Just incredible.

 

But what do I do? Carry on up to make my summit deadline of 7:10am for sunrise? Or carry on taking pictures of deer? What a quandary!

 

This one's my favourite I think. A lone deer looking down on Patterdale from 1300ft.

 

The uncropped version. Hmm... Maybe I prefer this one with Helvellyn up above the deer?

 

Almost as if the deer understood my lack of decision-making power, they made the decision for me. They all just disappeared. That's that then, upwards we go! Plenty of nice solid steps on this section so I can make faster progress than expected now.

 

Which is good, because its getting light very quickly now.

 

I didn't quite make the actual summit for sunrise. Once I saw the clouds turn gold I knew I had to stop and dig the tripod out fast. Who cares if we are still 150ft from the top with a view unfolding like this?

 

I just sat there and rattled away with the little Canon G7X until its battery went flat. Then I put another battery in and carried on. Absolute nirvana. The world was silent bar the wild deer howling in the distance, I hadn't seen a human since the fuel station at 5am and the views unfolding around me were enough to bring a tear to my eyes. My ONLY regret right now was that my wife & daughters weren't with me now to see this. Well... I suppose my SLR and filters would have been very nice too!

From time to time I picked up the tripod with camera still attached and ascended another 50ft vertical feet or so before setting down for more images. It wasn't long before I made the summit cairn, which as luck would have it has a nice large trig point on it to use as an anchor for the images.

 

And just to prove that a modern phone can pull off decent images in the most extreme light nowadays, here is a panorama from my iPhone 7. It struggled with banding due to the massive dynamic range, but overall it did an amazing job.

 

Behind me... the view over to Helvellyn and the Dodds.

 

From time to time, the cloud lifted in the wind leaving me in a misty diffused light that images just can't do justice. Imagine these next few scenes, with this mist moving all around you... It was amazing.

 

My daughter Steph and I did Helvellyn via Striding Edge and Swirral Edge last weekend. She was firmly in my thoughts as I zoomed in to get an image of where we were both stood last weekend. Birkhouse Moor on the front right-hand side, then the walk left onto Striding edge, up and over the Helvellyn Summit and then down the razor sharp looking Swirral edge. We had to miss Catstycam out as the weather turned on us... but what a day. (Click for a trip report in a new window)

 

And of course a Selfie of me looking across the same way. Totally off topic, I am sporting my new Rab Vapour Rise winter trousers in this image. Highly recommended, like all Rab VR gear it's designed to manage sweat and feels so light its almost as though you are wearing nothing. But I can confirm they are very warm and the matching Alpine Light VR jacket I have on is well tested now with over 100 summits to its name and is kept on as my main exposure protection with just a Rab base layer below it down to around 4 deg C before I need to consider something warmer. Very pricey, but very good indeed and it manages sweat exceptionally well, certainly better than any other garments I have owned. The pants are a nice addition. I was worried they would be too cold but so far so good. Very happy.

 

Enough fashion waffle, you will be thinking I sell torches and hiking clothes at this rate!
So... Back to the views... I can't quite decide where I was pointing here but I suspect that is Blencathra over there.

 

The view over to Martindale and Beda Head.


The view South to the Hartsops.


One of my favourites from the day. Place Full summit as a silhouette.

 

And one with its shadows recovered in Lightroom.


While I was up here, I shot a quick video on my iPhone.
 

 

Sadly... It's really time for me to go. Its my wedding anniversary today and Mandy will be rising from bed anytime now so I need to get myself back to the hotel for breakfast with her, otherwise I might be opening a D8 divorce petition instead of an Anniversary card. 

It's a fair old descent from here so let's get moving... This is the route ahead.

 

The route I had plotted visited two more Birketts while I was up here, but time spent enjoying this inversion calls for me to cancel those for another trip. So now, I will keep to the left of "the Knight" which is in the top right-hand corner.

 

When you get there, you bear left to be treated to this view of Patterdale down below you, flanked by its amazing mountain range.

 

What a view!

 

It's a steep, wet, slippery descent and common sense dictated that I didn't take many pictures on this section. Not just because I needed my poles to descend it but also because I don't take as many risks when I am out alone. Had a hiking buddy been with me I could have messed about here with a camera for yet another hour or so!


The path turns from rock to grass about halfway down. I am glad of this as I've slipped a few times and at least on grass it doesn't hurt as much if you do go down.

 

This is the first time I have seen Glenridding and Patterdale from this side of Ullswater. It really is quite stunning!

 

An iPhone Panorama. I love the quality this phone can pull off when the light is favorable!

 

The Ullswater steamer setting sail on its first trip of the day.

 

One of those randomly placed benches you find in the lake district. They are always a welcome discovery!

 

And a random cave!


The path eventually takes me off to Side Farm. I had made a note on my route plan that this has a tea room and was looking forward to a nice pot of tea! It was closed. Bah... That's what I get for being here so early!

 

Now I just follow Side Farms driveway off the fells and back to the A592

 

A quick shot of Place Fell as I cross the bridge over Goldrill Beck and leave her behind. She has afforded me some incredible memories today.

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... never rush. The fells are there to be enjoyed, not endured.

While you are out there enjoying the beautiful fells, remember the golden rules...
"Take only pictures, leave only footprints and keep only memories".

 

Here is some data from my Suunto Ambit 3 peak watch. 
Calories etc are pretty accurate as I use the Suunto Smart heart monitor on all my hikes. GPS data is updated every 1 second so it records every single footstep, thus mileage often looks a little different to most navigation apps as they are usually set to update far less frequently and so miss a few turns here and there. All that wandering around looking at views adds up.    

 

Here is my Viewranger data.
VR members can sign in and view it on OS maps too. Feel free to scroll around, the map is active.

 

Finally, here is a 3D representation of the route created by Suunto Movescount.

 

Camera Details:
All images in this blog that don't state they were taken on my phone, 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 worthy of the 5D3's talents, I usually return one day to make the best of it.

 

****

Route Completed on October 31st 2016.

New Wainwrights: 1. New total: 151 of 214.
New Birketts: 1. New total 207 of 541.

]]>
stewartsanderson@me.com (Stewart Sanderson Photography) Cloud Inversion Lake District Landscape Landscape Photography Place Fell Ullswater canvases photography prints https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/11/a-pre-dawn-hike-up-place-fell-in-the-lake-district Tue, 01 Nov 2016 23:41:00 GMT
Helvellyn Via Birkhouse Moor with Stephanie https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/10/helvellyn-via-birkhouse-moor-with-stephanie Hello folks,
This weekend, my daughter Steph and I were all set to go and do Place Fell near Ullswater, a new one for both of us. However, as the day drew nearer I started thinking it would be a shame to go all the way to the lakes and only do a 4 mile route, thus I started to wonder what else was in that area if we got there and the weather forecast was still good. I was sat there scouring the map when it suddenly hit me... Steph hasn't seen Helvellyn yet!

Helvellyn can be accessed many ways, but of course its most well-known route includes a trip across the infamous ridge which flanks the south-eastern side of the mountain, its known as "Striding Edge" and it is an absolutely exhilarating grade 1 scramble route onto Englands third highest mountain. This ridge is infamous as its quite often the scene of tragedy, with 5 deaths recorded there last year alone. It is a simple enough ridge to negotiate, but it is unforgiving in places and mistakes here often end very badly. Then there is Swirral edge... the ridge you descend from... That one is arguably even more dangerous.

Still, that's what hiking the mountains is often about. Enjoying well-calculated risks. Who thinks they will lie on their death-bed in years to come, remembering the day they stayed in and watched TV? That's right... nobody. Let`s get out there and do Helvellyn the exciting way! If conditions don't look right, we can simply turn back.

 

Today we visited 2 Wainwright Summits:

  • Birkhouse Moor (2'356 ft)
  • Helvellyn (3'117 ft)

 

Parking Location:

  • Glenridding Main car Park (CA11 0PD) 


Time & Distance Info

  • Distance walked: = 8.1 miles
  • Time Taken: = 7.5 hrs
  • Total Ascent: = 2'754 ft
     

Please Note:
All image description text is "above" the image that it is referring to on my blogs.
Some find that odd... But then so is the author.

 

This route, when viewed in Opentopo map looks like this: (North / South Orientation correct)
(Walking clockwise from the right)

 

And the view of the route as seen on Google Earth. (Walking clockwise from the bottom)

 

Here is the elevation profile: (Height on the left axis, and mileage along the bottom)

 

The day was looking good weather wise, my mountain summit app gave it as very cold and very windy with a 50/50 chance of light snow. The forecast wind strength was a worry on Striding and Swirral edges however. A 47mph gust can push you around no problem.

Screenshot

 

So, we left home at 7:30am with a view to doing something different for breakfast for a change. There is a new cafe at Ings on the way to Windermere, its called "Cafe Ambio" and it has been built as a part of a large new high-end bike shop called Biketreks and it opens at 8am, 7 days a week. Just what we need for our hiking trips, a decent early doors cafe! We stopped here and enjoyed a very nice breakfast.

 

From there we went directly to Glenridding. We were parked up and hitting the trail for about 9:45am. For reference, Glenridding has dropped parking charges down to £4 for the whole day in a bid to attract some more visitors after the flooding. Perfect.

As soon as you hit the path you are faced with Birkhouse Moor. It's an imposing looking lump that certainly looks its best from down here. Steph and I are actively ticking off Wainwrights, so we will be visiting that summit en-route.

 

Bliss... This beats a roadworks sign on the M6 any day!

 

Once you have passed Gillside caravan park, you are onto the fells. The path is well laid all the way up and the ascent begins immediately.

 

Around 0.6 miles into the route we cross over Mires Beck. As you can see, there are already a lot of folk on route to the summit of Helvellyn.

 

As you gain height, the views back to Glenridding Dodd are wonderful.

 

Just follow the path... you can't get lost on this part of the route.

 

The view back over Glenridding to Ullswater.

 

After approx 1 mile you reach the top of little cove and are able to look across towards the fell we were originally going to climb. Place Fell.

 

We stopped for a brew around here and watched all the people heading upwards. I noted every single person who passed us was following the wall up to cut the corner off.

 

But we stayed on the path because, for one, it is a shallower ascent and for two, it has some nice views back over Ullswater.

 

It was actually nice to be alone for a short while. Its been a very busy path so far.

 

Looking back,  I thought this couple with their dog coming over the crest made a nice image with Place Fell behind them.

 

Once you complete this path and it levels out onto the top of Birkhouse Moor, Helvellyn finally reveals herself. There she is in all her glory. Striding edge to her left and Swirral edge to her right... leading into Catstyecam which is nearest to us.

 

First of all though, a short detour to our right sees us reach the first summit of the day. Birkhouse Moor.

 

The views up here are lovely, but the wind is very strong indeed now we are out in the open.

 

Birkhouse Moor cairn, Striding Edge and Helvellyn.

 

From here the route is still simple. Just follow that wall on the left until you come to... 

 

A hole in it. This is the unimaginatively named "Hole In The Wall" and it's named as such on all OS maps. I remember on my first trip here I was expecting a cave or something interesting like that and was bitterly disappointed. Ha Ha.

 

I remembered here that I wanted to try out the latest beta of Viewranger, the hiking navigation App I use. They have created a new augmented reality feature that names summits and features live in your camera view. It is not aligned perfectly yet - but it still works a treat!

Taken with ViewRanger Skyline - Compass Heading : 250°, Version : 7.0.0(236), Field of View : 59.0, Device : iPhone9,3(10.0.3)

 

After 2.5 miles, you finally get to see Red Tarn. She is just as beautiful as I remember.

 

And to our left Steph gets her first view of Striding Edge and the myriad of ants crossing her...

 

Across the other side of Red Tarn you can see our descent path. Swirral Edge.

 

It's time to get ourselves up onto Striding Edge.

 

It looks very busy up there as expected. This is one of the UK's most popular routes.

 

We discovered that a lot of people were doing the same as us about now... Looking for some shelter from the wind to eat lunch.

 

Its a bit crowded for us, so I suggest we continue on to the other side of High Spying How where I suspect it will be a lot quieter.

 

Its just down there Steph, don't worry about that 1000ft drop to the left.

 

What a view greets you from the other side!

 

At the foot of High Spying How sits the Dixon memorial. This is where the unfortunate Mr Dixon fell to his death during an Ullswater Hounds race many years ago. This I thought, would be a good corner to eat our lunch and watch people go by as its quite a high vantage point and the large High Spying How was now totally blocking the wind. It was pleasantly warm here to be honest.

 

Our lunch spot had a pretty sobering view down into Nethermost cove 1000ft below us. With the Dixon memorial next to us, its a stark reminder that this ridge is to be treat with the utmost respect. With hindsight, sat at home writing these words I am now not at all sure that was a great place to sit Steph for lunch on her first crossing... It honestly didn't occur to me at the time that it could be quite off-putting eating lunch next to a 1000ft cliff with a memorial on it! Sorry Steph!

 

Its some view though as I'm sure you will agree!

 

Ok.. Enough eating. Its time to brave that wind and see how we fare. Steph, surprisingly, wants to take the lead!

 

What a view of the task ahead...

 

A quick iPhone panorama was called for here!

 

The fella in the image had his young lad with him, Steph and I were both in awe how he took this ridge in his stride, staying high on the ridge with his dad the whole way. We took a few images for them with his phone. I hope they came out ok for him as he deserves the memories. Parenting at its best... not an X-Box in sight!

 

Random image because I like it.

 

That chap and his son again. Awesome. I love seeing kids enjoying the fells.

 

Make no mistake, its very windy up here and doing this is needs a reasonable head for heights and some faith in your balance. You can see the straps on her rucksack are horizontal in the wind.

 

Love this image. This day is going to stay with me a very long time. :)

 

As will the memory of my fear in some places... Hiking with your children isn't always a pleasant experience. I spent a lot of time worrying Steph was going to fall. But Steph never so much as stumbled even once.

 

Steph at around the halfway point.

 

This looks fun she says. Hmm...

 

Its worth noting that 90% of the dangerous parts of Striding Edge have a pretty easy path by which you can avoid them, so you can take this route as easy or as hard as you like. Its exposed regardless, but there are very few places where you have no option than to put yourself at any risk. This image shows an example of how lots of little paths often bypass the upper edge itself.

 

The Chimney. A seven-meter high obstacle that necessitates a very awkward climb down.

 

Remember... ALWAYS adjust your hat before doing awkward descents.

 

Looking back now to a traffic jam on the chimney. Personally, I think people should stand back and let people get on with it in their own way at their own pace. The pressure of feeling like your inconveniencing others can lead to mistakes. Steph and I saw huffing and puffing and impatient people climbing round others. Its pathetic really. If you are in a rush, why are you up here anyway?

 

Onwards...

 

Onto the last section. Its hands on all the way to the top now.

 

Nearly there Steph.

 

Striding Edge in less than ideal wind conditions. DONE.

 

And that calls for a selfie with her very proud dad.

 

A couple for the memory banks.

 

 

As the wind whips Steph's hair around, we step up onto the surprisingly flat summit of Helvellyn.

 

There is a memorial here to the artist Charles Gough who died on Striding edge. Legend has it that he lay there undiscovered for three months and was found by a shepherd who went to investigate the sound of a dog barking and found the mans skeleton with its skull split in two from the fall. The newspapers reported that the dog had eaten his remains to stay alive, whilst at the same time staying by his masters side. Nobody will ever know the truth I guess.

 

Helvellyn summit ahead.

 

Looking left to Nethermost and Dollywaggon Pikes.

 

There is a sturdy cross shelter up here that affords you shelter no matter what the wind direction. The shelter shall be the spot for our hot coffee and a bite to eat. We need to be fresh for Swirral edge.

 

As you can see... its flipping cold!

 

And whats that we see behind Steph? Pretty thick dark looking cloud! I think its time we left...

 

Yep... the same view behind us now. I don't think we are welcome up here anymore!

Taken with ViewRanger Skyline - Compass Heading : 155°, Version : 7.0.0(236), Field of View : 59.0, Device : iPhone9,3(10.0.3)

 

That said... even with this weather closing in on us, I am happy. Now I don't know how Steph feels about mountains, but for me they give me a strange feeling of calmness. More so on my own but even with company I find my mind can drift into a really pleasant place and my mood, however bad always lifts. Its noticeable to others too, as my wife has mentioned on many an occasion that she can see and feel a quite dramatic change in me when I am in the mountains.

I saw a quote from Alfred Wainwright today that kind of sums it up...

"I went whenever I could, and always my eyes lifted to the hills. I was to find a spiritual and physical satisfaction in climbing mountains and a tranquil mind upon reaching their summits, as though I had escaped from the disappointments and unkindness of life and emerged above them into a new world, a better world." A.W.

I think this last view from Helvellyn summit looking down over Red Tarn and out to Ullswater might well sum up his feelings.

 

But sadly... at some point, you always have to leave. Today... that will be via Swirral edge. Its a steep descent and a scene of regular injury. It doesn't look high in this image but if you look closely you will see some people at the foot of the descent to give it some scale. The path is, well, non existent really. Its a scramble mostly and you just pick your way through the rocks.

 

While Steph familiarised herself with the descent options, i grabbed a quick iPhone panorama. Its hard to resist with a view like this.

 

Looking backward, Helvellyn is already in cloud!

 

Hard to believe it was clear and sunny 20 minutes ago.

 

Now we had planned on doing Catstyecam as well, but since its in cloud and the weather is obviously closing in on us we decided there was no point. It wouldn't be enjoyable, we wouldn't get a view and it could mean the difference between getting to the car dry, and getting there soaking wet.

 

The path to Catstyecam is to the left of Steph here. Catstyecam is up in the cloud in this image. Staying to the right takes you down to Red Tarn.

 

Helvellyn has gone.

 

Lower ground is looking much more pleasant weather wise. It looks like we have been super lucky with the weather today.

 

I look up to striding edge and zoom in on the unfortunate souls still crossing. Today wont be the day they have the great views we have just enjoyed. navigation up there isn't pleasant in bad visibility.

 

Surprisingly, some folk just walked past us heading up to Helvellyn via Swirral edge. One of whom is in SHORTS.

 

Now most people go back the same way we came. Indeed on my last visit here I did the same. However, I have plotted a more circular route that follows Glenridding beck right through the valley. There isn't a great deal to say about it other than, in my opinion, its a much better descent choice and has a grand total of zero steps. With my knees now officially in bad shape, I will always favour a step free descent and this is one of the best I have ever done. Its a nice gradual decline, nothing very steep at all.

 

And the terrain is great with lots of water around.

 

And a few nice bridges to cross.

 

More folk pass us heading towards Helvellyn.

 

Catstyecam looks great from this angle doesn't it?

 

When I turned round after taking that last shot, I found Steph taking a breather. So I figured it was time to...

 

Brew up! I haven't used this all day, and I hate carrying stuff and not using it so we boiled up some nice fresh stream water and had a coffee.

 

And I took the opportunity to do something I haven't done in such a very long time. Try my hand at some actual photography instead of just taking snaps for hiking blogs! I quite like how this came out. Hand holding a point and shoot perfectly still for 1/4 of a second to get milky water is easier said than done.

 

The path back is simple, you just need to remember that you must cross the footbridge marked on the OS map by the weir. There is a hydroelectric dam just after the bridge.

 

And not long after that you come to the Greenside Mine area which has been converted to a youth hostel and some cottages.

 

Easy walking now along Greenside Road.

 

As the light fades away, we get to look across to where we started, with the ascent up the side of Birkhouse Moor. A perfect view to end a perfect day.

           

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... never rush. The fells are there to be enjoyed, not endured.

While you are out there enjoying the beautiful fells, remember the golden rules...
"Take only pictures, leave only footprints and keep only memories".

 

Here is some data from my Suunto Ambit 3 peak watch. 
Calories etc are pretty accurate as I use the Suunto Smart heart monitor on all my hikes. GPS data is updated every 1 second so it records every single footstep, thus mileage often looks a little different to most navigation apps as they are usually set to update far less frequently and so miss a few turns here and there. All that wandering around looking at views adds up.    

Here is my Viewranger data.
VR members can sign in and view it on OS maps too. Feel free to scroll around, the map is active.

Finally, here is a 3D representation of the route created by Suunto Movescount.

 

Camera Details:
All images in this blog that don't state they were taken on my phone, 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 worthy of the 5D3's talents, I usually return one day to make the best of it.

 

****

Route Completed on October 23rd 2016 with Stephanie.

New Wainwrights: 0. New total: 148 of 214.
New Birketts: 0. New total 206 of 541.

 

]]>
stewartsanderson@me.com (Stewart Sanderson Photography) Birkhouse Moor Helvellyn Lake District Landscape Landscape Photography Striding Edge Swirral Edge canvases photography prints https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/10/helvellyn-via-birkhouse-moor-with-stephanie Tue, 25 Oct 2016 00:49:50 GMT
A 10 Mile Coledale Circular - Grisedale Pike, Crag Hill, Sail, Scar Crags and Causey Pike https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/10/a-10-mile-coledale-circular---grizedale-pike-crag-hill-sail-scar-crags-and-causey-pike Hello folks,
This weekend we shuffled our plans around in order to hit the fells on Sunday as the weather was looking more favourable than Saturday. This turned out to be an excellent decision. Myself, Steve and my daughter Stephanie had decided to head to the Coledale range with a bit of an open plan that would start with Grisedale Pike and from there just go with however we felt. I am still struggling with knee problems of late and am finding my abilities differ day to day on the fells, sometimes being able to do 12 miles, others only 5. As a result, I had a few routes planned that all started with Grisedale Pike, but differed from there onwards, hopefully covering every eventuality. As it happens, today was a good knee day.

Oh how I miss the old days, when I referred to my knees as "Left" and "Right" instead of "Ok" and "Bad"...

 

Today we visited 5 Wainwright Summits:

  • Grisedale Pike (2'595 ft)
  • Crag Hill (2'753 ft)
  • Sail (2'536 ft)
  • Scar Crags (2'205ft)
  • Causey Pike (2'090ft)

 

Parking Location:

  • Braithwaite School. (CA12 5TD)


Time & Distance Info

  • Distance walked: = 10.1 miles
  • Time Taken: = 9hrs
  • Total Ascent: = 3'983ft
     

Please Note:
All image description text is "above" the image that it is referring to on my blogs.
Some find that odd... But then so is the author.

 

This route, when viewed in Opentopo map looks like this: (North / South Orientation correct)
(Walking Anti-clockwise from top right)

 

And the view of the route as seen on Google Earth. (Walking Anti-clockwise from the right)

 

Here is the elevation profile: (Height on the left axis, and mileage along the bottom)

 

Steph and I left Norbreck nice and early, picking Steve up in Blackpool at 6:30am. We grabbed a nice little breakfast wrap from McDonalds near his house and hit the motorway early. The early start gave us a nice easy run up the M6 and as a result we were parked up in Braithwaite outside the school for 8:15am. Once booted up and headed out into the sunshine, walking up the hill towards Hope Memorial camp.

We were immediately greeted by Barrow and Causey Pike looking fabulous in the early morning sun.

 

A little way up the hill is a parking slot. The path onto Grisedale begins here, hidden in the trees. We missed it first time and had to double back.

 

As the path climbed, the view out over Braithwaite towards Skiddaw unfolded to the most amazing view that images just can't do justice.

 

Onwards... the climb is steady and constant.

 

As are the stops Steph and I make. We aren't as fit as Steve. But with views like this, who cares?

 

As the walk progressed, the view forwards was almost as impressive. The sky is promising us an amazing day and there are no signs of that blue haziness we have had for a few weeks. Looks like it will be a good day for photography!

 

As you progress into the walk, it gets steeper as you gain height.

 

The view to our right - Over to Hospital Plantation.

 

A bit of cloud has settled on Grisedale Pike now. Steve is already up there. Hes in training for some fell running so we have agreed prior that he can just crack on and run up there and have the kettle on for our arrival.

 

The view over to Eel Crag, Crag Hill and Sail.

 

Onto the steepest section now.

 

We took ages to get up this section. It's very steep here. Perfect for taking lots of pictures of the path we have covered thus far.

 

Steph tackling the last 50ft up onto the summit

 

And what a view unfolds when you get there! Hopegill head to the right, Grasmoor in the distance ahead.

 

Looking a little to the left of the above scene to show Eel Crag and Crag Hill as well. This is certainly one of the best looking sections of mountain track I have seen in the Lake District so far. It really is stunning.

 

Looking back to Grisedale Pike after we have descend around 100ft. If ever a scene was begging for a panorama... this was it.

 

Zoomed in a little. What a view. I love the way Coledale Beck snakes its way back down the valley below.

 

Steve grabbed a lovely shot of Steph and I here. Which reminded me to mention it was very cold up above 2500ft!

 

In exchange, I grabbed one of Steph and Steve as they descended towards Coledale Hause.

 

A cursory glance up to Hopegill Head. A definite option to climb while you are up here if you wish. But its not for us today as we have a route planned for Steph that visits that summit during a Whiteside to Grasmoor route we once did. More about that later.

 

So... Its lunchtime. My knees are reporting no problems thus far, so bail out option 1, down to Force Crag mine has been cancelled, leaving the world our oyster with regards what to do next. Steph points out a waterfall as an ideal spot for lunch. Steve however, points out Grasmoor for lunch. 


We decided to do both... kind of. Steve went up Grasmoor and Steph and I stopped at the waterfall for lunch. Steve is in training for some ridiculous 60 mile fell running competition so he needs the training. Steph and I just need the calories. Ha Ha. What a great place to sit and eat for 30mins.

 

With these views of Whiteside and Gasgale Crags to keep us company while Steve huffs and puffs his way up and down Grasmoor.

 

Steve's views weren't bad from up on Grasmoor either it seems. What a great view down into Buttermere and Crummock.

 

And over to Loweswater.


This is the path that runs in the saddle between Grasmoor and Crag Hill. We walked this after lunch to meet Steve on the descent path off Grasmoor.

                           

And right on time.... Here comes Steve down Grasmoor to join us. Perfect.

 

And we all set off up Crag Hill.

 

To our right is another Wainwright Summit. Wandope. Steve and I have done it, and Steph will do it as part of the Grasmoor round later this year.

 

Steve kindly took another good shot of Steph and I here with Robinson and Knott Rigg behind us.

 

We had chosen to wander off the main path up Crag Hill in search of better views. This little path looked just the ticket...

 

Careful though Steph... its a very long way down!

 

What a view! You can just make out Buttermere from here.

 

After consulting the map, it became quickly apparent that this path actually bypasses Crag Hill summit and goes round to Sail. So we either had to turn back or scramble up the VERY steep sides to the summit. Steve shot up it and grabbed this shot.

 

And scramble we did... Three points of contact at all times. This was uncomfortably steep to be on grass with such a drop behind us, but thats all part of the way memories are made on the fells. Exhilarating.

 

We arrived right on point at the summit. But it looks like the storms have taken their toll on the Crag Hill summit cairn.

 

Regardless - The vista from here is incredible. This is the view of the Grisedale Pike ridge we ascended.

 

And the zoomed view down onto Force Crag mine.

 

Panorama Nirvana! Amazing what the simple iPhone can do with good light. This one centres on the Scar Ridge to Sail.

 

One stood a little further left with both ridges flanking the valley.

 

The final navigation cairn on Crag Hill before you descend onto...

 

"The Scar"

 

From here onto Sail is new terrain for Steve and I. We had planned to do this ridge and Sail as part of our Grasmoor circular, but a cloud inversion halted play. Last time we stood here on Crag Hill it looked like this.

 

And it got better. We sat here for an hour watching the sun go down, before descending through the cloud in pitch black by torchlight. A night I will never forget.

 

To read the blog for that route and see the images of the amazing inversion we experienced... Click here to open in a new window.

 

But back to today... Before we leave Crag Hill, I really have to do another panorama, this time showing Steph and Steve as they leave Crag Hill and head onto The Scar towards Sail. This one is nine 20mp images stitched together out of the Canon G7X.

 

Down you go Steph... I note from the map that this is exactly the halfway point. 5 miles in... 5 to go.

 

The Scar ridge is pretty awesome actually. 

 

King of the ridge.

 

Some nice scrambly bits on this ridge too.

 

And from a great ridge... to the disappointing summit that is Sail.

 

From Sail, we descend down its very controversial zig zag path. I have mentioned this in a previous blog but will repeat it here. This path gets a lot of stick from walkers on social media groups, calling it an eyesore and other such comments. Personally, I think it's great. They have provided a nice safe path for us to enjoy the fell, and enjoy it we certainly did. Ok, it's a bit "in your face" for a mountain path, but it's new and it will eventually blend in I guess. The important thing is people made an effort to provide it for us as the old path was badly eroded and this terrain was extremely boggy, making it a very dangerous place to be in the wet weather. They do a great job and are completely donation funded I believe. Regardless, I for one am very grateful for the efforts of "Fix The Fells". You can visit them Here:

 

And anyway - Who cares what the path looks like with views like this?

 

Once Sails descent is dispensed with. We have a decision to make. From just ahead of where Steph and Steve are in this image, we were originally going to turn left and drop down to the valley, then take in Outerside and Barrow summits on the way back. But there is an alternative... we could carry on up to Scar Crags and Causey Pike, saving Outerside and Barrow as a nice circular for Steph another day as that route is ideally suited to less perfect conditions.

 

It's all down to this lady here... Steve and I dont care as we have done all four and steph has yet to visit any of them. What shall we do Steph?

 

Good girl... Decision made, we stay up here and head upwards to Scar Crags. The summit is up ahead...

 

The Scar Crags summit, with a nice view of the ridge across to Causey Pike.

 

Yet another awesome ridge walk. Today just keeps on giving... Look at our views!

 

Looking down to Outerside.

 

And along to Barrow.

 

Steph admiring her favourite fell. Skiddaw.

 

While I try and make something of the scene on the right down in the Borrowdale Valley. I have an affinity for dwellings with impressive mountainous backdrops.

 

Dad and Daughter Selfie!

 

The late afternoon sun is casting some amazing light down into Borrowdale right now.

 

The final summit of the day. Causey Pike. Steve is discussing descent options with Steph as I was a little concerned about her climbing down the chimney. Its not hard at all, I just worry too much as she's my daughter I guess. I would really hate to see her hurt herself out here with me. That said, she has done Crinkle crags in the snow... at 2am... in the dark... by headtorch in crampons. And still I worry... Old fool. Ha Ha.

 

The descent from Causey Pike... Derwentwater looks incredible from up here.

 

Down we go.

 

Descent path ahead. We are not going to descend via the very steep Rowling End, instead we are opting for the much easier diagonal path off to the left.

 

I shot a quick panorama here showing Sleet Hause and Rowling End pointing out towards Cat Bells with Helvellyn right in the distance.

 

Looking across to Skiddaw over Barrow summit.

 

Looking back up to Causey Pike summit. You can see a few folk coming down the same way we did.

 

The descent path... its all downhill from here.

 

Stoneycroft ahead.

 

Even the road walk is nice with weather and views like this.

 

We cut across Barrow to Braithwaite Lodge to end the walk at the Coledale Inn for a well-earned Steak and Ale pie and a refreshing drink.

 

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... never rush. The fells are there to be enjoyed, not endured.

While you are out there enjoying the beautiful fells, remember the golden rules...
"Take only pictures, leave only footprints and keep only memories".

 

Here is some data from my Suunto Ambit 3 peak watch.
Calories etc are pretty accurate as I use the Suunto Smart heart monitor on all my hikes. GPS data is updated every 1 second so it it records every footstep, thus mileage often looks a little different to most navigation apps as they are usually set to update far less frequently and so miss a few turns here and there. All that wandering around looking at views adds up.    

 

 

Here is my Viewranger data.
VR members can sign in and view it on OS maps too. Feel free to scroll around, the map is active.

 

Finally, here is a 3D representation of the route created by Suunto Movescount.

Camera Details:
All images in this blog that dont state they were taken on my phone, 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 worthy of the 5D3's talents, I usually return one day to make the best of it.

 

****

Route Completed on October 2nd 2016 with Steph & Steve.

New Wainwrights: 0. New total: 148 of 214.
New Birketts: 1. New total 206 of 541.

]]>
stewartsanderson@me.com (Stewart Sanderson Photography) Buttermere Causey Pike Coledale Crag Hill Grasmoor Grisedale Pike Lake District Landscape Landscape Photography Sail Scar Crags photography prints https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/10/a-10-mile-coledale-circular---grizedale-pike-crag-hill-sail-scar-crags-and-causey-pike Mon, 03 Oct 2016 05:35:00 GMT
A great seven mile circular route up Mellbreak in the Lake District with Steph and Steve https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/10/a-great-circular-route-up-mellbreak-with-steph-and-steve Hello everyone,

As most who know me will be aware, my favourite valley in the English Lake District is Buttermere. It is for me the most scenic of the lakeland valleys and offers everything a visitor can ask for. Amazing roads, scenery, places to eat, places to walk, places to climb... the list doesnt really end. It looks different every time I visit and I never get bored of the place. As a result, I have climbed all the peaks round there, some more than once, and one (Haystacks) more than ten times. But for some reason, I have never done Mellbreak, an imposing lump of rock on the west shore of Crummock Water.

 

Today we will summit 1 Wainwright:

  • Mellbreak (1'680 ft)


Time & Distance Info

  • Distance walked: = 7.2 miles
  • Time Taken: = 6hrs
  • Total Ascent: = 1'900ft

Note:
All image description text is "above" the image that it is referring to on my blogs.

 

This route when viewed in Open Topo map looks like this: (N/S Orientation correct)
(Walking Anti-clockwise from the top)

And the view of the route as seen on Google Earth. (Walking Anti-clockwise from the bottom)


Here is the elevation profile: (Height on the left axis, and mileage along the bottom)

For those of you unfamiliar... Here is a shot of Mellbreak on a wonderful summers day, as viewed from the far more popular summit of Rannerdale Knotts just across the water.

As I know the car park here is quite large, for once we dont have to leave quite so early. Steph and I pick Steve up at 7:30am and after stopping for some food we are parked up in the Lanthwaite Wood National Trust car park for 10am.

We exit the car park left and start the walk in through Loweswater and past the Kirkstile Inn.

Where I learn there is a small parking slot just over Church Bridge. Handy to know for future reference.

As Mellbreak comes into full view we pause for some images. We can see the steep ascent ahead now.

We cut through a short outer section of Flass Wood.

Then the climb up Raven Crag begins. As we look back the view is starting to open up nicely.

There are some walkers up ahead, and they add a nice scale to this image.

Its steep!

But on every breather stop - there is a view to make it worth the wait. Loweswater looks great from up here.

But Whiteside and Grasmoor command this area!

Looking up the Buttermere valley across Rannerdale Knotts to Fleetwith Pike beyond Buttermere.

The view ahead isnt quite as inspiring. Its hard work this!

But we can always look backwards...

Not far to go now. This is White Crag.

And Mellbreak North Top. This isnt actually the summit. Just the highest part of the northern end of Mellbreak.

The summit is at the other end.

And it is this end which has one of the greatest "reveals" in Lakeland for me. As you walk forward, the southern end of the valley comes into view. Fleetwith Pike commands center stage here.

The Buttermere Valley in all its glory. Amazing to think that I have stood on every peak visible here. Some more than once.

Naturally - This is exactly where we stop for lunch!

And when the light is as good as its going to get, I grab a nice image during a quick break in the cloud.

Thankfully,  Steve grabs one of Steph and I before we start our descent.

Which of course, is a descent with a great view.

Once you breach Scale Knott, you turn left towards Crummock Water.

Pausing often to take it all in.

This image reminds me, I need to get Steph up on Grasmoor.

Grasmoor and its neighbours were the scene of my only real temperature inversion. A life experience box ticked for me and certainly a night Steve and I will never ever forget. This image from that day is looking back down towards where we are stood right now...

And it just got better and better until we watched the sunset over a full on Lake District wide temperature inversion. (To see that trip report - Click here and open it in a new window for later)

Anyway... enough reminiscing. Its amazing what memories a photograph can bring back isnt it?

When we reach Crummock waters shores, we stop for a drink and a rest.

Rannerdale Knotts sat across the water from us, seemingly standing guard over the farm below.

From there its just a 2.5 mile easy shore walk back to the northern head of Crummock Water.

Interestingly (Or Not?) This is the scene of many a great sunrise shoot for me back in the days when I only went out with my SLR and filters. What a morning that one was. I had tried and tried tens of times, racking up hundreds of miles and hours and never really got anything that I loved, but I knew one day when conditions were right, this location was a winner. Landscape photography is a game of 35% Skill, and 65% patience and perseverance.

Finally... One morning after leaving home at 4am to be here for sunrise, it all came together! I will never forget it, as it was the day before my wedding to Mandy.

The Pumphouse Bridge.



Grasmoor and the Boathouse at Sunrise:



I called this one simply... "Freedom"
(It was the day before my wedding... what else could I call it?)

Crummock Water At Sunrise - Lake DistrictCrummock Water At Sunrise - Lake DistrictAll images are available as either simple prints or framed, installed on canvas or even supplied as Jigsaws. My images are all processed and delivered to you without any Copyright watermarks.

Aside from being a landscape photographers dream location, this is an awesome location to bring your family for a picnic, and maybe some swimming. Its rarely busy... Its a golden location with most of the joys of its neighbour, Buttermere, but none of the crowds. As we headed back to the car, we passed a family enjoying the wonders of Crummock Water. Perfect.

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... never rush. The fells are there to be enjoyed, not endured.

While you are out there enjoying the beautiful fells, remember the golden rules...
"Take only pictures, leave only footprints and keep only memories".

 

Here is some data from my Suunto Ambit 3 peak watch. 
Calories etc are pretty accurate as I use the Suunto Smart heart monitor on all my hikes. GPS data is updated every 1 second so it it records every footstep, thus mileage often looks a little different to most navigation apps as they are usually set to update far less frequently and so miss a few turns here and there. All that wandering around looking at views adds up.    

Camera Details:
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 worthy of the 5D3's talents, I usually return one day to make the best of it.

 

****

Route Completed on July 16th, 2016 with Steph & Steve.

New Wainwrights: 1. New total: 147 of 214.
New Birketts: 2. New total 203 of 541.

]]>
stewartsanderson@me.com (Stewart Sanderson Photography) Buttermere Lake District Landscape Landscape Photography Mellbreak canvases crummock water photography prints https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/10/a-great-circular-route-up-mellbreak-with-steph-and-steve Sat, 01 Oct 2016 18:23:42 GMT
Skiddaw via Ullock Pike taking in Long Side & Carl Side with Steph & Steve https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/9/skiddaw-via-ullock-pike-taking-in-long-side-carl-side-with-steph-steve Hi Folks,
With the current good weather forecast, I wanted to get out on the fells this Saturday and my buddy Steve wanted to come too. Steve has wanted to do Skiddaw for ages and this looked a great day to do it. I have done it twice, and my daughter Steph has also done the full round as well, but hey - we cant deny Steve this awesome fell as Steph and I both agree its one of the best out there. In fact I would go as far as to say if you choose the right route, its one of the best walks in the UK. Now Skiddaw has at least 5 routes up to it that I know of, but as far as I am concerned, the only really awesome route up there is via Ullock Pike so thats the route I planned.


Today we will summit 4 Wainwrights:

  • Ullock Pike (2'264 ft)
  • Long Side (2'408 ft)
  • Carl Side (2'448 ft)
  • Skiddaw (3'054ft)


Time & Distance Info

  • Distance walked: = 7.6 miles
  • Time Taken: = 8hrs
  • Total Ascent: = 3'077ft

Note:
All image description text is "above" the image that it is referring to on my blogs.

 

This route when viewed in Open Topo map looks like this: (N/S Orientation correct)
(Walking Anti-clockwise from top left)

And the view of the route as seen on Google Earth. (Walking Anti-clockwise from bottom left)

Here is the elevation profile: (Height on the left axis, and mileage along the bottom)

Because the parking for this route up at Hill Crest is very sparce and only provides spaces for about 6 cars, we had to hit this one early. So we left my house at 6:10am, picked Steve up from his house at 6:30am and were parked up at Hill Crest with our boots on for 8:30am. The weather was looking amazing so far.

As you gain height, the view back over to Bassenthwaite is awesome.

But the view ahead to our ridge walk is on another level.

The light was tricky today due to our early start. The sun was rising up right above Skiddaw so nice images pointing in that direction were not easy to achieve. Thus a lot of my early images are pointing away from the sun. This one is looking back from the ridge after we climbed up onto it at Ling How. Thats Binsey back there - One I still havent done actually.

The view across to Bassenthwaite Lake now was beautiful. This sheep seemed to think so too.  

Onwards up to "The Edge". Ullock Pike is very prominent from here.

The view across to Barf, Broom, Lords Seat and Graystones. I did all those and more in one hike last year. (Trip report here)

A quick snapshot of Steve.

And one of Steph on her way up Ullock Pike. This section is very steep. We are taking our time today. Steve however has a 60mile time trial around the Yorkshire Peaks coming up so he is keen to push himself and has dissapeared somewhere into the distance. I hope when we finally catch him up he has the kettle on as I suggested earlier to him.  

Skiddaw looks very imposing, even from this height.

Our first view over towards Keswick... Look at that view!

We found Steve taking in the views just to the right of Ullock Pike Summit.

And he had already brewed up. What a star.

I had been playing with my new iPhone 7 a lot on route as I was beta testing for Viewranger on this new hardware. Now we have stopped for a rest, it seemed to be a great time to try its 12mb f/1.8 camera out properly with this decent light. I am VERY impressed! Who would have thought a few years ago that our telephones would be capable of rendering an image like this?

And while I am here with such great scenery, it would be rude not to test the all important video quality. Be sure to hit 1080P HD to enjoy this at its best. The phones image stabiliser has certainly improved the video quality for handheld vidoes no end. Very, very impressive. 

IMG_0050.MOV

Finally - A test of its panorama quality. Few words are needed, the image itself can do the talking.

Now Steve took this one of me and Steph with my Canon G7X.  it proves that certainly for website sized viewing, with favourable light, there isnt much between a top end compact and an iPhone 7 at all! In low light of course things will change a lot as sensor and lens size is everything when the light gets low, but for normal everyday daytime images, this phones pretty incredible.

Best get moving. I took a quick snap of Steve and Steph and we headed onwards to Long Side.

Via Long Side Edge.

Steve near the summit of Long Side, with Skiddaw behind.

Steve was on fire today - He is super fit. I think he was considering jumping off the summit here, running along the beck back to the car and then running the route again and catching us up. Seems fair... We dont want to spoil his training. Ha Ha.

Its quite a way down though!

Hes decided to pose for an image now and then add on two extra fells instead. More about that later.

Onwards from Longside to Carl Side. The summit of which is just out of sight to the right.

After a quick break at Carl Side, the biggest ascent of the day now looms. Steph and I know we will struggle here, its a hard slog and we will be taking it easy. This is no place for me to have a heart attack! As Steve can probably run up this thing, he is going to go on ahead, go over Skiddaw, down the other side and up to summit Skiddaw Little man then come back up to Skiddaw to meet us on the summit. I have done Little Man and have no wish to participate in such super human activities and it takes the strain off Steph and I.

I took this image with the camera perfectly horizontal to try and give some idea of how steep it is. (The G7X has a built in digital level)

And then I turned and grabbed a quick panorama of Stephs ascent. What an incredible view this is. it is rare you can look back at your entire ascent path, but we can pretty much see it all from here.

When I turned back, Steve had gone. That dot at the top is his head. Off he goes to visit Skiddaw Little Man.

Giving me more time to take pictures. What a view... Ullock Pike and Long Side look incredible from up here.

Carl Side by comparison is a mere lump... Just a path onto Skiddaw really. An odd description of a 2400ft summit, but that is just how it looks from here!

We finally make the top and pause for a while to get our breath. The summit is up ahead now. 

No more than 5 minutes later Steve re-appears. Hard to believe he ran off Skiddaw, visited Skiddaw Little Man summit and then got back up Skiddaw to take this pic of us in pretty much the same time it took Steph and I just to ascend that last path. He makes me feel VERY old and worn out... but hes also an inspiration and gives me the pushes I need to keep getting fitter. 2 years ago I could cough up blood if I ran up the stairs too fast, so Im doing ok I guess!

And the bugger is still smiling and bone dry too!

The view across to Blencathra and Mungrisedale Common from Skiddaw.

Summit done, its time to descend from the rear of Skiddaw. The path off is very clear and just snakes off into the distance across Broad End. We will be waiting atop Broad End for Steve while he goes on ahead to visit Bakestall which Steph and I have also already done. (See previous Skiddaw round trip report).

Off he goes. Looks hard work... Glad im not doing it. Ha Ha.

While he was away Steph and I were relaxing in the sun and noticed a bee sat near us. It seemed unable to fly, and was just wandering around, walking right up the rocks and sitting next to us. I poured a little coffee on the rock and it went over and drank from it. As it sat there drinking with its huge tongue, I figured this was a great opportunity to try out the close up capabilities of the new iPhone. Again, very impressive.

Steve was back after about 30mins and we sat around eating drinking and just enjoying the fells. Whilst we sat there, I snapped a picture of an equally happy looking sheep with Binsey and Over Water in the distance.

Its time to go. We are taking the southern path off Broad End this time. A path I have never used so it was nice to be on some new terrain.

Steve looking back up to Broad End.

The path runs along the flanks of Broad End towards Barkbeth Gill and Randel Crag. This is a MUCH better descent option to the last one we used, and will be my standard descent option from Skiddaw from now on.

Once you cross Barkbeth Gill, you turn right and follow the easy path North West through Barkbethdale towards your starting point.

I spotted this sheepfold in Barkbethdale and thought it made a nice scene with Barkbeth Gill running out towards Binsey in the distance.

A snap of Steph and Steve with Skiddaw behind them.

Eventually we reach Southerndale Beck and stop to refresh before the last mile or so to the car.

Looking back as we exit the gate from the valley.

It was at this point I remembered seeing a bench on a hill round here on my last visit with Steph. I decided to seek it out as I always figure that when someones gone to the effort of installing a bench, the view must have warranted it.

Oh... Thats dissapointing. I guess last winters storms must have finished it off. At least, I sincerely hope it was the storms. To find out this was done by humans would be terrible.

However - My hunch was right. This hill affords you the most incredible view of the Skiddaw range.

Without doubt - This is the time to test the new phones 7MP front facing camera with a selfie!

And a Panorama. iPhone 7 first. (straight off the phone and uploaded)

Canon G7X. The Canon wins, but I had to manually stitch and process this while the iPhone did it all itself.

And that marks the end of our day. The car is only 1/2 a mile from here.

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... never rush. The fells are there to be enjoyed, not endured.

While you are out there enjoying the beautiful fells, remember the golden rules...
"Take only pictures, leave only footprints and keep only memories".

 

Here is some data from my Suunto Ambit 3 peak watch.
Calories etc are pretty accurate as I use the Suunto Smart heart monitor on all my hikes. GPS data is updated every 1 second so it it records every footstep, thus mileage often looks a little different to most navigation apps as they are usually set to update far less frequently and so miss a few turns here and there. All that wandering around looking at views adds up.    

 

Finally... Here is a nice little 3D video of the route created by Suunto Movescount.

IMG_0113.mp4

Camera Details:
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 worthy of the 5D3's talents, I usually return one day to make the best of it.

 

****

Route Completed on September 17th, 2016 with Steph & Steve.

New Wainwrights: 0. New total: 147 of 214.
New Birketts: 0. New total 203 of 541.
                                   

 

]]>
stewartsanderson@me.com (Stewart Sanderson Photography) Carlside Lake District Landscape Landscape Photography Longside Skiddaw Ullock Pike canvases photography prints https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/9/skiddaw-via-ullock-pike-taking-in-long-side-carl-side-with-steph-steve Sun, 18 Sep 2016 22:29:00 GMT
Causey Pike, Scar Crags and Sail in the Lake District with my pal Steve. https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/9/causey-pike-scar-crags-and-sail-with-my-pal-steve Hi folks,

I cant believe its been over 3 months since I wrote up a blog! I have been out and done a good bit of hiking, but ive just had no time to write it up. I decided its time to try and catch up and i am writing the last one up first while its fresh in my mind. I will get the others done as soon as I can. Cant miss out such classics as Scafell and Melbreak can I?

So, I had just come back from two weeks holiday overseas feeling pretty lethargic from overindulgence and was really looking forward to some time on the fells. My pal Steve is lucky enough to be able to take a week day off and we decided it would be nice to do a fell that keeps being sidelined for some reason. That reason is largely its imposing looking ascent. I reckon that Steve could probably run up it - Myself, well, I wasnt sure I could even walk up it! Today... we will find out.

 

Today we will summit 3 Wainwrights:

  • Causey Pike - Via Rowlings end (2'090 ft)
  • Scar Crags (2'205 ft)
  • Sail (2'536 ft)


Time & Distance Info

  • Distance walked: = 6.2 miles
  • Time Taken: = 6hrs
  • Total Ascent: = 2'523ft

 

Note:
All image description text is "above" the image that it is referring to on my blogs.

 

This route when viewed in Open Topo map looks like this: (N/S Orientation correct)
We walked clockwise, starting in the top right hand corner.

Here is the elevation profile: (Note the ascent angle of the cursor position. 55%!!)

And the view of the route as seen on Google Earth. (Walking clockwise from bottom right)

After planning the route above I started to get excited. Two weeks in the sun away from my real escape, the fells, had taken their toll. I was aching for some cool Lakeland air after my lungs had endured two weeks of scorching weather. The problem as always though was going to be that "other" kind of weather... the Lakeland weather. It seemed we had quite a short window to get this done and be back in the car by about 2pm. Hmm... Welcome home Stu!

Screenshot

I picked Steve up at 6:20am, promptly left Blackpool and we were parked up in the layby near Uzzicar at 8:15am. The sun was still quite low in the sky and, whilst Steve wont really like this image much due to his precarious hand position, I am not passing up this image of a lovely sky shot on my trusty telephone. Ha Ha, sorry Steve!

Ahead of us is our point of ascent onto Causey Pike, Rowlings End.
What your seeing here is an iPhone image shot using Viewrangers awesome new augmented reality feature. Its in beta testing at the moment and looking better every week. Keep an eye out for the public update coming soon... Even without this feature I rate Viewranger as by far the best of the navigation apps, and I think I own them all, but this new feature really is the icing on the cake! How many times have you stood looking out over the peaks trying to figure out what each one is? Thanks to Viewranger... thats a problem I no longer have.

Taken with ViewRanger Skyline - Compass Heading : 213°, Version : 7.0.0(234), Field of View : 58.0, Device : iPhone7,2(9.3.5)

Looking back to the layby, the cloud over Skiddaw looks awesome. Its a shame its such a hazy day.

Its hot too, uncomfortably hot and we are both starting to work up a sweat just walking up the road. The humidity is the highest I can remember for a long time.

The view of Catbells ridge is lovely from this side.

Just off the road by the bridge across Stoneycroft Gill is a lovely little section well worth the 2 minute detour to take a look at.

But I guess that I am just prolonging the inevitable hack up Rowlings end. I was going to do this once before. We stayed in my favourite Lakeland Hotel at its foot, and I took one look at the path up Rowlings End and decided we would do Haystacks again instead... Twice if necessary! Ha Ha. Oh well... time to do it.

Its steep, but beautiful. The heather and ferns are starting to turn to their Autumn colours now and are a joy to wander through.

Looking back after a few minutes and right there is a great view of the aforementioned hotel. Ellas Crag. In my mind this is an absolutely perfect Lakeland hotel, the owners are as welcoming as can be, they are great cooks and the whole experience is just Lakeland all over. Ellas Crag is well worth a visit if you find them with spare rooms.

Looking to our right, you can see our descent path at the end of the day. At least that looks easier than the route up!

But what a route it is. Lucky its very scenic, as it gave me something to look at when I stopped every 2 minutes.

The Newlands valley and Derwentwater looks awesome from up here

And to be fair to him... Steve doesnt look too bad either for an old boy! The humidity was really taking its toll, we were absolutely soaked in sweat. So we had our shirts off to dry out. I took this image on my phone for a laugh, but decided to include it as its a good memory of the day.

We did a bit of the climb shirtless, but the midges soon took their toll on us and we are both still itching today, two days later.

Oh dear. When Steve put his shirt back on he noticed that he had miss-laid his water bottle. It must be... right... down... there!

Hard luck pal... Ordinarily I would go with him, but this ones killing me. I will just take some images and enjoy the rest. Ah... its so relaxing watching Steve disappear into the distance down there. See that little red thing bottom right.. Thats Steve.

Ah... hes back. He looks like he really enjoyed that extra ascent!

I dont know why hes pulling faces, I had to stand here looking at this lot. What a chore!

After a lot of cursing, stops, and more cursing, we got to the flat bit atop Rowlings End which, all the way up looks like it will be the top. Hmm... Dont you just hate false summits?



Once you have covered Sleet Hause, that view starts to open up and presents you with your second section of hard ascent ahead. Oh boy...

Steve at the foot of the final climb up onto Causey Pike. At this point we have already ascended over 1100ft. This last 400 cant be that bad... or thats what I tell myself.

Looking back over Sleet hause to Rowlings End.

And to our left - Ard Crags, with Robinson in the background.

Nearly there - Just the scrambly section to complete now.

This gully is the last section up onto the top.

A fabulous view of Barrow to the left and Rowlings End to the right, with Derwentwater and Catbells in the distance.

But ahead of us, Scar Crags just up ahead of the cloud and Sail, buried right in it up and out of sight.

This really is a great ridge to enjoy on a cloudy day. The images may not be very good, but the memories certainly are!

These were the first walkers we had seen so far. They give the ridge some nice scale.

A nice cloud was hanging onto Stile end some 600ft below us.

Onwards now across Scar Crags ridge. The cloud here initially looks odd on an image. It was like a grey blanket approaching us in a straight line, making wierd looking shadows on the fells behind it.

Looking back to Causey Pike where those walkers we spoke to earlier are now enjoying the summit to themselves.

And to our right, over 300ft below us, a lone walker is enjoying the cloudy summit of the 1864ft Outerside.

Scar Crags summit, looking back to Causey Pike.

And lunch time. Steve had a nice healthy pasta, and I had a nice healthy bacon and mushroom fry up! There is a very good reason that this blog only contains shirtless images of one of us!

As we move on, the cloud breaks a little, just enough to reveal the unmistakeable path up to our third and final summit. Sail.

As we descend Scar Crags we meet a group of walkers coming the other way.

Steve points at our bail out path, asking if I want to head back. I can only assume its because of all the sound effects I was making.

No chance. Up the path to sail we head. Looking back, its amazing to see how the cloud is gathering on the flanks of sail. Leaving our path and the path back up to Scar Crags reasonably cloud free.

Onwards we go up the zig zag path. this path gets a lot of stick from walkers on social media groups, calling it an eyesore and other such comments. Personally, I think its great. They have provided a nice safe path for us to enjoy the fell, and enjoy it we certainly did. Ok, its a bit "in your face" for a mountain path, but its new and it will eventually blend in I guess. The important thing is people made an effort to provide it for us as the old path was badly eroded and this terrain was extremely boggy, making it a very dangerous place to be in the wet weather. They do a great job and are completely donation funded I believe. Regardless, I for one am very grateful for the efforts of "Fix The Fells". You can visit them Here

Mind you... I wish they could have left some spare rock at the top. What a pitifull summit cairn after a hard slog!
The puddle is the main focus of this image as there is very little else up here worth pointing a camera at.

And thats it. Three summits done, time to turn back. We descend back down the controversial zig zag path.

And then at the bottom, bear left onto the High Moss path.

This is a great path, but I suspect it could be deadly in full winter conditions. Its badly eroded in places and I could see 3 or 4 areas where snow would disguise some very bad places to put your feet.

What a view. Thats Grizedale up high, and the mining operation down below.

Onwards towards Outerside. Thats a great fell to tag onto a visit to Barrow as we did in a previous trip report.

Barrow ahead now....

Using an OS map you would bear right at Stile end, however, using your nose this path is simple. Just follow Stoneycroft Gill all the way back to the road. You cant go wrong, just keep that river to your right.

Talking of rivers. We have been wanting to find a suitable access point to get down there for a break. And Steve has spotted one!

A quick detour down to the river is taken. We are still incredibly hot, sweaty and a little hungry. So we are keen to reach this water.

Bliss... There is nothing better sometimes. Shoes and socks off and into the river!

Then just relax and watch those feet shrink back down to normal size.

We ate and drank here for about 40mins.

I made a washing line to dry out my socks and shirt too. Perfect.

And that was pretty much the end of another awesome day on the fells. We got back to the car about 2pm and it was raining by 2:30. I love it when a plan comes together. :)

 

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.

While you are out there enjoying the beautiful fells, remember the golden rules...
"Take only pictures, leave only footprints and keep only memories".

 

Here is some data from my Suunto Ambit 3 peak watch.
Calories etc are pretty accurate as I use the Suunto Smart heart monitor on all my hikes. GPS data is updated every 1 second so it it records every footstep, thus mileage often looks a little different to most navigation apps as they are usually set to update far less frequently and so miss a few turns here and there.                                                                   

Here is the route on an OS map courtesy of Viewranger.
If you would like the GPX file for this route, please feel free to E-mail me and I will send it to you. (For Free)

Finally... Here is a nice little 3D video of the route created by Suunto Movescount.

 

Camera Details:
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 worthy of the 5D3's talents, I usually return one day to make the best of it.

 

****

Route Completed on September 13th, 2016 with Steve.

New Wainwrights: 3. New total: 147 of 214.
New Birketts: 4. New total 203 of 541.          

 

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stewartsanderson@me.com (Stewart Sanderson Photography) Barrow Causey Pike Lake District Landscape Landscape Photography Outerside Sail Scar Crags photography prints https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/9/causey-pike-scar-crags-and-sail-with-my-pal-steve Wed, 14 Sep 2016 22:55:00 GMT
Harter Fell with Mandy, Steve and Babs https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/5/harter-fell-with-mandy-steve-and-babs Hello folks,
This Friday we went up to spend the night with our great friends Steve and Babs in their caravan on the lovely Skelwith Fold site in the English Lake District. I had been tasked with finding us a walk to do on the Saturday and given the forecast of sunshine all weekend I knew the Lake District would be very busy. So I chose a fell none of us had done that I hoped was likely to be easier to get parking at. Harter Fell in Eskdale.

Alfred Wainwright paid this fell perhaps the ultimate accolade, stating that:

"Not many fells can be described as beautiful, but the word fits Harter Fell, especially so when viewed from Eskdale."

 

Today we will summit 1 Wainwright:

  • Harter Fell (2'129 ft)


Time & Distance Info

  • Distance walked: = 4.3 miles
  • Time Taken: = 6hrs
  • Total Ascent: = 1'925ft

 

Note:
All image description text is "above" the image that it is referring to on my blogs.

 

This route when viewed in Open Topo map looks like this: (N/S Orientation correct)

Here is the elevation profile:

And the view of the route as seen on Google Earth.

We were up nice and early on Saturday and Steve & Babs made us a nice fry up before we set off.  Here is Mandy trying to sweet talk Steve into handing over the first butty!

We took Steves car today, so i had the rare treat of being a passenger in the Lake District. Our route took us from Ambleside, along Wrynose pass and all the way up to Hard Knott and over it onto Hard Knott pass. The view as you drive down here into Eskdale is amazing! I grabbed this out of the window as we crested the highest point of Hard Knott.

In Steve's big, wide 2.5 ton car, this is a tricky pass and takes its toll on the clutch and brakes. Look at the smoke coming off the brakes when we parked up. The vehicle had also developed a loud scraping and rattling noise on the last mile... but we decided to look at that on our return when everything had cooled down.

We unloaded and set off from Jubilee Bridge. Here is Steve taking a shot of his dogs, Sasha and Bruno.

Here is my wife Mandy on Jubilee Bridge.

The path onwards is simple to follow. Sasha makes a start immediately!

While we grab a selfie.

A view of the girls with Hard Knott and Border End behind them.

Steve and Babs with Bowfell and Great End in the distance.

As we gain height, the side of Harter Fell comes into view. This side is called Wallhead Crag and that section visible is some 500ft lower than the summit itself.

It's lovely and warm today so we are all down to base layers now. In the distance behind the team is Whin Rigg and Illgill Head. Steve and I visited those two a couple of months ago.

The girls taking a little breather.

Mandy and I taking a selfie.

Wallhead Crag ahead.

Watching the team ascend below me.

A snap of the Waterhouse family

And Mandy with Sasha.

Steve and Babs stopped for a breather.

We decide to stop at 2'000ft for lunch as we are all hungry and it's getting windy up at this altitude. We found a little crag that sheltered us from the worst of it and spent about an hour here just relaxing and taking in the views while eating our nice hot butties.

The summit is up to our right.

Suitably fed and watered, we set off towards the summit.

The summit plateau is actually one of the nicest I have been on. Lots of rocky outcrops and rock towers to explore.

The view over to the Old Man of Coniston range with Seathwaite Tarn nestled in there is brilliant.

But the view across to the Scafell range tops it for me. At a lofty 3'210ft tall, Its very rare anyone sees the top of Scafell pike without any cloud on it or even near it. Its certainly a first for me as ive only visited it once and that was in snow. All my previous views of it from neighbouring fells it has been hidden in cloud.

Here is Steve up on one of the higher rocky outcrops. You can see the OS trig point below and to the right.

The girls below what we reckon to be the highest point.

Devoke Water is visible in the distance. Surely one of Lakelands least visited tarns.

While I was wandering around with my camera near the trig point, the team, led by Mandy had started to ascend to the true summit.

Sasha and Bruno appeared to be joining them, but of course they failed.

But I joined them for what turned out to be one of my favourite group shots ever.

We descended down the other side which turned out to be much easier.

And shortly after... Steve decided to have a climb on a nice big rock face.

What a great summit this one is, plenty of places to wander around exploring.

Before we left, we scrambled up on top of this rock too. Amazingly, Bruno joined us on the top. I say its amazing as he point blank refuses to cross over little stiles and we have to carry the muddy great lump over them.

I plotted this route in a bit of a circular fashion as I dont like returning the same way I came, so our descent path is this way, walking towards Green Crag, another Wainwright I will one day visit.

During descent, I caught this fella taking a break in the sun.

Mandy captured this image of me on our way down.

Looking out over the most western arm of Dunnerdale Forest.

Leaving Harter Fell behind us.

Mandy is back in a baselayer. I am so pleased she is finally getting to enjoy some warm weather hiking as her Raynaud's disease (Affects blood flow to the extremities) really makes it hard for her to enjoy the fells with me in winter.

Once you reach the forest edge, you can literally follow this fence all the way back to the main path.

And the weather has actually got a lot better now, the late afternoon sun is much better for photography.

What a view. I agree with Alfred Wainwright, Harter Fell really is beautiful from this side.

The path eventually intersects Spothow Gill and we decided this was a great place for a break.

Steve and Babs did a little paddling to cool their feet.

As did Sasha.

Then we all just lay in the sun for 45 minutes.

Well, the ladies and the hounds did. I wandered around taking pictures now the light had improved over the hazy atmosphere we had this morning. I took this shot as both a Portrait....

And a Landscape. Which do you prefer? Its the portrait for me.

Time to go now... The path back is easy from here. Just follow the fence to the gate.

Then turn right and follow the path right back down to Jubilee Bridge.

One last selfie to prove it took us until May to get a tan this year.

And then we remember the car had a problem. Groan. We used a handy ramp shaped boulder to get the car in the air and found a loose under-tray. I carry cable ties in my rucksack, so a few of those strung together eliminated the problem.

And gave us transport to the Woolpack Inn where we enjoyed a great meal. They offer these Steak and Kidney Pies in two options. Half a pie or a full pie.. I think next time I will get half. It was huge!

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.

While you are out there enjoying the beautiful fells, remember the golden rules...
"Take only pictures, leave only footprints and keep only memories".

 

Here is some data from my Suunto Ambit 3 peak watch.
Calories etc are pretty accurate as I use the Suunto Smart heart monitor on all my hikes. GPS data is updated every 1 second so it it records every footstep, thus mileage often looks different to Viewranger and similar apps as they update far less frequently and so miss a few turns here and there.                                                                   


Finally... Here is the route on an OS map courtesy of Viewranger.
If you would like the GPX file for this route, please feel free to E-mail me and I will send it to you. (For Free)

 

Camera Details:
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 worthy of the 5D3's talents, I usually return one day to make the best of it.

 

****

Route Completed on May 7th, 2016 with Mandy, Steve and Barbera.

New Wainwrights: 1. New total: 138 of 214.
New Birketts: 0. New total 192 of 541.          

]]>
stewartsanderson@me.com (Stewart Sanderson Photography) Harter Fell Lake District Landscape Landscape Photography Wasdale canvases photography prints https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/5/harter-fell-with-mandy-steve-and-babs Sun, 08 May 2016 22:55:00 GMT
Black Crag with my daughters in almost perfect conditions for a change. https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/4/black-cragg-with-my-daughters-in-almost-perfect-conditions-for-a-change Hello folks,
With a sunny Sunday forecast I wanted to get to the lakes with my daughters and do something not only quite small for Ella, but also something new that none of us had done.

A friend of mine reminded me of "Black Crag" or "Black fell" as some refer to it. The fell is near Tarn Hows and I have been meaning to do it for a while and still hadn't, so I plotted a route and it looked fine at 4 miles so I set some plans in motion.

 

Today we will summit 1 Wainwright:

  • Black Crag (1'060 ft)


Time & Distance Info

  • Distance walked: = 4.1 miles
  • Time Taken: = 4hrs
  • Total Ascent: = 593ft

 

This route when viewed in Open Topo map looks like this: (N/S Orientation correct)

Here is the elevation profile:

And the view as seen on Google Earth.

The night before, I set Ella the challenge of plotting us a route to follow on viewranger. I gave her a start point and the summit and left her with the rest. She really enjoyed this and sat there for quite a while meticulously planning every little turn. This is how I plot all my routes, Viewranger on one screen and Google Earth on another so I can look at the terrain.

On Sunday, knowing Tarn Hows would be busy, we went to the cafe at 8:00am for breakfast and were parking up at Tarn Hows for a little after 10am. There were only 2 or 3 slots left by the time we left the car park at 10:30am. For reference, this car park has very good toilet facilities too.

We are off! Me, Steph, Ella and little Ben Nevis the bear head towards Tarn Hows.

I've been here before so already know how beautiful Tarn Hows is, but it was a real treat for the girls.

We head out along the west shore, walking north.

There are various money trees dotted around here. Always a hit with the kids.

Ella wants to play hide and seak, so she heads off into the distance while myself and Steph look the other way and count to 30.

At Tarn Hows... that isn't a painful 30 seconds.

Ella is in there somewhere, we know this as we heard her giggling.

Gotcha!

At the most northerly end of Tarn Hows we climb over the stile.

And head up into the hills.

The ascent today is very gentle indeed and the views are great. This is the view back over to Tarn Hows.

And the view onwards. What a beautiful day!

We take a gate onto the Cumbria Way. Ella stops to look back at the view and I get an image I really like very much indeed.

Onwards now along the Cumbria Way.

We come to some very large cows and a little calf. We all love seeing animals like this in the wild.

We turn right now onto Iron Keld. I love this lone tree and will likely return one day with my best camera gear and see what can be done with it. I can visualise a long exposure with a moving sky just around sunset looking great!

Ella is sporting her new convertible trousers today and is complaining that she is too hot, no doubt just so she can take the legs off and try them as shorts. So we had her boots off and converted them to shorts and she was very pleased indeed.

And there is the summit dead ahead.

The view across to the Langdale's is superb.

The pants are back on. Apparently its cold now. Odd, as it was just as cold before she took them off too. Little monkey!

This is the only steepish part, up the side of Ironside Plantation.

The amazing view over to the Langdales and Bowfell

Summit ahead.

Ella on the summit.

Such an awesome view from here. I genuinely cannot believe how good it is. This is now by far my number one favourite "easy" fells. Very little ascent and views to easily rival all the big fells I have climbed. Here are a selection.

Wetherlam, the Crinkles and the Langdales.

Windermere.

A four portrait shot panorama from Black Crag summit looking West.

Ella on the stile by the summit.

I love this farmhouse view with some compression from the zoom.

Ella loved it too and had her little pink Nikon out taking pictures.

Its 1:30pm, so that means... its lunchtime. Two sandwiches each today, Spam and Bacon, both with tomato sauce of course. Im on the stove, with Steph in charge of hot coffee. What a view to cook with. This is the view west...

This is the view east

We sure love a fry up on the summits.

After lunch, Ella went exploring and found something interesting that she insisted I come over to take a look at. So I wandered over.

Wow... look at that tiny tarn. Ella's right, I love it. And I had a plan for an image.

What an awesome scene for a picture of my daughters!

We have spent about an hour and a half just relaxing up here, but we need to move on. There is another summit cairn up here and we want to visit that before dropping off and heading back.

Ella wanted me to take this picture. Not sure what she had in mind, but I like it.

Onwards to the second cairn.

There is a great view from here over Esthwaite.

And of course Windermere.

Its time to go now... we are definately sad to leave this one, but times getting on and a wind has picked up that cleared the summit of people very quickly.

The route back initially is the same track we took up, the path across Iron Keld.

You can see the change in the weather from a couple of hours earlier in this shot. Ella had decided her and Steph had to hide from dad, so while scanning the horizon I noticed a change in the landscape from earlier. See this sneaky figure beneath the tree. Ha Ha.

After a few games of hide and seek, Ella went on ahead to check out the route she had made that split us off our ascent path to make this route a little more circular. We turned left here so we could return on the other side of the Iron Keld Plantation.

Ella liked this large branch. She carried it for almost 10 seconds before becoming very bored of it. LOL

What a great looking path... Good route planning by Ella.

The descent is nice and easy. Not too steep at all and aparently another great place to play hide and seek.

Hmm... What's that I spy?

Ha Ha... The girls are having great fun in this forest.

Ella kind of looks like a lumberjack in this image. I like it.

Not all of the girls hiding places were brilliant though. I suspect Ella chose this one!

We leave Iron Keld behind.

Onwards to Tarn Hows via Torver Intake.

Ella forgot her compass and I wasnt up for digging my whole rucksack out to get at mine so I let her use the compass on my phone. Here she is figuring out which way we need to go at this junction.

Off we march.

Torver Intake meets Tarn Hows at the Rose Castle Plantation. We spotted an up and coming mountain climber here.

And here we are back at Tarn Hows. There are still lots of folk around.

One last shot of my gorgeous girls before we hit the car.

And that was the end of a surprisingly enjoyable day. I wasnt expecting this small fell to offer much at all and was totally wrong. Its been one of the most enjoyable days I have spent on the fells and I will be back here again for sure.

 

Here is some data from my Suunto Ambit 3 peak watch.
The GPS on this device updates every 1 second so it records a little more mileage than your average GPS device like phones etc as it records me wandering around taking pictures etc. Heartrate is monitored via the Suunto Smart heart monitor so calories etc should be pretty accurate.
(As it uses a barometric altimeter, prolonged gusts of wind can affect its ascent and descent readings a little though.)

Here is an active track page from Viewranger.
This is the software I use to plot and follow our routes. If anyone wants a GPX track for this route, ping me an E-mail and its yours. (Free of charge of course)

 

To end - Here is a little video courtesy of Suunto Movescount that shows our route on a simulated 3D map.

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.

 

While you are out there enjoying the beautiful fells, remember the golden rules...
"Take only pictures, leave only footprints and keep only memories".

 

Camera Details:
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 worthy of the 5D3's talents, I usually return one day to make the best of it.

 

****

Route Completed on April 17th, 2016 with Ella & Stephanie Sanderson

New Wainwrights: 1. New total: 131 of 214.
New Birketts: 1. New total 184 of 541.          

]]>
stewartsanderson@me.com (Stewart Sanderson Photography) Black Crag Black Fell Lake District Landscape Landscape Photography Langdale Pikes Tarn Hows canvases photography prints https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/4/black-cragg-with-my-daughters-in-almost-perfect-conditions-for-a-change Wed, 20 Apr 2016 10:22:31 GMT
Skiddaw via Ullock Pike taking in Long Side, Carl Side and Bakestall with Steph https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/4/skiddaw-round-via-ullock-pike-with-steph Hi Folks,

My daughter Steph and I wanted to do a nice long route this weekend and she has always fancied doing Skiddaw. Now Skiddaw has at least 5 routes up to it that I know of, but as far as I am concerned, the only really awesome route is via Ullock Pike so thats the route I planned.

 

Today we will summit 5 Wainwrights:

  • Ullock Pike (2'264 ft)
  • Long Side (2'408 ft)
  • Carl Side (2'448 ft)
  • Skiddaw (3'054ft)
  • Bakestall (2'208 ft)

 

Time & Distance Info

  • Distance walked: = 7.9 miles
  • Time Taken: = 6.5hrs
  • Total Ascent: = 3'120ft

 

This route when viewed in Open Topo map looks like this: (N/S Orientation correct)

Here is the elevation profile:

And the view as seen on Google Earth.

We parked up in the few available slots on a little road off the A591 called North Row. You have to get here early if you want a slot as there are only about 5 spaces, so we left Blackpool at 6:30am to be parked up here at 8:30am.

 

Access to the fells is straight through the gate by the lay-by.

As soon as you start the route you're going uphill, but it starts quite gentle and the views open up in literally minutes.

Our view to Ullock Pike.

Walking alongside Ling How is a very beautiful area on a nice day like this.

The light today is very harsh as we are walking into the sun, so most of todays early images will be looking back to the west. Here Bassenthwaite is starting to become prominent in our view.

Steph ascending up onto Ling How.

We are up on "The Edge" now, the view back down the ridge is awesome.

Steph and I were having a giggle at how many "old" folk have overtaken us like it's just a morning stroll! We wish we were as fit as these folk. Maybe one day eh?

I mean, lets face it... this is no easy path in anyones book, but folk just wander passed us reading the bloody paper as they go! LOL

All joking aside, they are an absolute inspiration to us and really drive Steph and I to get fitter as they are showing us what can be achieved if we keep at it and lay off the pies!

Selfie time! Stephs sporting her cool new Montane cap. I like it a lot.

Steph just past Ullock Pike summit looking across to the awesome Skiddaw!

Looking back to Ullock Pike... Now people are even cycling past us!

Steph on Longside Summit. Skiddaw isn't looking any easier. You can see the ascent path up the side from here.

Looking back from Long Side to Ullock Pike.

Carl Side ahead.

The view back along the ridge to Long Side and Ullock Pike.

With Carl Side done (I forgot to take an image there!) Its time to take stock of the task ahead. Skiddaw!

Its steep... very steep. We had gotten talking to a nice lady up on her own from down south, so Steph was walking ahead with her for now.

But she soon disappeared into the distance as poor Steph had to wait for her old dad. However... On one of the many breather stops, I took this panorama of our route so far. That ridge is just an awesome walk. One of my favourites by far.

Its getting cold and windy here now above 2800ft. Our hoods are up but we are toasty due to the hard work of climbing this path.

What a view backwards. Of course, just after I took this image someone cycled down it like it was nothing. rather them than me though!

Finally, we reach the top. Just a short walk to the summit now.

Skiddaw Summit. Not many people get a view like this up here, we are very lucky today.

I'm very proud of Steph, this is a hard hike and she has done it no problem. Naturally I demand another selfie.

Onwards now to Bakestall which is in the distance. Its blowing a gale up here so we are keen to get down and eat.

Bakestall is the dark red coloured fell on the right.

Looking back up at Skiddaw after descending onto Broad End.

Bakestall ahead and our only snow of the day.

We found a nice broken down sheep fold in which we could fry up some hot food. Well deserved too in my opinion. We had a bacon butty, and then a spam butty to wash it down with, followed by lots of coffee and a chat with a nice couple who joined us there with their hungry hound who liked Spam. Perfect.

After an hour's lunch break, it was just a short hike from there up to Bakestall summit.

Steph at the 5th and final summit of the day. Bakestall.

From here we wander off track and go up and over Broad End.

To be fair, this was the worst part of the day. It was an absolute slog, very uneven and on an awkward angle for the ankles. Not at all enjoyable.

We walked round Broad End, trying to keep at 600m until we reached a section called White Horse, where we picked up a very steep path down.

Which also wasn't a great deal of fun, but at least it was a path.

You can see our intended route from here. Down to Barkbeth Gill and over Little Knott, basically following that wall, but via the diagonal path you can see from the middle of the image. Beyond that is Southerndale beck out of shot.

Steph at Southerdale Beck some time later.

From here, its easy walking back to the car.

Looking back to our awesome days route.

The car is just beyond that hill. And we will both be very pleased to sit in it today!

And that ended another great day on the fells with my daughter. Just a couple of hours drive home in the sunshine. Absolute perfection.

 

Here is some route data from my Suunto Ambit 3 Peak.

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.

 

While you are out there enjoying the beautiful fells, remember the golden rules...
"Take only pictures, leave only footprints and keep only memories".

 

Camera Details:
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 March 25th, 2016 with Stephanie Sanderson

New Wainwrights: 0. New total: 129 of 214.
New Birketts: 0. New total 179 of 541.          

]]>
stewartsanderson@me.com (Stewart Sanderson Photography) Carl Side Lake District Landscape Landscape Photography Longside Skiddaw Ullock Pike bakestall canvases photography prints https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/4/skiddaw-round-via-ullock-pike-with-steph Fri, 15 Apr 2016 17:59:07 GMT
Gray Crag, Thornthwaite Crag, Stoney Cove Pike and Hartsop Dodd Circular. https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/4/gray-crag-thornthwaite-crag-stoney-cove-pike-and-hartsop-dodd-circular Hi Folks,
It had been an age since my best pal Steve and me got outdoors together so we wanted to do a decent one this time. On our descent from Rest Dodd some weeks ago we noted this horseshoe route that looked a challenge and vowed to have a crack at it sometime soon. Today was that time.

This route takes in:

  • Gray Crag (2'293ft)
  • Thornthwaite Crag (2'572ft)
  • Stoney Cove Pike (2'503ft)
  • Hartsop Dodd (2'028ft)

 

Our route viewed on an Opentopo map.

The Elevation profile

The route viewed on Google earth.

I picked Steve up from his house in Blackpool at 7am, and after a stop for some grub we were parked up in Hartsop at 8:45am. The parking here is free with an honesty box which we put £2 each in. This is the view from the honesty box onto the fells. It's worth £2 each just to sit here and look at it! That fell ahead is Gray Crag and we are going to walk right up the nose of it into that cloud.

The view across pasture bottom up to Threshthwaite Cove showed a lot of cloud up on our route. This view is essentially today's horseshoe route. Up to Gray Crag on the left, Thornthwaite Crag in the distance top left, over to Stoney Cove Pike way out of sight top right then right back along the ridge out of sight to Hartsop Dodd and back to the car.

The view back to the car park as we ascend.

We eventually have to bear right and head up the nose of Gray Crag. Its steep!

Looking back on Steve with Brock Crags behind him.

It's hard work coming up here... I needed a lot of breaks!

And we are only about halfway up, but a break in the cloud reveals our first summit. Gray Crag.

The cloud dances around revealing some rare blue skies now and again. We live in hope that as the day rolls on this cloud will lift.

Looking back towards Brothers Water.

Gray Crag ahead.

Hayeswater reservoir behind Steve.

Rest Dodd across the valley. We were there only a couple of weeks ago.

Steve approaching the summit of Gray Crag.

The onward view towards Thornthwaite Crags.

Well, it was a view... It has gone again!

The cloud lifts again for a few minutes and we get to look across to Stoney Cove Pike.

And right ahead to Thornthwaite Crags with a lone walker approaching us.

At the summit, we reach the junction where you can go off and visit High Street or Mardale III Bell.

Steve on Thornthwaite Crags summit.

Moving onwards now to Threshthwaite Mouth.

This is a great track. The images don't do it justice.

And its very steep as it comes down to the saddle between the two fells.

But with awesome views of the next ascent up to Stoney Cove Pike.

Down we go... and as luck would have it, the weather is improving too.

What a view. Its making me hungry! That saddle looks a great area to stop for lunch!

The lower we get, the harder the next ascent looks. Definitely time to refuel!

And what a place to stop and cook up some grub! Steve takes over the cooking while I take a few images.

While we eat, we watch other walkers come and go. That section up the side of Stoney Cove Pike looks like a fun scramble.

Watching folk tackle the side we have just come down.

Steve looking right back down the valley to where I took the second image in this blog. What a difference a little sunlight makes.

But it's time to go. Let's get up to Stoney Cove Pike.

Its as steep as it looks, but a lot of fun. I enjoyed this section.

Looking down the valley to the 760m III Bell on the left with the little Troutbeck Tongue alongside it in the valley on the right. (Well, it looks little, but it stands almost as high as Blackpool Tower as the valley floor is at 220m and the tongue summit 364m!)

Onwards, the hardest part of the ascent over... the summit is in the distance ahead.

You can pretty much follow this wall. This is the view back showing the first two summits of the day.

Stoney Cove Pike summit.

We only saw three walkers up here. The third, was a lady on her own, dressed in blue. Remember that... its important later on.

Onwards to Hartsop Dodd Summit. This wall goes all the way there according to the map.

It's one of those walks that never seems to end.

Over to our left on Caudale Moor, is Caudale Quarry. While looking around taking images I noticed the lady in blue was also following our route. I could see her stood up some way in the distance, perhaps 10 minutes behind us. Suddenly, I saw her fall over!

Steve and I watched for a while and while we could see movement on the ground. She wasn't getting back up. There was nothing else we could do but head back up there. All the time shouting and trying to get her attention.

Hmm.... when we reached the "Casualty" it transpired that what I had seen, was an old balloon flapping about in the wind. What a bloody drain! Oh well, I wouldn't have slept well knowing I might have left someone up there hurt. We can laugh about it now... We popped the balloon in our bag and headed back to where we came from. The top of the hill in the distance there.

Hartsop Dodd summit ahead...

Great view of Ullswater from here.

But a much better view as you descend its nose.

Looking down to the car park. Note the pink sheep!

Brothers Water looks great from up here.

Its a very steep descent back to the car.

And that ends another wicked day on the fells with Steve!

 

Here is some route data from my Suunto Ambit 3 Peak.

 

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.

While you are out there enjoying the beautiful fells, remember the golden rules...
"Take only pictures, leave only footprints and keep only memories".

 

Camera Details:
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 April 3rd, 2016 with Steve Waterhouse

New Wainwrights: 4. New total: 129 of 214.
New Birketts: 4. New total 179 of 541.          

]]>
stewartsanderson@me.com (Stewart Sanderson Photography) Gray Crag Hartsop Dodd Lake District Landscape Landscape Photography Stoney Cove Pike Thornthwaite Crag canvases photography prints https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/4/gray-crag-thornthwaite-crag-stoney-cove-pike-and-hartsop-dodd-circular Thu, 14 Apr 2016 17:42:38 GMT
Blencathra With Mandy in the snow https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/4/blencathra-with-mandy-in-the-snow Hi folks,
Mandy has been slowly building up her hiking legs over the last 6 months or so, doing bigger and bigger routes every time and now we have a full weekend to ourselves we figured it was time to tackle one of the lakeland greats.

 

Todays route will see us summit:

  • Blencathra (or Saddleback as its known to the locals.) 2'848ft

 

Our route looks like this on an Opentopo map. (This is oriented correctly North to South)
Our direction of travel was anti-clockwise from Scales.

Rotated a little for aesthetics, it looks like this on Google Earth.

We started off the weekend with a great start, a night in the Lakes Hotel and Spa at Penrith, M6 J40. We had a great night there and woke up raring to go. After a full English breakfast It was just a short drive to get parked up at Scales so we got a parking spot nice and early.

We set off from the car about 10:30am and walked up the road alongside the White Horse Inn at Scales.

To our right, its plain to see there is a lot of low lying cloud on the fells. I hope this will have lifted later on.

 

We turn left and head onto Mousthwaite Combe.

Which is where the ascent begins up Scales Fell. The views from here are very nice.

The path is steep, but simple enough.

We stopped halfway up and enjoyed a nice hot coffee and a brief chat to a fella who had come up from down south with his nice little dog.

Onwards now, up and over the saddle between Scales and Souther fell.

Oh... this doesn't bode well! The cloud level is lower than expected. We are only at 1600ft and walking straight into the cloudline already.

Oh well... Great place for a selfie we thought.

The "view" across to Bannerdale.

We arrive at Scales Beck which is our next turning point for the ascent up to Scales tarn.

As luck would have it, the cloud lifted a little here.

Mandy crossed Scales Beck and posed for a picture.

Looking back, Bannerdale came into view briefly.

And ahead of us, our first sign of snow.

As we gain height and reach 1900ft, an amazing scene started to unfold ahead of us.

The cloud dispersed and Blencathra appeared in all her glory!

As did the notorious "Sharp Edge" ridge. It looks like we might have hit lucky with the weather.

Scales Tarn is amazing. Much nicer than I expected. Sat at the edge with his dog was the chap we spoke with earlier. The beagle puppy seemed to have claimed the tarn as his own as he took great delight in barking at me and warning me off.

The scene of many a rescue, and indeed many a fatality... Scales Tarn and Sharp Edge.

Mandy and I are going to head up there and take a closer look later.

But its 13:00... Which is lunchtime! We had a great lunch of spam butties and cakes while we chatted with the nice fellow we met. Naturally, his hound was now our very best friend as I had hot food on the go!

As we sat and ate, it all went pear shaped very quickly! This is the view south.

And the view north. Thick cloud has descended on us.

It was time for a serious decision to be made. Do we carry on up and hope it clears again? Or head back the way we came? We both opted to carry on for a while, so we packed up and started heading upwards.

Looking back to the tarn... nothing but cloud around us. I am secretly hoping we can exit above it to an amazing cloud inversion of course. And with 700ft to go, it's certainly a possibility!

The snow on this path is oddly deep. The path is deep set and has held the snow really well.

Mandy stayed in good spirits. She is always calm in situations like this. I guess that's the day to day training of 20 years as a paediatric nurse in a busy hospital coming out. I have always half expected her to panic in dodgy situations like this but she never does.

Regardless, the going is tough and I call it as time to stop for another hot brew and some calories. I am a firm believer that its always best to stay calm and just relax, eat and drink in bad conditions. Physical exertion brings on stress very quickly so taking your time is paramount to success. Plus, if we wait long enough, the sun might come out!

Oh well, maybe not. Time to don our crampons as it's getting steep now.

Despite my wishes, instead of getting better, conditions got worse.

Much worse... It very quickly and suddenly became the worst I have ever personally experienced and certainly far worse than Mandy has.

We are now bordering on a full whiteout. We stop and discuss our available options as we are near the top now and it may well be easier to summit and find our planned descent path over Scales Fell than to head back down this steep path to Scales Tarn.

If your monitor is well calibrated you will see this white image below is actually our exact view. You can just make out the snow on the left. The rest of our world was now white. This is the view ahead...

And the view behind us...

As we are at over 2'600ft now we decide to carry on upwards very slowly and very carefully. Breaks in the cloud gave us pointers on where we were going but it was pretty hard going and we could no longer determine where the sky ended and the ground began. This was Mandy's first whiteout and I was nervous about her panicking, but she didn't even come close thankfully.

Here she is going over the top after I cut some steps in for her with my boots and Ice axe.

Erm... Mandy! Wait for me!

Mandy on Blencathra Summit in a whiteout! What a challenge! A whiteout is very similar to what divers will know as a "Silt out" where you lose your orientation senses and can't tell which way is up or down and the cloud moving around you makes you feel like its you that is moving when your not. Its not to be underestimated - It can be a very deadly situation if you let it panic you.

Mandy is stood near the edge of Tarn Crags here. 3 footsteps forward and pretty much dead center of this image is a very steep 700ft drop to certain death. The whiteout disguises it perfectly by rendering the air and the ground as virtually the same colour. We were lucky, the cloud was moving around so we could see landmarks every now and again. I would hate to be up here in even worse conditions, and for sure it can definately get worse than this.

The last time I was up here was in the dark via Halls Fell ridge for Charity (Blencathra by Moonlight) So old Saddleback has yet to afford me a view worth the climb. Never mind... I will be back one day for another go. Maybe with my daughter Steph.

Walking had to be very slow. Baby steps, inching our way around. Maps are of virtually no use at all up here now. Thank god we BOTH have working GPS.

Naturally, I couldn't help but carefully wander over towards the edge for some images. The photographer in you never seems to know when to quit! (But it does know when its prudent to use some zoom...!)

Mandy's expression does at times remind me that the camera should be put away and an escape plan put into place! This was one of those times.

But wait! Who ever gets the chance to take a selfie in a whiteout? Lol... one quick snap and we are out of here...

No pics for a while... but we slowly and carefully followed the path along Scales fell.

The lower we got, the better the visibility became. We descended about 800ft and stopped for a brew and to get the crampons off.

Eventually, we emerged from the cloud to a pretty nice day!

Looking across to what I think is Clough Head, I see the cloud is just as thick over there. I remember wondering to myself who is up there and how are they liking it?

The rest of the descent was painless but we were both very glad to be out of that cloud and back in safer territory.

On the way back to the car, we decided to try out the White Horse Inn at Scales. What a great idea that turned out to be. Great Food and bloody well deserved.

And that was the end of our day... Just an hour and a half's drive back to Blackpool and its all over.

 

Here is the route we took, its active so you can zoom in and scroll around.

Here is some data from my Suunto Ambit 3 peak.                                                             

And here are the ups and downs.

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.

While you are out there enjoying the beautiful fells, remember the golden rules...
"Take only pictures, leave only footprints and keep only memories".

 

Camera Details:
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 March 12th, 2016 with Mandy Sanderson

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stewartsanderson@me.com (Stewart Sanderson Photography) Blencathra Lake District Landscape Landscape Photography Scales Scales Tarn Snow canvases photography prints saddleback https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/4/blencathra-with-mandy-in-the-snow Tue, 12 Apr 2016 20:32:48 GMT
Carrock Fell Circular with Mandy In the Sun https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/4/carrock-fell-circular-with-mandy-in-the-sun Hello Folks,
With the weather forecast being really good this weekend Mandy and I decided at last minute to head for the hills on Sunday in an effort to cheer me up as I have been feeling a little under the weather of late due to one thing and another and as a result, spent Saturday feeling sorry for myself.

There had been reports of fresh snow in Lakeland which was a slight worry as our crampons and B2 boots are now packed away for the summer, but I figured since we weren't going too high, and the snow was fresh and soft, all would be well.

This sight of the snow covered Howgills on the M6 north lifted my spirits no end and Mandy grabbed a shot on her phone!

We had actually planned to do Bowscale Fell, but by the time we arrived you couldn't park a bicycle around there let alone a car, so with a dark cloud descending upon my day again Mandy encouraged me to park up where we could, grab a map and plot a route up something different there and then.

This is where Viewranger scores very highly. I sat and plotted a route in the car and figured I had found one that was about right for the 5-mile maximum limit Mandy likes. (Mandy has a bad hip from birth and long hikes can see her in serious pain)


Today's summit is to be:

  • Carrock fell. (2'169ft)

Alfred Wainwright rated Carrock Fell as the second most exciting and interesting fell in the northern area of Lakeland (after Blencathra and before Skiddaw), it has special appeal regarding geology, mining and history and its rocky nature makes it stand out from the neighbouring fells which are mainly grassy and smooth. Carrock Fell is bounded to the south and east by the River Caldew into which all drainage from the fell goes to find its way eventually to the Solway Firth.

 

Our route today looks like this on an Open Top Map.

We walked clockwise from just above the bottom right hand corner.  (This image is orientated correctly North to south).

The route looks like this on Google Earth. (Walking clockwise from furthest left)

We parked up at a place the OS map marks as "Apronful of stones"

Here is Mandy stood behind the car with the ascent path directly behind and to her left. I can't make an image represent this ascent properly. In the flesh (Or rock I guess) it looks much steeper. See that crater behind Mandy here?

This image is taken from just after it. See how far away the car is?
For some reason, this terrain and light today is skewing perspective on this particular scene.

And from there onwards it gets very steep. The peak gradient recorded is 53% and I think that was about here.

Mandy took a great shot of me coming up here.

Just before you reach a point on the map labelled as "Scurth" you meet the little stream running down the front of the fell.

It's the perfect place to sit down and enjoy the views with a coffee. For Lakeland, these views are a little strange as its all flat. This is the most north easterly of the Lake District fells.

Selfie Time. Me and my gorgeous wife with our sunglasses on for the first time in 2016.

Onwards now, through some thick foliage. The ascent angle has lessened a little, but its still steep.

Into a section called "The Trough"

There is a useful waypoint here by way of an old sheepfold. That said, Carrock Fell is also the site of an Iron Age hill fort which crowns the summit. Only the foundations of the walls remain. So I guess this could easily have been a military outpost as we noticed a few unusual stone structures around here.

As you exit the trough, the views start to really open up to the south west.

And even the flat bits to the south east still look great. We can't believe our luck with the weather today.

Looking north from the navigation cairn situated at "Pike" on the OS map.

Same place, but looking south over Bowscale to Blencathra. Mandy and I did that a couple of weeks ago in a complete white-out. An awesome day, but we are a tad jealous of the views others will have up there today. At times, we couldn't even see each other on the summit. Mandy's first true white-out. Great training conditions and nice conditions to experience at least once in your life... but also conditions that make you glad to get down safely.

The view west reveals the summit. Which was once upon a time, the oval shaped Fort. You can just make out the original walls in this image.

And there is also some snow up here... Mandy loves snow!

To our north, a fell named "West Fell" is playing home to lots of paragliders. What a perfect day for it.

Mandy at the 2'169ft summit of Carrock Fell. Her 24th seperate Wainwright summit.

(Like me, she has done lots of repeats to our favourites)

The view up the valley to Skiddaw.

This is our onwards path to the descent point.

It is quite boggy and wet, but perfectly passable.

Ahead of us now, Round Knott. (A Birkett summit)

The view back from Round Knott to Carrock Fell summit.

As it was 13:30, we decided this was a great place to set our rucksacks down and make some lunch. Mandy got a shot of me preparing the cooking tools.

The spam is cooking... the buns with butter and tomato sauce are prepared and the coffee is poured!

We spent about an hour here just chillig out and enjoying the weather and views. You cant really beat a nice hot butty on the fells. I really love this little MSR stove. After we have eaten and are nearly ready to leave, I boil up some fresh hot water and fill the flask with it so we can enjoy more hot brews later.

The path onwards is easy and uneventful. Eventually you come to "Miton Hill" (Another Birkett summit) and our descent path is just after it, down "Red Gate" which is in the dip you can see in this image. The fell beyond, is High Pike, an easy extra summit for anyone happy to tag an extra mile or so onto the trip.

We turn right and descend along the path down "Red Gate" towards Carrock Beck.

The view back up to High Pike summit.

The view of the descent with Carrock Fell to the right.

As an added bonus, we got to watch the paragliders sailing silently around the sky up above us.

This descent path has to rank as one of the best I have walked. It's a great angle, nice and shallow and the views today are amazing.

We eventually meet the road down at Quaker Hill Ford.

There aren't many Fords around nowadays. Its nice to see one.

From here its about a mile back to the car. What a road to walk it on!

We decided that it would be rather rude not to make a slight detour towards Scales and call in at the White Horse Inn on our way back. A steak burger and a pint of coke is a perfect end to any days hiking. Mandy of course enjoyed a nice glass of wine along with a tasty looking lasagna.

And that was the end of our day... Just an hour and a halfs drive back to Blackpool and its all over.

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.

 

While you are out there enjoying the beautiful fells, remember the golden rules...
"Take only pictures, leave only footprints and keep only memories".

 

Here is the route we took, its active so you can zoom in and scroll around.

If you want a navigation GPX file for the route, just drop me an E-mail, I am happy to supply it. (For free)

 

Here are the ups and downs.

Some data from my Suunto Ambit 3 Peak.

And a little 60 second animation of our route courtesy of Suunto Movescount.

 

On a personal note, that ticks off my 130th Wainwright. Just 84 to go...
(Todays fell is the top right hand green icon)

 

Camera Details:
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 April 10th, 2016 with Mandy Sanderson

New Wainwrights: 1. New total: 130 of 214.
New Birketts: 3. New total 183 of 541.

                                                  

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stewartsanderson@me.com (Stewart Sanderson Photography) Carrock fell Lake District Landscape Landscape Photography Wainwrights canvases photography prints https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/4/carrock-fell-circular-with-mandy-in-the-sun Mon, 11 Apr 2016 23:55:00 GMT
A Circular Hike Up Seat Sandal In The Snow With Mandy https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/3/a-circular-hike-up-seat-sandal-in-the-snow-with-mandy Hi folks,
Mandy and I wanted to get out this weekend and do a reasonably small but challenging hike together. I tend to spend a lot of time hiking with my friend Steve and my daughters Steph and Ella, but not enough with Mandy. We try hard to make time to get out together too and this weekend is ours. I planned a few options for us including Dodd and Barrow but ultimately I decided that we should we try one that I have never done either so that we were both in exciting new and unfamiliar terrain all day.

The weather and current ground conditions promised lots of snow and certainly meant there was absolutely no guarantee of us making the summit, but we would certainly get a good day out.

 

The target fell summit this weekend is:

  • Seat Sandal: (2'415ft)
    Situated a couple of miles north of Grasmere, this fell is often overlooked due to its proximity to Fairfield and Helvellyn.

 

We had breakfast at our favourite local cafe, The Carousel in Cleveleys. The owner Martin always feeds us up ready for our big day ahead. We left Cleveleys about 10am and were parked up by 11:30 am at Dunmail raise, right next to where the Grasmere to Thirlmere road is closed for repair. We were both raring to go. It was cold and wet but our spirits were high.

A short walk down the road from the car towards Grasmere sees us turn left just before Mill Bridge.

The ascent from here is quite gentle, a nice warm up angle for us. We can see immediately that we would be reaching snow in an hour or so.

Oh look... Here comes some uninvited rain!

30mins or so walking in the rain and we came across a herd of sheep who held us up while they mooched about in this gateway. We never disturb the animals, its their home and we are in no rush... we can wait.

Beyond that gate is the bridge across Tongue Gill.

One of the sheep hadn't seen us coming... I captured this shot as he poked his head above the hill, he sure looked surprised to see us!

Heading up to Rowans Ground. The path is nice and easy underfoot.

Bar the odd quick scramble.

We stopped here for our first coffee and a 20min break before moving onwards. No fear of getting lost on this route just yet.

Seat Sandal is up to the left and it looks lovely. Its height is quite deceiving, at 2'415ft its still some 1'400ft higher than us at the moment.

This area has lots of lovely Gill's and waterfalls to cross and enjoy. Its snowing lightly now.

The climb up to Hause Moss begins.

And into the snowline we go.

We are getting hungry and it's started snowing again, we had made a decision a little earlier to hack onwards until we find something with a decent sized face that will give us a south facing shelter from the wind driven snow. We came across this awesome waterfall!

Perfect... just out of the wind we set ourselves down and got to work cooking. Now as avid followers of my ramblings will know, I normally cook bacon butties, but this time I have taken advice from a friend and decided to try, for the first time in my life (that I remember anyway) SPAM!

Take a bow Mr Paul Bury... you were right, it was lovely. And for hiking, it is indeed a great easy alternative to carting fresh bacon around! I've already ordered more from Tesco for the next delivery! Feeling content after our thickly packed Spam barmcake, we had a hot coffee each and boiled up some fresh water from the waterfall on the MSR Windboiler to go in the flask, just in case conditions later made the stove an unwanted task.

Then we took a quick selfie.

And one last shot of the waterfall before moving on.

We passed a group of about 10 hikers (you can see them in the image below) and had a brief chat. They warned us of 2ft deep snow and strong winds ahead that had seen them abort a summit attempt and choose this descent path back down. Not the greatest of news... But the view down the valley if we have to go back the way we came is awesome. So who cares?

We will go ahead and make the decision for ourselves, but we are prepared to turn back should we need to. We stopped about 20 mins later to put our crampons on too as the snow was getting slippery in places.

The sky cleared up from time to time too. What a difference! This is Mandy just about to breach Grisedale Hause, the saddle between Fairfield and Seat Sandal.

Boom. As soon as we poked our heads above Grisedale Hause the wind attacked us. But there was Grisedale Tarn, a place I have always wanted to visit and it looks amazing. The mountain behind is Dollywagon Pike.

What a great view back up to Fairfield. I took some weather readings here with my Kestrel 2000 Anemometer...   The average wind speed was quite high at 28mph. The temperature was -2Deg C with a wind chill of -8 deg C.

Mandy is still smiling, even while trying hard to keep her head on. The snow here was deep enough to keep her upright at least!

What an incredible view. Grisedale Tarn. It sits a tad below 1800ft and is 110ft deep. This tarn is reputedly the resting place of the crown of the kingdom of Cumbria. It is told that the crown was conveyed here in 945 by soldiers of the last king, Dunmail, after he was slain in battle with the combined forces of the English and Scottish kings. The mountain ridge to its right is St Sunday Crag... One of my favourite ridges.

And there, all alone is a brave solo walker making an ascent of Fairfield. (Just above center) I watched his or her progress from time to time.

We discuss options here. I am in favour of going round to the northern side and ascending the less rocky face in view of Mandy having never done an ascent like this on snow in strong wind and also with her only having XTR spikes and not full crampons. Mandy however, will hear nothing of it and wants to try this steeper more treacherous route up. We agree to suck it and see, it should be fine as the snow is still lovely and soft. Had it been hard neve it wouldnt have been an option for her. (Neve is young snow that has been partially thawed, re-frozen and compacted into a glacial type of ice... the walkers nightmare, white, beautiful but deadly) At the end of the day, we can always turn back if its harder going higher up.

Its steep and deep. We stop for a breather at about 2200ft as the going is starting to get tough. This last 200ft is looking very steep and it is vitally important that we dont let ourselves get out of breath because thats when mistakes tend to be made. Accurate footwork and balance is vital up here and that requires a calm mind. Slowly but surely is the best mode of progress on snowy ascents in wind.

Relaxed again we move on and agree to stop at the next clump of rocks.

Waypoint reached, Mandy still loving it. That can only mean one thing...

Selfie!

And a quick seven shot Panorama of the amazing view of course. Dollywagon Pike, Grisedale Tarn, Fairfield and St Sunday Crag with Ullswater way in the distance. What a vista!

And not forgetting of course, the beautiful Mandy. So proud of my wife, this is a serious route today... certainly not one for the feint hearted. Mandy doesnt believe me when I tell her a lot of the hikers we know wouldnt have continued this hike. She is braver than she knows.

The ascent angle is shallowing off now, but the higher we get the stronger the wind becomes.

One last shot of the view before it disappears as the weather seems to have just changed for the worse.

We have made it to more level ground but the wind is strong and its getting quite aggressive up here.

Mandy battled with the side wind and the spindrift. (Spindrift is the term given to snow being lifted and blown by the wind. It can be very painful indeed on any exposed skin and walking into it requires goggles, which we had if we needed them.)

I tried to capture an image of the snow being blown about. I think this one covers it.

Images can't really tell the story properly though of course, so here is a short video. (You can't hear a word I'm saying for the wind, but I probably had nothing interesting to say anyway)

Looking towards the summit, with the Langdale Pikes in the distance beyond it.

Finally... we reach the 2'415 ft summit of Seat Sandal. This is the view back to Fairfield.

In the distance, ahead of us, is Easedale Tarn surrounded by the Langdale Pikes.

And that's the way we need to head as we are going to stick to my circular plan and walk right down the very front of this rock... Mandy is in the lead as I am messing with the camera... as usual. And my phone just froze solid and switched off with 55% battery... as usual. That's my Viewranger track buggered again!

The wind isn't as bad at all on this side of the summit. The light spindrift makes for nice scenery.

Down below us, Grasmere seems to be having some nice weather this afternoon.

As we reach the edge of the summit plateau, Easedale Tarn is looking gorgeous in the late evening light surrounded by the Langdales.

The beauty of the scenery may have tricked Mandy into dropping her guard for a moment. But never fear, I had my camera ready!

 

While Mandy was struggling to get up out of the deep snow, I rushed to help her...  I created a quick panorama using my ice axe as a prop.

What a view to descend with. Perhaps the best I have ever had to date, and having my wife with me to enjoy it really is the icing on the cake.

Only those angry clouds to our right can spoil the view! We are hoping they dont unload anything cold and wet on us as we have quite some way to go yet!

So lets just look the other way at Grasmere and forget the clouds are there. I mean.. who would know?

So many different bodies of water in this shot. Windermere, Alcock Tarn, Elterwater, Grasmere and Coniston.

And here we are, enjoying it all from 1'500ft on the side of Seat Sandal, stood in deep snow. Perfection!

Ah... I had to mention snow didnt I? 30 mins or so later as we were leaving the snowline, It transpired that the dark cloud I mentioned earlier was indeed laden with snow and it had just caught us up.

Which, as we dropped to about 1000ft was reduced to just rain.

The return from here was very muddy and boggy in places.

But what a day. As far as we are concerned the weather we experienced just added to the day. All four seasons at different altitudes. The Lake District as we know her best... Unpredictable.

And that was the end of another epic adventure. We drove the car a mere 300yds or so down the road towards Grasmere and parked it right back up at the Travellers Rest Inn as we had never tried it before and had always wanted to. What a result, its a great pub, with great staff and great food. We even got the best seat in the house, right next to the log fire!

On the way home we saw a family of wild Deer just wandering up the road. I grabbed a shot with my phone fast before the biggest one jumped that fence too.

Amazing... You just cant beat that for a perfect end to an awesome day.  

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".

 

Route Data:

Here is a little 60-second video of the route, courtesy of Suunto.

Here is some data downloaded from my Suunto Ambit 3 Peak watch. 
(Health data courtesy of the Suunto smart heart monitor) (Ascent data incorrect as its affected by the wind we had... a failing of barometric altimeters)

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 topo map.

Camera Details:
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 March 5th, 2016 with Mandy Sanderson

New Wainwrights: 1. New Total: 125 of 214.
New Birketts: 1. New total 176 of 541.

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stewartsanderson@me.com (Stewart Sanderson Photography) Grasmere Lake District Landscape Landscape Photography Seat Sandal canvases photography prints https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/3/a-circular-hike-up-seat-sandal-in-the-snow-with-mandy Tue, 08 Mar 2016 00:09:26 GMT
A hike up Angletarn Pikes, Brock Crags and Rest Dodd with my pal Steve https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/3/a-hike-up-angletarn-pikes-brock-crags-and-rest-dodd-with-my-pal-steve Hello folks,
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:

  • Angle Tarn Pikes: (1'860 ft)
  • Brock Crags: (1'841 ft)
  • Rest Dodd: (2'283 ft)

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.

Selfie time!

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".

 

Camera Details:
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.

 

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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.

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stewartsanderson@me.com (Stewart Sanderson Photography) Angle Tarn Pikes Brock Crags Lake District Landscape Landscape Photography Rest Dodd canvases photography prints https://www.stewartsandersonphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/3/a-hike-up-angletarn-pikes-brock-crags-and-rest-dodd-with-my-pal-steve Tue, 01 Mar 2016 23:44:01 GMT