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Walla Crag from Keswick

08.30.14

Posted by paul  |  2 Comments »

With a limited time window on today’s walk I am joined by my son Owen & our dog Holly on what turned out to be a little longer walk than we had initially set out to do. To mix things up a little we started our walk under a whirl of drizzle at Stormwater Bridge close to Portinscale where we picked up the Cumbrian Way before passing through a sleeping Keswick, I often walk alone but I would trade that to have my lad walk with me on any given day, today I shared that privilege.

This walk wasn’t just about Walla Crag, it was about school options, girls, mates, the latest Xbox games & who’s in the charts.

This is Walla Crag from Keswick.

 

ASCENT: 1,170 Feet  – 357 Meters

WAINWRIGHTS: Walla Crag

WEATHER: Some Light Rain With Sunny Spells,  Highs Of 18°C Lows Of 14°C

PARKING: Road Side Parking, Portinscale

AREA: Central

MILES: 7

WALKING WITH: Owen Sharkey & Holly Dog

ORDNANCE SURVEY: OL4

TIME TAKEN: 4 Hours 15 Minutes

ROUTE: Portinscale – Keswick – Springs Wood – Rakefoot – Walla Crag – Cat Gill – Ashness Bridge – Ashness Jetty – Great Wood – Derwent Water – Keswick – Portinscale

Wainwright Guide Book Four

Book 3

The Central Fells

Walla Crag

The pleasant Vale of Keswick, surely one of earths sweetest landscapes, is surrounded by mountains of noble proportions with an inner circle of lesser fells which deserve more than the name of foothills, each having strong individual characteristics, a definite and distinctive appearance, and a natural beauty all on its own. Among these is Walla Crag.

Map 1Map 2

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Cat Bells & Maiden Moor seen shortly after leaving Stormwater Bridge 08:40 am 14°C

The forecasters hadn’t got it wrong as we arrived in Portinscale under morning showers, however we did have the advantage of being able to see hints of blue sky which were drifting in from the west. We managed to park quite quickly in amongst the many Campervans famed for using the road for overnight stays.

So between two Campervans with blinds drawn we kitted up swapping shoes for boots, Owen & indeed myself felt the morning chill almost instantly, Holly did her best bless, to tie us up with her lead growling, barking & raring to go.

With the car locked we all set off picking up the Cumbrian Way footpath almost instantly that will lead us all the way in Keswick not before crossing the bridge that ran over the River Greta.

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Cat Bells, Maiden Moor & Hindscarth from the Cumbrian Way footpath.

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Crossing the River Greta as we enter Keswick.

After making a right over the River Greta we headed towards Keswick town centre which by the looks of things felt as if it was having an extra hour in bed this morning with the only exceptions of the odd shopkeeper opening up, it was only myself, Owen & Holly who seemed to be about this morning.

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Market Traders start the morning against the back drop of Moot Hall.

It was still quite early as we passed the market stalls setting up for the day most of who seemed to be selling winter clothing & gifts which was quite apt given the whips of rain about the air & the dull skies over our heads.

After passing Moot Hall we take a left turn where we would pick up the road towards Manor Brow, navigation from here is pretty straight forward as all we have to do is keep heading straight forward past numerous quest houses whose smell of cooked breakfast sure warmed an appetite.

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Where’s Holly? she’s behind you!

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Springs Road leading to Springs Wood.

After a mile or so of the smell of Bacon we reached the bottom of Manor Brow when it was time to take a right at Springs Road, it was our first clear sighting of Walla Crag since leaving Portinscale a little under a hour ago.

Springs Road is the kind of place you dream about living with very affluent housing with views over Keswick & Derwent Water, I could only dream whilst walking past the large detatched houses each one as individual as the next, all adopting names like Castle Crag, Green Gable & so on.

After a mile or so the tarmac road is left behind after reaching Springs Farm Quest House, here Brockle Beck is crossed by means of a small wooden footbridge which lead up to a gate & Springs Wood.

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Springs Wood.

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Smile for the camera Holly!

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Heading for Rakefoot.

With Brockle Beck to our left flank it was now time to leave Springs Wood behind after a short climb over a narrow wooded path where we were treated to open fell side views over Derwent Water & the north western fells.

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Cat Bells & Maiden Moor seen over Derwent Water.

Time spent in Springs Woods was coming to an end as we crossed a wooden footbridge once again over Brockle Beck, Rakefoot now was just a short walk away via a narrow overgrown track that leads out onto Rakefoot Farm.

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Crossing the ford at Brockle Beck/Rakefoot Farm

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Here, looking back on Blencathra over Rakefoot from the start of the climb.

After leaving Rakefoot behind we began the gentle climb by the stone wall, it was here I pointed out Blencathra & Skiddaw to Owen who hadn’t forgotten about our wild camp at Scales Tarn back in 2008.

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Following the stone wall over the shoulder of Walla Crag.

Once the first ascent was out of the way all the hard work was done as all we had to do now was reach the point where the single tree stands, from there we would pass through a wooden gate.

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With views over Derwent Water, Cat Bells, Causey Pike Ard Crags, Robinson & finally Grisedale Pike which is under cloud to the right of the photo.

It wasn’t too long until we were to reach the summit with grand views averting the eyes from today’s solo summit.

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Derwent Water with a distant Bassenthwaite Lake.

Within no time we were at the summit & even managed to have the place to ourselves before finding a quiet spot out of the wind where we could each brunch, yes you’ve guessed it, too late for breakfast too early for lunch.

Although Holly had her own packed lunch we still received that sad look which meant that myself & Owen had to share our lunches with Holly!

We weren’t alone for long after being joined by four other walkers two of which asked me to take summit shots of them at the summit, one guy I particularly remember said whilst looking at Skiddaw under a low bank of cloud said he was glad he hadn’t climbed that one today…

I didn’t quite know where he was going so I ended the conversation by a pause followed by a mmm, yeah, its erm…

We shoulder kit & press on towards Cat Gill.

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Bleaberry Fell under an aurora of heather.

It’s September which can only mean one thing, the heather is out in all its glory, but be quick it won’t last much longer before it starts to fade away for winter.

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A distant Borrowdale seen shortly after leaving Walla Crag summit.

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Derwent Water & a distant Bassenthwaite Lake from the top of Cat Gill.

I know that I am not alone when I say that this has to be one of the most outstanding views in the whole of Lakeland.

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Here, looking back over Cat Gill towards Walla Crag.

We had just experienced a heavy rain shower, so much so the hoods were quickly lifted for the first time in a long time, our would be descent can be seen via Cat Gill by the stone wall in the far left of the photo, however due to the downpour & Owen’s inexperience with wet rock we gave Cat Gill a miss owing to its steepness as I talked Owen into descending into Ashness Bridge instead.

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Here looking towards Borrowdale from our descent.

The two lesser fells of Castle Crag and Kings How were doing a great job of dominating our descent route, all the while Maiden Moor & the High Spy ridge can be seen over in the right of the photo.

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Ashness Bridge.

We were soon down after passing many walkers all enjoining a day out on the fells, it was at this point I glanced down over my legs then Owen’s & said, why are my trousers full of mud & yours are still nice & clean?

I don’t get it!

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Ashness Bridge.

Despite Ashness Bridge being one of the most photographed bridges in the whole of Lakeland we still managed to spend a few moments here without seeing anyone, then they all came at once which was our cue to leave.

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Ashness Jetty.

We took in the sometimes steep descent from the Watendlath Road towards Ashness jetty where day trippers had started to queue for the next Launch to arrive, here I snuck past for a cheeky shot from one of my favourite jetty’s.

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The Millennium Stones, Derwent Water.

After leaving Ashness Jetty we took on the Borrowdale Road via the narrow footpath until for less than a mile before reaching a left turn through Great Wood where the path eventually came out at the waters edge in Calfclose Bay, here lots of families had chosen areas to eat or throw sticks into the water for their dogs to Holly’s delight who doesn’t like water at all.

We take a well earned break on a large tree whose routes had been washed away over time from a battering from countless storms now only leave the roots of the tree exposed leaving them looking quite eerie, yet comfy to rest ones bones.

Ahead at the edge of the bay lay the Millennium Stones, or the Hundred Year Stones left by the national trust in the year 2000 to commemorate 100 years of the National Trust, although I have been here many times, this was the first time I had actually seen them upfront & close to the waters edge.

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Cat Bells & Rowling End seen over Derwent Water from The Ings.

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The view up the lake towards Borrowdale from Friars Crag.

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Derwent Landing Stages.

Despite the lack of people in this photo the landing stages were actually quite busy, so much so we spotted a young keen girl in her swimming costume having a dip.

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Eating cones of hot chips which plenty of salt & vinegar!

The queue for the cash machine was well worth the wait after treating ourselves to two cones of chips & cans of pop at the Keswickian Restaurant.

With chips in one hand & a dog in the other we lead ourselves through the busy market blowing on hot chips before putting them in our mouths, from twenty yards I spot a bench with mine & Owen’s name on it, it was there our walk was at an almost end as one mucky trousered dad looked on & asked his son, yer enjoyed today?

These chips are good Owen replied.

Mardale Ill Bell via the North Ridge

08.24.14

Posted by paul  |  2 Comments »

I hadn’t planned to walk today at all, in fact, it was only when my daughter asked for a lift this morning did I realise just how nice the day was turning out, it was 10:05am.

After dropping my daughter Paige off I drove home thinking that I just couldn’t miss this bright spell, two days in a row as it happens. In my head I had already made the decision to head back north, I also knew exactly where I wanted to be.

After clearing my hasty decision with the wife I soon found myself throwing my kit in the back of the car, most of which had only just come out the night before, spare socks were rationed yet this time unlike yesterday, I didn’t make the decision to wear long trousers so out came the shorts.

By 10:35am I was steadily heading north through the Bank Holiday traffic, my journey to Mardale was only going to take me an hour & a half which by my calculations should see me arrive just gone midday.

 

ASCENT: 2,240 Feet – 683 Meters

WAINWRIGHTS: 2, Mardale Ill Bell – Harter Fell (Mardale)

WEATHER: Overcast & Sunny Intervals , Highs Of 18°C Lows Of 16°C

PARKING: Car Park, Mardale Head

AREA: Far Eastern

MILES: 5.5 Mile

WALKING WITH: On My Own

ORDNANCE SURVEY: OL5

TIME TAKEN: 3 Hours 30 Minutes

ROUTE: Mardale Head – Mardale Beck – Dudderwick – Blea Water – Blea Water Dam – Mardale Ill Bell north ridge – Piot Crag – Mardale Ill Bell – Nan Bield Pass – Harter Fell (Mardale) – Gatescarth Pass – Harter Fell Gully – Mardale Head

Wainwright Guide Book Two

Book 2

The Far Eastern Fells

 

Mardale Ill Bell

Of the many excellent climbs available from Mardale Head the direct ascent of Mardale Ill Bell ranks high, the walk being favoured by two of the finest tarns in Lakeland, each set amongst crags in wild and romantic surroundings.

Alfred Wainwright

 

Map

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High Street, Wood How (Island) The Rigg & Harter Fell seen from the Haweswater Road, 12:08pm 16°C

Within what seemed no time I was driving a long the Haweswater Road questioning the fact if was I ever going to get a parking spot due to my late arrival, this however didn’t matter as I stopped the car to take this photo of my beloved High Street seen here as Rough Crag descends towards the tree covered Rigg.

Numerous cars by now were passing me & yet again I wondered where they taking the last of the available parking spaces, yet from my perch, it didn’t really matter, High Street was simply to hard to ignore.

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A close up of Low Raise seen with Castle Crag Fort.

As I set my gaze west towards Low Raise & what once was the craggy hill top incorporating Castle Crag Hill Fort seen here in the foreground of the photo.

In the year 1366 the Kendal Archers who were famously led by Captain Whelter ambushed Scottish raiders and buried them in the hollow below now aptly named, Whelter Bottom.

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Mardale Ill Bell (L) High Street (C) Kidsty Pike (R) & The Rigg (Foreground)

Before getting back into the car I couldn’t resist taking this photo of High Street’s Rough Crag ridge seen here with the plantation of Conifers that densely populate The Rigg.

Okay, it’s now time to find that parking space.

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Mardale Ill Bell seen shortly after leaving the Car Park at Mardale Head.

I knew that parking so late into the day at Mardale Head might prove to be difficult, what I didn’t expect was to see the Car Park so full it meant like many others that I had to park back on the Haweswater Road a good few hundred metres away from the actual car park, such the popularity of the fells this Bank Holiday weekend, however, I couldn’t & indeed didn’t grumble as most of the other drivers’ camaraderie didn’t go un-noticed as like me, all they wanted to do was enjoy a day on the Mardale fells.

I soon found a parking spot formed behind a line of cars all pointing up the lake a couple of hundred metres or so from the car park. I’ve been here in Mardale when I had the whole valley to myself under the bleakest of grey monotone skies & I’ve been here when it’s busy, yet I’ve never struggled, nor had to park so far away due to such popularity of the Mardale fells today.

Only a few hours ago while hurrying around kit in hand I had the genius idea to drive in my walking boots, something that I frequently do, normally on the return journey though, today my bright idea to save time went to waste as I had clean forgot which meant my North Face mids get kicked off rather than untied.

It didn’t save much time at all, yet in my head it kinda did!

With this the car boot gets closed & the car is locked as I throw my pack over my shoulder at the same time narrowly avoiding other motorist’s intent on trying to find a parking place. My pack is loose over just the one shoulder, feeling a little claustrophobic I await until I have reached the far side of the car park where most of the mayhem is now behind me.

It is here I shoulder pack & tie down before getting caught behind two chatting ladies who eventually form a gap & let me through.

It was also the spot where I get my first view of Mardale Ill Bell.

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Mardale Ill Bell seen shortly after leaving Mardale Head car park.

A subsequent breath of air leaves my lungs followed by a sense of relief as I fear I have just encountered a mild version of claustrophobia, all of which is left behind once I spy my route on how to reach Mardale Ill Bell’s north ridge, sadly not seen in this photo, here we are looking at the west ridge as the north ridge, together my intended route is out of sight, for now.

I take a right and follow the stone wall over looking the head of Haweswater who’s low water line is beginning to look all to familiar, a brief view of the Mardale Old Road where horse & cart once tracked confirms this.

After a short walk Mardale Beck is soon reached, this is the point for me to head left by means of the wide wooden footbridge designed to take what ever Mardale Beck can throw at it, however today, that thought is a world away as I stop to admire Harter Fell seen shortly after crossing Mardale Beck.

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Harter Fell seen from Mardale Beck.

The huge mass of Harter Fell forms the head of Mardale seen here under a brilliant afternoon sun, it wont be too long until I’ll be up there looking back down over Mardale Beck & my route through Dudderwick.

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Dodderwick Falls from the path.

Soon after crossing Mardale Beck Dodderwick Falls are reached as the sound from the gushing waterfall can be heard well before it is seen, the cover from the trees not really helping matters, still, a lovely & secluded spot to take in Mardale even when the valley is as busy as it is today, I still had the whole place to myself.

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Mardale Ill Bell seen with the east ridge.

With Swine, Heron & Eagle Crag above my right flanks I soon reach Dudderwick from where I could get my first view of Mardale Ill Bell’s east ridge, as tempting as it looks however I have to track a little further until the north ridge comes into view.

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The north ridge soon comes into view with the east ridge off to the left.

Both the east ridge seen (L) and the north ridge (R) split from the upper reaches of Piot Crag seen in the centre, rather like a ducks foot!

I continue to climb steadily passing through a wooden sty, from here my path underfoot progressively gets much wetter as I spy feeder paths that avoid the much more boggier areas, these of course take a little time to negotiate as the paths pass through long grass, but I guess it’s much better than filling your boots with bog water!

Despite the wet conditions my eyes are averted to the north ridge which I can see much more clearly once the bulk of the east ridge is passed.

Before me, I try to pick up anything that may resemble a path from ‘this side’ of Blea Water which will connect me with the ridge but I fail in doing so. Ahead my grassy path continues staying right of Blea Water Beck.

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Here, Looking back over boggy ground towards Harter Fell & Branstree from Blea Water Falls.

Harter Fell together with Branstree dominate my views as I look back over Mardale Head, between both Harter Fell & Branstree the Gatescarth Pass can be seen which I will traverse once Harter Fell has been summited.

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Blea Water Dam.

My path continues to rise besides Blea Water Beck until finally Blea Water Dam comes into view. For now the sun has gone in & it seems to have clouded over a little prompting me to take of my Bloc Billy sun glasses.

From high above, the Rough Crag ridge continues in an almost parallel line until the ridge starts to ascend sharply onto High Stile, the last section of the High Street Ridge.

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High Street north face taken from the shore path.

Once the Dam was reached I scurry along the narrow shore path if not only to take in the views surrounding the corrie, here the north face of High Street looks menacing & far out of reach of the average walkers capabilities, that is not to say however, it cannot be scaled…

Not unlike Long Stile…

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The Long Stile ridge seen over Blea Water.

By far the gentlest approach to High Stile is via the Blea Water ascent seen here as a narrow path flanks its reaches until the ridge ahead is reached at a col near Gaspel Gate Tarn.

The north ridge

In the other direction, Mardale Ill Bell north ridge.

Before crossing the Dam I took in some exploration time on which ascent I would make the north ridge by, from the Dam a direct ascent over the rock rib seen at the base of the ridge looks far more daunting than it actually is, it was here I also picked out the alternative ‘grassy rake’ route seen to the left of the rock rib.

It’s only when you get beneath the crag do you realise that the ascent is nowhere near as daunting as first thought, in fact it looks quite fun, but more on that in a little while.

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Looking back on Blea Water from the north ridge.

It’s only when you get up close with Blea Water do you realise why the Tarn itself is the third deepest natural body of water in the whole of Lakeland at (63 m) only Wast Water (74 m) and Lake Windermere (67 m) are deeper.

The sun illuminates Blea Water captivating me to take numerous photos as the water turned from black to deep blue within a matter of seconds. I could have sat here all day within the steep sided corrie watching the sun glance across the water, but I had a ridge to climb, & right about now I was getting pretty excited of what lay ahead.

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The alternative route around the rocky outcrops.

But first, a closer view of that ‘alternative route’ which flanked the steep crags via a grassy rake seen here just beyond the loose scree.

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The direct ascent starts here at the base of the crags.

It was at this point besides the steep base of Piot Crag did I pick up my ridge route, flaked heavily by a sudden hilt of vertical rock to my left I found an easy manoeuvre over this small rock step from where I could pick my ascent up the north ridge.

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Blea Water was simply too difficult to ignore.

After I scaled the rock step with three easy steps I soon found myself looking up the north ridge by means of a grassy ascent with alternative rock steps thrown in should the mood take you, behind me fell Blea Water flanked only by the steep corrie walls of Blea Water Crag & High Street’s north face.

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Mardale Head, Branstree & Selside Pike seen from the north ridge ascent.

Views north east saw me over look Mardale Ill Bell’s east ridge with Mardale Head, Branstree & Selside Pike beyond. The deep green area below can only confirm just how boggy Dudderwick can be, even after a dry spell without rain.

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Here, looking down from the top of Piot Crag.

My main ascent to gain Piot Crag was by means of the small rock shoulders mixed together with narrow grassy tracks, however, to reach the summit meant a final vertical rock climb which was a little out of my means, so here I had no other choice but to use a faint narrow grassy path that flanked this section of the ridge walk, here, after a quick look back, I track back to claim the summit of Piot Crag & more importantly, take in the view of the north ridge.

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One last look at Blea Water & High Street’s north face before I take on the connecting ridge towards the summit.

Before turning my back on my final views of the north ridge I couldn’t resist one last photo of Blea Tarn seen here taking on the wonderful affect of the worlds largest, & indeed deepest, teardrop.

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Mardale Head, Harter Fell, Branstree & Selside Pike with Mardale Ill Bell east ridge in the foreground.

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Looking ahead towards Mardale Ill Bell summit.

With Piot Crag now behind me all that remained before summiting Mardale Ill Bell was to take in the final ridge ascent, from here it pays to look for a good line without losing too much ascent at the same time, the summit now is only a short walk away.

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Nan Bield Pass and the ridge to Harter Fell.

While crossing the final section of the ridge grand views opened out over towards the top of Nan Bield Pass together with the ridge to Harter Fell.

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Haweswater & the High Street/Rough Crag ridge.

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Mardale Ill Bell summit.

After taking on the last section of ridge before summiting Mardale Ill Bell I spot a familiar face seen walking away from the summit with three other walkers, I soon realise that I know these faces from Facebook as I get a quick wave from Ray ‘Raymond Greenhow’ which confirms this.

There’s not many come up over that way Paul, I thought I recognised the jacket! Ray & I greet with a firm handshake before Ray then introduces me to more familiar faces some of whom I share friends with on Facebook, after a great introduction Ray tells me it’s bait time before the gang wander off towards the summit shoulder which overlooked Blea Water, here they all down packs as Ray tells me about his epic route which started back in Hartsop at 08:00am that morning.

Without wanting to spoil their lunch  I head off towards the summit, not before Gina Pennington offers me a slice of homemade chocolate flapjack, how could I refuse…thank you very much Gina it was delicious & kept me going for the rest of the afternoon.

After wishing the gang good luck with the rest of the walk I make my way to the the summit which is busy as walkers are either walking towards or away after making their own summit, some stand & chat so my own summit time was brief to say the least, with this I start the descent towards Nan Bield Pass passing more walkers along the way.

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The Ill Bell ridge taken shortly after leaving Mardale Ill Bell.

Shortly after leaving the summit I took this photo of the Ill Bell ridge seen here under brilliant afternoon sun, which incidentally, was back for the duration of the day.

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Harter Fell as I descend Mardale Ill Bell for the Nan Bield Pass.

on a personal note the ascent or descent from both Hater Fell & Mardale Ill Bell is amongst one of my favourite Lakeland paths offering fantastic views over the valleys of Mardale & Kentmere.

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Small Water, Haweswater seen with Mardale Ill Bell west & north ridge, in the background High Street Rough Crag ridge descending to the tree lined Rigg.

After descending the path towards the top of Nan Bield Pass I stopped to take this photo of Small Water with Hawsewater in the distance, in the left of the photo Mardale Ill Bell east ridge can be seen with its distinctive craggy rock spurs that line its ridge.

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A close up of Small Water with Mardale Ill Bell west ridge rising above.

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Yoke, Ill Bell,Froswick & Lingmell End seen with Kentmere Reservoir.

Shortly before taking on the main ascent of Harter Fell views opened out over the Kentmere Valley refreshing memories of an incredibly steep ascent on Lingmell End seen here in the right of the photo.

Above Kentmere Reservoir Yoke, Ill Bell & Froswick domineer any views west of my position.

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Small Water towards Mardale Ill Bell, High Street & Kidsty Pike.

Here, looking back over Small Water towards High Street & Mardale Ill Bell with both the east & north ridges clearly visible, in the distance Kidsty Pike can be seen with High Raise (Martindale) in the very background.

I take on the stony & sometimes steep path that will lead me all the way to Harter Fell summit, it is here I pass two walkers of whom I had a brief chat to back on Mardale Ill Bell, we pass comment once more about the clear views before I strode off once more with Harter Fell summit in sight.

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Harter Fell (Mardale) summit cairn with the remains of what used to be a iron fence post & railings.

One of my favourite attractions to Harter Fell besides the rather odd summit cairn is the mountain does not lie to you in false summits, Harter Fell has a broad shoulder therefore once crested you are met with a flat expanse of summit plateau where due to a wire fence (see summit cairn for the old fence) if stuck too, can be used as a great navigational tool should the cloud come down, however today, I didn’t have that problem.

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Harter Fell’s broad summit plateau.

Considering just how busy the fells were today I managed some solo summit time before spotting heads coming in the same direction as I had which seemed a little odd as I hadn’t seen them earlier, with this the stone cairn gets a tap from my walking pole before heading across the summit plateau north east, then south before a descent down to the Gatescarth Pass.

Not before wandering off the summit path to take this next photo of Mardale Ill Bell north ridge…

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A close up of Mardale Ill Bell’s north & west ridges with Blea Water & High Street.

Seen here flanked by bracken, which sadly wont be too long before it starts to die away for Autumn soon.

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Haweswater as seen from the third cairn, a popular spot for Wainwright enthusiast.

After re-joining the summit path I have a wander over to Harter Fell’s ‘third cairn’ marked on the map as BS or Boundary Stone, this spot which overlooks Mardale & Haweswater was a special location for Alfred Wainwright who chose to draw a portrait of himself sat up against a boulder, sadly said spot was overrun with walkers also admiring the views as I tip-toed my way through to take in the iconic view.

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Descending Harter Fell with Adam Seat seen at the far end of the ridge.

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Grand views over Haweswater.

It’s not just the third cairn that had great views over Mardale, this one from from Little Hater Fell is just as inspiring!

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Taking on the zig-zags towards Gatescarth Pass.

With the main summit of Harter Fell now behind me I grabbed both my shoulder adjustment straps & gave each one a good even tug, with this I can now take in the zig-zag stone path with a little run which I really started to enjoy before I could start to feel my shorts coming down! you just cant take me anywhere these days!

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Descending the Gatescarth Pass under hot afternoon sun.

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A close up of Harter Fell gully.

Well, what can I say, I’ve held high hopes to one day climb Harter Fell gully but after having a chat with Ian Sharples who has climbed most of the rock faces & gullies that Lakeland has to offer was told to avoid an ascent due to unpopularity within the climbing world.

It’s damp Paul, it’s very steep & very rarely sees the light of day & I for one would avoid it, once you hear the experts come out with comments like that, it pays to listen, however Ian didn’t stop there in his quest to find out more about Harter Fell gully Ian has promised to send me more information about Harter Fell gully dating back to its very first ascent back in 1926, watch this space as this post will be updated.

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High Street seen from the Sheepfold besides the Gatescarth Pass.

Found at the top side of the Gatescarth Pass is this large sheepfold with grand views along the High Street ridge.

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Harter Fell taken from the bottom of Gatescarth Beck.

I knew that once the sheepfold had been passed my walk was almost over as I slowed down to an almost crawl blaming lack of traction underfoot for my slower than slow pace, I however know why I lack enthusiasm to reach the car, it’s simply because short walks on the spur of the moment rarely turn out as fantastic as this one did, all done within three and a half hours of walking bliss.