Today's excursion with Andrew (aka Notchy) comprised a high level round from Mardale Head, up beside Gatesgarth Beck, past Adam Seat to Harter Fell, then down to Nan Bield Pass before rising again to Mardale Ill Bell for lunch, then along the superbly renovated path to reach High Street at the Racecourse Hill cairn.
A short stroll north took us to The Knott, with great views across to the west, and north towards Ullswater. Then it was across to Rampsgill Head, and on to our sixth and final Wainwright of the day, Kidsty Pike, before descending pleasantly over Kidsty Howe and down to the car park at the head of Haweswater Reservoir.
This rather complicated sign gave us three options.
We selected 'Gatesgarth Pass'. The path is very nicely graded. Here's Andrew on the ascent.
Up at Harter Fell, we paused to admire the view along the Reservoir and beyond to the Pennines. Sunlit Lakeland summits lined up on the western horizon.
The Kentmere hills provided a fine foreground to the view across Morecambe Bay.
The path rose gently up to High Street. It has recently been rebuilt and is in superb condition, as are many Lakeland paths these days. It's just as well really, given the large number of people we saw in this comparatively obscure corner of the District. We encountered 50-80 people on the hills today, probably as many as Sue and I were seeing each week in the Alps.
The Knott revealed sunny vistas to the north, with Ullswater just visible. Ravens circled above.
The picture below shows Andrew on the thin path up to Rampsgill Head, with The Knott behind him and Helvellyn and its neighbours behind that.
These mountain bikers may have been enjoying a great 22 mile route from Patterdale that passes this way.
We paused at Kidsty Pike to finish our provisions and admire three fine looking stags far below us in Riggindale. A large female red deer studied us intently from a couple of hundred metres away. We must have stood out very clearly on her horizon. Sadly they were all far too distant to be captured on camera, and the kestrel that flew around well within range was just too quick!
On the way we encountered a superb, ancient looking, path, with upright stones carefully positioned at regular intervals on either side.
Britain at its Best. A fine walk in the best of company on a lovely late summer's day. Thank you Andrew for suggesting this day out and acting as chauffeur.