By way of a change, I set off alone at 10 am this morning, on this meander around Coledale.
Well, I was walking alone, but there were plenty of people to chat to – I must have seen getting on for 100 folk on these hills today.
Luckily, the weather had improved as I headed north up the M6, though as I set off from the parking place in the old quarry by the side of the Whinlatter Pass road (NY 227 237) a brief shower summoned the waterproofs for the first time for a while.
I was soon up Kinn, and reached the top of the pyramid known as Grisedale Pike in good time. It was swathed in light cloud right on the summit, whereas Skiddaw was pretty much engulfed in cloud until mid afternoon.
After negotiating the bump of Hobcarton Head I strayed from the purist’s route around Coledale to take in Hopegill Head, from where a couple of folk were making hard work of the slither down to Ladyside Pike. Turning my back on them, I nipped over Sand Hill and down to Coledale Hause, with lovely views towards Buttermere over sunlit Sail Beck.
Forsaking the windy Hause in favour of the direct ascent of Eel Crag, I soon reached the point where the ‘shelf route’ that I enjoyed almost exactly a year ago joins the prow of the mountain for the easy plod up to the substantial cairn that marks the highest point of today’s walk, Crag Hill (839 metres).
The views were atmospheric and delightful, with sunshine accentuating the bright green of the lush fields far below.
Rain was never far away – it is pushing in to the left of the picture below – but luckily I dodged it today.
I made quick progress over Sail and enjoyed lunch with the view above, before heading on to the summit of Scar Crags, from where Derwent Water glistened beyond more sunlit fields.
The path headed gently on to Causey Pike, from where a scrambly descent led to my final summit of the day, Rowling End, with this birds eye view into the valley below.
The steep descent to Stoneycroft over greasy rock was followed by a short road walk, then a lovely path beside a forest that dropped me back into Braithwaite well before 3 pm.
Here’s today’s route – 15km, with about 1300 metres ascent, taking a shade under 5 hours at a fairly brisk pace.
A slide show will follow if I get around to it, but there may be a short hiatus whilst the computer goes in for repair.
Today’s walk traversed 6 Wainwrights, 11 Birketts (they are great to ‘bag’, aren’t they!) and just one Marilyn – interestingly Grisedale Pike, not the higher summit of Crag Hill. It’s a lovely round, always enjoyable.