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Monday, 22 January 2018

Hartsop Round 6-01-2018

What a great start to the new year this was. After checking the forecast and conditions I opted for the fells of the Lake District to start off 2018 and a few summits I've not been to while visiting a couple I've done before. The weather was a good mixture of sun, blue sky, wind & snow, making it an exciting day out with plenty of ascent, descent and re ascent along the way. A tough but enjoyable day out. The route would be best described as following walls all day, as that is where the paths were that I followed.
I set off from the car park at Hartsop about 8.45 am with a good chill in the air as I followed the path over Pasture Beck and then straight up the steep ascent to HARTSOP DODD @ 618 m (2,028 ft), following the wall. This was a tough start to the day and proved quite relentless as it got the heart rate racing a bit. Plenty of stops along the way looking at the changing views helped as I got to where the path splits from the wall and heads up towards the summit and another wall. The area has a few remains of old mine working dotted about but you don't really notice these unless you are on the lookout for them. A couple of old metal post is all I came across. I reached the summit where the wind had picked up quite a bit and you could see the odd snow shower in the distance as well as the sun breaking through the clouds making it a guessing game as to how the day would pan out.
Route for the day
Crossing Pasture Beck
Looking back down the wall on to Hartsop
Brothers Water left, Ullswater in the distance
Leaving the wall and straight up
Old mine workings with the Fairfield Range as a backdrop
Follow that wall
Summit of Hartsop with the Helvellyn Range in cloud
I didn't hang around too much here as the wind was quite strong so it was a case of following the wall that took me to my next summit of STONY COVE PIKE @ 763 m (2,503 ft). It was while on my way here that the first snow shower rolled in and also where I hit the first bit of any snow lying on the ground. The views disappeared, along with everything else, and it was the only time that I thought about plan B, tuning round and going low for the day as it did get to near whiteout and very windy. I suppose the wind helped matters as withing 15 minutes it was becoming quite clear again and stayed that way till the summit of High Street, a few hours later. I had a bit of a walk round the summit plateau area taking in the 360 degree views on offer.
Follow that wall
Snow starting to fall
Looking back to Hartsop Dodd
Looking across to High Street
Sun clearing the clouds
Stoney Cove Pike Summit
Stoney Cove Pike Summit
Stoney Cove Pike Summit
Stoney Cove Pike Summit view towards the Helvellyn Range
Stoney Cove Pike Summit towards High Street
From here it was a bit of a drop and a down scramble in to the col of Threshthwaite Mouth as I headed towards my next summit of THORNTHWAITE CRAG   @ 784 m (2,572 ft). Quite a bit of down scrambling on the snowy rocks and scree but all done without any mishaps. There was also some good place's out of the wind that was a welcome relief as it was quite strong on the tops with a bit of spin-drift blowing about. Again, I headed off following a wall that leads you all the way to the summit of Thornthwaite Crag and all in good sunny, cold & windy weather.
On the path from Stoney Cove Pike
Follow that wall with Thornthwaite Crag & High Street across the valley
View down towards Hartsop from Threshthwaite Mouth
Looking back up to Stoney Cove Pike
My way up to Thornthwaite Crag
View back to down to Threshthwaite Mouth & Stoney Cove Pike
the snowy path to Thornthwaite Crag
Thornthwaite Crag's impressive trig pillar
Again, the wind was blowing the spindrift about but I found some shelter for a spot of lunch and a hazy view out to the coast. There was half a dozen others here all taking shelter from the wind and all going and coming from different directions. It's one on those places here that has a junction of paths that all join, making it quite a busy summit, especially on good warm sunny days. It was one such day about four years back when I was last here doing the MARDALE ROUND(click here) that there was about twenty mountain bikers on the summit all taking time out. Great views that day as well.
Summit view of my route so far
Lunch time view out towards the coast
Thornthwaite Crag, the smoking chimney :-)
I made my way towards the wide plateau of HIGH STREET @ 828 m (2,717 ft), following a well trodden snowy path and another wall that brings you to the trig point at Racecourse Hill. This is where the weather turned with a few scrawly snow showers blowing in the strong wind making it difficult to see and stand up at times. Quite a wide plateau and the main path runs at least 50 yards away from the trig point which is next to the wall, so something to bear in mind in low visibility.
My way towards High Street
Wide snowy path going towards a moody looking sky
A lonely walker making her way towards a distant Thornthwaite Crag
High Street trig point at Racecourse Hill
The wind whipping the snow up
Again, I didn't hang around as I made my way towards THE KNOTT @ 710 m (2,330 ft), that sits above HAYESWATER. I was thinking of a quick dash out to KIDSTY PIKE but as I have already been there, there was little point in this weather, plus time was getting on as I still had a fair bit of up and down to do before my final decent down to Heyswater. Again, a fairly straight forward route of following the wall all the way to The Knott with the view down Riggindale to HAWESWATER slowly disappearing.
Snow clouds blowing in over Kidsty Pike
Following the wall to The Knott with Kidsty Pike off to the right
View down Riggingdale
Snow moving in over Kidsty Pike
Snowing in Riggindale
Follow that wall
The way towards The Knott
Looking back to a distant Thornthwaite Crag through the snow, sun & wind
The Knott summit with High Street as the backdrop
Towards my final summit of Rest Dodd
Again, I was to follow a wall straight down and then back up and on to the final summit of the day, REST DODD @ 696 m (2,283 ft). From here, I made my way down towards Heyeswater by zigzagging down the fellside to meet the path by the reservoir. This cut out about half an hour backtracking to the path that comes off The Knott, which meant that I got down to the car park before it got too dark.
Follow that wall to Rest Dodd
Rest Dodd ahead
Rest Dodd summit
View across to my start point, Hartsop Dodd
View down to Heysewater
Just a leisurely walk down the gravel track that leads back into the car park at Hartsop. About 10 miles in for the most part clear, if a bit windy, conditions. A good winter feel to the day with snow on the tops but not too deep, the wind at times was quite strong with a biting edge to it, and getting back to the car about 3.30pm, making it a good 7 hours knocking off a few more wainwrights :-)

Video of the days walk

Happy New Year :-)

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