Monday 29 October 2012

Fairfield Horseshoe

This seemed the ideal walk - challenging, fairly close to where we were staying, and covering quite a few peaks.  The weather wasn't going to be great, but better than the continual rain from the day before.  We set off early to make sure we got a parking space on the up hill road next to Rydal Church - as it turned out there was plenty of space when we arrived.

Difficulty: 7
Walkers: Tim, Caroline
9:37, 0.0km 0h00 0m, Start (75)
10:27, 1.9km 0h50 394m, Nab Scar (450)
10:56, 3.1km 1h18 550m, Heron Pike (612)
11:58, 6.2km 2h20 670m, Stone Arthur (504)
12:32, 7.8km 2h55 930m, Great Rigg (766)
12:58, 9.2km 3h21 1071m, Fairfield (873)
13:50, 10.6km 4h13 1117m, Hart Crag (822)
14:15, 11.6km 4h37 1162m, Dove Crag (792)
14:46, 13.3km 5h08 1165m, High Pike (Scandale) (656)
15:29, 14.4km 5h52 1179m, Low Pike (508)
17:27, 19.4km 7h49 1218m, End (73)

The route from Rydal is fairly straight forward - upwards and onwards.

Early morning sun as we climbed out of Rydal, looking back towards Windermere.

The gate and the path leading up Nab Scar, this didn't require my finest navigation skills to work out the right way to go.

Beautiful views looking down towards Rydal Water, great reflections, scattered clouds and the grass really was that green.

Now at Nab Scar, looking back the way we had come.

Now at Heron Pike, and from here the horseshoe comes into view - all along the ridge in front to Fairfield, then turn right at the head of the valley and back along the other side.

Now with a proper view back to Windermere.  Quite impressive to see the cloudscape matching the mountainsides for awe.

However, since all was going really well, we put in a slight detour to go back down the hill to Stone Arthur.  You either get to it now, or it deserves a walk in its own right, so as we were almost there it seemed rude not to.  However, you end up losing a lot of height that you have to gain back straight away...

All the way back again to the main horseshoe walk, and up to Great Rigg.  Caroline still smiling!

However, the weather was looking more ominous, our path up to Fairfield rapidly vanishing into the clouds.  Still, at least route finding was still fairly obvious.

So this is the top of Fairfield.  Really not much to see apart from a fairly flat expanse of lots of rocks.  When visiting Fairfield again around four years later it was much better weather, but there still wasn't much to see, so we didn't really miss out.

Hart Crag, and still not much to see other than rocks.  At least this time they were slightly interestingly arranged.

Now to Dove Crag.  The view is arguably getting better, but really not much.

Finally coming back out of the clouds, down towards High Pike.  By this point I was feeling some pain in my knee, I later worked out that I was always using the same leg stepping down from rocks, however this was too late to matter much for this trip.  Since then I've become a little OCD at making sure I step downwards the same number of times on each leg...

Finally at High Pike, worth taking some pictures here.

Now at Low Pike, looking back towards High Pike and the clouds.  The 9th Wainwright of the day, even despite walking through clouds it really had been a great walk.

The final descent took a while, having to come quite south of the car before turning back and finding our way through the last couple of fields as it was getting dark.  Still, we were treated to some excellent views of the sunset.

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