Monday 30 May 2016

St Sunday to Red Screes

To be honest this was a walk that I didn't think we would be able to do in one go, and had planning this to cover 2 walks.  Driving back up the Kirkstone pass, the plan was to come back via the Kirkstone Pass Inn for a pre-dinner drink.  To be even more honest, I spent quite a bit of the second half of the walk thinking it would be sensible to cut it short, but Caroline was keen to do it all, the weather was warm but not too hot, and we could always skip our dinner reservation that evening...

Here's the list from this, our longest walk to date, at 29km in just over 9 and a half hours.

Difficulty: 11
Walkers: Tim, Caroline
9:53, 0.0km 0h00 0m, Start (161)
11:16, 4.3km 1h23 305m, Arnison Crag (433)
11:59, 6.3km 2h05 536m, Birks (622)
12:38, 8.2km 2h44 774m, St Sunday Crag (841)
13:36, 10.5km 3h42 987m, Fairfield (873)
14:07, 12.0km 4h13 1033m, Hart Crag (822)
15:03, 14.2km 5h09 1076m, Hartsop Above How (581)
16:11, 17.4km 6h17 1423m, Dove Crag (792)
16:45, 19.3km 6h51 1443m, Little Hart Crag (637)
17:05, 20.3km 7h11 1445m, High Hartsop Dodd (519)
17:58, 23.5km 8h04 1813m, Red Screes (776)
18:13, 24.5km 8h19 1827m, Middle Dodd (654)
19:32, 28.9km 9h38 1907m, End (162)

To start with we planned to find a route from the car park at Brothers Water around the valley and up to Arnison Crag, but ended up climbing up a fell opposite a farm without a clear track to avoid an extra mile or so.  Potentially not the best option to follow the path we took...  Still it meant that we approached Arnison Crag from the south, so only got the view of Ullswater when we were right at the top, which was great.

From here there was a fairly clear path which joined one wall to go to Birks and then followed a stream up a valley.  We were just about to strike up the hillside when Caroline spotted the actual path, following this wall up the hillside - much easier.

 This was our reward - great views, but mainly over the route to come to St Sunday Crag and the edge of the Fairfield horseshoe in the background.

It was a fair climb up, although it didn't get too steep to slow us down too much.  We were hopeful of a much better visit to Fairfield than earlier when it was all encased in cloud.

 This was the view walking to Fairfield, with Grisedale Tarn to the right, somewhere I was hopeful of visiting the following day.

After Fairfield (which is a pretty boring top) we walked down to Hart Crag, again being really impressed we could see anything this time.

This is the ridge out to Hartsop Above How, showing the ridge to the left with Arnison Crag at the end, and the farm at the bottom where we walked up to start the walk.

This the the top of High Hartsop Dodd, which was about the point I really started to worry about whether we could finish the walk.  The main concern was that I couldn't see any paths down from Middle Dodd, the next ridge along, which would have meant quite a backtrack to come down Scandale Pass.  This photo is looking back towards Hartsop Above How, with the ridge behind St Sunday Crag.

So we committed to climbing back up another 250m to Red Screes, and both really pushed up the pass next to the wall - taking about 10min for each 100m of ascent.  At the end of the day this felt quite hard, The photo capture the end of the hard section, looking down to Scandale Pass and Little Hart Crag - the rocky lump to the right.

We met a fell runner at the top of Red Screes, who agreed that we needed to get a move on to make dinner that evening!  This was the view - well worth it, looking down the way onwards to Middle Dodd and Brothers Water beyond.

The view from Middle Dodd - from which we could see pretty much every peak we had walked that day.

Caroline was motivated to be faster than normal on the descent, but as it turned out my fears were not grounded, there was quite a good path and not too many steep sections.  This was looking back up to Middle Dodd, showing the way we took.  We never got our pre-dinner pub stop, but we made dinner and thankfully (for the other guests) even had time to shower first!

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