Another teaching period is complete, my 28th, and I headed back to the Lakes for my usual post-Easter visit. It turned out to be the coldest April visit to the Lake District I have experienced. Certainly, it looks as though the climate is changing and the usual seasonal changes seem much less predictable.

The climate isn’t the only thing changing.

Sunday (St. George’s Day)

I set off a little later than planned from Southport after saying goodbye to Mum. She had had a difficult time since a serious fall at home in December, when she broke a hip. A couple of weeks in hospital over Christmas, followed by several weeks in rehabilitation took a toll. She was now living at home with the support of four care visits a day. Despite the support, she doesn’t feel safe at home and the best solution is a move to a care home. Plans were already in place and I wondered whether this might be my last stay at the family home in Southport.

With those thoughts in my mind, I headed up the M6 on a cold but bright Sunday morning, looking forward to a week of solitude while adding to my Wainwright second round total.

Mardale Skyline route map
Mardale Skyline (12.6km and 748m of ascent). Start/end: Mardale Head car park.

I arrived at Mardale Head at 11am. The parking area was full but fortunately, a few early birds were just leaving as I arrived, so I got a good spot. I sat in the car and ate an early lunch, enjoying the feeling of being back in the Lakes once more.

Today’s walk would take in a couple of fells that formed one of the most miserable walks of round one. In truth, I’d been putting it off, but I’d chosen a different route this time and the weather looked promising.

Looking north along Haweswater from the lake road.
Looking north along Haweswater from the lake road.

I set off at 11.40am and walked back along the lake road to the gate that marks the start of the Old Corpse Road. I was soon climbing quickly and stopping frequently to take in the lovely views across Haweswater and into Riggindale.

This was my first serious walk of the year, so I took things slowly, but I actually felt pretty good, despite the lack of practice since last August. I stopped a while to photograph the abandoned shelters above High Loup. I guess they must have been for shepherds, but now make for an interesting photographic foreground.

Finger post and gate at the start of the Old Corpse Road.
Finger post and gate at the start of the Old Corpse Road.

Pretty soon, I turned right, off the Corpse Road and began a gentler climb to the summit at Selside Pike. The Wainwright top is a large wind shelter, where I sat for a while, just enjoying being back in one of my favourite parts of the world. While I was there, a young lad arrived. He was from Chorley and this was his 38th Wainwright. I wished him luck as we parted and I made my way south-west to Artle Crag.

The view across Haweswater into Riggindale.
The beautiful view across Haweswater and into Riggindale from the Old Corpse Road.

This stretch of the walk is the least enjoyable, more of a tramp really, and although the sun had now disappeared, conditions were significantly better than on my first visit in May 2017.

Once out of the boggy dip, underfoot conditions improve and the walker is rewarded by a rather lovely cairn at Artle Crag. In truth, it’s a more rewarding location than the summit of either Selside Pike or Branstree. I took a few shots of the cairn and then made the short hop across to the rather uninspiring summit at Branstree. The only thing it has going for it is the unusual survey disc that marks the highest point. It’s one of only two Wainwrights with this type of marking, the other being Blencathra.

Abandoned buildings by the Old Corpse Road, looking west, across Haweswater and into Riggindale.

From Branstree, it’s a steep-ish drop down to the Gatesgarth Pass and then a climb up towards Harter Fell. It’s always nice to cover new ground – this isn’t a route I’d taken during the first round.

As I climbed, the sky became more and more moody as slate-grey rain-clouds moved in from the north. It very much looked as though I might get a soaking.

The large wind shelter at the summit of Selside Pike.
The large wind shelter at the summit of Selside Pike.

At the top of the climb from Gatesgarth Pass is a large cairn and broken down shelter and I initially mistook this for the summit, feeling happy that I’d arrived before the rain. However, the true summit is 400m to the south-west and so I set off in that direction.

The beehive cairn at Artle Crag.
The shapely beehive cairn at Artle Crag, looking north-east, back to Selside Pike.

Just after leaving the first cairn, I was overtaken by a ferocious hailstorm and a significant drop in temperature. With nowhere to shelter, I zipped everything up, put my head down and struggled on as the hail beat down and the wind buffeted me.

Finger post at the Gatesgarth Pass.
Finger post at the Gatesgarth Pass.

The storm passed after about 10 minutes, and by the time I arrived at Harter Fell summit, the wind had abated and the hail had stopped. I met another young man at this summit, we had both been caught out in the storm and exchanged notes, laughing that we must be mad. He had just 6 more Wainwrighs left to complete his first round and was planning a completion at Great End in May.

A moody sky at Harter Fell.
A moody sky and layered ridges from Harter Fell after the hailstorm had passed.

From the summit, I dropped down to the Nan Bield Pass and rested for a while at the excellent wind shelter. After a short break, I headed down to Small Water, a place I’d wanted to visit since seeing it from above on my first visit to Harter Fell.

Looking down on Small Water from Harter Fell.
Looking down on Small Water from Harter Fell, with High Street on the left and Kidsty Pike, centre.

About half way down, a slow, steady and soaking rain began to fall. I reached the tarn and visited the tiny shelters at its shore. I sat in one of them out of the rain, hoping it might pass so I could spend time exploring this place. After 15 minutes, there was no sign of change, so I set off back towards Mardale Head, thinking that I would have to return on a better day.

At the shore of Small Water. A narrow path follows the northern shore.
At the shore of Small Water. A narrow path follows the northern shore.

By the time I got back to the car at 6.20pm, the rain had stopped and there were just a few cars left at the car park. I drove to YHA Ambleside and checked in.

I didn’t feel like cooking on my first night so I rewarded myself with a bar meal of Chicken, Ham and Leek pie with mash. It sounded perfect. Sadly, it was very disappointing. The instant mash was not properly mixed, the carrots were spongy, and there was no chicken in the pie. However, the beer was good and the meal filled a gap.


It had been a difficult winter, in which I’d had my own health scare to deal with. A routine consultation on 19th December for some treatment to my ears had resulted in a referral for a biopsy on an (apparently) enlarged tonsil. Understandably, that ruined Christmas. I had a small procedure under general anaesthetic at the end of February, requiring two weeks off work. Then a wait for the results, which finally came on 15th March. All clear. Naturally, I was relieved, but all through Christmas, New Year and the various trips to see Mum in hospital and during her rehabilitation, this thing had been nagging at the back of my mind. Since the results, I hadn’t really had time to take it all in and it was good to have some time to myself to try and make sense of it all.

So I didn’t blame myself when I woke up on Monday morning feeling rather subdued and muscles aching. I hadn’t slept well and my exertions the day before had obviously taken more out of me that I realised.

The stepped climb to Wansfell Pike.
The stepped climb to Wansfell Pike.

I had planned to walk out from the hostel and take in Wansfell and Troutbeck Tongue. It was a pretty long walk but I had an escape route should I feel unable to complete the entire round. I left the hostel at 10am and set off for Wansfell Pike via Ambleside.

Although the stepped climb was easy going, I found it a real slog and didn’t enjoy it at all. However, the morning sun was good and kept me going. By the time I reached the top, the sun had gone and the temperature had dropped. The gloves and jacket were on again.

Drystone wall between Wansfell Pike and Baystones.
Drystone wall between Wansfell Pike and Baystones. A useful shelter from the hail.

I tramped along to Baystones (the Wainwright summit) in light hail, nothing like the day before but hail none the less. I didn’t stay long at the summit and dropped down to Nanny Lane as the hail got heavier.

When I reached the road, I had two options, turn left for the long route, out and back, to Troutbeck Tongue, or turn right and head back to the hostel. I took the latter option, thinking that the best thing to do was to conserve my energy for a better day on Tuesday, when the weather was forecast to be good.

Tree and barn.
A perfectly shaped tree and small barn as seen from Robin Lane.

On the way back, I called in at the Old Post Office tea room where I had lovely home-made tomato soup with excellent sourdough bread and a warming hot chocolate. It was just what I needed and I left after lunch feeling much better.

I returned to the hostel via Robin Lane and after a rest, I drove down to Booths at Windermere for provisions. Supper was a microwave Chicken Tikka and Rice with fresh chopped tomato on the side. Although I hadn’t hit my walking target, I was happy that I had at least managed to get out and do something.


Tuesday was a fantastic day. I woke up feeling much better, both physically and mentally. As this was forecast to be the best day of the week, I’d planned my most ambitious walk, a Skiddaw round, taking in Lonscale Fell. I needed a photograph of this summit for a complete set of good photos in clear weather.

Lonscale Fell Round route map
Lonscale Fell Round (18.0km and 954m of ascent). Start/end: Under Skiddaw car park.

After a quick breakfast, I set off north to the car park at Latrigg, where I arrived just after 9am. The sky was clear blue with just a few fluffy clouds. The air was clear and the tops of the mountains were dusted with snow. In sort, a beautiful day, despite the cold.

The first target was a quick bagging of Latrigg. Well, not quite so quick because the views across Derwent Water to the North Western Fells were stunning. I spent some time just being there and taking it all in. While I was there, I discovered that the current image I had of the Latrigg summit was taken from the wrong location. With the aid of w3w, I found the correct top and took several photos.

View from Latrigg to the North Western Fells.
A superlative view from Latrigg, across Keswick and Derwent Water to the North Western Fells.

This is a favourite viewpoint for locals and there were several other people out enjoying the views. I have to say it’s probably one of the best viewpoint experiences I’ve had in all the years of walking in the Lakes.

I circled back to the car, grabbed a few extra provisions and then set off on the steady climb up Jenkin Hill. This is a popular route and there were plenty of people out and about, but never too many that it felt crowded.

The Celtic Cross at Jenkin Hill.
The Celtic Cross at the start of the climb of Jenkin Hill, en route to Skiddaw.

Once the top of Jenkin Hill was reached, marked by a cairn and more excellent views over Derwent Water, I took a break to catch my breath. Moving on, I skirted east around Little Man (I’d catch it on the way back) and headed straight for the summit at Skiddaw.

The summit at Skiddaw.
The summit at Skiddaw with toposcope on the left and OS triangulation pillar on the right.

From the top there were more excellent views, this time to the north, as far as the Solway Firth and the hills beyond. The sunlight also brought out the contours of the fells at the back of Blencathra, with Mungrisdale Common in full view. The summit was far less busy than on my previous visits and although I didn’t have the place to myself, there was a calmness that I hadn’t felt before.

View to Lonscale Fell from Skiddaw.
The prominent east peak of Lonscale Fell (centre) with Blease Fell to the left and the Helvellyn range in the distance, as seen from Skiddaw.

I retraced my steps along the ridge to the south of the summit and just after the path began to drop, I walked off route and found a quiet place for lunch. I had panoramic views across the entire Lake District accompanied only by the sound of Skylarks. Wonderful.

Skiddaw Little Man.
Skiddaw Little Man from the descending path from Skiddaw summit.

After lunch, I rejoined the path and headed for Skiddaw Little Man. I had a poor memory of my first visit and when I arrived, I realised why – other than the views, there is little of interest at this summit. I didn’t stay long and dropped down to the more interesting southern cairn with its twisted metal “sculpture” at Lesser Man.

The cairn at Lesser Man
The twisted metal cairn at Lesser Man, looking east to Blencathra.

I next dropped down to the crossroads where the path divides and took a left, away from the main path and most of the other walkers. Following the fence, I trekked across to Lonscale Fell, meeting no one en route. I arrived at the summit with the place to myself.

My previous visit had been made in thick mist. Today was entirely different, I had clear views in every direction and I took the opportunity to get some good summit photographs to add to my collection.

Blease Fell and Blencathra
Blease Fell and Blencathra, across Glenderaterra Beck from the east peak at Lonscale Fell.

Once I had the photos I needed, I walked across to the point on the edge of Lonscale Crags, what Wainwright calls the “east peak”. It’s the most prominent feature of the fell, although not the highest point. On my last visit, I experienced a strange phenomenon at this point and I wanted to experience the place in different conditions. Disappointingly, I felt nothing special but, again the views are excellent across the Glenderaterra valley to Blease Fell and Blencathra.

Skiddaw from the ridge near Burnt Horse.
Looking up to Skiddaw with ridges of land emphasised in the afternoon sunlight and a small, round enclosure.

I followed the fence back, passed the summit, and then took a right, steeply down, in fact, very steeply down to the ridge at Burnt Horse. I was very glad to have the fence on my left to cling to during the descent. At the bottom, I met a couple who were on their way up. We compared notes and then continued our respective walks.

A view of Great Calva.
Looking to Great Calva across the broken down wall on the ridge above Burnt Horse.

Eventually, the route joins the Cumbria Way close to Skiddaw House. I considered an exploration but was starting to feel a little weary and still had around 5km to complete the round.

The section of the walk above Glenderaterra Beck and below Lonscale Crags is rather wonderful but a little tricky in places and my tired legs were starting to feel a little wobbly.

Glenderaterra Beck
Looking down into Glenderaterra Beck from the Cumbria Way.

Eventually, I emerged into sunshine on the southern flank of Lonscale Fell and thoroughly enjoyed a very gentle stroll back to the car. It was only 5.30pm and I’d made good time. I actually considered a quick trip to Binsey before returning to the hostel but quickly dismissed the idea as utter madness.


Wednesday was a lost day. I woke up feeling completely and utterly knackered and struggled even to get out of bed. The most I could manage was a walk into Ambleside and back again. I did consider a walk on Lingmoor Fell in the afternoon but I simply couldn’t pesuade myself to get going. Such a shame because the weather was pretty good.


I woke up feeling much better after a day of relative rest. I made an early start because the morning was forecast to be good weather and deteriorating later. By 9am I was already en route, having parked up at Cow Bridge car park at Brothers Water. My goal was the Pasture Beck round, a walk I’d done before. On this occasion, I was attempting it in an anti-clockwise direction. Either way, there’s a steep start to the walk.

Pasture Beck Round route map
Pasture Beck Round (11.3km and 858m of ascent). Start/end: Cow Bridge car park.

I walked across to Hartsop and followed the village road to its end where I discovered the car park I’d once looked for and not found. I made a mental note to park there (rather than at Cow Bridge) on future visits. The odd thing is that, although it’s a reasonably sized parking area, it’s not shown on any maps. Anyway, it was another point to add to my mental map of the Lakes.

Hayeswater Gill at Hartsop.
Hayeswater Gill at Hartsop.

From the car park, I crossed the river and started the steep climb up the nose of Hartsop Dodd. I took things slowly, not wanting to tire myself out as I had on previous walks this week.

As I climbed, the sky lightened and there were even a few breaks in the cloud. Lovely views across to Brock Crags and down the valley to Patterdale opened up.

Looking across Hartsop above How to St. Sunday Crag from Hartsop Dodd.
Looking across Hartsop above How to St. Sunday Crag from Hartsop Dodd.

I took several breaks on the way up and eventually arrived at the summit almost two hours after leaving the car. I didn’t mind, it was a beautiful morning and the air was quite still.

The summit cairn at Hartsop Dodd is not at the highest point, this is marked with a wooden post by the ridge wall. I visited both points, just for good measure. The morning brightness had begun to fade but it never looked like rain.

Wooden post, marking the highest point at Hartsop Dodd.
The highest point at Hartsop Dodd is marked by a wooden post. The nearby cairn is on lower ground.

The next section of the route is a long ridge walk of two kilometres, initially at grade and then climbing slowly to Stony Cove Pike. It’s the least enjoyable part of this walk, especially the second kilometre as the ground steadily rises and the walk becomes a bit of a trudge. All the while, the sky was getting darker.

Three sheep on a rocky slope.
Inquisitive sheep on Caudale Moor. “What on Earth is that guy doing?”

The top of Caudale Moor is relatively flat and a summit point is not obvious. In truth, a summit cairn could convincingly be built on any one of half a dozen rock outcrops. Fortunately, the chosen point is crowned by a good sized cairn and so there is no ambiguity. It’s a rather unpreposessing place, but the views across to the Kentmere fells are excellent.

The view down into Thresthwaite Mouth from just below Thornthwaite Crag.
Looking back down into Thresthwaite Mouth from just below Thornthwaite Crag.

My next destination, the tower at Thornthwaite Crag, is also clearly visible across Threshthwaite Mouth. From the summit cairn, I walked north to the boundary wall and then followed it east, down to to the edge of Thresthwaite Mouth.

After the long trudge, a bit of light scrambling feels like a reward and the drop down into Threshthwaite Mouth doesn’t disappoint. I can remember on my last visit thinking that I was glad to be climbing up this section as coming down would be difficult, but I’d been wrong. I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and began to think that this anti-clockwise route might be the better of the two.

Looking north along the Gray Crag ridge with exposed rock in the foreground.
Looking north along the Gray Crag ridge with rock outcrops in the foreground.

From the bottom it’s a steep climb out to reach Thernthwaite Crag. There is some loose rock and it’s a little sketchy in places, but I managed it easily enough and arrived at my lunch spot feeling pretty good.

I spent around half an hour, eating lunch and exploring the area around the tower – there was no one else around. It was still pretty cold and the wind had got up, but it was still a pleasant place to be.

The view across Hayeswater to The Knott from Gray Crag.
The view across Hayeswater to The Knott from Gray Crag.

The next section of the route is a long 3km walk along the Gray Crag ridge and down its nose. However, I knew that it was downhill all the way back to the car and I set off to enjoy a lovely stroll across high places. The route is never in doubt, so I didn’t even have to think about where I was going.

A small tree, silhouetted against the sky.
One of my favourite trees, growing from exposed rock on Gray Crag.

I bagged Gray Crag for a second time, arriving just before two in the afternoon. I then cut across to the east for some excellent views down to Hayeswater. From there it’s a steep drop down to Hayeswater Gill with only some crags to negotiate on the way down, which are skirted around. I took yet another photograph of one of my favourite trees, a lovely Rowan, not yet in leaf.

There’s a lovely view into Pasture Bottom from the track beside Hayeswater Gill but the overcast sky made everything look rather flat.

The view into Pasture Bottom from the track above Hayeswater Gill.
The view into Pasture Bottom from the track above Hayeswater Gill.

I arrived back at the car just short of three thirty, pleased that I’d completed the walk in good time and that the weather had remained dry.

I drove back to the hostel and hung out for a while before making myself a supper of Chicken Korma and rice with samosas and chopped tomatoes. A good end to a solid day walking.


The forecast for Friday had been for poor weather in the morning followed by fine weather in the afternoon, so I had planned to go and see the print exhibition at the Reghed Centre before walking. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the morning weather was dry and although overcast, the sky was bright and the cloud base lifting.

After breakfast, I jumped in the car and headed north, thinking that I could pick off Binsey before lunch and then Troutbeck Tongue in the afternoon. Binsey is a long drive from Waterhead, but I was in no hurry and enjoyed an easy drive to the fell.

The summit at Binsey
There are plenty of stones at Binsey summit. A large cairn is formed from an ancient tumulus and there’s an OS triangulation column.

Other than Latrigg, I suppose Binsey is the easiest of the Wainwrights to bag, being no more than a gentle uphill stroll from the parking area. Or as Wainwright puts it, “It is of no great height, is well within the category of Sunday afternoon strolls, has an easy slope just right for exercising the dog or the children, is without precipices and pitfalls, never killed or injured anybody…”.

Once parked, I was at the summit within half an hour. The last visit I made here, the mist had obscured any distant views, but today, other than the low cloud shrouding the higher fells, visibility was reasonably good and there were distant views north across the Solway Firth.

Stone barn and drystone walls on Ing Lane at Troutbeck.
Lovely stone barn with big sky on Ing Lane at Troutbeck.

I took some time to explore the summit, which is one of the more interesting tops. There are several cairns, including a large tumulus and an OS triangulation pillar. After 30 minutes, I returned to the car and drove East along the busy A66 to the Reghed Centre.

I hadn’t been to Reghed before and I have to say that the exterior is pretty unprepossessing. The fake rockwork looks awful and the whole place has the feeling of a run-down motorway services. Obviously, books should never be judged by their covers and so it is with the Reghed. The interior of the building is quite fantastic.

Troutbeck Tongue in sunlight, backed by the Kentmere fells
Troutbeck Tongue in sunlight, backed by the Kentmere fells.

After a walk round the place and a very pleasant half hour in the gallery, I had lunch in the impressive cafe and then hung out for a while in the well-appointed common room. Note to self: this is a great place to visit in poor weather, there’s plenty of comfortable seating and some interesting shops.

From Reghed, I drove south to Troutbeck and managed to park in the lay-by opposite Limefitt Holiday Park. Fortunately, someone was just leaving as I arrived. It was mid-afternoon, the cloud had broken and there was some blue sky and dappled light on the fells.

View to Dod Hill with Oak tree.
View towards Dod Hill, with beautiful Oak tree, from the path climbing towards Troutbeck Tongue summit.

It had been a few days since I’d seen the sun, and as I walked back up the road towards Ing Lane, it felt good to have a weak warmth on my face. It had been a very cold week, so this was a treat.

The broad valley floor is flat as a pancake and the approach walk is nice and easy. This feels like another Sunday stroll until the abrupt slopes of the Tongue begin.

Gate, crags and the Kentmere fells
Dappled light over the Kentmere fells and the gateway onto the final pull to the summit.

The pull up to the summit ridge is steep but mercifully short and once at the top, there are views both up the valley to Threshthwaite Mouth, where I’d been on the previous day, and down the valley to Lake Windermere.

There is no doubt about the location of the highest point on this fell, which is marked by a neat cairn atop a rocky outcrop. I spent a little while at the summit, mostly photographing the cairn and trying to work out whether I preferred the view to the north or the view to the south.

Troutbeck Tongue summit with Windermere in the background
The summit at Troutbeck Tongue, looking south to Lake Windermere.

Eventually, I set off north down the long tail of what I guess must be a large roche moutonnée while the evening sun played over the Kentmere fells to my right. It was a beautiful evening with dramatic light and lovely cloudscapes.

After about a kilometre, a path strikes off the ridge path, diagonally to the right, and down the eastern flank of the Tongue. The path then turns south and follows Hagg Gill to the start of an easy farm track.

Small farm trailer with straw on a rough track
Looking north to Threshthwaite Mouth from the track along the eastern flank of Troutbeck Tongue.

As the valley floor falls away, the path maintains the same elevation and appears to rise but requiring little or no exertion to do so. The return leg is a pleasant three kilometre walk, finishing at the holiday park. I was hoping to have a celebratory drink but the bar didn’t look welcoming so I decided against it. I arrived back at the car just after seven o’clock.

On the way back, I stopped at the Little Chippy in Windermere for a fish and chip supper. Windermere was buzzing and clearly winding up for a busy weekend.


The weather forecast for Saturday looked unpromising, and I woke to a grey day with low cloud. Figuring that the cloud base would rise as the day went on, I had a relaxed breakfast and packed my things, ready for the trip home.

My plan today was to steer clear of the weekend holiday crowds and take a walk at the outer edge of the national park. After checking out of YHA Ambleside, I drove north to Mosedale. I arrived at 11am and parked up by Carrock Beck ford. There was very little activity, just one camper van. I parked looking west towards Carrock Fell and High Pike, although neither could be seen and were shrouded in cloud.

Caldbeck Fells route map
Caldbeck Fells (8.9km and 501m of ascent). Start/end: Roadside parking at Carrock Beck.

I waited for about an hour and a half, listening to the new album by the National (First Two Pages of Frankenstein). The cloud base did eventually start to rise, very slowly, and I estimated that if I began now, it just might clear the tops by the time I arrived.

I’d done this walk before but this time I’d be walking in a clockwise direction, taking in Carrock Fell first. The first leg is the toughest part of the walk with a short but steep pull up to Carrock Fell summit. Fortunately, it begins gently and steepens as height is gained, so there is time to get the blood pumping before the hard work really starts.

Carrock Fell summit cairn
The shapely summit cairn at Carrock Fell, backed by misty fells.

I arrived at Carrock Fell summit about an hour after leaving the car. As predicted, the top was clear of mist when I arrived and I had the place entirely to myself, not a soul in sight. Since my last visit (almost exactly five years earlier) the summit cairn had been rebuilt and it looks fantastic – one of the shapeliest cairns in the Lakeland Fells.

I stayed a while taking in what views there were. They came and went as the mist and cloud moved across the landscape. Eventually, I set off on the gentle-ish stroll across to High Pike. The ridge route between the two tops is easy to follow but the recent wet weather had made it very damp under foot, requiring several detours to avoid the worst of the boggy ground.

Lichen and moss covered rock
Lichen and moss covered rock on the moorland route from Carrock Fell, with High Pike in the distance.

About half way, I saw a couple of young people walking towards me. Initially, I thought they were playing about, moving left and then right and walking back on themselves. As I got closer I could see that they were both wearing trainers and were doing all they could to avoid getting wet feet. I gave them a cheery hello and they told me they had left their boots behind and were now regretting it.

I arrived at an occupied High Pike summit. A group were on a guided walk of the Cumbria Way and had stopped for lunch. I bagged the triangulation pillar and then walked a respectful distance away and had my own lunch. As I chewed a muesli bar, the walk leader came over and apologised for depriving me of the privacy that most fell walkers prefer. I didn’t mind so much but I was very pleased that he had bothered to say so. I waited until the party had departed and then took my usual photos. Sadly, the light was not good, so I haven’t included one here.

Slopes and layers of landscape
Intersecting slopes and layers of landscape with Great Calva just appearing above Coomb Height and a misty Skiddaw in the background.

The route back to the car was exactly the same route I’d taken on my last visit to High Pike. It’s an area of disused mines, but with that comes a nice, easy track all the way back to the car.

Before heading south to Hampshire, I drove over to Penrith and filled up the car at Morrisons petrol station. I also popped in to Booths for a few treats to keep me going on the journey home, and a bottle of gin as a present for Hannah. The journey home was surprisingly good. Traffic was light and I got back just four and a half hours after leaving Penrith.


Overall this has been a good visit but didn’t feel on the best form. My fitness has dipped and I need to get it back before the August visit. I definitely struggled on the steeper sections and it wasn’t entirely pleasurable. However, the weather was much better than expected. Most days had rain forecast but Sunday was the only day I actually got wet. The weather was unseasonably cold and the Icebreaker jacket was worn most days. Under the circumstances, sixteen tops is not bad for a week’s walking.

23rd April 2023
Mardale Skyline
Selside Pike
Harter Fell

24th April 2023
Wansfell (Baystones)

25th April 2023
A Skiddaw Round
Skiddaw Little Man
Lonscale Fell

27th April 2023
Pasture Beck Round
Hartsop Dodd
Caudale Moor
Thornthwaite Crag
Gray Crag

28th April 2023
Troutbeck Tongue

29th April 2023
The Caldbeck Fells
Carrock Pike
High Pike