Sunday, February 19, 2012

Deepdale Round - February 2012

Epic day today: Blue skies, frost, some snow, and mountains.  After some deliberation the night before, I chose a classic route of a horseshoe walk around Deepdale taking in St Sunday Crag and Fairfield:

 looking south-west from Patterdale where the walk started

route and elevation.  Wainwrights bagged (in anti-clockwise direction from Patterdale) Arnison Crag, Birks, St Sunday Crag, Fairfield, Hart Crag, Hartsop above How.

Parking up at Patterdale, the first peak to be bagged was Arnison Crag, location of the Arnison Dash Fell Race not a lot of dashing on this occasion though.  Steep climb up along the side of a wall:

 great views back over Ullswater with Place Fell on the right.

looking up to Arnison Crag

and looking back from the top

In, what was to become a theme for today, I told Jonathan that, after this bit, there was not really a lot of climbing left to do.  From Arnison Crag we headed over across Hag Beck and then started the steep climb up to Birks.

Black Crag on Birks - yep, we're heading up there

There was a little bit of snow on the way up.  It was a tough climb but we took it in stages, stopping to get our breath and to take pictures.

where we've been.  Arnison Crag centre left, Place Fell rear left, High Street at the back

steep and icy

and sunny

levelling out now, not much more climbing to do...

top of Birks with Helvellyn visible across the valley.  Catstye Cam just visible over the ridge line

let's keep going.  I think this is the first time I said that, if it gets too icy or hard, we can always turn back

up towards St Sunday Crag

Helvellyn with Striding Edge visible centre left

close up on Helvellyn and Striding Edge

first views of Fairfield

looking over towards (right to left) Helvellyn, Nethermost Pike, High Crag, Dollywagon Pike.

Grisedale Tarn just visible over Cofa Pike and the climb to Fairfield

last big climb of the day, honestly.  Grisdale Beck way below

looking back to St Sunday Crag

party on Fairfield summit

On the top of Fairfield there was no wind, despite some icy blasts on the way up.  Sun was shining and visibility was brilliant.  Views over towards Coniston, Penrith, Heysham power station.

Lots of people about now, some of them very annoying!  Off towards the penultimate Wainwright for today: Hart Crag.

looking back towards Scrubby Crag (great name) heading up towards Hart Crag

Lake Windermere in the distance
Hart Crag summit (with bandit)

Epic day

been there, there and there

back towards Fairfield

Hartsop above How, the last Wainwright for today along the long gradual descent towards the road

Place Fell on the other side of Ullswater

Back onto the road and a mile or so back to the car.  Conditions today were great.  The ground along the ridge from Hartsop above How is obviously boggy a lot of the time.  Today it was frozen and so there were lots of crunchy footsteps and some big stones thrown into boggy ice patches, usually failing to make an impression on the ice.  The climb up to Fairfield was a little hairy at times but nothing too bad really.  Another six Wainwrights bagged and a brilliant day all around.  Highly recommended route.

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