Sunday, March 4, 2012

Haystacks, Brandreth and Grey Knotts - testing the fells

Yesterday I spent the day volunteering with Fix the Fells.  I had a wonderful time and hope to become more involved in this organisation.  Today, I couldn't help myself from going back to show my friend Jonathan what we had done and to inspect some of my work.

I had not even considered the fact that it had snowed quite a bit overnight and most of the western fells had a snow covering.  We parked at Gatesgarth Farm and headed over the path towards Peggy's Bridge, saying 'hello' to an old friend on the way:

Heading up Scarth Gap Pass path, I was able to see the work I had been involved in the day before - clearing rocks and other debris from the drainage channels that run across the path.

looking back down the path towards Buttermere, three drains visible

in the other direction, Haystacks
Fleetwith Pike, our planned descent place - we ended up making a snow adjustment and coming down the track you can just make out on this side at the bottom.
Haystacks and Fleetwith Pike from the climb up Scarth Gap Pass

tough part of the path, nearing the top now

looking back up towards High Crag, Seat in the foreground

from the crossroads, looking up towards Haystacks

Buttermere and Crummock Water below

tricky manoeuvres 

up on one of the haystacks

looking down the Ennerdale valley towards Ennerdale Water
cloud coming in
same view without the view

heading down towards the famous tarn
Innonimate Tarn


Blackbeck Tarn

Jonathan(s) - the left hand Jonathan under what looks like Kirk Fell across Ennerdale valley

back towards Haystacks

view back down the Buttermere valley

the bloke on the left here was the first of a party of two who had no idea where they were going.  We pointed them towards Honister Slate mine on the clear track.

heading up towards Brandreth, little window of visibility between the cloud and the snow
I wasn't entirely sure that this was the summit of Brandreth so I checked on the Striding Edge website and was amused to see that on a walk from 2004, the same roll of fence posts was already there - at least eight years and counting then.

heading over to Grey Knotts - Knott a lot of visibility (groan!)

top of Grey Knotts
The path towards the old tramway is just about visible below.  Fleetwith Pike is in the middle.  At this point we made the decision to miss out Fleetwith Pike due to a combination of snow and snow blindness.  We'll bag that one after work one night.

Cloud has lifted over the High Stile - Red Pike ridge
onto the old mine track

inside Dubbs Bothy - quite a mess to be honest

Dubbs Bothy

back down below the snow and cloud, classic Buttermere view

back up to Haystacks

back at the car, one last look at Haystacks (note blue skies)

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