Friday, August 31, 2012

Grisedale Pike fell run

"If you want something done, ask a busy person" - Lucille Ball

Sometimes it seems that I get to the weekend and crash - having filled my weekday evenings with being awesome, the sudden availability of time at the weekend results in a less urgent wish to get outside.  It's Friday night as I write this.  On Tuesday I had a little run around Sale Fell, on Wednesday I went for a run over Rannerdale Knotts, yesterday (Thursday) I went for a run over Grisedale Pike:

The first time I went over Grisedale Pike was a walk I did, setting off at 4am lit by a full moon.  The second time was a fell run in beautiful hazy conditions.  An ex-work colleague of mine would run over Grisedale Pike whenever he could, racking up 200 visits before moving to Scotland.  I can see why he liked it so much, it is a beautiful run with great views on clear days like yesterday.  It has the added advantage of being 20 minutes from home.

Force Crag Mine
We took a route along the track to Force Crag Mine.  Now, we did this once before, aiming to get up onto Grisedale Pike and finding ourselves on this lower track along the side of the valley.  There is no clear track up onto the ridge and at this time of year, with the bracken up, it would be almost impossible and certainly very unpleasant to find a way up onto the ridge.

On the last occasion, we headed to the left at the end of the valley and tackled a steep and pathless ascent of Outerside (tick!).  This time, we decided to stick on the path up to Coledale Hause before cutting back over to the ridge path between Hopegill Head and Grisedale Pike.

Force Crag Mine is an old lead and zinc mine owned by the National Trust.  It was the last Lake District Mine to be closed, shutting down in 1990/1991. There are occasional days when it is open, we just missed one.

There has been a lot of rain recently.  The picture on the left shows the main path over Coledale Hause being overflown with water.  The waterfalls at the head of the valley were in full flow and water was running down the paths on the way up.

Crossing Coledale Beck was a bit tricky as the stepping stones, just below Force Crag Mine, were submerged.

We both managed to get across and stay fairly dry and before long we were climbing up onto the ridge that runs along to Grisedale Pike.  The sun was setting, there were white fluffy clouds in the air and the visibility was great.  I had brought my proper(ish) camera, rather than my iphone that most of my blog pictures are taken on, so I took full advantage:

looking over towards Keswick, I think that is Outerside and Barrow
Eel Crag
the Dodds behind the other side of the Coledale Horseshoe
Blencathra and Keswick
Ladyside Pike, the Solway Firth and Scotland beyond
up towards Grisedale Pike, one last climb
Grisedale Pike on the right
Grisedale Pike on the left
looking back towards Grasmoor

Summit Dorks

from the top of Grisedale Pike, there is a steep descent before the ridge path evens out, eventually reaching the forest
looking back up the classic view of Grisedale Pike.  If you look carefully, you can see Jonathan in the middle of the picture on the path, which gives this picture some scale.
a beautiful evening - this is the Dodds in profile.
brilliant route - about 7.5 miles

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