Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Fairfield Horseshoe variation

looking back up towards High Pike from Low Pike

I missed out Nab Scar and Heron Crag, the usual first (or last) fells on the Fairfield Horseshoe, because I've been wanting to bag Stone Arthur for a while.  It sits on an offshoot of Fairfield and the ridge down over Heron Pike and Nab Scar is much more appealing when descending.  Today, I parked along the roadside at Grasmere and headed up Stone Arthur, on to Great Rigg, up to Fairfield and then around over Hart Crag and Dove Crag continuing on to High Pike and Low Pike.  After Low Pike, I descended to the valley bottom and took the track down past Rydal Hall and then carried on around Rydal Water and Grasmere heading through Grasmere village back to my car.

13.12 miles

Stone Arthur from Grasmere

I'm still struggling a bit with my knee and so the climb to Stone Arthur was a bit of a drag.  There were a few places where I could have taken a more direct route but I decided to stay on the track which curves around to take in Stone Arthur summit.

Stone Arthur summit looking over Grasmere.  Coniston fells on the middle left horizon.  Silver How to Blea Rigg in front with Pike o' Blisco in the middle ridge above the summit.

Stone Arthur seems to be one of those Wainwrights which isn't a proper summit.  It's really an offshoot of Great Rigg (which is an offshoot of Fairfield).  From Stone Arthur, the path continues to Great Rigg. 

From Great Rigg, looking along the ridge towards Heron Pike with Windermere beyond.

in the other direction up to Fairfield with Hart Crag visible around the top of the horseshoe

Soon afterwards, I got to the top of Fairfield.  There were plenty of people there, sitting in the various shelters having lunch.  After a quick sandwich stop, I headed back along the other side of the valley, towards Hart Crag.

flat top of Fairfield and St Sunday Crag

Coffa Pike

over to Hart Crag
Hart Crag summit.  Red Screes is at the end of the flat top on the right, Ill Bell is the triangular fell middle right and High Street is visible on the far left.

From Hart Crag, I followed the wallside path to Dove Crag, then continued along the wall to pick up High Pike and Low Pike.  From Low Pike, I descended steeply to the valley floor crossing the river just south of Buckstones Jump.  Buckstones Jump is a band of rock, obviously harder wearing than the rock around it, which has created a natural dam with a pool at the bottom and a waterfall going into it.  A great place for a wildswim.  There are a number of other pools and waterfalls as the river descends.

Dove Crag summit cairn looking back up to Fairfield and Hart Crag
down the ridge to High Pike

from High Pike looking down over Windermere

and on to Low Pike

looking back up to High Pike from Low Pike

Buckstones Jump

natural pool at Buckstones Jump
I followed the track down to the Rydal Mount road and then followed the tracks around Rydal Water and Grasmere.

There were loads of bluebells out.  No doubt I have failed to photograph them properly, some areas were just plain carpets of blue.

I stopped for a look in Cotswolds Rock Bottom in Grasmere and then for a can of Coke at the Co-Op before carrying on along the road back to my car.

Nice to get out for a walk when I'm not in a hurry.  Three more Wainwrights bagged and 13 miles under my belt.



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