Saturday, March 15, 2014

Foggy Fairfield Horseshoe

just coming out of the cloud on Low Pike

Jonathan struggling to give the banana the slip
We had planned a linear route today, up Nab Scar onto Fairfield and on over Helvellyn and The Dodds coming down Clough Head to Threlkeld where we had left Jonathan's car.  

Very low cloud and high winds made it tough going and at Fairfield, we decided to curve round and do the classic Fairfield Horseshoe route.  

We thought that by dropping down this way, rather than carrying on at relatively the same level (as per our original route) we would have a better chance of getting out of the cloud.  We also thought that we might be lucky and turn the headwind we were experiencing into a tailwind.  Neither of these things happened.

As we were climbing Nab Scar, we saw a young man wearing a banana outfit, apparently doing the Fairfield Round for charity.  His mother asked us to look after him which he wasn't pleased about.

The path from Rydal Hall to Nab Scar winds up steeply and we were finding it tough going.  We overtook the banana and on looking back, we couldn't see him so he must have split.

Nab Scar

there are runnable sections between Nab Scar and Great Rigg and then on to the climb up to Fairfield but it was very windy which is why Jonathan is dressed as he is in this picture.
Dove Crag?
Pretty soon after Nab Scar, we were in cloud and we didn't come back out of it until Low Pike near the end of the run.  There was still a bit of snow left on top of Fairfield.  

We sat in the summit shelter and made the decision to turn off to do the Fairfield Horseshoe rather than carry on over Helvellyn and the Dodds as planned.  I took a compass bearing and we soon picked up the path towards Hart Crag.

As we got to Hart Crag, the going got very tough with slippery wet rocks so we took it very easy.  Once we got to Dove Crag we had the wall to follow and there is a good section of runnable track here.  I remembered that the track is better on the west of the wall but today we got more support from the shelter of the wall from the wind.

follow the wall, a welcome shelter from the wind too.

Jonathan at High Pike

starting to come out of the cloud
Low Pike

Looking back to High Pike

9.6 miles
3d route shows the horseshoe profile

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