Expeditions, Navigation, Guided Walks and Trekking
I should be getting on with ticking off my Wainwrights. Not many to go now, mainly low-level and away from the main peaks. But the weather this weekend was so settled, sunny and cold, with the high fells in great condition. I gave up trying to put together a fell bagging route and returned to an old favourite, the Fairfield Horseshoe. It’s also a great eight fell-top route, getting up high and following tops all day. This day out completes almost a quarter of the Eastern Fells in one go.
The question for this walk is always, clockwise or anticlockwise. I settled for the former, finding a nice parking spot at Rydal. This was also to be the first long outing of the year for Luna, my Afghaluki hound and her first winter outing. It was going to be tough on her.
The day was sunny, generally clear with a crisp wind keeping the ground nice and crunchy for walking on. We both puffed a bit making our way up Nab Scar, but as the fells opened up in front and the slope eased off, the day settled into a fabulous walk on the fells. Views open up, down onto Grasmere, Rydal and Helm Crag below on the left and on the right over Rydal Beck to the ridge of Dove Crag and High Pike, the way back.
Good walking over Heron Pike and Great Rigg, we were joined by other dog walkers and groups out for the weekend everybody very chatty today, all made up with the weather. On the exposed plateaux of Fairfield summit the few sheltered places were taken by groups having lunch so we dropped down slightly overlooking Grisedale. Striding Edge looked almost clear of snow, although in the cold wind, I expect it was a good adventure there today as well.
It wasn’t difficult to pick up the right line of cairns off the summit although a small group of mountaineers, folly kitted out in crampons, ice axes and helmets walked towards us, probably coming up on of the snow-filled gullies around Hart Crag or Dove Crag. At the top of Hart Crag it feel just a bit more of a craggy mountain top, so perhaps making a more interesting approach to Fairfield. I’ll do the anti-clockwise route next time.
As we crossed over the high fell wall below Low Pike the signs of livestock appeared but were still surprised to meet a young group of Highland Cattle, sheltering from the wind above High Sweden coppice.
Above High Sweden Bridge and Scandale Beck we move from high fells to scenic, gentle slopes, nice woodland trees and and burbling becks and waterfalls. The permissive shortcut above Low Sweden took us back into Rydal Park and the trail home. Luna stopped for a welcome drink and wade in the freezing water. At this point I won’t mention that I left my gloves there; my friends are getting worried about my gloves being scattered over the fells. This time I did find them after a short return visit.
Perhaps my SLR camera batteries are going, in this cold they last just half a day. So this photo selection was taken with three camera’s, hence the variable shades of the sky. Must up my photoshop skills to fix that someday.