Walk date – 23rd August 2021
Distance – 9 miles
Weather – very warm and sunny, fair weather cloud, no wind
Well, its been a while but at last, after days and days of gloomy cloud and low light, the sun put its hat on and came out to play again. The forecast mentioned fog in the valleys but there was nothing more than a few wispy slivers of it over the Eden Valley this morning and all was clear and sunny. It became obvious on the way over to Glenridding and Patterdale that the situation was completely different at the southern end of Ullswater where thick fog was everywhere. Nevertheless we remained optimistic as we parked up in the school lay-by, popped a couple of quid in the honesty box and set off down the lane beside the George Starkey hut heading for Side Farm. We had a go at this walk one day last week but having reached Boredale Hause only to find that everything beyond it was invisible, thanks to the extremely low cloud which didn’t lift all day, we abandoned the idea in favour of trying again when the weather improved. I’m pleased that we did because today the weather was completely different and the visibility was excellent.
Patterdale – Side Farm – Rooking – Boredale Hause – Angletarn Pikes – Satura Crag – Rest Dodd – Satura Crag – Brock Crags – Calf Close – Beckstones – Crookabeck – Rooking – Side Farm – Patterdale
Approaching Side Farm. No-one about, fog everywhere and not a sound to be heard other than our boots crunching over the gravel. The lane was dry and dusty when we started out on our aborted walk last week, now its full of big puddles.
A short walk from Side Farm brings us out at the top of the hill at Rooking so here’s where we leave the lane and turn left through the gate and begin the climb up to Boredale Hause. Its quite cool at the moment so we keep the single layer windproofs on for the time being.
Nothing to see at the Hause but the fog is much thinner and behind me, to the east, we can see blue skies. Here, looking towards the west there is nothing other than a wall of fog. We had a short break here to remove the windproofs and have a natter with two couples who arrived as we were doing so. They were doing the Coast to Coast walk and having spent the night in Patterdale were setting off for Shap on the next leg of the walk, a distance of approximately 15 miles. They eventually disappeared into the mist and shortly afterwards so did we, taking a back route over to Angletarn Pikes.
From the Hause it didn’t take us long to be clear of any lingering fog and emerge into the sunshine where we paused just to check which of the several paths across here was the one we wanted. I took a look back towards the Hause and could see that the inversion was just beginning to break up and fell tops were starting to appear.
A little further on and Place Fell, which we couldn’t see at all back at the Hause, was beginning to emerge. I took lots more shots as the scene unfolded as we made our way across, so here are a few of them …..
….. Catstycam is just visible over to the right, Dollywaggon Pike and Nethermost Pike are becoming clearer but Helvellyn remains hidden by the rising swirling cloud.
Part of Saint Sunday Crag appears behind the boiling cloud bubbling up from Patterdale. Stony Rigg is in the foreground just to give you some idea of where this back route is.
Is Helvellyn clear yet? Nope.
A few wisps drift across Place Fell but its clear on the fell itself.
Looking ahead, the path is clear to see and leads straight to the north top of Angletarn Pikes, the knobbly lump just to the left of centre on the skyline. Some soggy sections along the way but mostly firm underfoot.
A look back to Place Fell where some of the valley inversion has risen and formed that long line of cloud above it.
Still waiting for Helvellyn to emerge but it remains hidden by the rising cloud.
Some of the effects of the inversion lifting were very spectacular not to mention somewhat unusual. Normally the fog lifts and dissipates leaving nothing behind, today it lifted and reformed as large white cloud which continued to rise without a hint of dispersal. I’m not a meteorologist so I can’t explain why things were different today. Anyway, over on the right more of Saint Sunday Crag can be seen, Fairfield is hidden behind that mass of white cloud and over to the left Hart Crag and Dove Crag have finally emerged.
Nothing to be seen of Helvellyn, hidden as it is by that mass of thick white cloud bubbling around it over on the right. However, by way of a consolation prize we have a view of Arnison Crag and Birks immediately below us.
We reach the north top of Angletarn Pikes, eventually! If there hadn’t been that spectacular inversion going on we would probably have been up here some time ago. Ah well, inversions don’t appear all that often and it was pretty spectacular, and there’s no rush either.
Up on the north top now and the remains of the inversion still linger over Patterdale.
Huge clouds bubble up beyond Red Screes and the Kirkstone Pass so I’m guessing that the inversion was quite substantial around Grasmere, Ambleside and Windermere
J contemplates the line of cloud still hanging over Place Fell …..
….. while I take a look over at the south top just below us and …..
….. take a look over towards Beda Fell, Bonscale Pike and Loadpot Hill. Since our chat with the Coast to Coasters at the Hause we haven’t seen any other walkers, could be that holidaymakers waited for the inversion to clear before starting out.
We made our way over to the south top to take in my favourite view, the lovely Angle Tarn. It was temporarily in the shade at this point thanks to the large clouds drifting over from the High Street area.
The cairn on the south top of Angletarn Pikes. Big white cloud still rising up from the Grasmere side.
Making our way down from the south top to pick up the path leading around the tarn up to Satura Crag.
Still no-one around as I take a look back at the south top of Angletarn Pikes from the path up to Satura Crag. Its very unusual to have this place to ourselves and its quite a treat just to simply enjoy it and the peace and quiet of it all.
The inversion is over and done with and Helvellyn and all the other fells around Grisedale appear in greater detail than usual thanks to the excellent visibility today. Some nice reflections in Angle Tarn too.
A look across to Brock Crags as we approach Satura Crag. We’re going over to Rest Dodd first and will visit Brock Crags on the return leg. There are still no walkers to be seen anywhere.
A very familiar landmark, the old gateposts marking the beginning of the route across Satura Crag. Route is probably not the best word to use since it implies there is one path, in reality there are many paths criss-crossing the crag so its just a matter of personal preference. If Rest Dodd is on your itinerary then keep a sharp look out for the path which diverts over to it.
The view along a sunny Bannerdale as we pass over Satura Crag …..
….. and the pretty little tarn situated on a small shelf on the right hand side of the wall crossing the crag.
Making our way along the path up to Rest Dodd with a look back to Satura Crag and sunny Brock Crags just behind it.
To our right we get a glimpse of Hayeswater with High Street to its left and Gray Crag on its right. We begin reminiscing about the time we climbed Gray Crag starting from the Hayeswater outflow in 2016, with no established path and a steep climb over rough grassland. Can’t believe that’s over five years ago and that we haven’t been up there since.
We’re just below the summit of Rest Dodd now. On our left is this view across The Nab. Bannerdale is over on the left and Ramps Gill is on the right. As we descended Rest Dodd later on we met a couple of chaps taking a breather. They had just been over to The Nab and mentioned that the peat hags down there were very wet. They were skirting around Rest Dodd, having climbed it previously, and were making their way towards The Knott.
Two walkers have just left the summit area and headed off towards The Knott so we had the place to ourselves again.
The absence of any hint of wind meant that clouds of midges were in attendance so after taking a couple of shots we moved away from the cairn and enjoyed a short break. Rest Dodd is well named, I need a rest after climbing it!
Rest break over we made our way back down. Directly opposite is The Knott but we’re not going up there today. The path up to it can be seen over on the right of the shot, but ascending alongside the wall is also an option.
A smidge of Hayeswater appears as we descend …..
….. and when we reach the wall we turn off the main path and descend off path back to the Satura Crag path. It was during this descent that we met the two chaps who had been over to The Nab.
Another view of Hayeswater, High Street and Gray Crag as we descend Rest Dodd alongside the wall.
Back at the familiar gateposts having picked our way over Satura Crag. After passing through we turn left and follow the occasionally squelchy path over to Brock Crags.
Its not a very long trek over to Brock Crags from the gateposts so we’re soon on the summit from where I took this shot looking towards Threshthwaite Cove.
Brock Crags summit cairn where, once again, clouds of midges were gathered. For some reason they latched onto J which had him wildly waving his arms around and running for cover. Oddly enough they left me alone.
Angle Tarn from Brock Crags where we spotted a couple of folk having a paddle, apart from them there was no-one else around.
Brothers Water from Brock Crags. We descended off path and followed a line of old fence posts which eventually led us down to …..
….. this old path and through some very tall bracken. Behind me the path leads over to the former Filter House alongside Hayeswater Gill. This high path by-passes Hartsop village and leads from the open fell side through the woods of Calf Close. The path through Calf Close woods is very steep with a loose surface so it was maximum concentration every step of the way. It eventually joins the more popular lower path between Rooking and Hartsop along the valley bottom so from then on the walk back to Patterdale was much easier.
We arrived at the upper bridge across Angletarn Beck and I would have taken a shot of the lower falls had there not been a family group of three already established there. Dad was sitting on one of the rocks dangling his feet in the water, teenage son just across from him on the opposite side of the beck doing nothing in particular, teenage daughter standing completely away from both of them and staring vacantly at the ground, neither of them looked as if they wanted to be there. Dad and J had a brief chat while I went in search of a shot of the upper falls, not as good a view as the lower ones would have been but better than nothing I suppose.
We left the little family group and carried on our way towards Patterdale with a sunny view of Dubhow Crag above the path.
Equally sunny were the fields along Patterdale. We began seeing a few more people out for a walk along this route although not as many as we expected given that it is now a very warm and sunny afternoon.
Approaching Beckstones, beyond which is Crookabeck and then …..
….. a walk up the hill out of Rooking, through the gate onto the lane down to Side Farm and back to the car. We’re looking forward to flopping onto the car seats now, nine miles is a fair old whack for legs that haven’t done all that much since our last outing. A cup of tea when we get home won’t go amiss either. Driving home alongside Ullswater it seemed as though every holidaymaker in the Lake District had decided to spend the day there. It was absolutely crammed full and we didn’t leave the crowds behind until we left Pooley Bridge.