Selside Pike and Branstree in Snow

Name of walk Selside Pike and Branstree in Snow
Date of walk 2020-02-27
Distance walked (miles) 6
Duration of walk 5 hours 30 minutes
Weather Blue skies and wind.
Peaks on walk Selside Pike and Branstree
Walked with Ged
Parking Near Rowantreethwaite beck, Haweswater.

Ged wanted to climb either Helvellyn or Halls Fell on Blencathra to celebrate his 80th birthday, but the forecasted wind and ice risk would be far too dangerous to attempt a walk somewhere where you could fall off. The Far Eastern Fells were going to have sunshine, so I decided on the safe and easy summits of Selside Pike and Branstree from the side of Haweswater. I parked on the small piece of hardstanding just before Rowantreethwaite Beck. There is a gate and a sign post for the Old Corpse Road to Swindale. We head up.

01

We go through the gate and head up the path to the first view point. The view over to Harter Fell, Mardale Ill Bell and the Riggindale Ridge up to High St.

02

Riggindale and Kidsty Pike with Wood Howe Island below.

04

High Raise to the right of Kidsty Pike.

05

We continue on up the path.

06

The view point cairn.

07

I'm already wearing both my balaclava and my hat to protect me from the wind.

48

We head up to the old quarry huts.

08

09

A new roof and it'd be wonderful!

10

11

12

13

Looking over to Branstree.

14

Last view before we head along the Old Corpse Road to the turning for Selside Pike.

15

Ged takes this photo of me with the slopes of Selside Pike on the right.

16

17

The marker for the turn off.

18

We head up.

19

The wind started to howl across the tops putting spindrift into the air. Ged has almost disappeared into it.

20

We eventually reach the summit of Selside Pike.

21

Ged at the cairn.

22

Me.

23

We continue on in the direction of Artle Crag. The virgin snow is calf deep and constantly having to lift your legs up high on each step is tiring. The spindrift in the air makes it more awkward.

24

A view down to Haweswater.

25

The survey post.

26

View back over to Selside Pike from Artle Crag. We use the fence to help with the bits of deep snow. Ged went in up to his waist at one point, using the wire to pull himself out. It is taking no time at all for our footprints to disappear in this wind.

27

The cairns on Artlecrag Pike. Not wanting to risk more covered dips we save our energy and keep by the fence line.

28

Ged grabbing the fence in a period of severe wind gusts. The Helvellyn fell assessors reported wind speeds of 50mph this afternoon....No Kiddin'!!

29

A look back to the cairns of Artlecrag Pikes.

30

View back the way we came as we reach the wonderfully welcome flat top of Branstree summit.

31

Poor Ged is exhausted! We both are! That was hard work!

32

Deep snow drifts.

33

Feeling a bit better after a short rest.

34

Our route continues along the fence line.

35

Longsleddale on the left, Kentmere Pike ahead. I walk in the footsteps of a chap who'd just come up, it makes the going easier. Ged decides to stick to the fenceline. The Gatesgarth Pass can be seen below, and the path up to Harter Fell, so once were down, we have to climb up again to the pass.

36

The sign post on the Gatesgarth Pass. Behind you can see how deep the snow is. The top of the pass is in deep snow and invisible, so we head down a bit and find it.

37

Now on the pass.

38

Harter Fell.

39

The snow is still deep in places even this far down.

40

Hooray! Haweswater is now in view.

41

The snow line still goes all the way to the bottom.

42

Glad to be back to easy walking!

43

Beautiful!

44

The sunshine has melted the snow. My car is parked right on the edge of the photo beyond the gill.

45

46

Nearly back to the car. The six mile walk took us five and a half hours, a lot longer than normal!

47

We stopped at the Haweswater Hotel for a coffee.

I think it’s safe to say that Ged had a memorable 80th birthday walk! Snow, blue skies and sunshine, what could be better? No 50mph winds for a start! The walk was exhausting, but nevertheless still thoroughly enjoyable!

Jo.

 

 

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