Seven Snowy Summits from Hartsop

Name of walk Seven Snowy Summits from Hartsop
Date of walk 2011-01-01
Distance walked (miles) 11
Duration of walk 7 hours 30 minutes
Weather Mist then sunshine
Peaks on walk The Knott, Kidsty Pike, High Raise, Rampsgill Head, Rest Dodd, The Nab, Brock Crags
Walked with Ged and blind Kas
Parking Hartsop car park.

On Tuesday Ged, Kas and I drove to Hartsop walking up via Hayeswater Gill to Hayeswater then climbing The Knott (2423ft), Kidsty Pike (2560ft), High Raise (2634ft), Rampsgill Head (2581ft), Rest Dodd (2278ft), The Nab (1887ft) and down via Brock Crags (1842ft). A walk of about 11 miles.


It was cold, a bit windy and the cloud was down over the mountains as we walked up Hayeswater Gill. The weather was due to improve in the afternoon. The path up was a stream of water and the gill itself was a torrent!


Looking back down past the Filter Station


Hayeswater outflow.


We saw a female deer on the hill just before the outflow and hoped there would be many more to see surrounding The Nab. We headed up the grass towards The Knott. Looking down on a frozen Hayeswater.


The path next to The Knott summit......nothing to see! We decided to take the path around to Kidsty Pike as the visibility was too poor to risk the direct route.


Kidsty Pike just out of the cloud on the left. Haweswater behind.


I persuaded Ged put on his Microspikes for the route around to Kidsty Pike.(I had worn mine since Hayeswater and unlike Ged had not fallen over twice!) The snow was steeply sloped towards the edge, one slip and you'd find yourself in Riggindale! As shown in the photo above! Looking across Riggindale towards Mardale Ill Bell with Harter Fell on the left.


The wind was blowing hard, but at least we could now see where we were going!


High St. on the left.


An icy Kidsty Pike summit. Ged having a banana break.


Looking down to Haweswater.


A there and back detour to High Raise ahead, now just out of the clouds. The snow had been a real pain to walk on. Due to the slight thaw the frozen crust was not thick enough to sustain our weight and the snow below was not consolidated so we kept sinking in up to ankles or mid shin. Then occasionally it would be thick enough to walk on, then just as you were striding out one leg would disappear down into the snow and your momentum would carry you forward and the 1 to 2cm thick frozen crust would dig into your shin bone! I have multiple bruises on my shins from repeatedly doing this! I need some snow shoes!


View from High Raise summit down towards Wether Hill and Loadpot Hill. Ullswater on the left.


High Raise summit cairn.


Me and Kas at the summit cairn. The shelter had 3ft of snow in it! The cloud was back over so no view.


Blue skies! Looking across Rest Dodd to the Helvellyn range.


Looking over The Nab to Blencathra on the right.


Close-up of Dollywaggon Pike, Nethermost Pike, Striding Edge, Helvellyn and pointy Catstycam.


Looking back to High Raise now obscurred by the cloud with Ged catching me up.


We head for Rampsgill Head. Looking over to Kidsty Pike and the first two people we have seen all day!


An even closer view of Helvellyn.




Ged on Rampsgill Head.


View in to Rampsgill Valley.


The Knott on the left, we head off to the right to Rest Dodd.


Rest Dodd on the right. Two more people on the left.


"Halt! Who goes there?" Blind Kas senses the proximity of people!


Follow the wall up to Rest Dodd. First as it is 2pm already we sit on the wall and I eat my "Sweetfire chilli cheese with chilli jam panini" in the sunshine out of the wind. A girl can never have too much chilli!!


A stiff climb after lunch! Looking back to The Knott.


The back of Rest Dodd is a steep descent in snow so Ged puts his Microspikes back on. I have yet to take mine off!


We head for the wall in the bottom right corner. The Nab is straight ahead. Still no sign of deer!


We came down the snow on the left. A bit steep! Poor Kas cried all the way down. I got my ice axe at the ready just in case of a slip! When we reached the wall the snow came up past our knees! Following the wall off right is our route back. That is going to be fun!


Ideal conditions on The Nab. It is frozen so the bogs can just be walked over! Not a single deer to be seen, still! Just the occasional track. View from The Nab towards Hallin Fell.


View back to Rampsgill Head.


We then retraced our steps back to the wall. We had to follow the wall up to Satura Crag. Once again we had problems with the thin frozen crust. This time the snow below often came up to our knees. Each step was an effort. After six hours of snow walking it was exhausting! Then we reached the steep bit!.....##@$!!!


It was gone 4pm when we came out from behind the mountain. The sun had set. It would soon be dark and we had to reach Brock Crags before this happened in order to find the route down. We had reached the view down to Angle Tarn by 4.30pm. The photo is a little blurred due to camera shake at the low light level. We found the grassy track that leads off down the front of Brock Crags. One zig and then a zag back to the Filter Station.

We eventually got back to the car at 5.30pm. It was pitch black by then. The water on the path that we walked through this morning had turned to ice, so in the dark we had to be careful. The walk had taken seven and a half hours. Rather long for a winter walk! Only one deer seen! They must be right down in the valley.