Fairfield Horseshoe

Name of walk Fairfield Horseshoe
Date of walk 2013-03-05
Distance walked (miles) 11
Duration of walk 7 hours 0 minutes
Weather Warm with snow.
Peaks on walk Nab Scar, Heron Pike, Great Rigg, Fairfield, Hart Crag, Dove Crag, High Pike and Low Pike

Yesterday Ged, Kas and I walked the Fairfield Horseshoe.The summits would include Nab Scar (1450ft), Heron Pike (2003ft), Great Rigg (2513ft), Fairfield (2863ft), Hart Crag (2698ft), Dove Crag (2603ft), High Pike (2155ft) and Low Pike (1666ft). A walk of 11 miles.

I normally find the horseshoe a bit of a drag on the way up, but the promise of snow at the top would give a bit of interest. Plus I always hate the descent over High and Low Pike, the steepness kills my knee! Apart from that its great!!!!


It was sunny and warm, but very hazy. We parked on the road by the church next to Rydal Hall. Rydal Mount, Wordsworth's former home.


Nab Scar, our first fell ahead


I told Ged he was short enough to limbo through the dog pass, but he insisted on going the big boy route!


It was that hazy my camera wouldn't focus. Looking down on Rydal Water and Grasmere and over to Loughrigg Fell.


Heading for Heron Pike.


From Heron Pike the first view of the horseshoe.


And in glorious panorama


T-shirts and snow! Heading for Great Rigg.



Now on Fairfield summit looking at the route towards Hart Crag


Cofa Pike, St. Sunday Crag and the Deepdale valley.


I had to be a bit careful taking the photo of Grizedale Tarn, as a slope and ice is a hazardous combination. The slope is more obvious in the photo below of Cofa Pike and St. Sunday Crag, looking in the opposite direction.


I walked over to the far side of Fairfield to get the view down to a frozen Grisedale Tarn with Seat Sandal to the left


Panorama: Dollywaggon Pike, Nethermost Pike, Helvellyn and Striding Edge. Looking down into Grisedale..


Time for lunch. The temperature was 4C, so once we stopped we needed to put on a fleece


We head round to the left


Kas leads the way to Hart Crag.


There were no views at all south, east or west today, only north. Looking down the valley.



You have to descend to ascend.....but at least there is snow!


We passed quite a few people who do the horseshoe in the opposite direction. We chatted to a few. We saw then them again on their way back through Rydal Park.


Looking back to Fairfield



Route finding is easy, just follow the wall......for miles!


We spent 20 minutes chatting to this couple, John and Lynne, who we had parked next to at the start. They were doing the reverse route, but had not made as much progress as us. They live in the north of the county and were on their eighth round of the Wainwrights. As John was to be 70 this birthday, he said Ged was an inspiration to him! They were impressed with blind Kas too, but then Kas makes friends with everybody!.


Finally we can see a few other mountains through the haze.


Heading for High Pike.


Descending High Pike. I wonder how many years that wall took to build?


Looking into the valley, Great Rigg on the other side.


Looking back to Low Pike and High Pike. Just ahead of us is a sheer rock drop. It is climbable, but a bit unfair on Kas, so I take the alternative route with Kas while Ged flexes his climbing muscles. We meet up a bit further on.


Just before you get to Low Sweden Bridge there is a track that cuts off the need to walk into Ambleside. It follows the beck into Rydal Park. Kas gets a wash


Walking through Rydal Park, our ascent mountains ahead


http://www.rydalhall.org/ Rydal Hall (owned by the Diocese of Carlisle) also rents out Eco Pods. £35 a night.....£20 in winter.


The Grot. This was built in 1668 as a place to frame and enjoy the lower Rydal Waterfalls.

Rydal Hall has a tea shop that is muddy boot and dog friendly, so we lounged on the sofas and had a coffee.
The walk had taken us over 7 hours, but we did spend 30 minutes on Fairfield and also spent time chatting to other walkers on the way.
A good day!