High St. and Mardale Ill Bell via the Riggindale Ridge

Name of walk High St. and Mardale Ill Bell via the Riggindale Ridge
Date of walk 2007-10-29
Distance walked (miles) 6
Duration of walk 5 hours 0 minutes
Weather sunshine and showers
Peaks on walk High St., Mardale Ill Bell
Walked with Ged and blind Kas
Parking Mardale Head car park

On Monday Ged, Kas and me went to Mardale at the head of Haweswater in order to climb High Street (2718ft) and Mardale Ill Bell (2496ft), a walk of about six miles.


View across to what Wainwright refers to as the "connoisseurs route up". The ridge starts on the far left of the photo and climbs all the way up to High St. The valley on the right of the ridge is called Riggindale and is the only place in England with Golden Eagles.


The path up on to the ridge can be made out on the left. It is a steep start!


Originally Haweswater was a natural lake about four kilometres long, almost divided in two by a tongue of land at Measand; the two reaches of the lake were known as High Water and Low Water. The building of the dam raised the water level by 95 feet and created a reservoir four miles long and around almost half a mile wide. Prior to the valley being flooded in 1935 all the farms and dwellings of the villages of Mardale Green and Measand were demolished as well as the centuries-old Dun Bull Inn at Mardale Green. The village church was dismantled and the stone used in constructing the dam; all the bodies in the church yard were exhumed and re-buried at Shap. Today when the water in the reservoir is low, the remains of the submerged village of Mardale Green can still be seen as stone walls and the village bridge become visible as the water level drops.


It starts steep and gets steeper!


View from where Ged was standing in the previous photo looking down Haweswater.


Looking across to the crater that supports Small Water and our eventual route back down.


Showers throughout the day, but the sun has just come out so time for a photo.


Rainbow and a raindrop on my lens!


The other end of the rainbow looking across to Kidsty Pike.


The corrie that supports Blea Water. The deepest Lakeland Tarn at 207ft


From Rough Crag the view up Long Stile and the summit of High Street. Caspel Gate Tarn on the left.


Looking down at Blea Water.


Looking down the ridge and the valley of Riggindale from High Street. It had taken us two and a half hours to climb up here.


The flat top of High Street. The fell is named after the Roman road which ran over the summit.


Kas and me at the trig point. Cold and windy at the summit.


Looking south towards Yoke and Ill Bell. Windermere glistening white in the centre.


Looking across to Mardale Ill Bell and Harter fell behind.


Peering down at Blea Water and across to our route up.


Ged looking back at Long Stile.


The summit of Mardale Ill Bell.....a bit dull.


View from the summit.


Our first good look at Small Water.


View south to Kentmere Resevoir.


The shelter on the Nan Bield Pass. Off right is Harter Fell which we did think of climbing, but as the clocks have gone back we needed to be back down before it got dark, and if we did Harter Fell we would probably end up walking down in twilight. So we took the path off left down by Small Water, which was a more scenic route.


Small Water is 52ft deep.


The Nan Bield route was once very important for travellers and trade. Three stone shelters were erected on the side of Small Water for wayfarers overtaken by bad weather or darkness.


Looking back at Small Water.


Walking back down beside the stream.

The walk took 5 hours. It started to pour with rain as we got back to the car. We were rather glad that we did not climb Harter Fell as we would have gotten soaked!