St Sunday Crag
5 May 2008
After yesterday's wet afternoon on Wetherlam, today
was warm and sunny (if hazy at times), and a journey was made to
Patterdale for a lovely walk. The primary target was St Sunday Crag, the
long fell which divides Grisedale from Deepdale, and might be regarded
as the long north-east spur from
Fairfield. But the walk began with visits to the two subsidiary
fells of St Sunday Crag, namely Arnison Crag and Birks.
Walking away from Patterdale, a look up to Arnison Crag
The route ascends alongside this wall almost all the way to the summit, the
views back over Ullswater gradually becoming more extensive.
On the summit of Arnison Crag, two powered paragliders nipped past.
The summit of Arnison Crag
Behind the diminutive summit cairn of Arnison Crag on the right is our
next objective, Birks, and centre-left is the peaked summit of Gavel Pike which
we will visit on the way to its parent St Sunday Crag, immediately to its right.
To the left of Gavel Pike are Fairfield and then Hart Crag.
On the ascent of Birks, looking over the near Arnison Crag, with
Place Fell looming large behind on the
On Birks, with Gavel Pike and St Sunday Crag on the left. The more popular route
goes straight up the steep shoulder of St Sunday Crag, but we will be taking the
slanting route that can be seen going across the face to the saddle between
Gavel Pike and St Sunday Crag.
The views to the Helvellyn massif are starting to open up across Grisedale.
Helvellyn itself is centre-right, with Striding Edge leading up from the right
with Catstye Cam behind. To the left of Helvellyn are Nethermost Pike and
On Gavel Pike, looking to the summit of St Sunday Crag
The summit of St Sunday Crag. With quite a few people about after our solitary
ascent, we moved on a short way and stopped for lunch.
Lunch spot, looking across Grisedale to the Helvellyn fells
Descending St Sunday Crag, with Fairfield on the left beyond Deepdale Hause,
straight ahead and Dollywaggon Pike on the right. In the far distance are the
Eskdale fells including Bowfell and the Scafells
A rescue helicopter heading towards Helvellyn
Heading towards Deepdale Hause, Grisedale Tarn now comes into view at the foot
of Seat Sandal
Grisedale itself comes properly into view
The head of Grisedale and Grisedale Tarn - our next objective.
Fairfield and the head of Deepdale
Having descended from the ridge, we continue towards Grisedale Tarn
After crossing Grisedale Beck, we turn down Grisedale and head towards
Patterdale village, with the long crags of St Sunday Crag towering above on the
I thought the grasses on top of the boulder centre-left were interesting - they
looked almost like hedgehogs.
From by Ruthwaite Lodge, looking up the waterfalls to Nethermost Pike
Continuing the descent of Grisedale with the level strath now in sight, and
Place Fell reappearing once more.
As we cross Grisedale Beck again, a look back to the impressive rugged crags of
Nethermost Pike and Dollywaggon Pike
There are some delightful wooded areas in lower Grisedale, but the track stays
outside them - a shame as the shade would have been welcome on this hot
afternoon. Never mind: an ice-cream awaits us in Patterdale!
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A delightful walk, thoroughly recommended. Total distance 14.3 km and 860 metres
of ascent in 5 hours 30 minutes.