Fairfield Horseshoe

26 November 2010

Sunrise on the Langdale Pikes with a little snow on Bowfell to their left.

I decided to use the route via High Sweden Bridge, which - though pleasant enough - somehow wasn't as special as I'd thought.

Looking up Scandale; my route lies along the ridge to the left

Approaching the ridge wall, a look back along part of Windermere

From Low Pike, my first Wainwright summit of the day (of eight, including four new to me), looking ahead to High Pike

Ascending the ridge of Thack Bottom Edge towards the summit of Dove Crag. The weather is getting colder, and around this point I put on my overtrousers to keep out the wind.

Descending from Dove Crag, looking ahead to Hart Crag (right) and Fairfield (centre-left)

On the summit of Hart Crag, looking ahead to Fairfield

A little later, starting the descent to Link Hause

At Link Hause, looking NE down Deepdale

...and south down Rydale to Windermere and beyond that the sea. Having been walking now for over three hours, I finally passed another walker

Excessively large cairns marking the way onto the broad summit of Fairfield

The summit of Fairfield, left, with Helvellyn on the right

Approaching the summit of Fairfield. On my only other visit to Fairfield, it was thick fog, so it was good to be revisiting in good visibility.

St-Sunday Crag beyond one of the many summit structures on Fairfield

A windshelter, with Coniston Water and the Coniston Fells beyond

Dollywaggon Pike through to Helvellyn and then Striding Edge

The summit of Fairfield

Approaching Great Rigg

Heron Pike North Top

Looking back at the skyline route which has formed most of today's walk

Heron Pike, which I visited twice - once for lunch, and again fifteen minutes later when I came back up to collect my camera which I'd left on the ground.

Shafts of sunlight towards the Coniston Fells across Grasmere

On Nab Scar, looking across Rydal Water to Winderemere. Ambleside and journey's end is back in sight

The ladder stile serves a useful purpose in getting walkers over the wall, but with that huge gap, I wonder how effective the wall is.

Almost back at valley level, and an attractive cottage in Rydal

The Grot was built in 1668 to provide a window to frame and enjoy the view of the Rydal Beck waterfalls, and became famous as part of the Picturesque movement where the prominent window framed the wild and rugged scene. (See also Claife Station for another window on the world.)

The final stretch of the walk was a pleasant stroll through Rydal Park before returning to the car in Ambleside.

Zoom in for more detail, or click to view larger map in new window

A great walk - a very cold wind on the highest stretch but really no problems at all with the weather, and only tiny amounts of ice, easy avoided.

Total distance 19.5 km and 1220 metres of ascent in 6 hours 48 mins (including the return visit to Heron Pike to pick up my camera)



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Unless otherwise stated, all images copyright (c) Stephen and Lucy Dawson