Saturday 17 June 2017
Leader: Kerstin Nagel
Photos: John Jones
Led by Kerstin Nagel: On a beautiful, hot, summer's day, a select group of seven walkers left their cars at Sadgill at the end of the road up Longsleddale. We followed the old quarry road beside the infant River Sprint to the start of the climb up to Wrengill quarry and Brownhowe Bottom. As the dale closes in the track becomes steeper and a well-earned break for coffee was taken at the top of the climb.
Refreshed, we set about the second climb up Gatescarth Pass, which was even steeper than the first, but as height was gained a refreshing breeze was found which did much to help us reach the top of the pass.
Wainwright's comment (Far Eastern Falls, Harter Fell 9) on our route is 'The Gatescarth route is particularly easy: a hands-in-the-pockets stroll with no steep climbing, the top being reached with surprising lack of effort. Nonagenarians will find it eminently suitable.' None of us had our hands in our pockets!!!
At the top of the pass a beautiful view of Haweswater greeted us, the lake reflecting the deep blue of the almost cloudless summer sky.
We started out on the third climb to Harter Fell but decided to have lunch at the view point cairn before the summit so that the view of Haweswater could be enjoyed.
After lunch the final short ascent was made to the summit of Harter Fell, our first Wainwright of the day, where, due to the very clear conditions, the extensive views in all directions were admired.
Leaving the summit we followed the fence over marshy grass towards Kentmere Pike. Now on the Eastern arm of the Kentmere Horseshoe, the views across Kentmere of Yoke, Ill Bell and Froswick were enjoyed. Arriving at the unassuming summit of Kentmere Pike we claimed our second Wainwright of the day.
On the way to Shipman Knotts we took a short, early, tea stop, looking at the view down in to Kentmere, with our backs against a sun warmed wall. 'It doesn't get any better than this' remarked one member, correctly.
Our leader carefully led us onwards to Shipman Knotts via the top of Goat Scar. Arriving at the rather strange top of Shipman Knotts (the actual summit is behind an unclimbable wall without a stile), we claimed our third and final Wainwright.
Descending steeply with great care, we reached the track between Kentmere and Longsleddale, where we chatted and basked in our achievement, not wanting, just yet, to return to the cars at Sadgill. Our final descent into Sadgill was accompanied by a number of toiling mountain bikers, and we secretly rejoiced that they had not been (and almost certainly could not go) where we had been in the high fells.
A wonderful, well led walk in the high fells on a glorious day, fantastic!