First outing of 2015…and it was a belter!

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Blog post 6

Fells: Kidsty Pike, High Raise, Rampsgill Head, The Knott, Rest Dodd

Wainwright count: 5

Date: 4th January

With: Hannah, my wife, and (of course) Susie, my Patterdale Terrier!

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Susie, enjoying today’s walkies!

It is only about a week since my last outing on the fells with my wife, Hannah, but strangely 2015 brought some luck with it for me and she agreed to come with me to do another walk. I told her I was heading up to the Lakes for a walk, but she agreed to join me which was a surprise, especially as she (and I) have to go back to work tomorrow. This was on Saturday night, after I had wined and dined her to sweeten her up, but when our alarm went off at 6am this morning, she was not so keen, HOWEVER, she got up and never looked back…

We had what was a cracking day together last week (read more on my Blog Post 4) and I assured her the weather would be equally as good, or at least not too bad! So we got up to the Lakes for about 8am, and parked at the car park at Cow Bridge, Hartsop, on what was a very cold, but extremely clear day. This helped to ease her into her stride, with Susie, our Patterdale Terrier needing very little persuasion as usual.

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Parked at Cow Bridge

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Hartsop Village, below Brock Crags

So, we headed up through the village of Hartsop, following the footpath which runs parallel to Hayeswater Gill, up to Hayeswater itself. This is a good path, more of a Land Rover/ farmers track than a footpath, which was much to the delight of Hannah, who is a reluctant walker, as I have described in previous posts. As I said the morning was very cold and fresh with not much wind, which had meant that the footpath was extremely icy in places, so a bit of caution had to be taken in places. The good path allowed good, quick progress to be made, but not too quick to notice the lovely herd of deer on the side of Brock Crags, which instantly put a spring in our steps.

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Deer on Brock Crags

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Hayeswater Gill

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Hannah heading up the early path from Hartsop

Once we had reached the top of the footpath, just at the bottom of Hayeswater, we crossed the footbridge to make our ascent up towards The Knott, what would be our first hill of the day. The path was once again very icy on the grassy slopes heading towards the bottom of the fell, but this path turned into a what looked like a new-ish stone path which would be present all the way to Kidsty Pike. Another bonus for Hannah, who has been dragged across all sorts of ‘paths’ in her role as a loving wife, with some stretching the meaning to the word path! We headed up the path, which was also in fact very icy for a good stretch, following it round the back of The Knott, before heading up to its cairn. The wind was beginning to make itself known now and my face was well aware of the cold temperature of this winter’s day.

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The footbridge at the bottom of Hayeswater

We continued to follow the path, which headed towards High Street, before heading north towards the summit of our second fell, Kidsty Pike. The wind by now was blowing a hooley, as they say, but whilst there was a bit more hill fog around, the day remained blue sky and fresh. From Kidsty, we made the short journey to High Raise, where the good path ended and turned into a well used grassy track again. There was little shelter up on the grassy slopes of High Raise, so we didn’t hang about, retracing our steps a short way before heading the few hundred metres to the top of Rampsgill Head. From the summit, we continued straight ahead (SW) and found ourselves back on our original path, at the foot of The Knott once again.

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Susie with Kidsty Pike in the background

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Blue sky

We retraced our steps from earlier on in the walk, before heading up the steep grassy bank of Rest Dodd. The wind near enough blew us straight up to the summit, before we once again re-traced our steps, head-on into the Baltic winds. We then headed back down the now-defrosted grassy slopes to the footbridge at the bottom of Hayeswater, before heading down the same route as we had taken up into the hills.

I prefer to do horseshoe walks, or at least walks that do not involve so much retracing of steps, but as I am walking the Wainwrights and time is not aplenty then needs must at times unfortunately. Anyway not too many left now, before I can have free rain in the hills once again. Once back at the car, I got my trusty Primus ETA Express on and we enjoyed a mug of hot chocolate to defrost ourselves! Simple pleasures walking and a hot brew afterwards!

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Post-walk brew!

Anyway, I am already looking forward to my next walk, which is planned with JP, my friend and walking buddy (and Susie…obviously) for next Saturday….can’t wait!

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