Windy but beautiful…no not me, the walk!

Blog post 11

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Date: Tuesday 3rd March

Wainwright count: 2

Wainwrights: Sheffield Pike, Glenridding Dodd

Who with: Father and the dogs

Having a free afternoon, and being up in the Lakes with my old man, we decided to do a short walk together. There had been a good bit of snow on the hills in the previous days, which was down to near valley level. It was nice to have a chance to have a walk with my dad, who is trying to get back into hill walking, so I was conscious not to do too big a walk.

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View back down towards Glenridding

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Dad and Susie, the Patterdale Terrier, and right Sally, the Border Terrier

The weather was mixed, with blue sky and clouds, but the main impact of the elements was in the form of gale force winds! We parked in the village of Glenridding, near to the pub (which was pure coincidence!) and walked up the road towards Glenridding Youth Hostel, which we passed before heading up the path next to Swart Beck. The snow on the ground was immediate as we left the road and headed up the path, which was quite deep in drifts. We made our way up towards the old mines, alongside the stream, before crossing over the stream to make our ascent of Sheffield Pike.

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Lovely…but windy

Once we had crossed the stream, the snow immediately became much deeper, as we reached about 500 metres, but it was then that the sun shone brightly, reflecting magnificently off the snow, which offered fantastic views over towards Helvellyn and Swirrel Edge. The views over towards Catstye Cam and the surrounding mountains and rugged ridges were Alps-like, in the snow and the light on them was fantastic and looked beautiful, and you could be forgiven for thinking you were in France or Italy. As we were admiring the views and taking some photos, (and the dogs were belly-deep in snow) the wind picked up significantly, reaching about 50-60 mph in gusts, which produced fantastic snowdrift. Luckily the wind was blowing into our backs and not our faces!

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View back over towards Catstye Cam and Helvellyn

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Dad being battered by the wind

The snowdrifts battered the dogs, who were quickly turning into snow dogs, but that didn’t stop then playing in the snow. We continued up to the top of Sheffield Pike (675m), where the depth of the snow increased significantly up to shin depth, but whilst taking in the views over towards Ullswater and Glenridding, we decided not to hang about for long, as the wind was literally battering us. We followed the path down to Glenridding Dodd, over the craggy tops, which were covered in snow, which dad kept inspecting closely, as he kept falling on his @r$e!

Despite the high winds, the sky was blue and the views fantastic, which made the walk for us. Conversation was limited however, due to not being able to hear each other in the winds, which probably did my father a favour! Anyway, we continued down to below Glenridding Dodd, before taking the short path up to its summit, before retracing our steps to the col in between there and Sheffield Pike.

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We descended down the path, which led down to the back of the old minor’s cottages, in the village of Glenridding on Greenside Road. As we reached the road which led back up to the Youth Hostel, where our walk started the winds subsided significantly in the shelter of the valley, which was much to my dad’s relief…and the dogs, who by now had fully defrosted (literally). We retraced our first steps on the walk, back down to the car, which was a welcome sight for some in the group, just to get out of the wind!

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View over Glenridding towards Ullswater

Although the winds were high, as they had been for the previous week or so, the views over the mountains and fells were fantastic and well worth the relentless battering in the wind…and dad enjoyed the walk too, so a good day out all in all. A few beers and whiskeys were enjoyed in the evening too, which were for medicinal purposes only…obviously!

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