Blog post 17
Wainwright count: 3
Wainwrights: Arnison Crag, St Sunday Crag & Birks
Who with: Susie, my Patterdale Terrier
Date: 15th August 2015
What a difference a day makes…the weather was stunning today, unlike my adventures in the mist yesterday up Hart Side. The early morning mist was stunning near Skelwith Bridge, just as everything was starting to wake up.
So, today had to be an early start as I had to take my father to the airport in the afternoon, so a 6am alarm was set, which allowed me to be walking by 7am. I parked by the Pub in Patterdale and proceeded up the footpath through the wooded area to the foot of Arnison Crag, where a not so obvious path runs alongside the wall up to its rocky summit.
The path climbs quite steeply for the kilometre or so, through overgrown ferns and on a warm morning like today, it meant warm going! The effort was definitely worth it though, with the summit offering stunning views over Ullswater and towards the Helvellyn range, which lay further North West. It was a moment in time, where I could quite happily have sat down and soaked in the early morning sun and views for a good while. However, this was not possible today, and I needed to press on.
So, I made my way along the footpath from Arnison Crag, towards the South Easterly point of Birks, which I would skirt round and head up towards St Sunday Crag, before returning to this dominant hill. Initially the footpath was clear, but soon faded and I continued up Cold Cove towards Gavel Moss. The going was tough over thick grass, especially in the warmth, but upon reaching the top of Gavel Moss, we were onto the main path between Birks and St Sunday Crag, which we followed towards the latter, making our way up over the stony ground towards its summit.
All three of today’s fells offer fantastic views to the in every direction, which I was trying to soak in whilst we were blessed with such good weather. We reached the summit, where we had a quick energy snack to give us a boost, and Susie had her dog treats!! We then retraced our steps back along the main path towards Gavel Moss, then on to Birks, a short climb ahead. Once again, I was enjoying the views over towards Helvellyn, the length of Ullswater and over to the Eastern Fells, all of which were crystal clear today.
From the summit of Birks, we continued down the path towards Patterdale, where our car awaited. The path descended quite steeply for about a kilometre and then levelled out to rejoin the path that we had left to climb up Arnison Crag, just 2.5 hours earlier. I met numerous others setting off up into the fells at the start of their adventures, and when I returned to the car, it was unbelievably busier than at 7am unsurprisingly, with Patterdale having become a hive of activity for walkers, runners, cyclists and other general tourists.
Only about 6.5 miles today, but a lovely way to start the day, having the fells to myself and still only 11 am…why couldn’t every Saturday start like this?!?!