Sunday, 12th October 2008

             

            

 

Walk: Patterdale, Arnison Crag, Trough Head, Birks, St Sunday Crag, Deepdale Hause, Grisedale Tarn, Grisedale Valley
Start Point: Car park opposite Patterdale Hotel Grid Reference: NY 360 159
Distance: 9.3 miles Ascent: 3,100 feet
Time: 6 hours    
Weather: A mainly dry day but mist on the fells and a light drizzle on our return
Comments: On reaching the top of Kirkstone Pass we appeared to be leaving the gloom of Lancashire behind with Place Fell in sunshine and blue skies to the north. The eight of us managed to climb Arnison Crag in the sunshine but, unfortunately, as we walked further north the clouds came lower and by Birks we were in mist which the cold wind did not manage to clear. On St Sunday Crag the mist lifted a little for the cameras to come out for photos of the top. Lunch was at Grisedale Tarn where a group of intrepid students with a rubber dinghy had been sampling the silt at the bottom of the tarn for their Phd on air pollution. Further down the track we were surprised to see somebody pushing a wheelbarrow! When we caught up with him it was full of wellies and had been part of his outdoor art exhibition on the fell side. Just as we arrived back at Patterdale a drizzly shower started, too late for the waterproofs and not enough to soak us.
 

Scroll down to see photos of the walk

The sun catches Ullswater and the fells behind as we start our ascent

 

Arnison Crag is a small hill with a great viewpoint over Ullswater

 

Rays of sunshine break through the clouds to highlight Hartsop

 

Having descended to Trough Head . . .

 

it is time for elevenses before we start the climb to Birks

 

It's the steepest climb of the day - and this is only the start!

 

The mist starts to close in as we reach Birks - the small cairn on the left

 

We have extra layers on by the time we reach St Sunday Crag . . .

 

where Ian adds a rock to the cairn . . .

 

By the time we descend from Deepdale Hause at least we are in the lee of Cofa Pike . . .

 

and before long reach Grisedale Tarn, our lunch spot . . .

 

not that you can see much of the tarn - just a few rocks out the outflow

 

near which a Dunlin looks for its dinner . . .

 

and Ray grabs a close up shot

 

We drop below the mist as we head down Grisedale Valley . . .

 

to Ruthwaite Lodge . . .

 

with its memorial stone

 

Water cascades down Ruthwaite Cove . . .

 

and just left of centre there is a large opening . . .

 

which Ian and Lesley decide to explore

 

Anyone for a spot of 'canyoning'?

 

The leading group crosses the footbridge . . .

 

whilst the 'stragglers' follow on behind

 

We were surprised to spot rock climbers on Thornhow Crag

 

I hope the water isn't too deep John!

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