Sunday, 29th March 2009

             

            

 

Walk: Grasmere, Tongue Gill, Seat Sandal, Grisedale Hause, Fairfield, Great Rigg, Stone Arthur, Brackenwife Knotts, Winterseeds
Start Point: Lay-by on A591, Grasmere Grid Reference: NY 338 084
Distance: 7.5 miles Ascent: 3,500 feet
Time: 5.75 hours    
Weather: A very clear sunny day with a cold breeze at higher levels
Comments: As Sunday approached the forecast had become more promising and it looked like we were in for a sunny but cold day with great views for taking photos, and the day did not disappoint. The long climb from Tongue Gill up to Seat Sandal was relieved with stops to take in the views and name the fells which were highlighted by the covering of snow they had received. Following a brief coffee stop on the summit we had to make the mandatory descent before walking past Grisedale Tarn and tackling the scree climb onto Fairfield (nearly 1,000 feet!). The views from the summit couldn't have been better in all directions and after playing 'guess the fell' it was time to make our way on to Great Rigg. From here it was all downhill to Stone Arthur, finding a sheltered spot on the way for lunch. Despite the glorious sunshine there was a very cold wind which very quickly found any exposed parts of the body! Taking a north-west heading we descending over Brackenwife Knotts - a much more pleasant route  than the one usually taken over Heron Pike and Nab Scar. Just before reaching Tongue Gill Force we turned south to follow a grassy path and through a gate in the wall to Winterseeds and back onto the A591.

Scroll down to see photos of the walk

On a bright and sunny morning we get ready to set off from the lay-by on the A591,

 

from where we can see the first climb of the day - Seat Sandal

 

Turning into Tongue Gill the last house on the right has this plaque above the upstairs window

 

Early on in the ascent we are already getting great views, over Helm Crag to the Coniston Fells

 

Making our way up the slope . . .

 

but some of the party are eager to get to the top!

 

Higher still and the Langdale Pikes come into view . . .

 

along with a clearer view of Wetherlam, Swirl How and Great Carrs . . .

 

whilst just East of North we can see Dollywagon Pike, Nethermost Pike and Helvellyn . . .

 

and slightly to the West Skiddaw sports a dusting of snow and Raven Crag can just be seen jutting out from the trees above Thirlmere

 

Time for a shot of the summit . .

 

whilst the group find shelter from the wind for a coffee stop

 

Is that AW surveying the scenery?

 

Looking to the West we can make out our climb up to Fairfield - quite a steep middle section!

 

As we descend to the North Grisedale Tarn comes into view, with St Sunday Crag, Cofa Pike and Fairfield making a picturesque backdrop

 

Looking back down the first part of the climb . . .

 

and up one of the easier sections

 

Finally near the top the Helvellyn range is back in view . . .

 

as is Striding Edge

 

Near the route down to Cofa Pike and St Sunday Crag . . .

 

and looking across to the summit shelter - check out the depth of snow in the cornice!!!

 

The dusting of snow highlights the ridges of the Far Eastern Fells to the East . . .

 

but to the West there seems to be a more extensive layer of snow

 

Across Seat Sandal the 'upside down pudding basin' of Great Gable is easy to identify

 

'One for the album' at the summit cairn . . .

 

whilst Debbie and Tony sport spiky hats!

 

The group heads down to Great Rigg . . .

 

along an easy descent from Fairfield

 

Trying out the 'mountaineering pose' on Great Rigg . . .

 

before we find another sheltered spot for lunch - a sunny day but the wind was very cold

 

Alcock Tarn and Grasmere highlighted by the sun

 

Stone Arthur, also known as Arthur's Seat - and is that AW again behind the outcrop?

 

No, just John walking incognito

 

John and Debbie survey the scenery

 

Heading down over Brackenwife Knotts Seat Sandal, Grisedale Hause and Fairfield catch the afternoon sun . . .

 

and the lay-by is now full of cars

 

This door must have come from a BIG doorway!

 

Winterseeds Farm which we passed on our way down

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