|Walk:||Wasdale Head, Wasdale Pike, Great Yarlside, Harrop Pike, High Wether Howe, Sleddale Hall|
|Start Point:||Wet Sleddale road ½ mile from A6||Grid Reference:||NY 561 125|
|Distance:||14 miles||Ascent:||2,200 feet|
|Weather:||Mainly sunny with a cool breeze at times|
|Comments:||4 members set off from the car wearing a
number of layers of clothing due to the very cold winds sweeping
across the fells. However, it was not far into the walk when these
layers had to be removed as the sun broke through the clouds causing
a dramatic rise in temperature that stayed with us for the rest of
The route taken had an unusual start to say the least, passing right through the middle of Shap Blue quarry where blue granite is quarried, and skirting Shap Pink quarry where pink granite is quarried. These granites were formed over 400 million years ago when the landscape was very barren and volcanic.
Once past Pink quarry we climbed quite steeply from Wasdale head turning sharp left in search of a gate in the fence which was only just over the horizon according to the leader! From here we climbed up to Wasdale Pike the first of Wainwright’s outlying fells to be conquered on this walk. From hear there were splendid views in all directions.
The words “It’s not far from here to the next summit” rolled from the leaders lips in a Geordie accent as he sped off across the fell top towards Great Yarlside the second outlying fell to be visited. The summit here is very ill defined with no cairn marking the spot. From here Harrop Pike could be seen in the distance on the horizon, so we decided to get the final climb out of the way before stopping there for lunch.
Unusually Harrop Pike is not listed as one of Wainwright’s outlying fells and why not only he could say, as there is not only a splendid cairn marking the summit, but also splendid views can be had from here north west across Mosedale to Selside and Branstree with High Street in the distance and west to the Kentmere Horseshoe summits. One can only presume that it is that Sleddale Fell is so close by that Wainwright chose not to list this worthy summit.
As we dropped down from Harrop Pike deer could be seen heading over Ulthwaite Rigg. The route here crossed over very peaty ground, which was surprisingly dry on one side* of the fence! reaching Mosedale Beck where we joined the main path running out of the valley. However, the leader had one last surprise up his sleeve which was to make a slight diversion to bag High Weather Howe the last of the outer fell summits on the route. Again there were splendid views from here making the diversion well worth while!
As our walk was almost at an end passing Wet Sleddale Reservoir on the north side we could see the 4’s group coming to the end of their walk on the south side. What organisation!
*Editor's note: The drier side of the fence was, of course, the one that the ladies chose, leaving the men having to make detours around peat bogs - one of which they photographed (below)!!!!!!!
Scroll down to see photos of the walk
Extra layers needed as we prepare to set off
Ian takes us through the stunning landscape of the Shap Blue Quarry, passing the 'Three Peaks' (of the roofline) . . .
and the signpost ensures that we head in the right direction . . .
past the North face of 'Mt Aggregate' clearly seen in the morning sunshine
More stunning scenery . . .
and directions to help us on our way . . .
and onto a 'more usual' path
Heading along the path to Wasdale Pike . . .
we eventually reach the gate that was 'just around the corner' . . .
and Karen points out landmarks from the summit
The rocks provide a good spot for our morning break . . .
before a good trek brings us to Harrop Pike . . .
where we stop for lunch
Ian and Kath check out a possible path down . . .
but we stick to the one planned, with views across Mosedale - the cottage can just be seen in the centre
The men choose the 'drier!!!!!' side of the fence
An unplanned detour takes us to High Wether Howe . . .
where the wind nearly blows us over
The track to Wet Sleddale Reservoir . . .
but we stay on the north side . . .
from where we have a good view of the dam
Almost back to the car and we spot the Fours group returning to their parking spot at the Reservoir
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