With a good forecast for the day we set off down into the lakes to bag two more Wainwrights – Rest Dodd and The Nab, but the highlight of the day came before we’d even arrived at our destination…
As I drove towards Ullswater we passed through small patches of mist and fog, and then I suddenly noticed something I’d never seen before – a fogbow! I’ve seen pictures of them but I’d never seen one until now. What a start to the day!
This ‘white rainbow’ phenomenon forms when sunlight is reflected back to the observer through the tiny mist droplets, but because the droplets are so tiny compared to raindrops the process of diffraction broadens the reflected beam, giving a broader, often ghostly white fogbow rather than the spectrum of colours that we see in a rainbow. Incredibly cool! I love stuff like that and was really made up to see it.
Anyway back to the walk, which today begins in the tiny hamlet of Hartsop. From the car park we follow the track up towards the filter house…
Looking back from the track up to the filter house
Just beyond the filter house we cross Hayeswater Gill and join up with the main track which leads up to Hayeswater
Hayeswater and High Street
Dove Crag, Hart Crag and Fairfield over the slopes of Gray Crag and Hartsop Dodd
Hayeswater with High Street and The Knott behind
Red Screes and the Coniston fells over Hartsop Dodd
A glimpse of Ullswater from the summit of Rest Dodd
Rampsgill Head, The Knott and High Street
A short distance from the summit cairn is another cairn which gives a far better view of the fells to the west. In the foreground is Angletarn and Angletarn Pikes, while in the distance are Catstycam, White Side, Raise and Stybarrow Dodd.
Looking over Brothers Water to Dove Crag, Hart Crag and Fairfield, with Glaramara and Great Gable seen distantly on the right
Brock Crags in the foreground with St. Sunday Crag, Nethermost Pike and Helvellyn beyond
My next target – The Nab, is only 1.25 miles away but involves a very steep 650ft descent off Rest Dodd. Which of course means I have to climb back up that on my return…
The Nab, Bonscale Pike, Loadpot Hill and Wether Hill and the valley of Ramps Gill
The Nab is within the Martindale Deer Forest and is home to the oldest herd of native Red Deer in England, and I was lucky enough to have a brief encounter with some of them alongside the path – although after quickly spotting me they soon disappeared down into the valley below…
Looking back to Rest Dodd (right), The Knott (centre), and Rampsgill Head (left) from the summit of The Nab
Looking west from the summit cairn
Bannerdale and Martindale with Hallin Fell and Steel Knotts in the centre
To avoid unnecessary disturbance to the Red Deer herd it is encouraged that all walkers stay on the path and return the same way, so a steep climb awaits back up onto Rest Dodd.
Looking over the valley of Bannerdale to Heck Crag and Angletarn Pikes with Fairfield, St. Sunday Crag, Nethermost Pike, Helvellyn and Catstycam in the distance
Once back on the summit of Rest Dodd we take the path heading west towards Satura Crag and Brock Crags (centre). Up until now we had been lucky to have had completely unbroken sunshine despite cloud forming over most of the surrounding fells during the morning. However just to show how quickly things can change up here, in the space of a few minutes we lost the warm sunshine and gained a stiff cool wind. It suddenly felt very autumnal indeed.
High Street, The Knott and Gray Crag
Hayeswater on the left as sunlight catches the slopes of Gray Crag. To the right are Caudale Moor and Red Screes
Approaching Satura Crag
Beda Fell and The Nab either side of the valley of Bannerdale
High Street and Gray Crag
Gray Crag and the wide track up to Hayeswater Reservoir. The track spoils an awesome view…
Hartsop above How and Brothers Water in the sunshine which has now made a welcome return
As we descend beneath the southern slopes of Brock Crags this is the view looking along Threshthwaite Glen to Threshthwaite Mouth and Raven Crag
Returning along the old pipeline towards the filter house with The Knott behind. From here we descend along the track we climbed earlier back to the car park.