Rest Dodd (2283ft, 696m) & The Nab (1890ft, 576m), 2nd September 2017

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

Rampsgill Head

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.



Fellbarrow (1365ft, 416m) & Low Fell (1404ft, 428m), 15th August 2017

To the south of us the fells were shrouded in angry looking skies which moved fast across the tops, but on Fellbarrow and Low Fell the sun was out most of the time making for some impressive contrasts and moody shots.

After parking up near Thackthwaite we head west towards the foot of the fells before starting to climb up towards Fellbarrow on the old drove road. This is looking back and our first view of Crummock Water.

The heather is at its best at the moment in the lakes

Looking north from the summit of Fellbarrow

Looking west towards the Irish Sea

After leaving the summit behind we retrace our steps before heading south towards Low Fell. To the east there are tremendous views of Grisedale Pike, Ladyside Pike, Hopegill Head and Whiteside.

Approaching Low Fell

The summit of Low Fell looking towards Carling Knott, Burnbank Fell and Darling Fell

Looking back to Fellbarrow (top left)

Although the view from the actual summit is impressive enough there are better viewpoints to the south which will give even better views of Crummock Water and over Loweswater valley.


The view from the cairn on the southern top

Rannerdale Knotts catches a glimpse of the sunshine but the skies are getting increasingly stormy beyond.

Loweswater with Hen Comb, Gavel Fell and Carling Knott behind

Darling Fell and the Irish Sea


Lorton Vale from the steep descent off Low Fell

For the 3 hours that we’d been walking we’d still not seen the tops of High Stile and Red Pike (right). Haystacks (centre) catches a glimpse of sun.

A final look at Crummock Water before we head north through tall and dense bracken back to our starting point.

A Grand Day Out…(Final Part – Pavey Ark), 5th August 2017

We leave Sergeant Man behind and make our way on an indistinct track and yet more boggy ground to regain the wet path between High Raise and Thunacar Knott. Before reaching the top of Thunacar Knott we bear left and make a beeline for the summit of Pavey Ark…

Looking towards Windermere and Ingleborough from the summit of Pavey Ark

The Coniston Fells

Morecambe Bay and Wetherlam

The top of Pavey Ark is a very busy place with many walkers mooching about enjoying the incredible views and pleasant weather. This is looking towards Bowfell and Scafell Pike.

Harrison Stickle. Our descent will take us towards Harrison Stickle before taking the steep path down below the cliffs to Stickle Tarn below.

Looking south with Lingmoor Fell in the centre

Stickle Tarn from the path below Harrison Stickle

Pavey Ark and Stickle Tarn

Looking back up the impressive cliffs of Pavey Ark – a solitary walker on the top gives an idea of scale.

Stickle Tarn and Pavey Ark

A close-up of the cliffs and the popular climb called ‘Jack’s Rake’ seen rising at 45 degrees from right to top left. Click on the image to see it larger.

Harrison Stickle from Stickle Tarn

The steep descent from Stickle Tarn follows Stickle Ghyll all the way back down to the New Hotel at the bottom and is a stunning way to end the walk. We pass many walkers still heading up, many of whom were going to be wild camping beside the tarn. It looked like it would be a busy ‘wild’ camp for sure! With the sun now blazing down on us and the constant noise of waterfalls and water cascading over rocks I feel like there’s nowhere I’d sooner be.

With the Langdale Pikes looming above us we follow the road for just a short distance before reaching the car. Time for a well earned sit down me thinks! I’d like to say a big thank you to my brother for his company and making it such a fantastic day, it really was one of the best.

A Grand Day Out…(Part 3 – Thunacar Knott, High Raise and Sergeant Man), 5th August 2017

AW wrote that it was a ‘dull trudge’ from Harrison Stickle to Thunacar Knott. Personally speaking I don’t know that the word ‘dull’ is an appropriate way of describing any walk in the lakes as I appreciate and savour every second that I’m up amongst the fells. ‘Wet’ would be a better description as underfoot it was very boggy indeed – it was impossible to find a dry way to the top. Thankfully though it did look like we’d seen the last of the rain so with my waterproof trousers now packed away again we soon arrived at the highest point of Thunacar Knott.

Looking back to Harrison Stickle and the Coniston Fells from the highest point. Although this is the ‘highest’ point, it is not regarded as the ‘top’.

Crinkle Crags and Bowfell

The recognised summit is a shelter on a mound to the north of the highest point. So this is Wainwright number 4 in the bag. On the right of this photo is High Raise, which up until now hadn’t been on our radar. As can be seen it doesn’t look all that far away from Thunacar Knott so we look at each other and discuss the idea of now including High Raise and Sergeant Man on our walk. Certainly for my brother who lives 250 miles away the idea of bagging 2 more Wainwrights, which look temptingly close, is an appealing one. We consult my Pictorial Guide which suggests it is only a mile or so to the top of High Raise, and to include Sergeant Man as well would add about 3 miles on to the walk. The weather seems to be improving all the time and we’re both still feeling fit and up for it so we think ‘let’s do it!’ and crack on.

So after a mile of more wet-walking we arrive at the summit of High Raise. We are both super impressed at just how far we can see from here. Scotland to the north, Helvellyn and even Ingleborough to the east. Morecambe Bay to the south and the Scafells to the west.

Esk Pike, Scafell, Scafell Pike, Great End and Allen Crags

High Stile, Grey Knotts, Fleetwith Pike, Honistor Crag, Mellbreak and Robinson

Bassenthwaite Lake and Skiddaw in the distance with Sergeant’s Crag and Eagle Crag in the foreground

The North Western Fells over Rosthwaite Fell

Looking up the valley of Langstrath to the Scafells and Great Gable

From the summit of High Raise we head southeast along more wet and boggy ground to reach Sergeant Man…

The view south from the summit of Sergeant Man. Just staggering.

The Coniston Fells in the distance, with our final Wainwright of the day in the foreground – Pavey Ark.

A Grand Day Out…(Part 2 – Loft Crag and Harrison Stickle), 5th August 2017

Loft Crag and Blea Tarn

Pike O’Blisco, Cold Pike and the Coniston Fells from midway between Pike O’Stickle and Loft Crag

The summit of Loft Crag is soon reached. This is looking back to Pike O’Stickle.

Bowfell, the Scafells and Pike O’Stickle from Loft Crag. The views from the edge of the summit are truly breathtaking and the drops down into the valley below are absolutely superb – this image gives an idea of the steepness of our ascent from the valley floor up to Pike O’Stickle.

Looking towards Harrison Stickle – our next Wainwright of the day

Great Gable and Pike O’Stickle

After a short climb it doesn’t take long to reach the summit of Harrison Stickle. This is looking east towards Pavey Ark and Stickle Tarn.

Crinkle Crags, Bowfell, Esk Pike and Great End

Looking towards Blea Tarn and the Coniston Fells

From the southern edge of the summit there is a superb view looking over the deep ravine of Dungeon Ghyll to Pike O’Blisco, Cold Pike and Crinkle Crags

Crinkle Crags and Bowfell dominate the horizon

Morecambe Bay, Blea Tarn and Wetherlam

Helvellyn, Nethermost Pike, Dollywagon Pike, St. Sunday Crag and Fairfield on the horizon with Steel Fell catching the sunshine mid-distance.

In the distance St. Sunday Crag, Fairfield, Hart Crag, Great Rigg, Dove Crag and High Street can all be seen clearly as the visibility is just superb. Walkers can be seen on the summit of Pavey Ark, this will be our final and 7th Wainwright of the day, But first we head north to Thunacar Knott – ‘a dull trudge’ as AW puts it!

Thunacar Knott (in the sunshine in the centre), with High Raise to the right. High Raise and Sergeant Man weren’t part of our original itinerary but once we’d quickly reached Thunacar Knott we decided that it would be daft not to include them!

A Grand Day Out…(Part 1 – Pike O’Stickle), 5th August 2017

My brother and his family were staying in Keswick for the week so with a decent weather forecast we teamed up for our now annual ‘Grand Day Out’ in the fells. Today really was a superb day, with no less than 7 Wainwrights bagged in this full day’s yomp around the fells. Our route took us from Dungeon Ghyll and along Mickleden to:

  • Pike O’Stickle (2326ft, 709m)
  • Loft Crag (2231ft, 680m)
  • Harrison Stickle (2415ft, 736m)
  • Thunacar Knott (2372ft, 723m)
  • High Raise (2500ft, 762m)
  • Sergeant Man (2395ft, 730m)
  • Pavey Ark (2297ft, 700m)

I figured it would be easier to post all the images in a few parts as there are so many!

The distinctive shape of Pike O’Stickle makes it a familiar landmark for miles around. This is taken from the valley floor of Mickleden as we make our way towards Troughton Beck.

Walking along Mickleden with Rossett Pike in the centre catching a tiny patch of sun. As it turned out the weather forecasters got it completely wrong yet again – instead of a dry day with a chance of a shower later we were soon putting on our waterproof jackets and trousers. The steep climb up alongside Troughton Beck wasn’t particularly pleasant at all actually as the heavy rain lashed down on us, and we became a little bit concerned in case this was how it was going to be all day. Up to our right we could see that our first Wainwright of the day, Pike O’Stickle, had now disappeared in the cloud and rain.

Looking back from half way up Troughton Beck to Mickleden and Pike O’Blisco

Esk Pike and Great End over Rossett Pike

Pike O’Blisco and Cold Pike

With the steepest part of the ascent done it’s time to enjoy the views. This is looking over our climb towards Bowfell and Rossett Gill

Great End, Allen Crags and Great Gable appear over Rossett Pike

The worst of the rain has now passed and thankfully we can see Pike O’Stickle again. This is looking towards the summit after joining up with the path from Stake Pass. The final climb involves a bit of scrambling and the drops down to our right are very impressive!

Awesome views down below us as we scramble up to the top

The summit of Pike O’Stickle looking southeast over Loft Crag towards Windermere and Blea Tarn

Bowfell, Esk Pike, Great End, Allen Crags and Great Gable from the summit

The Coniston Fells over Pike O’Blisco and Cold Pike

Harrison Stickle and Loft Crag

The light is fantastic now that the rain has passed through and the sun begins to make an appearance. This is Great End, Allen Crags and Great Gable.

But it looks very wet towards Keswick and Skiddaw!

Soon after the rain the visibility is excellent and we can see as far as Morecambe Bay

Rosthwaite Fell (left), Grange Fell (centre), and Sergeant’s Crag in sunshine (right)

Our next target – Loft Crag