Haweswater; High Street and Harter Fell

Posted by Swaledale Outdoor Club on 2010-03-29

Len and I met Tricia (Radcliffe), Ian (Dale) + Jess and John (Moxon) at the Haweswater car park on a bright morning with the forecast promising dry weather for most of the day. We traversed the head of the lake then got down (or more literally up) to real business with the steepish ascent of the south ridge of Riggindale. We made steady progress with plenty of stops to enjoy the splendid views of Haweswater and the distant Pennines. At one point I regret to report that we were overtaken by an energetic five-year-old Scouser following his dad up the ridge but I’m glad to say that the honour of SOC was saved when a little further on we managed a spurt to take back the lead. I wonder if the lad will still be as keen a hillwalker when he reaches his teenage years?

The steep pull up onto the High Street plateau was helped by the fact that the soft snow which blanketed the path a couple of weeks back has now mostly gone. We made a brief stop at the summit trig point and saw that while the eastern fells were clear, all the central Lakeland tops from Helvellyn westwards were in cloud. A chilly wind encouraged us to push onto Mardale Ill Bell where we found a sheltered spot just below the summit cairn for lunch (see photo). From there an easy descent took us down to Nan Bield (memo -must write to the National Park officer and suggest that the col is just the place for a wind turbine as it’s always breezy there) then up onto Harter Fell with more magnificent views down Haweswater.

Sleety rain began to fall as we headed for Gatescarth Pass but relented as we followed the beck back down to the car park. Tricia had a slice of luck there as her camera, having slipped off her belt, it was picked up and returned to her by another lady walker. After that near mishap there was just the pleasant postcript of a visit to the Haweswater Hotel for refreshment before the trip home. Thanks to Tricia, Ian, John and Len for their company, not, of course, forgetting Jess.

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