Where would you rather be?
So worshiping the god of retail therapy, washing your car, BBQ or walking the Lakeland ridges. When the temperature has unexpectedly hit 20°c, the sky is clear and the wind has dropped to the merest whisper, well I know my choice, yours would be?
The horseshoes really are the most satisfying of walks. After an initial climb up, the fells provide an undulating track which can be enjoyed for several hours with out being too strenuous. The views are spectacular and I love being able to see all around me.
The trail wanders ahead and behind, over the valley, in this case Rydal Fell, there is the latter half of the day. Dotted with those who missed their early morning coffee. Once across the top of the horseshoe it is even more satisfying to look back across the valley the other way and with complete satisfaction, do the ‘hey look where we walked!’
If you are into ‘Peak Bagging’ then you will be delighted as by this day’s end you can add eight to your list, culminating in Fairfield at 1050m. We walked the east ridge first and after an initial scramble up Low Pike, which can be avoided, there was little further cause to use hands, as well as legs,and it was the only place my terrier needed a lift. We hardly needed a map as the visibility was pretty much 100%. There is also a wall all along the top easing navigation. The contours fall sharply away on both sides with Scandale Beck in the eastern valley and eastern fells beyond.
The skylarks were in full voice and buzzards were enjoying the thermals, rising as high as we were walking. With the increase in elevation the vegetation gradually decreases, the rock formations become more interesting, until, when reaching Dove Crag, more of a plateau, where rocks prevail. The dark blue of Brothers water could be seen between the Hartsop ridges to the north east. Really satisfying when you know how long it takes to drive round the hills to get to Brothers water shore. Legs win.
Fairfield is a splendid rocky desert, far broader than it looks on the map. With few features bar the small wall shelters it is possible, even on a good day to set off in the wrong direction and end up on the wrong ridge.
Our return south was different again. The eastern ridge was thickly covered with winter grass, which gave the misconception of a dry summer rather than remnants of winter. Along the western return there was more of a green hue. May be because the elevation dropped quickly, but there was certainly more signs of the spring. From Heron Pike onwards, Grasmere village and Lake creep into view, then Rydal and Ambleside. The day proved good for Lake spotting as well as Peak Bagging.
The descent to Rydal was steep, stepped and quick. Parking at the Badger Bar had been a sensible decision. More photos and my facebook page
Start at GR375046 Map OL5 and OL7
Route description in Great Mountain Days in the Lake District here)
For another walk from Ambleside, click here
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