Date & Time: Sunday 30th December 2007. 10.40 am start.
Location of Start : Adj to Patterdale School. Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 394 160 )
Places visited : Grisedale Bridge, Grisedale Valley, Ruthwaite Lodge, Brother's Parting Stone, Grisedale Tarn, Deepdale Hause, St Sunday Crag, Thornhow End, and back to the main road.
Walk details : 8 mls, 2600 ft of ascent, 6 hrs 10 mins.Highest point : St Sunday Crag 841m 2,756ft ( 841m ).
Walked with : Jo, John, Ann and the dogs : Jodie, Megan, Polly, Harry and Bethan.
Weather : A grey day but reasonably dry, better chance of cloud free fells in the East.
Our parking spot in front of Patterdale School - courtesy of the school holidays
For our final walk of 2007 we waited for the forecast and then decided St Sunday Crag would be a suitable target for our day out.
" It's been a baaad week of weather . . . then one decent forecast and they're all out . . . walking our fells without so much as a by-your-leave."
By walking the Grisedale Valley to start we would get a view of the high fells ahead of us as we climbed. The climb would be a gentle one as it would take three quarters of the walk to reach the highest point and only the remaining quarter to get back down to the car.
With a ten thirty start John had packed his new head torch and was wondering whether we would need to use it before the afternoon ended . . .We shall see !
I had forgotten this fine bridge which we found half way along the valley.
It must have been modern due to the width and general appearance but the pillars on the ends were unusual.
Under the steep side of St Sunday Crag, the track weaves in and out of glacial moraines, as it makes it's way along the valley.
Starting to climb now, the fields have ended and we have left the farms behind.
Waterfalls by Ruthwaite Lodge are also full of water.
There were quite a lot of people around today and one or two groups had stopped by Ruthwaite Lodge for an early lunch.
Although the place was all locked up, it is looking a little more cared for this time as the roof had been repaired since our last visit.
Too early for our lunch so we continued on towards Grisedale Tarn.
A detour in the path led us onto some slippery boulders, but no great problems - everything was wet and slippery today.
A slight diversion just before the top took us over to The Brother's Parting Stone.
It was here that the poet William Wordsworth parted company forever from his brother John, on 29 Sept 1800.
The girls are more warmly wrapped up now as we are reaching the head of the valley.
Grisedale Tarn and Seat Sandal.
To reach our summit today we would need to cross the outflow from the lake and double back on the other side of the valley, on a rising path up to our left.
Fortunately the beck running out of the lake was wide and shallow enough to wade across easily.
Looking back from part way up that track.
The Brothers Parting Stone we passed on the way up is in the bottom right hand corner of the photo.
That's better - a ray of sunshine - a brighter period !
Sunshine on Dollywaggon's Tarn Crag.
The sunshine was short lived however
and had faded by the time we reached the start of the last section to the hause.
As the sun faded, the cloud started to drop onto the distant slopes of Helvellyn.
Deepdale Hause and a wonderful view of Fairfield suddenly came into view.
Looking around it looks cold and snowy up on Nethermost Pike.
A less recognisable view of Striding Edge, as it's steep left hand climb is hidden in the cloud.
Harry pauses while I take a photo from further back.
Time to start the final climb up to St Sunday Crag.
To our right on the way up we can look across Deepdale, all the way to the snow on High Street and Rampsgill Head.
Behind us the cloud is starting to flood in from Grasmere Valley around the slopes of Seat Sandal.
We are being followed by more cloud !
The cloud started to envelope Fairfield and Cofa Pike but we are still clear.
The last part of the climb returns to a more gentle angle.
The dogs race across the last snowfield . . .
. . . and Ann follows.
The summit reached, but the cloud was not far behind.
Now for somewhere for lunch !
As we leave the top the view improves and we find a comfortable rock for a stop.
Portrait of a Polar Explorer ?
No . . . it's John sampling the delights of his thermos flask.
Ann and a large person further away give perspective to the start of our post-lunch descent.
A final shot before we left the snow.
It looks great but the soft slushy path was rather slippery and needed great care in places.
Across the way the cloud clears slightly to reveal Catstycam.
A close up a few minutes later shows a clearer Catstycam above the "Wall with the Hole"
As the light slowly starts to fade the colours become less vivid, but we are down near the Birks Fell junction now.
The lights start to shine from the Ullswater Boat at the jetty and from the houses of Patterdale below.
I think John might be using his head torch by the time we get down.
Journey's end - the White Lion at Patterdale.
Timings were perfect - the torch did see the light of dusk - but we made it to the car before we really needed it.
- - - o o o - - -
Technical note: Pictures taken with my Canon G7 Digital and Ann's Ixus 75 cameras.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . four head torches and a thermos.
Previous walk - 25th December 2007 Barrow Fell with Gareth
A previous time up here - 13th September 2006 Arnison, Birks and St Sunday on Wednesday