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" Harter Fell with Simon and Jo "
Date & start time: Saturday 20th October 2012, 12 noon start.
Location of Start : Roadside parking at Brotherilkeld, Eskdale, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 143 211 )
Places visited : Jubilee Bridge, Harter Fell, Demming Crag, Hardknott Pass, Roman Fort.
Walk details : 5.5 mls, 1925 ft of ascent, 5 hour including lunch.
Highest point : Harter Fell, 2109 ft - 649 m.
Walked with : Jo, Simon, Ann and the dogs, Amber, Harry and Bethan.
Weather : Not quite up to expectations - more cloud than Greece !
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Our first full walk now we are back in the Lakes is on Harter Fell in Eskdale.
Simon and Jo are up in the area
so we all join up for what promises to be a fine day on the western side of the Lake District.
Ann and Simon get booted up at the start of the walk.
The car park looks level in the photo but is actually 100 yards up the steep climb up from Brotherilkeld to Hardknott Pass
Ann invites you to join her as she crosses Jubilee Bridge.
The packhorse bridge spans the diminutive Hardknott Gill at the start of our walk.
The walk up Harter is a delightful 'round trip'.
We'll start out across the front of the fell on a gently rising track, then swing left and up to the summit
once we've passed Dod Knott, the prominent outcrop on the left of the path ahead.
As we turn around the southern side of the fell the path starts to climb and then splits.
Straight on takes you to Green Crag and Seathwaite in Duddon . . . left takes us up to the summit.
The sky is clearing nicely now . . . just as planned.
Looking down the valley we can see Muncaster Fell with the Isle of Man away in the distance.
The cloud is thinning and lifting on Slightside and the Scafells.
Plenty of blue in the sky now and the first major peak of Slightside is clear of cloud.
As if to emphasise the colour, Ann calls us to turn round so she can photograph it too.
It's warm as well . . . perhaps it was my shorts she's taking the picture of . . . or maybe not !
This is lovely walking . . . fifteen degree cooler than we've been used to recently . . . but still very nice.
Looking south into the sun the photos always become more highly contrasted.
We're looking past the pointed Stickle Fell towards Morecambe Bay.
The clouds building slightly over Black Combe are beautifully illuminated from behind.
A little higher now and Yoadcastle and Stainton Pike can be seen above Green Crag.
Also there is the lovely Devoke Water . . . you know . . . the one with the remote boathouse.
Blue skies and hardly a cloud . . . as forecasted.
The fells of Seatallan and Pillar behind the crags of Yewbarrow are now clear of cloud too.
What's keeping you ? . . . . Harry up ahead, waiting near the summit rock area.
We walk up . . . Bethan climbs even higher.
Tables reversed this time as I scramble up the rock on the southern side of the summit.
They did join me but found a better route around the back.
From my vantage point I looked the short distance across to two of the three other summit outcrops.
Another party are ahead of us and sheltering from the slightly cool breeze to enjoy their lunch.
Simon and I (and the dogs again) climb the final thirty feet to the true summit of Harter Fell.
Looking south west across the Harter Fell trig point.
It was presumably built there rather than on the summit in order to take advantage of at least a little flat ground.
Looking beyond it the weather seems to be turning . . . that wasn't forecasted to happen till much later on !
Big Dog looks down on little people . . . Harry top dog.
A wide shot across to the Scafells . . .
Eskdale valley cuts into the centre of the photo and then zig-zags left then right into Upper Eskdale, all the way up to the wilderness of the high fells.
I'll let you name them all or . . .
After lunch it was Jo and Ann's turn to climb to the summit.
The rock is very damp and extremely slippery so it was not as easy as it looks.
To give her a hand, hold your cursor over the photo !!
High Fives . . . from the top.
More waves for Simon to catch a photo.
That cloud is creeping inexorably east and the weather is now getting very overcast.
Onward and downward now.
We decide on a grand circular descent along the northern flanks of Harter Fell, down to the Hardknott Pass
and across the front of Hardknott before returning to the cars.
The white house is the farm at Cockley Beck.
A last vestige of direct sunshine lights up the lower slopes of Pike O'Blisco around the Three Shires Stone area.
From Demming Crag I was able to look directly down on the Roman Fort of Hardknott.
Demming Crag above us now as we continue on down the rather damp section behind Harter Fell.
Simon checks out the 'wpm' on his watch . . . weather post-meridian . . . no - words per minute !
[ author ducks to avoid the flack ]
After a damp crossing we reach the tarmac road over Hardknott Pass.
We pass on an additional ascent of Hardknott itself due to the late start and the poorer weather.
We left the road at the first hairpin bend, onto the old Roman track which leads directly down to the camp, seen here in the distance.
The lighter area devoid of bracken is the old Roman parade ground, the best preserved and largest example of its type in northern Europe.
Border End behind us as we descend.
Nearly two thousand years of history in those walls.
Due to its isolated location, much of the stonework of the fort still survives
. . . it was too heavy and too far away for people to cart it away to build farms and houses elsewhere in the valley.
Stepping through the eastern gateway we see the foundations of the old granary laid out before us.
Ann photographs the Commandant's house as I take Jo and Simon over to the northern gateway.
. . . where we find two dogs and a fine, if slightly cloudy view of the Scafells again.
The third and southern gate was our exit point
which led us back down towards the valley and the cars below.
Colourful trees along the banks of Hardknott Gill.
Autumn is with us and the leaves are beginning to change colour.
Still quite a number of car in the layby near the bottom of the hill as we end our walk today.
A change of footwear and we were on our way.
A little light refreshment was awaiting us at the Santon Bridge Inn.
- - - o o o - - -
Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon Sureshot SX220 or my Canon G10 digital cameras.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . a little more of that forecasted sunshine.
Previous walk - 22nd September 2012 Hopegill Head via the Slabs
In between times - October 2012 Our week long Greek holiday on Santorini
Our previous time up here - 6th February 2008 Harter Fell in the sunshine
Next walk - 26th October 2012 First Autumn Colours in Loweswater