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" Knott Rigg and Ard Crags with Jenna "
Date & start time: Friday 24th February 2017, 11.45 am start.
Location of Start : Newlands Hause roadside parking, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 193 176 )
Places visited : Knott Rigg, Ard Crags and return plus a short walk over to Moss Force.
Walk details : 3.8 miles, 1375 feet of ascent, 2 hours incl the 2nd short walk.
Highest point : Ard Crags, 1,906ft - 581m.
Walked with : Jenna and just one dog, Dylan. (Ann and Harry walked locally to home.)
Weather : Dry with sunny periods, warm climbing, cold in the breeze.
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At this time last year Jenna and I had a fabulous walk up Skiddaw in perfect snow conditions.
This half term the weather hasn't been so kind . . .
but overnight rain had settled out on the high fells and left a covering of snow that she wanted to experience.
Knott Rigg and Ard Crags would be suitable local fells for a walk today, with the bonus that she hasn't climbed either of them before.
The view as we drove up the Buttermere Valley, having just rounded Hause Point alongside Crummock Water.
We turned left in Buttermere Village and drive up the Newlands Pass
and were rewarded at the top with a suitable parking area from where you can start the climb.
As we walked up we met Rosamund and John (also of Loweswater) who, with their grandchildren,
were walking down having just completing their ascent of Knott Rigg.
They told of the snow on the summit and how much the children had enjoyed the walk.
A photograph or two later and we went our separate ways.
Later in the day they kindly sent me these two photos, the portrait and the one of their walk back from Knott Rigg
. . . but we were yet to experience these snowy sights that lay ahead for Jenna and I.
Above the first steep climb the slope eases and we reach the snow line.
Moss Force once again but now from above the snow line.
With a slight breeze blowing through the temperature was quite low, especially when the sun went behind yet another cloud.
Robinson from the Knott Rigg ascent.
Wintery clouds blowing over the High Stile Ridge but gaps in the cloud allowed the sun to shine through with great effect.
The weather today . . . totally unpredictable.
Into the deeper snow now . . . and predictably . . . chance to play snowballs !
Initial fun over we head for the first of the two named summits . . . Knott Rigg.
The slopes of Crag Fell and Sail ahead . . .
looking almost like a pen and ink drawing taken from the pages of a Wainwright Book.
Jen tries to work out where the second summit of Ard Crags is . . .
but it blends in with the crinkled summit ridge of Causey Pike at first glance.
Dylan makes the first summit, the ground devoid of deeper snow due to its exposed position.
Behind are the ridges of the Newlands Valley with Helvellyn in the distance . . . the foreground subject here looks cold and wind blown !
On the move again along the elevated ridge that joins these two Wainwright fells.
The ridge that leads down to Keskadale, snow covered for half of its journey.
On the paths the soft and occasionally damp snow, combined with the wet ground underneath made walking hazardous at time.
Where the snow lay deep and crisp and even, there was chance to have a bit of fun.
With the long lens we could identify the various summits of the Helvellyn Range.
Here the main summit over the Brown Cove Crags, with Catstycam over the back, more prominent earlier when the sun illuminated its slopes.
We reach the cold wintery summit of Ard Crags . . . Dylan ahead as ever.
Jen celebrates reaching another summit . . . and not a rain cloud in sight !
Across the way, an equally wintery looking Causey Pike.
The close up photo is good enough to spot a fellow walker on the adjacent summit.
Beyond us, on the other side of the Keswick divide, the snow covered top and south facing ridges of Blencathra.
A busy Keskadale Farm (almost) directly below.
There we are . . . the view back along the Ard Crags ridge . . .
to Knott Rigg and ultimately the Moss Force waterfall flowing off the elevated Buttermere Moss.
Zooming in on the poorer weather on the High Stile Ridge . . . and down to towards Starling Dodd that is just touching the cloud.
The afternoon thaw leaves the paths wet, occasionally even flowing in melt water.
A shaft of sunlight briefly illuminates the summit ahead.
. . . then moves on to shine on Whiteless Pike.
Addacomb Hole under Wandope next in line for the sun.
The hanging valley sports a remote sheepfold but no lake . . . must try and get up there sometime.
Our turn for sunshine now as we walk back along the ridge.
All to soon we're dropping down and leaving winter behind.
Ahead are the cars at the pass and the waterfall once again.
Back at base but Jenna wants one short, extra little walk.
A nice end to a different sort of winter walk than last year.
- - - o o o - - -
Technical note: Pictures taken with either Jenna's iPhone or my Panasonic Lumix Gx8 Compact System Camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . a break in the weather for Jen to get out and enjoy the snow.
Previous walk - 22nd February 2017 - Aira Force with Jenna
A previous time up here - 28th February 2014 - Knott Rigg and Ard Crags
Jenna's Half Term in the Lakes 2016 - 10th February 2016 - Skiddaw under Snow with Jenna
Next walk - 18 - 26th February 2017 - Dorris, Ewan and Jenna