I suppose its quite possible that there may be three different blog versions of this walk – and even, maybe, a podcast… but as we’ve now shaken off the bogey of duplicated blogs using exactly the same pictures and exactly the same words, but with different spelling mistakes (hands up who noticed!) –there will be some significant benefit to blogreaders to read all three. Just in case there’s any suggestion of blogreadingweariness, I’m doing mine whilst the other two are relaxing in front of Animals do the Strangest Things or When Cheap Package Holidays Go Wrong……
So, today I met Shirley (Peewiglet) Worral with her terrier pup Piglet and Martin (Phreerunner) Banfield at Mardale Head, which is the commonest starting point (I should think) for the bagging of High Street and the doing of the Mardale Round which is a short ridge walk suitable for a mid-December day where there’s not much daylight - or a leisurely summer’s day with lots of sitting around listening to meadow pipits. Superdawg was there too and was, no doubt, relieved to receive the immediate submission of Piglet. If it had gone the other way, he’d have been fine with that too, no doubt (he’s not very assertive)
And so, in spirits as high as Outdoor Bloggers could ever ascend to, we rattled off over the stony path to the foot of the Rough Crag ridge – a narrowish and quite long ridge leading up onto High Street.
This is a very nice route by the way and never actually achieves scrambling level, although it tries a bit sometimes.
(And for those who don’t know, High Street is a 2700 foot high hill, so named because it has a Roman road running over it from Ambleside to Penrith (ish). It also has a 19th century racecourse, of which nothing much remains. Its a long, wide and fairly flat ridge with deep and rocky corries, one or two of which have eagles nesting.
High Street Summit Poses
But I digress, which is something quite difficult to do on the Rough Crag ridge without some excitement involving steep drops, crags and howls of terror.
We got to the top of High Street with only one coffee stop and one ghost-story telling session perched somewhere on a rocky bit and we lunched briefly behind the wall on the top and then posed in various poses on and around the trig point.
The rain and mist slowly lifted to reveal a view of other places lit by a golden winter glow.
We were soon at Nan Bield Pass where we met a couple with three boisterous young dogs, and not too much later, we crossed a tiny patch of hard snow to reach the summit of Harter Fell for another photo-call.
Small Water and Haweswater from Nan Bield
Harter Fell Posing – Where’s Piglet?
We followed the ancient packhorse track down Gatescarth Pass zig-zagging steeply back to the start as the short day ended.
No winter conditions today, although the ground on High Street was a bit frozen and ice underwater in ponds was quite thick. There were a few small white patches, most of which Bruno dug up and attacked enthusiastically. It was, in fact, 2 degrees, and with a 20 mph or so wind, which gave quite a refreshing edge….
Haweswater from Harter Fell
We repaired to the Haweswater Hotel for hot coffee and other refreshments. Piglet found a discrete place by the radiator. Bruno had his thermal blankets in the back of the car.
6 and a bit miles with 2400 feet of climbing.
At various points in this walk, Shirley got out her little digital recorder thingy and asked us various podcast-interest questions, such as “Have you always been unable to talk sense?” and “That buffalo doesn’t half pong, innit?” I seem to be completely unable to say anything vaguely interesting or sensible when faced with a recording thingy, but maybe Podcast Bob will be able to edit it to form something vaguely interesting to Podcast fans – possibly a Mama’s and Papa’s track or something…… Martin seemed to do better…
Anyway, it was nice to see Shirl and her liddle doggy on the walk – and worra nice dog, too.Bruno mentioned it a few times on the drive home. Maybe she’ll venture out with us again….?
Stop Press: Just copied this group photo from Martin Banfield’s picasa album.
Peewiglet with Piglet, Pieman with Superdawg (hiding) and Phreerunner – summit cairn on Harter Fell