The Very Next Thing for me, but not, unfortunately, for LTD, will be the TGO Challenge and I’ll be setting off on Thursday morning for the long journey to Shiel Bridge and then Glenelg, meeting The Lad in Inverness, probably in a pub, I shouldn’t wonder…
In the meantime, I thought I could slip in a day in the Lakes, although there’s no time to do anything else before Thursday.
And so, I unloaded LTD in the reasonably-priced (£4) car park at Gatesgarth and we wandered up the fabulously enjoyable West-facing ridge of Fleetwith Pike. I’d forgotten just how much fun this climb can be, specially on a really nice, sunny day. It’s an absolute joy when the legs are working properly, which they seemed to be on Tuesday. It has some easily scrambled bts, fine views and a couple of shoulders for the sitting about on.
On the top, there was a nithering gale blowing off the North Sea I shouldn’t wonder and we bimbled over to Fleetwith’s subsidiary top Black Star, where we found a cosy nook in the sun and out of the wind for a boiled egg salad butty and a choccy bar.
With wind-assistance, we wandered over to Little Round How – a rocky eminence just next to the main path to Haystacks and achieved by a short scramble up grippy slabs, followed by Green Crag, another rocky tor next to the path. So far, I’d bagged just the one new top and LTD had scored four.
Boggy bits followed for a half a kilometre splodge to Great Round How. Great Round How in much bigger than Little Round How, obviously. Great Round How’s main face appears fearsome, but fearty walkers can go round the back. We went round the back.
Another half a km or so brought us to Seavy Knott – Knott to far off the Coast to Coast route and sporting cracking views of Ennerdale and, specially, Great Gable and Pillar.
We now headed for Haystacks South East Top at 544 metres and another unnamed tor at 545 metres. The 600 or so metres from Seavy Knott to the 545 metre top is even more of a joy than Fleetwith’s West ridge. A thin path winds it’s way through rocky blocks, boggy bits and small tarns and, on the day, was empty of humans (apart from me, that is) whilst the main path up to Haystacks was heaving with Wainwright-baggers keen to geta bit of dust in their eyes, or, at least, on their boots.
Our final top of the day was , in fact, Haystacks, which oddly, we had to ourselves. LTD had 8 new top ticks in his bag (actually, he doesn’t own a bag), and I had four.
We celebrated by allowing LTD watch me drink a pint of shandy at the Riverside Bar.
Arriva Bus services celebrated by demolishing the bridge parapet at Grange and closing the road. A pair of stranded bus passengers and their little dog were transported to Keswick since I was in a good mood….
Only six miles and 2800 feet of ascent.