Friday, 19 October 2012

Fairfield Horseshoe - Ambleside - Lakes 13 October 2012.

Walking in the Lakes
Distance 20km Climb 800m
Saturday 13th October 2012

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Following last week when I came across to the Lakes to check this route with Anne, I was now back in the Lakes doing much the same route again.  Today I was walking with a group of friends and we arrived at the Ambleside youth hostel 50m at about 08.30 am.  The weather was very misty compared with the weather last weekend.

After sorting out our kit and getting ready for the walk we had a quick map check and discussion as to who was going to do the map reading before we set off at about 09.00 am, with Lesley leading the route.

From the youth hostel we moved North through the town where Our Kid and Our Lad stopped for caramel doughnuts and other supplies from Greggs.  Lesley lead us up the track towards Rydal Park, using Ritchie's map which was 1:25,000.  A 1:25,000 map shows more detail than my 1:50,000 so you could actually see that the park was up a track on the right of the A591.

Just past the houses in Ambleside we turned right and followed the track through the park and passed a number of camping huts, this took us to a place just before Rydal Hall.  At a bridge we could see an old building that had been built just for people to go in and look back up at the waterfall towards the bridge.

After passing the Hall we followed the track to a junction where we turned right and headed up the track up the hill.  Walking up the hill before we turned left up the footpath the postie came past.  It was now Dodsy's turn with the map reading and he lead us up the hill and being a young jack in the box he was away.  We turned up the footpath towards Nab Scar.  As we walked up we passed a man running down with his dog.  By the time we reach the style he and his dog had ran up and down and passed us three times.  At the style we had a quick rest and to took off any warm clothing.  Although still misty it was getting warm.

Lesley coming up the hill
Bob half way up Nab Scar, with Rydal Water behind.

Once on Nab Scar we headed North towards Heron Pike.

From Nab Scar with Grasmere in the distance
From Nab Scar looking North
Dodsy and Boydie

It was still misty when we reached Heron Pike 612m.  From Heron Pike Boydie took control of the map.

Looking West as the mist appears to be clearing
Bottom of Great Rigg 766m - everyone still smiling
Looking West through gaps of mist

As we moved up we were passed by other groups but the point of the day was to stay together and enjoy the walk.  Throughout the day we had enjoyable chats about all sorts of things such as banana skins, Ritchie shared with us information on the enclosure law as to why walls were built in some of the most difficult places.  As well as the use of moss, the ice age glaciers, all very interesting.  As we started up Fairfield we had a few splashes of rain and everyone put on waterproof jackets and hats.  The mist was thick and spoiled any views we might have had.

Just before Faifield at approx 850m, we turned right, East over the top Rydal Head. Then started down towards Hart Crag.  Last week from the start we could see all around our route with the clear sky's.  Today was very different where at some points we were lucky if we could a 100m, sometimes it was down to 50m.

How steep is that slope?
Looking North East from near Hart Crag it was starting to clear.

As we started South it started to clear and we only had the odd mist patch.  In parts I think it was more low cloud than mist.


Ritchie knows a lot of places in the Lakes, many of the different routes and lots of information about the Lakes, as he spends a lot of time walking in the area.

On the way down Dodsy was bouncing about from rock to rock all the way down.

Ritchie approaching High Pike
Our Kid spotted a rainbow in the bottom of the next valley.
Our Kid and Our Lad going down
Lesley and Katie on the way down
Looking back North from Low Pike
Our Kid, Boydie, Our Lad and Dodsy passing around Low Pike
Looking South over Ambleside
Lesley, Dodsy and Bob

When we came off the hill we found our way to a couple of liquid stops on the way through the town on the way back to the youth hostel.

Some other groups commented on how long it had taken us.  As a group we had started with nine people and we stayed as a group of nine and I would like to think we all enjoyed the walk and each others company.  We had had plenty of time to stop and enjoy the views, when we could see.  Plenty of talking and a relaxed walk.  There was no time limit to finish the walk and as the day moved on the sky cleared and the views were stunning.

I thought it was all very enjoyable.

The letter describing the walk stated that it was 13km.  However the Track magazine Sept 2010 edition shows the same route as the Fairfield Horseshoe with a distance of 19km from the centre of Ambleside.  We started at the youth hostel which was a good 500m from the centre of the town I calculated that all in we had covered at least 20km with a bit of a climb up and down, approx 800m.

More to follow

Boz North
Follow link to another walk around Fairfield Horseshoe - 7 Oct 2012

Monday, 8 October 2012

Fairfield Horseshoe - Ambleside - Lakes 7 October 2012.

Walking in the Lakes
Distance 15km Climb 800m
Sunday 7th October 2012.

I have set up Facebook and Twitter accounts, if you would like updates on my walks.

While looking at this route, it somehow looked familiar but I could not see why.  Since I posted this post, I have found the route in an old copy of Trail, dated Sept 2010.  In Trail it refers to this walk as the Fairfield Horseshoe.

Next week I am due to help lead a group on this walk, so I thought I would take the opportunity today to go out and check the route.  I had planned to come along and do it last weekend, but unfortunately things came up so we could not come across.  We had planned to stay the weekend but it ended up driving across and doing the walk in a day and then returning home.

When looking for a place to park the car we would not pay the prices of the local car parks, but found that the Ambleside Cricket Club, 50m, was open and had a notice you could park there and put a donation in their box.  So this was what we did.

Following the A591 from Ambleside we turned up towards the Rydal Mount.

Close to Nab Scar
Walking up the path we took the second footpath to the left towards Nab Scar.  On the 1:50,000 map the path is shown as straight, but in reality it twists and turns up the hill.  The weather was clear and the views stunning, and I could see the route we were going to take.  I took some good photos but a few months ago I got a scratch on the lens of my camera, which has caused a smudge on my photos.  Which is a shame.

Heron Pike 612m
From the top of Nab Scar we took the path North over Heron Pike 612m.

Rydal Fell 615m
Then Rydal Fell 615m.

Great Rigg 766m
 North again to Great Rigg 766m.

Anne walking North towards Fairfield
Anne walking East away from Fairfield
Approx 1300 meters further North, we turned right East, height approx 850m.

Anne moving over the ridge at Rydal Head
Looking Westerly towards Heron Pike and Rydal Fell
Moved towards Hart Crag.

Looking North after moving over Hart Crag
Looking South at Dove Crag
Dove Crag then turning South.

High Pike to Low Pike
Looking North up High Pike
 Over High Pike 656m, South again to Low Pike.

Onto a path that took us to the Nook End Farm.  We turned West at the first opportunity and headed through the houses back to the A591.  Then North West back to the Ambleside Cricket Club.

We had walked about 15km, climb approx 800m, on such as lovely day.

More to follow

Boz North
Follow link to another walk around Fairfield Horseshoe - 13 Oct 2012