2040 feet


Date                    7/11/2009

Walk done by:  Susan, Jed, Paul, Troy & Ruby

Weather:            Blue skies and sunshine to start, rain - lots of it to finish

Distance             6.0 miles.

Started at:          Cow Bridge Car Park, Nr Hartsop

Another early start - Susan picking me up at 7.10am and Paul 10 minutes later. After a stop for a bacon butty at Dave and Pete's shack near junction 36 we headed for Hartsop. Dave and Pete are like the Chuckle Brothers, but without the humour!

Our original walk was Birks, St Sunday Crag, Fairfield, and returning down the Hartsop above How ridge. However, heavy and persistent rain made it unpleasant walking weather especially for the two dogs, who had started to shiver with the cold and wet conditions. So we curtailed our walk after Birks.

The eastern face of Birks is steep, but the views are worth it especially were it eases and follows Grisedale valley way below. After reaching the summit we made our decision to abandon the rest of the walk but we took the path that descends very steeply down Birks east slope. Again good views were to be had across to Place Fell and along Ullswater.

Finally arriving in Patterdale we decided to have a drink in the White Lion, where the landlord seemed to be in a mood and was not very welcoming. So after one drink we left and trudged our way miserably to the car.

After changing to drier clothes we wanted a warm welcoming pub where the dogs could dry out and we could have a relaxing drink and chat. We found it at The Mortal Man in Troutbeck. The fire was roaring and we were fortunate to enter just as a group was vacating a table right in front of the fire - lovely. It was still raining heavily when we left. The journey home was uneventful, but Paul and I both fell asleep on the M6 - or so Susan says!!

I haven't been as wet in a long time - I really should have put my waterproof trousers on - but i hate wearing them - and had the weatherman's forecast ringing in my ears "sunshine and showers till late afternoon then possible thunder". How wrong they were.

Still, we enjoyed the day and the walk. We made the right decision to cut it short.


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Goldrill Beck flowing under Cow bridge. Place Fell is in the background


First view of Black Crag which is on the eastern side of Birks.


First glimpse of Ullswater



Susan and Paul on the climb to Thornhow End


Susan and Ruby crossing Hag Beck


TPaul and Susan nearing Thornhow End


Looking down Grisedale to Nethermostcove Beck.


Looking down on the farm of Braesteads in Grisedale


The view to Ullswater from the path above Harrison Crag


Then the weather changed and the rain set in.This is the last section of the steep climb before the gradient eases. Because of the weather there are no photos till we were half way down and the rain eased for five minutes. In those 5 minutes we took the chance to have lunch and feed the dogs. They were ravinous


The steep descent on the little used path down Black Crag ridge


And a view down the ridge to Ullswater. Rain and mist are clearly visible


Raindrops on the old Rowan bush


And the weather was still awful as we made our way home on the M6


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