Steel Knotts, Wether Hill, Loadpot Hill & Arthur's Pike

Date                    19/09/2009

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

Weather:            Bright to start, Rain and mist on Wether Hill, and then brightening up after leaving Loadpot Hill. Mild

Distance             8.0 miles.

Started at:          Howtown

This was a hastily arranged walk, which saw Paul having to pull out at the last minute, and Pam returning from Southampton not being available. Leaving Chorley at 8 we made good time to Shap (it would have been better without the 4 long stretches of 50 mph average speed, speed cameras on the M6). The weather was bright and sunny at Shap where we stopped for a coffee. And it was still sunny when we arrived at Howtown.

Because of our early start parking wasn't a problem and we were soon passing the Howtown Hotel on our way to the north ridge of Steel Knotts. It's a steep start but 45 minutes later we were approaching the top of the ridge. The summit of Steel Knotts is named Pikeawassa and good views were abundant. However to the west rain clouds were ominous.

Shortly after leaving the ruins at the foot of Gowk Hill the weather began to close in. As we reached the Wether Hill ridge we had to don full waterproofs before making our way to the summit. By now visibility was very poor and for safeties sake a compass bearing was taken for Loadpot Hill.

We soon reached the chimney of Lowther House and made the short walk to the summit. By now visibility was awful and we were in unfamiliar terrain. Susan and I discussed the options, either return the way we had come or continue, and make for Pooley Bridge and return to Howtown by the Ullswater Ferry. We chose the later. Firstly we took a bearing to the NW to cross the well defined High Street path and then set forth. Just after finding the path the weather suddenly cleared and good views were to be had. We took off the waterproofs and made our way to Arthur's Pike. From there its a pleasant gradual descent to Cock Pit and on to Pooley Bridge.

We had two coffees at the pier cafe before boarding the ferry to Howtown.

To summarise, we all thoroughly enjoyed the walk, which offered very varied terrain and great views. Well worth it.

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Steel Knotts



Looking down Fusedale from the foot of Steel Knotts' north ridge


Hallin Fell from the foot of the ridge



Looking towards The Coombs


The ferry approaching Howtown


And taken a little higher up the ridge - the ferry is leaving Howtown for Pooley Bridge

Nearing the top of the ridge, this is the view to the south West towards Place Fell


Susan, Billy and Troy coming back to make sure we are OK


Looking down to the road to Sandwick.


Susan and Ruby with a very steep drop to their right


And finally we get on the ridge. Susan and Ruby head for Pikeawassa, the name of Steel Knotts' summit.


Ruby looks up at me on the summit


Billy reaches the summit


..and so does Susan along with her new radio


getting down is a little trickier!!


Billy, Susan and Ruby on Pikeawassa


The south ridge of Steel Knotts, which will lead us towards Wether Hill and over a thousand feet of climbing to get there.




Billy starts the descent from the summit, high above the valley and Howe Grain


looking back at Pikeawassa


And another glance back, this time showing the whole of the ridge.

Shortly after this photo was taken the weather came in, rain and thick cloud. Wether Hill and Loadpot Hill are not good places to be in mist. For the first time since we last climbed Scafell Pike 3 years ago the use of a compass and walking a bearing was necessary. There are no photos of Wether Hill and Loadpot Hill.

Shortly after leaving Loadpot Hill the rain ceased....


...and this is the view back to Loadpot Hill, still engulfed in cloud.


The weather continued to improve - this is the view towards Beda Fell


...and this towards Great and Little Mell fells


The view towards Arthur's Pike from High Street


Troy leads the way to Arthur's Pike


Troy, Billy and Susan atop Arthur's Pike.

We took the decision here to walk to Pooley Bridge and take the ferry back to Howtown

Looking back to Arthur's Pike


Troy on the path to pooley Bridge


Elder Beck near The Cockpit - photo by Billy


Susan on the path that follows Elder Beck


Rowan in full bloom


The west side of Ullswater from the ferry - photo by Billy


The view down Ullswater to Hallin Fell and Place Fell taken from the ferry moorings at Pooley Bridge






...and Troy


Billy through the porthole


Troy and Dad enjoy a cuddle.


The ridge of Steel Knotts from the ferry


...and a close up of the same ridge


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