A HAWESWATER ROUND - 16.11.13

RAMPSGILL HEAD SUMMIT

Four group members were joined at the start, Burnbanks, by five visitors, Pat, David, Julie, Jim and Paul, where the weather looked promising for a circuit of the fell tops.  Leader, Clare, set a good pace past Naddle Farm and out on to the moorland to the east of Haweswater, with Selside summit in our sights.  The going was boggy in parts, before reaching higher ground and a welcome coffee stop (complete with Clare’s flapjacks) was enjoyed on the Selside, the first top of the day.

 

The onward route was straightforward and we soon reached the large cairn at Artle Crag, just below Branstree.  Upon reaching Branstree top, comments were made, suggesting that lower cairn would have made a finer summit than the Ordnance Survey ‘ring.’  A grassy descent to Gatescarth Pass followed, before the next climb up to Harter Fell.  Fine views of the southern end of Haweswater were enjoyed and the prospect of rain seemed fairly slight.  At Harter Fell, we encountered the wind for the first time and the descent to Nan Bield pass was a blustery affair.  We paused briefly at the shelter, which offered welcome respite from the wind.  During the next climb to Mardale Ill Bell, the sun made an appearance, highlighting the two tarns of Blea Water and Small Water. 

 

High Street was our destination for lunch and the dry stone wall afforded some shelter from the wind.  Clare issued the two minute warning and soon we were heading to the Straights of Riggindale, where we turned right for Rampsgill Head.  Its neighbour, Kidsty Pike was so close; it would have been a pity not to visit, with its fine views of Riggindale and the impressive ridge above.  Our next objective was the final summit of the day, High Raise, from where it was (almost) downhill all the way, following the ridge down to Measand Beck and over the edge of Bampton Common back to Burnbanks.

LOOKING DOWN TO HAWESWATER FROM KIDSTY PIKEBRANSTREE SUMMITHAWESWATER FROM ABOVE HARTER FELL GULLY

Photographs courtesy of Louise Smith