Weather: unseasonally warm with a continental south easterly bringing November temperatures of 14 degC. Visibility was less than 50m until late in the day when the fell tops began to slowly clearWhere: Lake District, Deepdale; Link Cove Gill; Link Cove; Hart Crag; Fairfield; Great Rigg back to Fairfield & Hart Crag; Dove Crag & Hartsop Above How
Distance: approx 9.5 miles; 4000' ascent; walking time 6 hours
First day out for ages, Kay looking much better now at the half way point between the first two cycles of treatment and left site for the first time in about three weeks to visit Carlisle with Becky.
Graham has just finished his Mountain Leader training course and is working on the consolidation phase of the award so a big day out in poor visibility was a good option. We parked just outside Patterdale and walked in up Deepdale (I've never been here before). It had rained heavily overnight so there was plenty of water in Link Cove Gill so much of the scrambling was around the edges of the main watercourse.
|Graham in the Lower Part of Link Cove Gill|
We emerged in Link Cove itself and then took a line aiming for the ridge just to the east of Hart Crag disappearing after not very long into a thick mist which persisted for most of the day restricting visibility to generally less than 50m. Hart Crag summit was our first stop in a complex "spider" of summit bagging - no photos here couldn't see a thing. On next to Fairfield for more of the same before heading south to Great Rigg where we stopped for some food. Still not much to see but since my bag was open I took a photo anyway (below).
We then contoured around the edge of the ridge back past Hart Crag and on to the unexceptional Dove Crag summit (below left) the cloud cleared briefly on this leg only to return with a vengeance when we arrived at the summit cairn.
Back tracking towards Hart Crag once again (hope you are following this!) we decided to cut out a climb and contour around the head of Dovedale in order to gain the Hartsop Above How ridge. The cloud finally lifted at this stage of the day - once again the guys at www.mwis.org.uk were spot on with their forecast and we enjoyed autumnal views of rusts and green in the valley below.
The final walk along the ridge to Hartsop Above How summit was something of a "plodge" through boggy ground but the end of a long day was now in sight. We tried quite hard to spot Priest's Hole Cave on this section - I've read about it but never visited. The general area in which it must be situated was easy to spot but the detail was elusive.
A straightforward walk off led back to the road and the pleasant slate houses of the Patterdale, Deepdale area. Quite a long day after a three week absence from the outdoors but I really enjoyed it!
Looking down into Deepdale from Hartsop Above How