Hello, my name is Mal Tabb.
Thanks for visiting our web pages. Marion & I operate a small outdoor activity organisation called Canoes, Mountains & Caves. We provide activities for: adults, young people, schools, charities, families & individuals. A key aspect of our work is the provision of a "Community Programme" which is offered free of charge to participants. If you think we might be able to help please don't hesitate to contact us, you can find out more about what we do on our main website www.canoesmountainscaves.com

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

High Street via Hayeswater Gill & Sulphury Gill

With: Alan Rainford

Weather: Spectacular!

Where: Patterdale, Lake District 

Sunbathers on Thornthwaite Crag
Alan & I set off today with the objective of checking out possible Gill Scrambles is Hayeswater Gill & Sulphury Gill, we parked at Hartsop and headed up the "Water" road on the North side of the valley. The scrambles in the above gills are described in the trusty:

Scrambles in the Lake District (North) Cicerone guide.

Both scrambles appear to offer great potential, however, we were only able to engage hands with rock very infrequently today as, firstly, there was a significant quantity of water in Hayeswater Gill (likely due to continuing snow melt) and, secondly, the bulk of the rock in both gills was glazed in a thin veneer of very slick ice making each foot placement really quite precarious. As such the majority of our assessment was from the bank of the gills as we ascended initially in shadow but later in glorious sunshine. From a working with groups perspective Sulphury Gill (below) looked very interesting as the opportunity to "free scramble" with protection from spotters appeared to offer real potential.

From the head of the gill we headed on under bright blue skies stopping for lunch at the foot of The Knott.

Rather than by-passing on the path - we then took a direct route across a snow field to take in the Knott's summit before continuing on over a mixture of snow and ice to the summit of High Street, the scene was truly spectacular.

Making good speed now we followed the edge of the High Street Ridge checking out a possible line of descent from the head of Hayeswater Gill which we reckoned would work well if the full horse shoe was not to be attempted. However, we decided to stay high and enjoy the superlative conditions heading for Thornthwaite Crag where the scene was almost one of "al fresco" living as people relaxed in the sun.

Our route of descent was via Gray Crag which once again offered impressive views in all directions, the picture below is looking back across to the High Street ridge that we had earlier traversed.

The descent off the end of Gray Crag was steep and at times a little awkward across some of the unavoidable patches of hard frozen snow. However, it offered a pretty direct route back on to the broad paths of the valley for a straightforward return to Hartsop.

Distance: approx 7 miles
Height Gain: 2,650'

There are a full set of today's photos on my Flickr site

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