I parked up at the FREE Cow Bridge car park in Hartsop at just after 9.30. I got going quickly or rather I didn’t as immediately on leaving the car park it’s a near vertical climb to get up the first couple of hundred metres through old deciduous woodland. A good warm up and a fast height gain which brings you out nearly on the top of the ridge. The path winds its way along the ridge with some knobbly bits to either circuit or crest. I did a mixture. The first Wainwright is Hartsop above How which is really just a high bit on a ridge but it’s in the book.
There were a couple of showers along the way but so brief that it wasn’t worth getting the hard shell or anorak out (Cath laughed at me last week for calling it an anorak!) Towards the end of the ridge there’s a short section of scree and then it’s a quick move across to reach Hart Crag. By the time I got there I was in the full force of the wind and it was chilly so I ended up wearing t shirt, merino long shirt, soft shell, hard shell, buff over my head and gloves. Wet, wind and cold.
I didn’t stop long on Hart Crag and carefully levered myself down the somewhat treacherous big lumps of rock and across to Dove Crag. At this point I actually saw some people. There were some people behind me going along the ridge earlier but even though we’d said hello they became spots in the distance before long. A quick lunch sheltering behind a rock and then on to find the wall or fence to follow down to Little Hart Crag.
The fence turned out not to exist except for the uprights but they were still there slowly rotting. I basically followed them all the way to Scandale Pass at which point I went up onto Little Hart Crag, where I had a wee thinking that I was quite alone as had seen no-one coming in any direction. So I was a bit surprised when a couple and a dog turned up shortly afterwards. I asked the woman to take my photo so that Brothers Water was in the background but as you will see, she didn’t manage to do this and it’s just as well I had my iPhone to piddle around with! By this time it was very hot and sunny and I was back in just my t shirt.
Little Hart Crag is at the top of High Hartsop Dodd so I just got going along a nice grassy path which ends in a truncated spur and is thus very steep to descend but fast. The couple with the dog went off the hill at top speed.
At the bottom there was a field to cross and I’d been wondering what the large brown thing was. It turned out to be a sleepy bull so I was glad that the hopeless photographer’s dog had not upset it.
Then it was a quick walk along a good flat gravel path by the side of Brothers Water and back to the car by about 3.15 and home by 5.30.
Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map with me and my navigation partner, Cath.