Author Topic: Fairfield Horseshoe clockwise or anticlockwise?  (Read 383 times)

Bhod

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Planning on doing the Fairfield Horseshoe on Sunday all being well,  my first trip out to this section of the hills and there are many conflicting reviews as to the better route, so, out via Nab scar and walk clockwise or out via Low Pike and do the horseshoe anti-clockwise?
Not a complete idiot, bits of me are missing.

Skip

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Re: Fairfield Horseshoe clockwise or anticlockwise?
« Reply #1 on: 09:12:39, 05/08/17 »
I've only done the circuit in full once and that was anti-clockwise.

We started from the Golden Rule. Our route was up Sweden Bridge Lane until it becomes a track then through Rough Sides wood to High Sweden Bridge, turn left over the bridge before swinging north up to Low Pike.

That gave us a fairly gentle ascent to the first top of the day. From there we followed the classic horseshoe route to Fairfield.

On the return leg, the descent from Nab Scar to Rydal Hall is a steep pitched path, stair-like in places. If we'd done the horseshoe the other way round we'd have faced a much more gruelling ascent at the start of the day.

The views are pretty spectacular either way.

You shouldn't have the sun in your face on the outward leg as you'll be heading north but, depending on the time of day, you may be walking into the sun on your way back. Another possible factor to consider is the wind speed and direction - check the forecast.

Either way round, I hope you enjoy it.
Skip

Ridge

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Re: Fairfield Horseshoe clockwise or anticlockwise?
« Reply #2 on: 09:52:10, 05/08/17 »
For the same reasons as Skip  I prefer the other way round. Hard ascent at the beginning of the day and easier on the knees on the way down.
Either way is great though.
Over hill, over dale. Thorough brush, thorough brier....
I do wander every where

gunwharfman

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Re: Fairfield Horseshoe clockwise or anticlockwise?
« Reply #3 on: 16:59:13, 05/08/17 »
I did it last year and walked anti-clockwise. If I ever hiked it again I would do it clockwise!

Hillhiker1

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Re: Fairfield Horseshoe clockwise or anticlockwise?
« Reply #4 on: 20:21:02, 05/08/17 »
I normally do it clockwise, but this year I decided to do it the 'proper' way - anticlockwise just to see if it was better.
On balance; I think clockwise is better. - As others have said do the steep Nab Scar while you're fresh and get the benefit of the softer grassier slopes on the return leg when you're getting tired.

Sarah Pitht

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Re: Fairfield Horseshoe clockwise or anticlockwise?
« Reply #5 on: 21:27:46, 05/08/17 »
Ridge has expressed my view. Steep descents on tired legs are to be avoided, if possible.
Heading North in spirit; Heading South in body...

Bhod

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Re: Fairfield Horseshoe clockwise or anticlockwise?
« Reply #6 on: 22:07:23, 05/08/17 »
Still nursing my knee somewhat and so I am really grateful for everyones input.  The hard ascent followed by a gentler descent really appeals to me, maybe when I'm more confident of my knee holding up I'll return and do it the other way for comparison, but tomorrow I'll start with Nab Scar and go clockwise.  Thanks for all you replies.

Roy.
Not a complete idiot, bits of me are missing.

Bhod

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Re: Fairfield Horseshoe clockwise or anticlockwise?
« Reply #7 on: 06:49:39, 08/08/17 »
Well, that wasn't quite what I expected !  Although to be honest I didn't quite know what to expect but the climb up Nab Scar didn't seem (to me), to be that bad at all, but I guess it's all subjective.
Anyways, a great days worth of walking, some fantastic views to be had and well worth the trip across, the only real downside was the weather closing in on Fairfield so not getting a really good view of the Helvellyn range was a bit of a downer but still an enjoyable trip.
Not a complete idiot, bits of me are missing.