Author Topic: TR - High Street via Long Stile  (Read 680 times)

richardh1905

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TR - High Street via Long Stile
« on: 20:53:11, 02/10/20 »
TR - High Street via Long Stile

A half day walk in good weather up High Street and Kidsty Pike via the impressive ridge that stretches out like a long finger to the east.

1st October 2020

Our plans for a family walk up Fairfield the previous weekend didn’t materialize, so I headed off with the dog for a quick trip into the hills on Thursday. Mardale Head always seems to take a long time to drive to after leaving the M6 at Shap, but the weather was gorgeous, and after bagging the last proper place in the car park, I got on my way at 0944.



Route on Viewranger HERE


I stopped to snap this shot of the head of Haweswater about a mile before I reached Mardale Head. High Street is to the right. My ascent route up the ridge is picked out by the morning sunlight centre stage.

There were a few people about, just setting off, but I soon lost them as I cut across the head of the lake and started walking down the good track above the shore towards the Rigg, a prominent wooded headland jutting out into the head of Haweswater. The steep hillside above looked lovely in the morning sunlight – the colours of autumn, red berried hawthorns and bracken turning a rich reddish brown. I had the bit between my teeth though, and soon reached the foot of the ridge, where I met two other walkers deliberating at length about where the path went – a quick look at the map confirmed that it did head off up through the bracken before the wall, so I set off ahead of them; the hard work beginning as I climbed.

A bit of a ‘Hare and Tortoise’ situation developed between these two walkers and I – they were a lot faster on the climbs, but they took quite a few long breaks, so I eventually I pulled ahead and lost them on the Long Stile ridge.


The start of the Riggindale ridge.


Remote Riggindale to my right. Beautiful autumn colours.

The ridge reared up from time to time, the path sometimes avoiding the steep ground by traversing to the left, sometimes tackling the steep ground head on, and once or twice I had to put hand to rock.

As I climbed, I was rewarded with ever expanding views:


Haweswater from low down on the Riggindale ridge.


Piot Crag, what would be an interesting approach to Mardale Ill Bell (right). I was intrigued by this rocky ridge, which we saw rising up into the clouds when we walked up to Blea Water in foul weather on New Year’s Day.


Haweswater from higher up on the ridge, Tess waiting patiently whilst I take the photo.


Blea Water looking lovely in the sun


The climb up Long Stile ahead. The rocky knoll ahead is the highest point on the ridge.

I passed a group of 6 people picnicing behind the rocky knoll; I passed them and continued on; some sheep ahead so Tess had to go back on the lead. After passing a small tarn I got stuck in to the Long Stile, which reared up intimidatingly ahead. There were no real difficulties though, and I enjoyed the climb, the path skirting around and over rocky outcrops in a pleasing manner, with the ground dropping away steeply on either side. Eventually the ridge merges with the extensive summit plateau via a section of stone pitched path. The top of the ridge is marked by a large cairn, which could be useful if descending this way in the mist.


Looking back down the ridge from high on Long Stile.


Tess on the cairn at the top of the Long Stile ridge, Haweswater beyond. Cross Fell is visible to the left in the distance.

From here the going was easy, and the summit of High Street was just a short distance away to the south. I arrived at 1140, around 2 hours after leaving the car, and decided that it was time for an early lunch, an opprotunity to enjoy the extensive views to the west, Fairfield, Helvellyn and Blencathra, with glimpses through the clouds to Crinkle Crags and other hills beyond.


The view west of Fairfield and the Helvellyn range from near the High Street trig point

Rather than follow the crest of the plateau northwards, I descended a short distance to the west, to the Roman Road which skirts above the steep ground above Hayeswater, where I was rewarded by an even better view.


Cloud topped Fairfield and Helvellyn, with Blencathra far to the right. In the middle distance, Hartsop Dodd and Grey Crag, with Hayeswater far below.

I continued north past a large gaggle of people who had stopped on the path to have a chat – they were a bit slow in moving to let me pass in a socially distanced manner (I was feeling a bit of a sociopath, and was unapologetic when Tess snapped at a rather forward woman who presumed to pat her head). After crossing the Straights of Riggindale, a narrower dip in the ridge, I took a path that traversed eastwards above steep ground, with dramatic views down into the depths of Riggindale below. I left the path and cut across easy ground to the top of Rampsgill Head, more for the views north down Ramps Gill than to bag the rather unremarkable summit, which was in any case occupied by another large group.


Riggindale from the Straights of Riggindale. I climbed the long ridge to the right.


Looking back towards High Street.

The view down into Ramps Gill, a glimpse of Ullswater beyond.

After admiring the view to the north, I cut back across the summit plateau past a tiny tarn, and re-joined the path leading to Kidsty Pike, which looked impressive from below, but is in reality little more than a slight knobble on the grassy ridge. The summit was again occupied so I pressed on after taking a quick photo.


Down into the depths of Riggindale, with the summit of High Street to the left. The foreshortened truncated spur in the centre of the photo is Short Stile.

I descended quickly down easy grassy slopes to Kidsty Howes, the rocky end of the ridge, in a hurry as I wanted to get back home before my son returned from school. I had considered turning left and following quad bike tracks down to Randale Beck, but instead I pressed on over Kidsty Howes, descending wetly and then steeply down the eroded rocky path which picked its way between the crags. I passed a few people on the way down; I may be slow on the climbs, but I have always been a confident descender, and I was soon on the grassy slopes that run out beneath the crags. One couple that I met asked me whether I had seen the red deer, and kindly pointed them out to me, about a dozen on the slopes above Randale Beck, their red coats making them well camouflaged amongst the bracken – too distant for my phone camera to capture, unfortunately.


Descending to Kidsty Howes, the rocky outcrop at the end of the grassy eastern ridge of Kidsty Pike.


Looking back up to Kidsty Howes, dark skies beyond. The dying bracken was a lovely colour.


Ruins near Bowderthwaite Bridge – a reminder that there was once a thriving community in this valley.

After crossing the footbridge, I was faced with a gentle climb up over the end of The Rigg, where I re-joined my outbound route. I really pressed on hard now – I had the childish notion that I must complete the walk in 4 hours, the time that I gave my wife – I got back to the car one minute late!


Autumn colours in Riggindale. Kidsty Pike to the left. I descended directly from the crags in the centre.

I was lucky, and was glad that I had pressed on, as the skies opened as I drove away from Mardale Head. 7 miles in four hours and one minute, and I made it back home just as the school bus was pulling up!
« Last Edit: 16:27:58, 03/10/20 by richardh1905 »
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Ridge

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Re: TR - High Street via Long Stile
« Reply #1 on: 21:35:32, 02/10/20 »
They are absolutely great pictures Richard, beautiful weather too.

BrionyB

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Re: TR - High Street via Long Stile
« Reply #2 on: 22:07:08, 02/10/20 »
Great photos, there really are pretty colours this time of year. Haweswater somehow always seems to look that beautiful deep blue.


We just missed each other; I was up on High Street the day before. You certainly had the better weather, but I had a quieter walk and no trouble with social distancing!  :)

richardh1905

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Re: TR - High Street via Long Stile
« Reply #3 on: 09:56:11, 03/10/20 »
Thanks for the replies, Ridge, Briony. :)


Yes I saw your photo of the Yoke cairn in the clouds, Briony - Wednesday really was a bit of a foul day. Always good to get out, though.
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karl h

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Re: TR - High Street via Long Stile
« Reply #4 on: 11:50:19, 03/10/20 »
Gorgeous colourful photos from one my favourite rounds  O0


I've looked at the route up to Mardale Ill Bell by Piot Crag a few times..Ill get around to it one day :)
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richardh1905

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Re: TR - High Street via Long Stile
« Reply #5 on: 12:44:39, 03/10/20 »
Gorgeous colourful photos from one my favourite rounds  O0
I've looked at the route up to Mardale Ill Bell by Piot Crag a few times..Ill get around to it one day :)

Thanks Karl - the autumnal colours were gorgeous. As well as the bracken, a long wiry grass was going a lovely reddish brown.

I was intrigued by the Piot Crag ridge when we had a New Year's Day family walk up to Blea Water - a rocky staircase climbing into the clouds. Photos here - https://wildaboutwalking.wordpress.com/lake-district/blea-water/
« Last Edit: 14:17:02, 03/10/20 by richardh1905 »
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redeye

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Re: TR - High Street via Long Stile
« Reply #6 on: 13:50:06, 03/10/20 »
Enjoyed reading that  O0  I've been there a couple of times and really enjoyed the area, in fact we've walked all round Haweswater reservoir a couple of times as well as the high fells. We stayed in the hotel one weekend when there was a lot of snow about, transformed the place  :)


emdaw

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Re: TR - High Street via Long Stile
« Reply #7 on: 20:59:34, 03/10/20 »
Yes love that route up to High Street, normally fairly quiet and great views up on each side. Another nice route back down to the Car Park at Mardale Head is via Nan Bield pass, a very pleasant half days walk  O0 O0

richardh1905

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Re: TR - High Street via Long Stile
« Reply #8 on: 08:47:59, 04/10/20 »
Enjoyed reading that  O0  I've been there a couple of times and really enjoyed the area, in fact we've walked all round Haweswater reservoir a couple of times as well as the high fells. We stayed in the hotel one weekend when there was a lot of snow about, transformed the place  :)


Thanks for the reply, redeye. I do fancy that path along the far shore of Haweswater. And I'm really looking forward to some snow on the fells.
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richardh1905

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Re: TR - High Street via Long Stile
« Reply #9 on: 08:49:21, 04/10/20 »
Yes love that route up to High Street, normally fairly quiet and great views up on each side. Another nice route back down to the Car Park at Mardale Head is via Nan Bield pass, a very pleasant half days walk  O0 O0


Yes, that's a good way down; Small Water is very dramatic.
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sparnel

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Re: TR - High Street via Long Stile
« Reply #10 on: 10:00:27, 04/10/20 »
Richard - did you walk on or cross the coast to coast route? I walked that bit from Patterdale to Shap one time and recognise some of the hill names from then. I remember the walk along Haweswater was very nice, up past the abbey and into the village.  Great report by the way, you're a great story teller!

richardh1905

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Re: TR - High Street via Long Stile
« Reply #11 on: 10:10:14, 04/10/20 »
Richard - did you walk on or cross the coast to coast route? I walked that bit from Patterdale to Shap one time and recognise some of the hill names from then. I remember the walk along Haweswater was very nice, up past the abbey and into the village.  Great report by the way, you're a great story teller!


Thanks Sparnel, you flatter me  :) 

I have no idea where the coast to coast route runs, to be honest. I did see that someone had written 'C to C' on a small stone on a cairn to the north of the Straits of Riggindale - I don't like people defacing the mountains in this way so I turned the stone around so that the lettering was hidden.
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Ridge

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Re: TR - High Street via Long Stile
« Reply #12 on: 10:51:32, 04/10/20 »
Richard - did you walk on or cross the coast to coast route? I walked that bit from Patterdale to Shap one time and recognise some of the hill names from then. I remember the walk along Haweswater was very nice, up past the abbey and into the village.  Great report by the way, you're a great story teller!
Looking at Richard's map he joined the C2C at Rampsgill Head and then left it when he got back down to the lake. He then walked south on the western side of Haweswater which isn't the C2C, where you would have turned north.

sparnel

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Re: TR - High Street via Long Stile
« Reply #13 on: 11:24:27, 04/10/20 »
Thanks Ridge. I was confusing Hayeswater with Haweswater! Sounds a really nice walk Richard.

pleb

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Re: TR - High Street via Long Stile
« Reply #14 on: 11:29:00, 04/10/20 »
Wonderful photos, the one of Tess on the cairn could go on a national calendar.  O0