A Dovedale Horseshoe - Hartsop above How, Hart Crag, Dove Crag, Little Hart Crag & High Hartsop Dodd.
3D outline of route
Just managed to get a spot at Cow Bridge Car Park today. It was only 9:15am, but it was a Bank Holiday and the weather was good after a rainy spell, so I was expecting it to be quite busy today.
The stiff climb up the side of Hartsop-above-How begins immediately from the car park. The path to take is the small right hand side one.
Many a stop for a breather and view admiration as the pull up to the ridge path certainly wakes you up.
Here we have Place Fell in the background and the easily identifiable twin summits of Angletarn Pikes in the centre of the photo.
Yet another stop to see Hartsop Dodd, with Stoney Cove Pike behind - and to the right, Middle Dodd and Red Screes can just be seen above it in the distance.
Brothers Water and Hartsop Dodd
Once on the broad ridge of Hartsop-above-How, the going becomes a lot easier although height is continually gained.
Dove Crag can be seen at the head of Dovedale.
Looking into the sun, the glare and shadow made viewing of the Priest Hole difficult, although you can just make out the horizontal cave that exists to the left of the crag face.
The final pull up to the summit of Hart Crag.
Hart Crag summit. A rushed photo as many folk were wandering around and some were setting up picnic spots. I'd failed to get a photo at the summit of Hartsop-above-How as there were that many people sitting on it.
Walking on Bank Holidays are not particularly good for the likes of me. Friendly 'hello's' seem to go by the wayside as the London Underground mentality of 'head down' and 'don't make contact' seem to be the flavour for these days only. Also, the unwritten rule of leaving the summit for each walker to enjoy a few seconds at the top goes amiss, as many a picnic at the top was preferred.
So after my little whinge and rant to myself, I was cheered by the unmistakable view of Heron Pike and Great Rigg on the other side of the Fairfield Horseshoe.
The flat top of Fairfield in the distance.
Dove Crag summit.
I was now at the centre of the Dovedale Horseshoe that I was doing today, so I headed away from the main Dove Crag path and headed down in the direction of Little Hart Crag. There was a lightly walked path in the direction I wanted to go, but the main Fairfield Horseshoe path was probably just as quick with a left turn onto the main path down to Scandale. Both work okay.
Lovely sunshine as I head down the gentle path with my route to Little Hart Crag in full view ahead of me. This was an ideal area to enjoy my lunch with the warmth of the sun.
After passing more folk who found it difficult to smile and say hello - I headed up towards the top of Little Hart Crag in the knowledge that it's not normally like this and that Bank Holidays are best avoided if possible.
Little Hart Crag summit.
A view over to Red Screes.
A gentle fifteen minute stroll downhill to the summit of High Hartsop Dodd.
Brothers Water in full view along with the junction of Scandale & Dovedale valleys as I start to walk down the steeper section towards ground level.
I kept my micro-spikes on for this bit as frozen grassy ground in descent only means one thing for me - I would end up on my backside more often that not.
Micro-spikes are one of the best things I've ever bought, easy to carry, not expensive and oh so useful in winter - The only problem is being bothered to put them on. Well today I did, and the frozen ground felt like glue.
A look back up the nose of High Hartsop Dodd.
The Dovedale round (more or less) that I had just walked. Not a particularly hard walk but certainly a nice one on a crisp and sunny winters day.
The flat bridleway alongside Brothers Water as I head back towards the car.
A nice picnic spot that I bet many have enjoyed with lovely views of the Far Eastern fells.