19 June 2015

A different approach to Nethermost Pike and Dollywagon Pike - 7 June 2015

The Motley Crew - L to R Dave, Barbara, One Girl, The Hubster, Lisa, Graham
Doggy Crew - L to R One Girl's Dog (Heidi), Alfie and Izzy

Our caravan neighbours, Lisa and Graham, are very keen and experienced walkers and have already done all the "Wainwrights".  They have decided that they want to do a lot of them again but approaching them by a different route than is usually taken so when they asked us if we wanted to join them on a walk that Sunday up Nethermost Pike - 891 m (2920 ft) and Dollywagon Pike - 858 m (2810 ft)  we naturally said yes.  

They explained the route and when I asked how far it was Lisa said "probably around 7 miles" so, because I've been on walks with others that turned out to be quite a few miles longer than estimated, I decided to get my Memory Map route planner out and check it out.  Ha!  7 miles my touche!! It came up as 10.5 miles but at least we knew and, as it doesn't get dark till very late, we were in no hurry to get it finished by a certain time (although before closing time at the pub would be a plus).  

We were up with the larks and out of the caravan by 9 am arriving at Patterdale, where we parked, and started walking around 10 am.  

Our route was to take us along the valley at Grisedale Beck towards Grisedale Tarn but once we arrived at Ruthwaite Lodge (Climbing Hut) we would go straight up the very steep side of High Crag, have lunch at Hard Tarn then zig-zag around the very rocky and steep side till we arrived at the summit of Nethermost Pike.  This route wasn't commonly walked and there were no defined paths to follow so we had to make our own minds up which was the best  way to go. Unfortunately for me, on the zig-zag part I lost my footing and very ungracefully slid/fell down but managed to stop myself from tubmbling all the way down to the valley floor!  I was very lucky as it would have definitely been a mountain rescue/helicopter job if I had fallen! My injury was only a scrape but the thought of what could have happened was a bit scary.


The start of a wonderful walk




 The Motley and Doggy Crew set off all fresh and full of beans


This part of the route was easy walking but not for too long

The path starting to get stony and uneven

Phew! Starting on the easy incline still makes you a bit warm


The next part of our route went straight up the mountain behind me, keeping to the left of the stream

A couple of walkers just visible heading upwards in front of us

It doesn't take long to get the fabulous views - notice the hut just behind my head

It was starting to get steeper now so regular stops to "admire the view" were in order

St Sunday Crag - 841 m (2756 ft) behind me - our next venture me thinks! 

Hard Tarn - what a fantastic place to stop for lunch! 

This was where the hard work really started and just before I fell over! 

This picture gives you an idea of the scale of things and how steep and difficult it was

It really was this steep

Wowser!  Good job I've got a head for heights

We stopped here for a breather and boy did we we need it
Hellvelyn - 950 m (3118 ft)  is visible to the left of the picture above Lisa's shoulder

You can JUST make out people picking their way over Striding Edge on Hellvelyn

This gave us a taste of what Striding Edge might be like

This was so difficult but so much fun

After this rocky ridge walk it was the end of the hard part of the walk. Once we had picked our way to the cairn at the summit of Nethermost Pike, the path to Dollywagon Pike was very easy to spot and was a piece of cake compared to what we had just done. 

 Me, the Hubster and Heididog sharing the summit of Nethermost Pike with two other walkers

 The Nethermost Pike's stony summit which we crossed to get to Dollywagon Pike just seen here in the left of the picture

 We could see how far we had come from here - there's Hard Tarn below where we had lunch

 Walking this close to the edge would have freaked me out at one time

 Nice, defined paths over to Dollywagon Pike

 Lisa and Graham pointing out some of the major mountains you could see from here

 Just one more corner and two more bends and we'll be there

Hooray, finally at the summit of Dollywagon Pike - now then, it's all downhill from here!

 Nearly at Grisedale Tarn - time for a cuppa and a bikkie 

 Onwards and downwards
About 30 seconds after this I was nearly mown over by two speeding mountain bikers
 Picking our way back down the valley towards Patterdale

 This was the first time we had been at the front of the group LOL

 It was nice being able to see our route so clearly ahead of us

Nearly back to the road

By the time we got to here Graham and Lisa had overtaken us and Graham had decided to put a spurt on and go get the car for the ladies as Barbara was having terrible problems with a sore toe and I have to say I was quite tired as well.  Lisa waited just beyond the trees to make sure we took the right path. It was such a relief when he arrived with the car - thanks Graham! 

 Me in the distance zooming on to make sure Lisa was there

Barbara, Dave and Graham with their well earned ice cold pints

Me and the Hubster topping up with falling down water

 It takes a lot to tire Heidi out but just look at her here!  A job well done I think haha



These two little ones were troupers and never stopped the whole time
Well done Alfie (left) and Izzy (right)

We sat outside the Patterdale Hotel at the end of the walk and the pint of cider we had was like nectar, even Gavin had one.  This was the perfect end to a fantastic walk.  

We really enjoyed this walk and were amazed at ourselves for being able to overcome the challenge of climbing up the side of a really steep,stony/rocky mountain and living to tell the tale. This was probably the hardest walk me and the Hubster have ever done and although we loved it I don't think we will be rushing to do it again anytime soon.

If you like hard, challenging walks then this is the one for you - I'd be more than happy to let you have a map of the route we took.

Distance covered - 10.5 miles (ladies) 11.5 miles (men)
Time taken - 8.5 hours

Thanks for reading this - constructive comments gratefully received

Toodles - Paula :)