Date & Time: Monday 27th February 2006, 9.45 start.

Location of Start : Ghyll Foot, Grasmere, Cumbria (NY 332 096)

Places visited : Steel Fell, Calf Crag, Gibson Knott, Helm Crag.

Walk details : 6 mls, 2175 ft of ascent, 5.5 hrs (including lunch, and photo stops).

Walked with : Ann and our dogs, plus other members of the Online-Fellwalking Club, Barrie, Liz, Sherran, John P, Angie, Jill R, Chris, Paul and Sean and their dogs, Sam, Bailey, Jay and Angus.

Weather : Overcast with snow showers, cold northerly breeze.

 

We started the walk from Ghyll Foot farm, parking by the river bridge, and making our way up past the big house known as Helmside. Sean soon joined us as he and Angus had parked separately in Grasmere.

We were aiming to climb Steel Fell, Calf Crag, Gibson Knott and Helm Crag, a delightful horseshoe shaped walk, and to end up back at Ghyll Foot where we started, at the base of Steel Fell.

Climbing the southerly slopes of Steel Fell and out onto the open fellside.

Behind is the A591 road making its way down to Grasmere from Dunmail Rise.

Ahead and to our right the 591 crosses Dunmail Rise,

under the snowy slopes of Dollywagon, Nethermost and Helvellyn.

Jill taking a people-photo.

Warm work as we made our way up. The weather was fine and we were sheltered from the northerly breeze.

Sunshine reflected on Grasmere and Esthwaite Water near Hawkshead.

The Howitzer and the Lion and Lamb rock stand out on the top of Helm Crag - our destination for later in the day.

An occasional break to let the back markers catch up.

Ann, Jill, Sean and Sherran.

The secondary summit of Steel Fell

Cresting the rise the weather had closed in, snow was falling, and we felt the full bite of the strong north easterly wind.

Time for extra layers to keep out the cold.

Sean and the others at the true summit.
Making our way west along the summit fence.

After the summit Sean and Chris left us to head for the more distant summits of High Raise and Sergeant Man.

High Raise was looking cold with its slight mantle of snow. They caught us up again before the end of the walk.

The Wythburn Valley from Steel Fell.

The snow shower had passed, the weather looked clearer, but it was still cold in the wind.

The un-named tarns on the ridge to Calf Crag.

Despite the cold, the dogs still enjoyed a dip. Rather them than us.

St Sunday Crag appears through the gap between Dollywagon Pike and Seat Sandal.

We've turned the corner, and the ridge from Steel Fell can be seen behind us as we climb to calf Crag.

Lunch in the lee of the summit rocks was over and we chatted to a lady called Jo who was

three days into her Coast to Coast Walk. She is heading for Grasmere today, Patterdale tomorrow.

A wide, winter view of Far Easdale Valley with the ridge to Helm Crag on the left.

The flat afternoon light does nothing to cheer up the brown of last season's bracken.

Approaching Gibson Knott
A Pathfairies hut ready for collection

The path repairers have been at work at various peaty sections along the ridge, and here at Helm Crag they have been pitching the path with stone to create a stable walking surface and to prevent further erosion. The shed is packed and ready to go as they have finished this stage of the work.

The new pitched path up Helm Crag
I help Paul in his summit bid !

Take consolation in the fact the apparently AW never climbed the last bit of the scramble.

Oops - I've climbed the wrong pinnacle
Its cold up here but the view's great.

That view . . .

Easdale Tarn and the Langdale Pikes from Helm Crag Rock.

The Howitzer Rock on the summit of Helm Crag

seen as we walk further along the top of the fell.

The rock structure affectionately known as "The Lion and the Lamb"

looking down over Grasmere.

This one is a little easier to ascend.

 

Rather than follow the main path down the end, we drop down part way

and branch off to the left to the intake wall below.

Harry and Bethan.

We followed the wall round underneath the fell and made our way back towards Ghyll Foot.

Part way round were two prominent rocks - an excellent place to view . . . . the dogs !!

" Time to go "

 

Light refreshment afterwards at the Travellers Rest.

Sherran, John, Ann, Paul, Jill and Angie, with Barrie and Liz in front.

- - - o o o - - -

The forecast for the day had suggested snow flurries during the day and a band of more consistent rain arriving mid afternoon on the strong, cold, north easterly breeze.

Spot on - we're home and dry and its just started to rain outside.

Good timing.

 

- - - o o o - - -

Technical note: Pictures taken with a Canon IXUS 400 Digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . a great bunch of mates.

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Previous walk - 22th February 2006 Fellbarrow and Low Fell with Tim

Previous time up here - 14th April 2003 Helm Crag via Steel Fell

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