- A Hartson and Dove Crag Round -
Date & Time: Thursday 13th Sept 2007. 11.45 am start.
Location of Start : Cow Bridge, Patterdale, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 402 134 )
Places visited : Low Wood, Hartsop above How, Houndshope Cove, The Priest's Hole, Dove Crag, High Bakestones, Little Hart Crag, High Hartsop Dodd, Hartsop Hall, Brothers Water.
Walk details : 7 mls, 2600 ft of ascent, 6 hrs 5 mins.Highest point : Dove Crag 2603 ft ( 792m )
Walked with : Dave and Josie (Dimmock), Jo, John, Ann and the dogs.
Weather : Overcast to start, clear and sunny at lunchtime, but falling away again by the end of the walk.
Cow Bridge, the old bridge on the Kirkstone road at the start of our walk.
Today we were guests of Dave and Josie who were staying on holiday in Patterdale.We had met them several 'walks' ago, are neighbours of friends of ours in Yorkshire, and are now also members of the OFC (Online Fellwalking Club).
We had all decided to walk some of the Eastern Fells close to their holiday accommodation. They had heard about, but never visited the Priest's Hole Cave on Dove Crag, so that would be the focal point of today's walk. It also gave us chance to repeat a similar walk that we had enjoyed last summer.
Being the gentleman that he is, Dave has been opening gates for Josie all week, and so today he was officially christened 'gate-man'
This one was of restricted headroom due to the deer fencing that surrounds the wooded slopes of this hillside above Brothers Water.
Oak, Hazel and Birch gradually thinned to reveal Hartsop Village on the other side of the valley.
The overcast day meant we were climbing in cool conditions and this made the steep climb up from the car park just that little bit easier.
Out of the wood, the path took a diagonal line up the fell.
Ahead Middle Dodd was out of the cloud, but it's parent fell, Red Screes, was still covered in cloud.
Place Fell is the major fell in the background as we reached the wall which climbs up the ridge of Hartsop above How.
A well placed ladder stile and a shout of 'smile for the camera' delays Dave and Josie as they cross.
The wall continues on along the fell and we will continue to follow it for the length of the ridge walk.
On the sky-line behind are Dove Crag, Hart Crag and Fairfield.
The hanging valley between Hart Crag and Dove Crag is described on the map as Houndshope Cove.
We contoured across it to the base of Dove Crag.
The Priest Hole is situated high on the front edge of the crag
and shows as a dark speck in the photo, about two thirds of the way up the vertical cliff section.
Harry and Bethan lead the way. They have been here before.
Do they know the way or are they just following the human scent of the path ahead ? Now there's a philosophical question !
Whatever the answer, Ann and John reach the entrance to the cave without too much trouble too.
Time to just sit and enjoy the view for a few minutes - from the back of the cave.
The sunshine is spreading across the landscape
and the air clears as the weather improves during our brief stay.
Lunch with a view.
After lunch we decided to climb the crag rather than descend back to the cove.
Beautiful sunshine and really clear views as we reached the cairn on the northern edge of Dove Crag summit.
Dove Crag's second summit is quite rocky . . . but we were on high ground with big views.
That's Coniston Old Man, the Crinkles, Bowfell, the Scafells and Great Gable in the background.
Typical of the quality of the views today was this one of Striding Edge on Helvellyn . . .
and this one of Windermere from the main summit of Dove Crag.
Our route down took us down past the large cairn at High Bakestones.
Here Josie and Ann leave Scandale Head and walk across to Little Hart Crag.
The final leg now as we turn back towards Brothers Water far below. We are now on High Hartsop Dodd.
Reaching the valley, the path took us past this old barn and across the fields to Hartsop Hall Farm.
Middle Dodd towers over the end of the valley as we leave Hartsop Hall behind.
It's been a really good early Autumn day
but the nights are already drawing in and it's dark now as we leave the White Lion after a pleasant evening meal.
- - - o o o - - -
Technical note: Pictures taken with a Canon Ixus Digital camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . a black bin liner or two for the wild campers ?
Previous walk - 12th September 2007 Ullscarf and Armboth Fells
A previous time up here - 30th July 2006 High above Hartsop and the Priest's Cave
Next walk - 15th September 2007 Robinson to Dale Head