Lake District


North Yorkshire

North Wales



About Summiteer

~Far Eastern Foray~

9th February 2015

Thornthwaite Crag

Thornthwaite Beacon

Day 3 of the Dent holiday and mist lays all around. I checked a few Lakeland webcams and the one at Pooley Bridge showed clear skies. I checked that the date on the camera was correct (!) and decided to travel out of the Western Dales and head for the Eastern Lake District.

Lowgill Viaduct
Lowgill Viaduct
Above the Mist

The road to Tebay passes Lowgill Viaduct and this illustrates the mist issue. Soon we rise above the mist where the country road meets the A685 behind Dillicar Common. The drive took me down into Tebay and back into the mist, but on the way to Shap the skies clear and I get clear views of the Far Eastern range of high fells.


The View to Haweswater

There is still much to decide; there are plenty of walk start points and plenty of grand ascent routes in this area. I chose to head for Mardale Head, passing Haweswater on the way.

Kidsty Howes

Castle Crag (Kidsty Howes ascent) from Haweswater

Rough Crag

Rough Crag ascent of High Street

mardale Ill Bell
Mardale Ill Bell
Walk Route

After a little head scratching as to which is the finer route to the higher ground, I chose the north ridge of Mardale Ill Bell ahead of Rough Crag for High Street - and that's a tough call. They are both fantastic ways to reach the tops.

Blea Water Beck

It's Monday morning, there's nobody about, this is what I bought my boots for!

Molly at Blea Water

Molly at Blea Water

Molly had a swim in Lakeland's deepest tarn. There was a gentle trickle of water over the dam, occasionally increasing in noise and volume, making me wonder why these little pulses occur.

Blea Water

Blea Water Crag

Blea Water
Winter at Blea Water
Summer at Blea Water

My last walk up this route was in July 2013.

Blea Water Beck

Blea Water Beck

Looking back down the beck to the corner of Haweswater.

Mardale Ill Bell Summit

Mardale Ill Bell Summit 2,496ft asl

Always plenty of sniffs at summits, crumbs and stuff. Now where next? Thornthwaite Beacon draws the attention of the eye.

Ill Bell Ridge

Ill Bell Ridge

A whisp of mist close to Froswick on the Ill Bell ridge.

Snow Drift

Snow Drifts

Thornthwaite Beacon

Thornthwaite Beacon

Is it me, or do most folk arrive at the beacon at lunchtime? It is often somewhere near the midpoint of high level walks. Furthermore there is plenty of seating and good views in most directions.

Summit Views

A very little man is stood on the base of the beacon; two other walks head for Threshthwaite Mouth in an westerly direction. We head off to High Street, that summit being just over a mile away.

Helvellyn Range

Helvellyn Range

St.Sunday Crag lies in front of the Helvelly Range; mist is pouring over Sticks Pass, to the right of Catstycam (right of photo).

High Street Summit

High Street Summit 2,718ft asl

Sticks Pass Mist

Sticks Pass Mist

There is much to appreciate if you find yourself in the company of these cloudscapes, the only downside being the cool and dull valley walks underneath and within the mists.

More Mist

Look North

Small Water

Blea Water

I chose to head back over Mardale Ill Bell for an ascent of Harter Fell, anything less would have been unacceptable on such a fine day.

To Harter Fell

To Harter Fell

Nan Bield Pass Nan Bield Pass

Nan Bield Pass

The route down to the head of the pass and then back up the other side.

Harter Fell Summit

Harter Fell Summit 2,539ft asl



Wainwright offered a self-portrait from up here, let's have a go ....


Me at the "Third Cairn"

You will have to refer to Book 2, I need a companion to take the photo or to use a higher tripod.

To Gatesgarth Pass Gatesgarth Pass
To Gatesgarth Pass
Down Gatesgarth Pass

An easy descent route down to Gatesgarth Pass to complete the walk.

The Rigg

The Rigg, Haweswater

Walkers: Me n' Molly

Time taken: 5hrs 15mins over a distance of about 10 miles.

Route: Mardale Head, Blea Water Beck, Blea Water, North Ridge to Mardale Ill Bell summit, Thornthwaite Crag, High Street, Mardale Ill Bell, Nan Bield Pass, Harter Fell, Gatesgarth Pass, Mardale Head.

Weather: Cold, dry and sunny.

Footnote: Me n' my pocket cameras have been reporting on walks in this manner for five years now. It cannot go on forever, but in the meantime, I'll carry on .... all we need is a little blue sky and sunshine ...

All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2015 ©

Contact Me via email

Take me back to the start ....

Take me home....