19th December 2006

A triple celebration - Hard Knott to Green Crag


Walk Overview
Time 08.45 to 15.15
Duration 6 hr 30 min
Distance 12.3 Mile
Ascent 3635 ft
Walking with Andrew Leaney
Jubilee Bridge - Brotherilkeld - Lingcove Bridge - Hard Knott - Hardknott Pass - Harter Fell - Green Crag - Low Birker Tarn - Eskdale Valley - Jubilee Bridge
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Roadside parking, Jubilee Bridge, Hardknott Pass

Hardknott Pass has got to be one of the steepest and most difficult roads in the country. In fact, many people make the effort to drive all the way around to this part of the Lake District just to face the challenge. I should point out that this road can be extremely dangerous during the winter months and is best avoided altogether if the weather is at all frosty. I was caught out myself on one occasion when using the route as a shortcut over to Cockley Beck. Just above the steepest of the bends the road turned into an ice rink and I had no alternative than to reverse back down until I reached a convenient turning place; not an experience I'm keen to repeat.

The car park has room for about ten cars, but should you find it full, there is usually room a little further along the road into Eskdale.

Route Map

Just past Brotherilkeld Farm. Today's walk was a triple celebration; the first two were for Andrew who completed his third Wainwright round on Green Crag which also coincided with him having now ascending all 214 fells at least once during 2006. My claim for a celebration is that I've now ascended all 228 fells listed on this website at least once during 2006. Not a Wainwright round or a completion of the Wainwright list, but the fells I have listed does include the same 214 fells.

Lingcove Bridge found in Upper Eskdale. The route we followed from here took us up the right hand side of the waterfalls which can be seen above the bridge.

And looking back down to the bridge and the River Esk, seen winding its way out of Upper Eskdale towards Eskdale Valley. Although the main river through the valley is the Esk the bridge actually crosses Lingcove Beck, just above the point where it joins the Esk.

A little further up Lingcove Beck and we found ourselves just below the cloud base, but what we really wanted today was to get above the cloud. After a short walk along the Hard Knott ridge in cloud and a patient wait at the summit for 20 minutes or so, we eventually got what we were hoping for . . .

Cloud inversions in Upper Eskdale, with Esk Pike, Bow Fell and Crinkle Crags above the cloud.

A close up of Slight Side and Scafell.

Another picture looking in the same direction, this time with Slight Side, Scafell, Scafell Pike, Broad Crag, Ill Crag and Great End visible above the cloud.

Esk Pike and Bow Fell.

We had been here for a while by now and were behaving like two big kids on Christmas morning.

Great End, Esk Pike, Bow Fell and Crinkle Crags.

And looking further round to the mass of cloud above Wrynose Bottom.

After leaving Hard Knott we made our way down to the highest point on Hardknott Pass which we then headed across to start our ascent of Harter Fell. I was surprised to find they had been felling the trees along this part of the route. The whole area on the other side of the fence was previously thick with trees, I know the view has opened up as a result of the tree felling, but the downside is that this area will now look a mess for many years .

Hard Knott with Crinkle Crag / Little Stand behind.

One last picture of blue sky and cloud inversion. In less than 15 minutes after taking this picture the cloud had rolled in from the west and you would have argued that it wasn't the same day at all.

Harter Fell summit.

Crossing the wall next to Spothow Gill with Kepple Crag below us.

Looking across to the Coniston fells from our route up to Green Crag.

Harter Fell.

Green Crag summit. It was earlier in the year (April I think) that we both decided to complete all the fells during 2006 and to make Green Crag the final one. We'd been postponing this final walk for a couple of months now; waiting eagerly for the right weather conditions. Even though it was a little dull while we were at the summit, the blue sky and sunshine earlier in the walk more than made up for this.

Low Birker Tarn.

Just before we started to drop back down into the valley we passed the ruins of this old peat hut.

And again, this time looking down into Eskdale Valley.

The view down to Eskdale from the top of the peat track which leads down to Low Birker.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks