29th November 2008

My first snow of the winter - Stone Arthur to Nab Scar


Walk Overview
Time 09.15 to 14.30
Duration 5 hr 15 min
Distance 9.2 mile
Ascent 3200 ft
Walking with On my own
A591 - Stone Arthur - Great Rigg - Fairfied - Great Rigg - Heron Pike - Nab Scar - Dockey Tarn - Alcock Tarn - How Top - Dove Cottage - A591
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Roadside parking, A591 outside Grasmere

I've described this spot as roadside parking, but it is actually a rather long lay-by found between Grasmere and the bottom of Dunmail Raise. It is quite a popular spot, so latecomers may arrive to find it full. If this turned out to be the case the best alternative would be to try one of the car parks in Grasmere itself. It all depends on where you're going of course, but the distance this would add onto your walk is not much at all.


Route Map

Setting out this morning was a bit of a grim affair. Cloud down to valley level and the temperature wasn't much above freezing, but based on last nights weather forecast this was good, just what I'd hoped for. The forecast gave a foggy start to the day, with the fell tops above the cloud. Fantastic I thought; a perfect forecast for cloud inversions, and as it turned out they were spot on. Sadly I was in the wrong place to get a decent photo. It was definitely the right time, but as I say, it was the wrong place.

The best I could manage were these two pictures looking down onto the edge of the inversion. They look like they're black and white, but was just my position on the shaded side of the fell that made them look this way.


Well there it goes. Just as I finally get into the sunshine the inversion starts to clear from this end of the valley. I did attempt to get some pictures looking further south but they didn't work because of the sun. Never mind!

The view up to Great Rigg. Notice the colour of the snow on each side of the path. Probably caused by the strange light I was walking in.

And a view back down to Stone Arthur.
One thing noticeable by now was just how warm it was. I do realise I have a real problem the cold; the problem being that I rarely feel it, and even at this time of year when I'm on the fell tops I feel comfortable without a jacket, hat or gloves. Some people may think this is a good thing, but believe me, not feeling the cold does have it's downside. I'm pleased to say however, that I wasn't the only one up here with their sleeves rolled up today.

The cloud inversion in the southern half of the Lakes was fantastic. As I said earlier though, I was unable to get a decent picture of it so this was the best I could manage.


A deserted Fairfield; not for long though. I did an out and back up here today and on the return leg of the journey I met a steady stream of people walking up the ridge.

Fairfield summit with St Sunday Crag behind.

Fairfield Summit.

Isn't nature great?

Looking down on St Sunday Crag from Fairfield summit.


Snowy Lakeland.

Seat Sandal and the Dollywaggon Pike end of the Helvellyn Ridge seen from the fellside below Fairfield. Notice Grisedale Tarn in the shadow of Seat Sandal (middle of the picture).

Looking up to the higher section of the Fairfield Horseshoe.

My original intention had been to continue down to Rydal and walk back along the corpse road to Grasmere. When I got to Nab Scar however, I decided to cut across to the secluded Dockey Tarn and Alcock Tarn. Both of which can be seen in this photo, if you look for them.

On route to Alcock Tarn I stopped off to get some pictures for my LONG term project of photographing all the Sheepfolds in the Lake District.

Reflections at Alcock Tarn.


Quite simply the perfect winters afternoon.

If I'd been standing here at 9 o'clock this morning I'd have seen an amazing cloud inversion. Perhaps I should have done the walk the opposite way round, then again, I'd have missed this !

I wonder where this path leads.

Reflections in this, , , well I'm not exactly sure what it is. Obviously man made, so my guess is a reservoir, but I could be wrong.

Dove Cottage. Home to William Wordsworth, his wife Mary and also his sister Dorothy.

The church of Our Lady of the Wayside, found not surprisingly on the 'wayside' of the busy A591.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks