2nd September 2011

Causey Pike to Ard Crags


Walk Overview
Time 14.30 to 17.15
Duration 2 hr 45 min
Distance 5.8 mile
Ascent 2500 ft
Walking with On my own
Newlands Valley - Stoneycroft - Sleet Hause - Causey Pike - Scar Crags - top of Rigg Beck - Ard Crags - Aikin Knott - Rigg Beck - Newlands Valley road
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, Newlands Valley

Newlands is my favourite of all the Lakeland valleys and this car park offers easy access to the very heart of the place. For those with a preference for higher places, Causey Pike and Barrow are both within easy reach of the car park.

Parking is free.


Route Map

Cat Bells, Maiden Moor and most of Newlands Valley.

At this point I was walking in warm sunshine, although you didn't have to be a genius to realise it wasn't going to last.

It was forecast to be very windy today, so I had intended to walk up the path you can see on the opposite side of Stonycroft Gill and take a less exposed route onto Causey Pike. Once I got out of the car and did a quick check on the speed the clouds were moving and how the trees were behaving, I decided it wasn't that bad after all and set off on the Sleet Hause route.

When I left the car park there were a couple of mini buses parked up from one of the local outdoor adventure centres. I guessed at the time that there must be a group of people out gill scrambling; and here they are. I'm not sure if they were scared, enjoying themselves or if the water was just colder than expected, but there wasn't half some screaming going on. Great fun.

I think this proves that the view behind is often better than the one ahead of you.

This is the cairn at Sleet Hause. I took this picture looking back along the top of the path I'd just been following.
The fell on its own in front of the Skiddaw fells is Barrow.

Causey Pike, also seen from Sleet Hause.

Ard Crags (and Knott Rigg) may be separated from the main ridge, but it is actually straightforward enough to link them together. There is a path running through the heather on this side, and albeit very slowly, a narrow path is beginning to develop on the side of Ard Crags.

I'm on the steep section immediately below Causey Pike summit now. From below this short section looks a bit daunting, but once you get started it presents no problems in dry, calm conditions and is all over in a few minutes.

Causey Pike summit in front of Grisdale Pike and Hopegill Head.

After a second look across to Ard Crags I'd managed talked myself into heading across there. From here followed the path across the ridge on the right, dropped down through the heather, crossed the top of Rigg Beck (centre) and walked up the grassy slope to Ard Crags.


A view back to Causey Pike summit.

Sail and Crag Hill, seen from Scar Crags.

and Causey Pike, taken from the same spot.
In the distance you can see, Lonscale Fell, Latrigg, Blencathra, Keswick, Derwent Water, Cat Bells, Great Mell Fell, Clough Head and the Dodds, Walla Crag, Bleaberry Fell and High Seat.

This photo was taken just before reaching the lowest point between the main Causey Pike to Crag Hill ridge and Ard Crags.
The knobbly fell is Causey Pike and in the distance you can see Clough Head, Great Dodd and Walla Crag.

Ard Crags summit.

Looking over the edge to see Keskadale Farm. The road looks level from up here. You wouldn't think this bit it was one of the steepest sections on this side of Newlands Pass.

Heading across towards Aikin Knott.

Sunshine on Newlands Valley.


Ard Crags taken from the path next to Rigg Beck.

Almost back at the car now and the sun comes out and lights up the northern end of Newlands Valley.
I'm not sure what to make of Swinside, it looks like the hairdresser has slipped and gone too deep with the scissors.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks