1st October 2011

High Hartsop Dodd to Raise


Walk Overview
Time 07.20 to 16.10
Duration 8 hr 50 min
Distance 14 mile
Ascent 5300 ft
Walking with Richard Ratcliffe
Sykeside Camp Site - Hartsop Hall - High Hartsop Dodd - Little Hart Crag - Bakestones Moss - Dove Crag - Hart Crag - Fairfield - Cofa Pike - Deepdale Hause - Grisedale Tarn - Dollywaggon Pike - High Crag - Nethermost Pike - Helvellyn - Helvellyn Lower Man - Whiteside - Raise - Sticks Pass - Greenside - Nick Head - Bleabank Side - Glencoyne - Seldom Seen - Ullswater - Stybarrow Crag
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Sykeside Camp Site

On the only occasion I’ve began a walk from here, this start point was used because my walking partner that day was staying at the camp site and it made sense to begin the walk from here. However, I'm reliably told that non residents can still park here for a small charge ( £2.50 in 2011 ). I'm not sure how much space there is for non residents, but it does give another choice in this area.


Route Map

Early morning at Hartsop Hall.

The plan for today was to leave one car at Stybarrow Crag and then drive to Sykeside Camp Site where we'd start walking. The aim was to get as far as Fairfield, assess the conditions and then decide whether to continue across Helvellyn and beyond. With the cars left in these two locations we had plenty of options for leaving the fells and retreating back to either car. As it turned out, we did the longer of the routes we'd discussed and had an excellent day on the high fells.

"and how the weary hired lad the swath to cut with all he had"

Richard camped last at Sykeside last night. He told me how the farmers worked well after dark, no doubt getting as much work done as they could before the short spell of decent weather broke.

Long distant views were very poor this morning, as this picture looking back down the ridge shows. Early morning, cloud and haze don't give the brightest of conditions.

A close up of Scandale Tarn.

Little Hart Crag summit.

Looking back over Bakestones Moss to Little Hart Crag and High Hartsop Dodd.

Dove Crag summit.

And now on Hart Crag.

Fairfield summit.
Three summit photos with nothing in between just help to highlight what I was saying about the long distant views being poor.

From Fairfield you get this view over to St Sunday Crag showing us the classic whale back mountain shape.
The pointed fell in the left is Cofa Pike.

Cofa Pike.
I can't believe this is the only time I've ever done this, but I don't recall ever walking down here in this direction.

Grisedale Tarn.
We're heading down to this end of the tarn to pick up the path you can see going up the right hand edge of the photo.

Grisedale Tarn and Seat Sandal.


East facing crags.

Hard Tarn, found high up in Ruthwaite Cove. If ever you want to escape the crowds in an otherwise busy area, a visit to this tarn is well worth the effort.

"after you old chap"
"thank you"
"your welcome"

As seen as thought the weather front had shifted a little bit in our favour, we decided to stop here for a bite to eat while the sun was out. We found a good spot out of the wind and enjoyed the views across to Helvellyn, Catstye Cam, Striding Edge and down to Ullswater.

Helvellyn summit cairn in front of Catstye Cam and Birkhouse Moor.
Birkhouse Moor is the one behind the top of the cairn.

These were just some of the crowds we encountered at the top of Helvellyn. There were people arriving from all directions and in particular from Striding Edge. Once we'd left the summit however, it was back to normal with a more comfortable amount of people passing by. As I said to Richard at the time, "it's a shame that most of these folk go home thinking that all fell walking is like this".

Red Tarn, and on the left, Catstye Cam.
It seemed that most people were heading back down Swirral Edge towards Red Tarn. One thing we did comment on was that despite the steady line of people heading that way, at the time we were watching, only one person had bothered to walk to the top of Catstye Cam. Never mind; I'm sure all the others will take great pride in telling their friends that they've "done" Helvellyn.

Heading down from Helvellyn Lower Man.

and looking back up.

Whiteside summit.
It doesn't half look black over there. It probably wasn't too dark if you happened to be walking there, but the extreme haze made it appear so.

Almost at Raise, the last up hill of the day, although we still had a few miles to walk yet.

Raise summit.


Walking across Green Side towards the old quarry or mine workings found on the side of the fell. We could have walked above the top or even below the bottom, but from a distance it looked as though we could walk straight across the middle so that's what we did.

Looking into the top section. Now that's what I call a big hole in the ground.

Time to head off the fells and back to valley level. We had two options to get back to the car, one would have been to walk down to Glenridding and the other was to walk through Glencoyne.

Ullswater seen from the path through Glencoyne.

Seldom Seen.
Built in 1867, the ten cottages at Seldom Seen were constructed to house the miners working the rear access into the Glenridding mine. At its peak the ten cottages here reportedly housed 57 inhabitants and the children had their own school constructed on the site.
No 2 is for sale, and even though this is a fantastic location for a house, you don't actually get much in the way of bricks and mortar for your £325,000.

And that was High Hartsop Dodd to Raise.
I have to admit it makes me feel good to get long hard walks like this under my belt, and while I've no doubt at all that this route must have been walked by many people over the years, I don't suppose it gets walked that often.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks