Lake District Walks
Loadpot Hill & High Raise
Date: 2nd July 2011
Distance: 13.8 miles
Ascent: 3622 feet
Time: 7 hours 15 minutes
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: NY435192
A long, high level circuit above Martindale visiting a number of tops including Loadpot Hill and High Raise.
Route Summary: Martindale Hause - Mellguards - Brock Crag - Loadpot Hill - Wether Hill - Red Crag - High Raise - Kidsty Pike - Rampsgill Head - The Knott - Satura Crag - Angle Tarn - Angletarn Pikes - Bedafell Knott - Beda Head - Christy Bridge - Martindale Hause
1. Steel Knotts
2. Looking back down to Hallin Fell and Ullswater
3. The summit of Loadpot Hill
4. Following High Street on to Wether Hill
5. A couple of fell ponies on Wether Hill
6. Looking back at Wether Hill from Red Crag
7. Red Crag Tarn
8. Rest Dodd backed by the Eastern Fells
9. The summit cairn on High Raise
10. High Street from Kidsty Pike
11. On the summit of Kidsty Pike
12. Enjoying the view of Martindale from Rampsgill Head
13. The Knott
14. High Raise
15. Angle Tarn and Angletarn Pikes
16. Looking back down to Angle Tarn
17. Deepdale from Angletarn Pikes
18. Heck Crag
20. The top of Beda Head looking towards Ullswater
Walk Detail: Martindale is one of my favourite areas of the Lake District and this extended walk gave me the opportunity to tick off the remaining Wainwrights in the area that I hadn't yet visited while, at the same time, revisit some others from my earlier walks in the area.
Starting from the parking area at the top of Martindale Hause the initial stage was along the bridleway which slopes gently down to the houses at Mellguards. There followed a relentlessly steep ascent on grass up the flanks of Swarth Fell. The climb was achieved with quite a bit of huffing and puffing along with a few stops to admire the fantastic views, especially of Ullswater the surface of which was like a mirror reflecting the clouds overhead.
Half way up I missed, somewhere in the bracken, the slanting path that I had intended to take so ended up closer to Bonscale Pike than I had anticipated so I contoured just above the steeper slopes to the rocky outcrops of Brock Crag. After a brief exploration of the top of the crag I then made my way up to the grassy summit of Loadpot Hill, disturbing as I did so the small group of sheep who were congregated around the trig point.
From Loadpot Hill I mostly followed the course of High Street, an old Roman road, first over Wether Hill and then Red Crag and Raven Howe. Wether Hill was perhaps the least interesting summit of the day though as I was coming off the fell I did spot a couple of fell ponies who seemed to be enjoying the view. Indeed the distant views, particularly of the Helvellyn and Fairfield ranges was the highlight of this section of the walk.
So far it had been mainly grassy underfoot so it was quite a surprise (well it would have been if I hadn't read Wainwright) to find a covering of stones on the summit of High Raise, the second highest of the Far Eastern Fells. The summit cairn and nearby shelter seemed to have attracted a number of bees so I settled down on the ground a bit to the south and ate some lunch whilst enjoying the view.
Next on my itinerary were Kidsty Pike and Rampsgill Head both of which I'd visited following my first ascent of High Street over five years ago. On that occassion I'd not had a view from either summit thanks to a covering of hill fog so it was like visiting them both for the first time.
I'd not seen many people so far on the walk but Kidsty Pike was fairly busy. On the other hand hardly anyone seemed to be bothered with Rampsgill Head, this was their loss as the view down the length of Ramps Gill was superb.
My final 'new' Wainwright of the day was The Knott, a fairly minor top that I had come close to on two previous occassions. From Rampsgill Head it was only a short walk and even shorter climb to the top which is surmounted by a fairly large cairn and with decent views of the surrounding fells.
From The Knott I had my first pronounced descent of the walk on a clear path which took me below Rest Dodd and round the back of Satura Crag and eventually on to Angle Tarn. Angle Tarn is fully deserving of its reputation as one of the finest mountain tarns in the Lake District and I stopped here for a while before making the climb up on to the twin summits of Angletarn Pikes.
From Angletarn Pikes I returned to Martindale Hause via the Beda Fell ridge, reversing a route I'd used three years previously, it is a pleasant enough ridge with good views down into Bannerdale on the one side and Boredale on the other. From the summit cairn of Beda Head there was also another good sighting of the lower reaches of Ullswater which now had a veritable flotilla of sailing boats on it.
This was a long walk with a lot of overall ascent, however after the steep initial climb the walking was almost everywhere easy. I couldn't have asked for better weather and all in all this was a great expedition and one of the best walks of the year so far.