Feb 08 16
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Helm Crag with Dunmail Raise beyond
Helm Crag with Dunmail Raise beyond

As it was going to be fine weather, I got up at 6 am to make a dash to the Lakes to beat the crowds. As I was having breakfast I realised that I had to wait for the Post Office to open at 9 am to post some parcels and retrieve a spare pressure washer hose that wouldn’t fit through the letter box.

So my plans we scuppered. But I still kept with Plan A and headed for Dunmail Raise. It wasn’t too busy thank goodness.

A short but steep ascent of Steel Fell soon warmed us up and gave fine views all around, across to the Helvellyn range, High Raise, Ullscarf, Helm Crag etc.

Helvellyn, Nethermost Pike and Dollywaggon Pike from Steel Fell
Helvellyn, Nethermost Pike and Dollywaggon Pike from Steel Fell
Steel Fell with Greenup Edge and Ullscarf beyond
Steel Fell with Greenup Edge and Ullscarf

The quick height gain was fine and a fairly level ridge to Calf Crag was made enjoying the views and the winter (spring?) sunshine.

I fell over on some icy rocks and cut my finger which took some time to stop bleeding. The rocks were lethal in the shade and the frost remained on the ground in places throughout the day.

Pippa on Calf Crag with the Helvellyn range beyond
Pippa on Calf Crag with the Helvellyn range beyond

Following the path up towards High Raise, I cut off left and contoured around to Tarn Crag along a vague path (marked by a small cairn). We saw three deer but not for long as others disturbed them.

Tarn Crag summit was ill defined and so I visited quite a few of the little lumps to make sure I’d visited what looked like the top!

Pippa on Tarn Crag summit (I think?) with Steel Fell and the Helvellyn range beyond
Pippa on Tarn Crag summit (I think?) with Steel Fell and the Helvellyn range beyond

Descending the nice path off Tarn Crag, we made our way to the valley floor to be greeted with this sign and a tree growing out of a rock.

Rocks and trees with the path up Helm Crag beyond
Rocks and trees with the path up Helm Crag beyond

Crossing over the footbridge we followed the short but steep path to the top of Helm Crag to watch the many folk try and climb the rock at the top, and then watch them struggle to get back down!

A walker attempting to down climb the summit of Helm Crag
A walker attempting to down climb the summit of Helm Crag

After that entertainment we headed for Gibson Knott a little further on the ridge.

Gibson Knott with Calf Crag beyond
Gibson Knott with Calf Crag beyond

Taking the short way down and traversing around Steel Fell, we reached the car after 4½ hours, covered 12 km, with 840 m of ascent and visited a further 5 Wainwrights.

A really enjoyable day.

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