The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Gentle Gradients Are For Girls (Day 1)

Friday 2 March

Distance: 6.5 miles (2100’ of ascent)

Weather: Nice and warm, with some glorious sunshine and stunning patches of blue sky at times.


Exhibiting our usual level of preparedness for a weekend in the Lakes, we arrived in Patterdale just before noon on Friday and then set about looking at some maps to decide where to spend the remaining hours of daylight. One day we’re going to do that preparation bit before we go, thus allowing ourselves more hours of daylight to do the walking!

With the first couple of choices rejected for being too far to walk in the hours available, we settled on a modest route over a couple of hills and off we wandered for our first objective of Brock Crags.

There are two obvious ways to get up Brock Crags from the direction from which we came: 1) follow the path as it traverses the hillside then switches back to maintain a reasonable gentle gradient; or 2) go straight up the side of the hill. We chose option 2.

The direct route up Little Hartsopp Dodd (where we went in December) looks ridiculously steep when you’re standing in front of it, but in reality isn’t too bad. In contrast, the side of Brock Crags doesn’t look too steep when you’re looking at it head-on, whereas in reality I came to think that maybe my lungs would burst and my thighs explode before we reached the top*.

Fortunately both lungs and legs held out (if you can call jelly-legs ‘holding out’), and to the top we got where we were amply rewarded for our effort by some lovely lumpy views:


It looked like we’d made the right choice of where to walk, as on the other side of the valley the tops were in cloud.


Not the best ever snap to demonstrate a point,  but the best I’ve got

Rest Dodd was our next objective, and having popped over Satura Crag we had two options: 1) we could follow the gentle path that curved around to the left and approached Rest Dodd from the side; or 2) we could yomp straight on up. Guess which we did? At least this time the lung-and-thigh-abuse was broken by a pause for a cup of tea. A snack might have been nice too, if either of us had thought to pick up any snackables before we set out…

Reading Wainwright’s opinion of Rest Dodd later in the evening it seems that he didn’t rate it as a hill of much merit. My standards must be much lower, as I was quite taken by the view of the surroundings, which we admired for a while before heading down towards Hayeswater.


I took another photo from this vantage point on Sunday. It looked rather different then!

We hit the descent route at a busy time – four other people were met on our way back down to Hartsopp; the only people we met all afternoon.

A good walk, but not a great confidence booster for my level of fitness!

1 comment:

  1. Fitness? What's that then? Is it Ultra Lightweight?