Raise and, eventually, Sheffield Pike
trouble with such unrelenting bad weather as we have
experienced in recent weeks is not so much that it stops
you getting out but more that it gets you out of the
habit of going out.
forecasts of 85 miles an hour winds and "impossible
mobility", not to mention "incessant heavy rains", last
week's winner of what Stan termed "e-mail chicken" was,
inevitably, Bryan but even he did not actually venture
out, other than to the BOOTboys
Christmas party, an excellent evening at Gianni's happy
hour followed by a visit to the Rifleman's Arms where
John Shiels and co were performing.
each missed week the fitness level had dropped and this
had been exacerbated in the run up to Christmas during
which half a stone had been added without the slightest
it was a relief that this week the forecast was for
fog, not rain and, wait for it, unrelenting wall to
wall sunshine above 400 metres.
proposal was "How about Coniston again? Could start
at the Bull Hotel and contour round to the Yewdale then
the Crown. Followed by stiffish climb up to the Sun
then round the col to the Ship. We could then lose height
quite quickly back to the car."
however still has a few peaks to tick off for his fourth
time round the Wainwrights and from the list he offered
we chose Middle and High Hartsopp Dodd, partly because
I was under orders not to bee too late back or too knackered
as we had people coming round.
Pass with mist in the valley
when he got in the car Bryan put forward
a plan C. What about Sheffield Pike?
I had been surprised that he had not
previously suggested Sheffield Pike and
knowing it to be a lowish hill above Glenridding
it sounded perfect for a quick stroll and
journey over Kirkstone Pass was encouraging-
we came out into the sun at the top and
enjoyed the view of the valley in mist on
the way down.
flirting with a number of car parks we chose the one
at Glencoynedale and set off past the aptly named Seldom
Seen up this delightful valley, last visited in BB0508.
looking back to the aptly named Seldom Seen farm
quickly climbed out of the mist and it proved to be
another stunning day on the tops. On reaching Nick Head
we found the path off to the left for Sheffield Pike
but Bryan observed that it was a great day for going
up Greenside and then contouring round before taking
in Raise. We would then pick up Sheffield Pike
and Glenridding Dodd on the way back.
were ambling up Greenside with plenty of stops to take
in the wonderous panoramas of misty valleys and sparkling
tops until Stan, who so far had been a little subdued,
spotted that we were being caught up and, true to form,
immediately threw off his hangover and off he set at
a strong pace to ensure "They shall not pass". And
now we were into odd bits of snow for the first time
in many months. There was a bitingly cold wind
so lunch on Greenside was out of the question but we
did find a modicum of shelter in a peat bog near the
top of Sticks Pass.
in the peat bog
descent from Raise
ski lifts on Raise were not operational so we could
not cheat. At times it was difficult under foot
where the freeze / thaw / freeze had left the terrain
extremely slippery but there is no exposure there at
all and there was no problem in the deeper snow.
panorama from Raise was spectacular.
from Raise. Click for the full 360 experience!
Raise we headed down to the mysterious "chimney" and
"old flue" near Stang and back to Nick's Head, ready
at last to tackle the object of our outing- Sheffield
Pike. By now the sun was threatening to set behind
Helvellyn but of course as we climbed up the Pike, the
sun rose in sympathy.
back to Raise and Stybarrow Dodd from Sheffield Pike
the top the route was a bit uncertain but there was
a path that we trusted led in the right direction. I
have to confess however that when we reached Heron Pike
I had an attack of the wimps. On the map, it looked
precipitous down to the valley and, from what I could
see, it looked even worse on the ground. Was I
bothered? Too right I was. I was a very
unhappy bunny and said as much. However Bryan
went on ahead to reconnoitre and advised that the path
did indeed go down through the crags and was perfectly
negotiable without too much difficulty. Tony,
to his credit, is much less wimpish than me these days
and he set off, seemingly with confidence. Consequently
I swallowed my misgivings, and picked my way down with
Stan nursing me from behind. Thanks boys! Without
you, I would have wimped out and returned over Sheffield
Pike to Nick Head.
they were quite right and although steep and at times
awkward it was not the life threatening experience I
had feared. Nevertheless it is a route that I
suspect is much easier to go up than down.
this time the Bryan was advocating that we got a move
on and eventually decided that unless he took drastic
action he would miss out on adding Glenridding Dodd
to his list. Consequently it was agreed that he
should press on to bag it and we would meet him at the
bottom where the paths joined.
was quite humbling to see the speed at which he shot
off down the hill and up the Dodd. Indeed by the
time I had got to the bottom, had a pee and taken a
couple of photographs Bryan was back down again!
to Mossdale Beck
here it seemed an easy stroll back to the road along
a well defined path. I am not sure what really
happened but in the woods beside Mossdale Beck the paths
vanished and the final descent proved to be the most
difficult part of the day. It was steep and variously
boggy, icy, greasy, cragletty and with fallen trees
to be negotiated and all in rapidly failing light. It
seemed to take us a long time to reach the road. The
trek back to the car along the lake in the fog and gloom
was not the best part of the day.
all in all, rather longer and more adventurous than
we had anticipated when we set off in the morning but
a magnificent day on the hills whilst those in the valley
had seen nothing but freezing grot all day long. And
do you know what? Looking in the mirror tonight
I do believe that I have caught the sun!
20th December 2006
miles (8.1 Bryan)
3,182 feet (3,310 Bryan)
Sheffield Pike and (Bryan) Glenridding Dodd
to download a (large) pdf file of the route.
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