BB0632 Raise and, eventually, Sheffield Pike

20th December 2006

The 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.  

With 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.

With 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 difficulty.

So 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.

Tony's 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."

Bryan 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.


Kirkstone Pass with mist in the valley

However 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 early return.

The 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.

After 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.

Glencoynedale looking back to the aptly named Seldom Seen farm

We 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.

We 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 they didn't.

By 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.


Lunch in the peat bog


The descent from Raise

The 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.  

The panorama from Raise was spectacular.

Panorama from Raise.  Click for the full 360 experience!

From 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.

Looking back to Raise and Stybarrow Dodd from Sheffield Pike

From 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.

Actually 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.

By 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.

It 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!

Off to Mossdale Beck

From 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.

So, 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!

Don, 20th December 2006


7.8 miles (8.1 Bryan)

Height climbed:
3,182 feet (3,310 Bryan)


Raise, Sheffield Pike and (Bryan) Glenridding Dodd

Click on
map to download a (large) pdf file of the route.




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  • BB0632  Raise and, eventually, Sheffield Pike
  • BB0631  Coppermines
  • BB0630  Relocation, Relocation, Relocation
  • BB0629  Stone Arthur and a Mystery Plume
  • BB0628  Knocking off Wainwrights.  Oh! Plus Skiddaw!
  • BB0627  Blencathra and the Mungrisdale Round
  • BB0626  The Deepdale Round
  • BB0625  Les Garçons de la Botte
  • BB0624  The Crookdale Horseshoe and then some
  • BB0623  Selside Pike revisited
  • BB0622  Round the Dunny!
  • BB0621  The Malham Experience
  • BB0620  Newlands Horseshoe
  • BB0619  Old Man Succumbs!
  • BB0618  Kentmere Horseshoe
  • BB0617 QH2QH High Street (the length thereof)
  • BB0616 Thornthwaite Beacon
  • BB0615  Fairfield Horseshoe
  • BB0614  High Street Racecourse
  • BB0613 The Coledale Round
  • BB0612  Well, Well, Well, Wansfell and Troutbeck Tongue      
  • BB0611  Carlin Gill
  • BB0610  Whitbarrow, Yewbarrow and a history lesson
  • BB0609  Clough Head and Great Dodd
  • BB0608  The Corpse Road and beyond
  • BB0607  Grim Fell!
  • BB0606  A Bit on the Side.....
  • BB0605  Angle Tarn with Surprises! 
  • BB0604  Hart Cragg via Dovedale
  • BB0603  Islands in the Sky with Brocken Spectres
    (or High Street via Gardiner's Grind)
  • BB0602  Holme Fell, Black Fell and Electric  Eyes
  • BB0601  Ingleborough
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