Lake District Walks
Caudale Moor & High Street
Date: 14th April 2006
Distance: 10 miles
Ascent: 3641 feet
Time: 6 hours 45 minutes
Start Grid Ref: NY409131
Route Summary: Hartsop - Hartsop Dodd - Caudale Moor - Threshthwaite Mouth - Thornthwaite Crag - Mardale Ill Bell - High Street - Thornthwaite Crag - Gray Crag - Haweswater - Hartsop.
Walk Summary: The forecast for this Good Friday walk was for showers but in fact we didn’t get any rain and after an initial cloudy start the weather broke into quite a beautiful day. The climb up Hartsop Dodd was very steep and at times windy but there were some great retrospective views towards Ullswater as well as across the valley to Dove Crag and Dovedale. All in all this was another good Lakeland ascent.
From the top of Hartsop Dodd it was a fairly easy walk to the large plateau of Caudale Moor which we explored for a while with detours to the tarn and the large cairn on the western top of John Bell’s Banner. After enjoying impressive sightings of Red Screes and more distantly of Windermere we ate lunch by the summit cairn on Stony Cove Pike.
The climb down from Caudale Moor to Threshthwaite Moor was very steep and required scrambling in places. The forbidding looking climb up to Thornthwaite Crag was steep but not as bad as it looked and in fact it probably took us less time to climb out of Threshthwaite Mouth than it did to climb down into it. The highlight of this section was undoubtedly the view down the Troutbeck Valley.
After treating ourselves to some of Lisa’s flapjack by the impressive cairn on Thornthwaite Crag we decided to include Mardale Ill Bell and a return visit to High Street to the day's itinerary. The walk to the former was very easy and again we had some fantastic views especially of the Ill Bell ridge and the Kentmere Valley. I also got my first sighting of the attractive Hayeswater. More good views awaited us on Mardale Ill Bell this time of Nan Bield, Harter Fell and Haweswater.
As we walked round to High Street we made the short detour for the recommended view down to Blea Water which was a little bit special even on a day of such superlative views. It was nice to get to the top of High Street in much better weather than our previous visit but in truth the view from the summit is probably the least interesting aspect that High Street has to offer.
After walking back to Thornthwaite Crag we continued along our planned route which was over the two tops of Gray Crag. The southerly top was unmarked while the main (though lower) top had another magnificent view of Hayeswater this time backed by Rampsgill Head. A steep descent followed which we took very carefully. On the way down we decided to make another detour, this time to the shores of Hayeswater. The slight re-ascent this caused was surprisingly tiring but we were rewarded a really beautiful and also serenely quiet reservoir.
All that remained after this was an easy walk back to Hartsop. Without doubt this has to be one of my favourite walks to date because of the variety of views which were aided by fine weather and good photo conditions.
1. Brothers Water
2. Lisa climbing Hartsop Dodd
3. The top of Hartsop Dodd
4. Red Screes from Hartsop Dodd
5. Looking back at Hartsop Dodd from Caudale Moor
6. Windermere from Caudale Moor
7. The Ill Bell ridge
8. Thornthwaite Crag
9. The Troutbeck Valley from Threshthwaite Mouth
10. Lisa climbing up on to Thornthwaite Crag
11. The valley of Pasture Bottom
12. The beacon on Thornthwaite Crag
14. Another view of the Ill Bell ridge
15. Harter Fell from Mardale Ill Bell
16. Looking down to Hayeswater
17. Gray Crag and Hayeswater
18. On the summit of Gray Crag
19. Hayeswater backed by High Street
20. Hartsop Dodd