Tuesday 26 August 2014. The weather forecast for yesterday was both poor and wrong in that it suggested a rainy day, which didn’t happen. Instead of walking, I met Jacqui for lunch at the Highwayman Inn at Burrow near Kirkby Lonsdale.
The weather was much better today so I met Jacqui at Staveley and we then drove across the Kirkstone Pass to start the walk at Hartsop. There is only a very small car park in the village and we were lucky to find a space. Others, who had arrived later, managed to park but without any consideration for those already there. It was a steady walk out of the village alongside Hayeswater Gill until the point at which we started the climb of Gray Crag. This was an incredibly steep grassy bank which involved many stops until we reached the first rocky outcrop. The climb continued, unrelentingly, until we reached Gray Crag (2,290ft). By now, we had climbed 1,650ft. Soon after we saw a solitary Red Deer as we continued the climb to the beacon at the top of Thornthwaite Crag (2,550ft). It was here that we stopped for lunch. There had been a very strong wind blowing for much of the climb and we were glad to find some shelter for a little while.
After lunch we made our way up on to High Street with a short diversion to bag the trig point on Racecourse Hill (2,716ft). The next objective was to bag another new “Wainwright”, The Knott (2,424ft). I’d walked around this hill on my C2C walk but didn’t have the energy at the time to divert to the top.
From here it was all downhill as we made our way back to Hartsop. The path marked on the OS map didn’t match that on the ground but route finding wasn’t really a problem. It had been a super 7.3 mile walk with a total ascent of 2,600ft. The initial climb was something of a shock to the system but we made it to the top in 2 hours. The views all around were magnificent and well worth the effort.