Wednesday 10 June 2015. Hill walking doesn’t get any better than today. I woke to sunshine and clear blue skies and it stayed that way all day with the temperature rising to somewhere near 20c.
I’d planned to do a walk from Haweswater today and the weather only encouraged me to get out there. I had a near 50 mile drive to Haweswater with the last part of this being along very narrow country roads. The last time that I tried to do this walk the road alongside Haweswater was closed and I had to divert to Patterdale and do Place Fell instead. I wasn’t disappointed today and arrived at the small car park at the end of Haweswater at about 9:45am. There’s room for about 20 cars and 10 minutes later it was full. It is a popular spot, even on a quite Wednesday, and is the starting point for many routes. Oddly, once I’d left the car park, I only saw one other person in the next hour and a half. This was a mountain biker who was coming the opposite way to me down the Nan Bield Pass. He fell off his bike just before I took his picture, no doubt to his embarrassment.
The climb from the car park to the top of the Nan Bield Pass is about 1,200ft and it was nice to be able to plod along at a gentle pace. I was ready for a break by the time that I got there. The last time that I was here was on my attempt to do the Kentmere Horseshoe and it was here that I bailed out and took a short cut down the other side of the pass to Kentmere Reservoir.
There was still more climbing to come as I made my way over Mardale Ill Bell to the trig point at the top of High Street. That was the “up” and now for the “down” and what a down it was. I had nearly 2,000ft to descend, much of this scrambling over rocky outcrops with steep drops off the side. Needless to say I took my time and it seemed never ending. If I were to do this walk again then I would go around in the opposite direction. It would mean a steep climb to start with but the descent would be much easier.
Despite the difficult descent, this must rank as one of the more enjoyable days hillwalking for quite some time. I had both my new Tab4 and my new Azuz tablet running Anquet at the same time and whilst there was a minor difference in their recording of the length of the walk, they both produced almost identical track logs. This is the 3rd time in the last week that the Tab4 has produced the same result as the Azuz and I’m beginning to gain confidence in its accuracy. I think that it isn’t so good when the view of the sky and the GPS satellites are obscured by buildings or trees but with an open view it seems to work quite well. My preference still remains with the Azuz. The walk turned out to be just under 6 miles with a total of 2,680ft of ascent.