Friday, 18 April 2014
Trail 100 #31 & #32
Fairfield (2,864ft/873m) is a very popular mountain. Good Friday is the traditional start of the hiking season. The sun is shining, clear blue skies all day. The popular routes up Fairfield are going to be very, very busy; a steady stream of hikers walking up the well trodden paths from Grasmere, Ambleside and Patterdale. We stopped to take a ‘selfie’ by Goldrill Beck before starting our walk.
Our route was from Patterdale up Deepdale, and when that got too crowded (with one other couple), we left the path and headed up the steep rock strewn, grassy slope that winds around Greenhow End.
We stopped to watch a Peregrine Falcon feeding young on a nest on the crag. And crags are the major feature of this route. Looking up from the valley floor, Hart Crag (2,697ft/822m) and Fairfield look an unpromising route, but once you know, there is a clear route. There is no path here, but from a distance a grassy strip ascends winding in a mirrored ‘S’ shape around Greenhow End to the top of Fairfield.
I promised to mention drumlins in this post. Here is a photograph of the field of drumlins lying, where the glacier left them, at top of Deepdale.
Wainwright does not recommend this ascent, but for those with strong legs and a a desire to walk on less trodden paths, this is a superb way up a fantastic mountain.
The views of the central Lake District fells and the Helvellyn ridge are breathtaking. We ate lunch on the crowded top and then followed the more traditional steep scree covered path down over Cofa Pike (2,700ft/823m) and St Sunday Crag (2,759ft/841m) following the ridge.
From there we diverted onto the grassy bank of Birks (2,041ft/622m) and then quickly down to Arnison Crag (1,421ft/433m), which has a great view of Patterdale and Ullswater.
From the car park in Patterdale (NY396160)