Wednesday 19 January 2011

Kentmere Horseshoe

Distance: 18.5km, Ascent: 1090m, Solo

See actual route in new window

After the washout that was the weekend, I decided to take a day off work and head up to the Lakes for a round of the Kentmere horseshoe, which I've walked previously in June 2003 and April 2009.

I set off from Kentmere at 10:15am and headed west up the Garburn Pass track in the winter sunshine, passing Badger Rock.  Once up in the coire, I left the path and headed up the slopes towards Buck Crag.  The ground soon levelled out into frozen bog, through which I followed a faint path towards Yoke, which soon met the main path alongside the wall.

Mist was still clinging on in the valleys even though it was late morning, so there were good views South over a mist covered Windermere.  I reached the summit of Yoke shortly after 11:30am and enjoyed some hot blackcurrant squash whilst taking in the excellent views.  I continued on over Ill Bell and stopped for lunch on the sunny summit of Froswick.  From this vantage point, I could see the majority of the southern and eastern fells, speckled with small patches of snow.

After lunch, I ascended north along the ridge before skirting the summits of Thornthwaite Crag and Mardale Ill Bell, staying near the coire edge.  On the descent to the Nan Bield Pass there was a significant patch of steep snow to avoid at one point.  As I ascended east from the pass, the views back over High Street were excellent.  Soon I reached the summit of Harter Fell, where I stopped for another well earned rest.

I headed south along the ridge to Kentmere Pike and then continued to Goat Scar, whose summit appeared to be an unmarked rock near the fence.  I then headed south to my final summit of the day, Shipman Knotts.  There were two knolls that seemed to be of similar height so I visited the tops of both of them just to be certain, before descended south to the bridleway.

There were good views of the sunset as I walked along the track and road back to the car, which I arrived back at just before 5pm.  It had been good to get out on a decent hill walk for the first time in a couple of months.