The Dovedale Horseshoe

15th August 2010

And we’ve got Chelsea at home next week.. and that’s all I have to say on the matter (still sieving)

Me & this route has unfinished business, back in Dec 09 I attempted these fells but had to abandon the walk due to bad weather, the kind of day that started off round about -2° crisp & clear, ideal walking conditions really then an approaching weather front hit me from the west & basically landed me in all sorts of conditions & I turned heal & abandoned the walk, I guess what I’m saying is its like being scalded,.it will only ever happen once to you.. and that’s the same feeling I carry when in a previous walk I had to abandon mmm…maybe because yeah I missed a path (it was under a foot of snow!) & I walked in the wrong direction for about twenty minutes before I realised my mistake & turned around & found my bearings. So with this walk in the back of my mind I’m carrying a wound but its a beautiful warm summers day, a perfect day for walking & all I need is to take  my mind off what happened the previous day.

During the week I received a text of my mate Tim ‘mind if I tag along?’ of course not mate, what he didn’t expect is the ear bashing he received for the first twenty miles or so into the journey, me unleashing 90 minutes of frustration & anger into why Wigan cant beat a side like Blackpool, now Tim is as mellow as a mellow tree & after this ear bashing his only reply was ‘I love talking football with you’.


Wainwright Guidebook

The Eastern Fells



Ascent: 2,760 Ft 841 Mtrs
Wainwrights: 5, Hartsop Above How, Hart Crag, Dove Crag, Little Hart Crag High Hartsop Dodd
Weather: Warm & Sunny Throughout With Little Wind, Lows of 15° Highs of 18°
Parking: Cow Bridge Car Park
Area: Eastern
Miles: 7
Walking With: Tim Oxburgh
Ordnance Survey: OL5
Time Taken:  

Map and Photo Gallery



Starting the walk at Cow Bridge car park which gives easy access to these two main paths, left here will take you along Brothers Water, Hartsop Hall & the main routes up Little Hart Crag & Middle Dodd & Dovedale itself, our path on the right is Hartsop Above How ridge route.


Although its right behind the car park & easy access it sure makes up for it in steepness, nothing too much to worry about given a minute & a half ago I was behind the wheel of the car,. phew!


A somewhat hazy view of Hartsop Dodd & Caudale Moor from our ascent.


Looking back on the Angle Tarn Pikes  prominent peaks (R) & Place Fell centre & (L) Birks.


Looking towards Cova Pike (L) & Dollywagon Pike background, the huge outcrop of rock foreground is The Step forming Fairfield’s south eastern tip.


Looking ahead towards Hart Crag & Fairfield to the right.


And back down the ridge of Hartsop Above How.


Hart Crag taken from Hartsop Above How summit cairn.


Both me & Tim had heard about the Priest Cave situated in Dove Crag itself, what we didn’t know was exactly how to find it,.I think this climber has just given it away! so as impressed as two impressed things we decided to summit Hart Crag then go & have a look at the cave.


A clear view of Fairfield & Link Hause.


And our second summit of the day Hart Crag.


Looking over to Dove Crag & a possible way down to the cave from Hart Crag’s summit,. meanwhile its time for a Satsuma or two.


Looking down on Dove Crag our third Fell of the day not before a visit to the Priest Cave.


After descending Hart Crag we’ve basically left the main path & headed straight for the buttress of Dove Crag & hopefully a path towards the cave.


We’ve located the path all be it a faint one, I kind of got my guard  up here as I could see one wrong move could end up in a nasty fall over some very rugged rocks, the path today was manageable but any other conditions other than like we had today I’d have to think twice.

The Priest Cave


From inside the cave, the cave itself has its uses as a emergency shelter for climbers caught out in bad conditions, an overnight stay easily substainable as there is an ‘Emergency Box’ if ever you should need it.


That has got to be top priority ‘a half empty bottle of vodka’ sultanas, canned meat this is 5 star roughing it! What we didn’t expect was what we found next in the box..


A visitor book written by a 10yr Old girl called Megan  from Blyth Northumberland, it read..




Of course me & Tim obliged.



A very moving experience for a 10yr old girl to do, and if Megan you ever read this,. we loved your idea & we loved reading all your messages.


Views over to Helvellyn, Striding Edge & Catstye Cam.


Dove Crag summit, and if you take a closer look infested by flying ants!


Looking back up on now a very busy Dove Crag.


High Bakestones summit cairn.


Final approach to Little Hart Crag.


Little Hart Crag Summit cairn & again if you look close the little black specs are flying ants! god these guys have built in compasses for summits!


Looking down the ridge of High Hartsop Dodd with Hartsop Dodd, Brock Crags, Angle tarn Pikes & Place Fell to the right.


High Hartsop Dodd summit cairn.



And looking back up the steep slopes of our descent of High Hartsop Dodd.

As Alfred Wainwright himself said or words to the affect..’A man can forget about a raging toothache while walking these Fells’ (what about a football team with no passion!)

Seriously, the Fells as always have done there job


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