The Harry Griffin 2,000 footers Walk 10 -Around Pasture Beck

7th May 2015

After only three days I now find myself back in Lakeland in the very familiar territory of Hartsop. Todays summits are a collection of two thousand ft summits that circulate Pasture Beck or more commonly known as The Hartsop Round. However todays route differs slightly in that a short detour to visit the Mark Atkinson Monument situated on the southern spur of Caudale Head if only to keep with the original route which H.Griifin carried out in July 77

Todays route would see me collect a total of seven two thousand foot summits two of which are found on Caudale Moor with Stony Cove Pike each classifying as separate two thousand foot summits, further more to add to collection three two thousand foot summits will also be collected on the Gray Crag ridge.

I'm well into my week off now as the weather forecast looks like it will give me the go ahead to continue well into the weekend with my two thousand foot summits challenge. With sore limbs still acclimatising from my Scafell Ridge walk todays walk, and thereafter are sure to give me a few aching muscles come next week, which of course, will all be worth it.

Freeman of the Hills
'Around Pasture Beck'

As youngsters we knew the mountain as John's Bell Banner but this is really the name of the lower summit of the moor. Stony Cove Pike - a little cairn on a rather desolate plateau, with grey rock outcropping the grass - is the higher summit. Almost certainly, John Bell was the Rev John Bell, curate and schoolmaster of Ambleside.

Harry Griffin

Ascent: 3,010 Feet - 918 Metres
Summits Over 2,000Ft: Hartsop Dodd - Caudale Moor - Stony Cove Pike - Thornthwaite Crag - Gray Crag South Top - Gray Crag North Top - Gray Crag North West Top
Weather: Overcast to start with some hail showers, turning sunnier around midday. Highs of 15°C Lows of 6°C
Parking: Parking Spaces, Hartsop Village
Area: Far Eastern
Miles: 7.2
Walking With: On My Own
Ordnance Survey: OL5
Time Taken: 4 Hours 45 Minutes
Route: Hartsop - Hartsop Dodd - Caudale Moor - Mark Atkinson Monument - Stony Cove Pike - Threshthwaite Mouth - Thornthwaite Crag - Gray Crag South Top - Gray Crag North Top - Gray Crag North West Top - Hartsop Gill - Hartsop

Map and Photo Gallery


Hartsop Dodd 08:00am 6°C

The forecast was bright with sunny spells throughout the morning but what I actually got was just a hint of sunshine before a thick covering of cloud enveloped much of the far eastern side of the Lake District leaving the eastern fells sprinkled in dashes of sunshine just over the Kirkstone Pass, the contrast between both was quite a divide.

I was first to arrive at the car park behind Hartsop Village which gave me chance to freely park anywhere that I choose as I reversed my car where I would normally park back on the grassy verge. For the first time this year I am wearing shorts given the bright forecast as I feel an instant chill even at valley level, it is here I decide shorts and jacket it is, my sunglasses get zipped away in my pack should I need them but its not looking very likely.

After locking the car I head out towards the base of Hartsop Dodd where a steep climb onto its ridge awaits me.

Light and Shadows.

Here, looking down on Hartsop and Patterdale from the steep climb.
I follow the stone wall seen in the first photo before picking up the remnants of an old steel fence that traces its way steeply over the summit shoulder from where the gradient eases out before the summit stone cairn appears shortly followed by what is commonly know as the real summit.

Hartsop Dodd wooden stake summit post.

Under fading light the summit wooden post was reached as a cool breeze swept across the fell side which, I figured wouldn't be nearly half as cold if the sun was out. Here like every time, I ponder on just how long the weathered wooden post is going to last as I couldn't imagine what a new post would look like, and feel like come to think of it, lets hope there's a few more years left before mother nature takes its course.

Caudale Moor ahead.

If your looking for a morning or afternoon on one Lakelands best ridge walks then look no further than the Hartsop Round, its simply pleasant ridge walking all the way.

After claiming my first two thousand foot summit my next will be collected on Caudale Moor seen in the right of the photo before a short detour to visit the Mark Atkinson Monument found on John Bell's Banner, but that's all in a little while.

The ridge to Caudale Moor and Stony Cove Pike.

Here, looking back towards Harstop Dodd.

Passing one of three Tarns found close to Caudale Moor summit.
I think thats the sun trying to come out.

Caudale Moor summit cairn.

On this occasion I make my way to Caudale Moor and collect my second two thousand foot summit as it seems the cloud is starting to clear up rather nicely although there's still a bit of a bite to that wind.

From the summit of Caudale Moor I track south via a worn grassy track before reaching the Mark Atkinson Monument, before I pass an elderly walker on route to Caudale Moor as we lock eyes with a good morning before he stumbles over a rock almost sending him uncontrollably forward, he recovers well and says, why is it you never stumble when no one is around! Well I agree, because that normally happens to me too! we share a laugh before bidding each other a 'good morning'

The Mark Atkinson Monument.
The Monument was placed here in respect of Mark Atkinson whos family owned and ran the Kirkstone Inn found below on the Pass, later during the midd eighties a second stone was placed at the Monument in respect for William Atkinson the son of Mark Atkinson, the inscriptions read...

'Hic jacet Mark Atkinson of Kirkstone Pass Inn, died 14 June 1930 aged 69 years'
Also his son William Ion Atkinson, died 2nd April 1987 aged 83 years'

Distant views over the St Ravens Edge and, Kirkstone Inn with Windermere beyond.
From the Monument the Kirkstone Inn can be seen in the lower right of the photo.

Heading over John Bell's Banner towards Stony Cove Pike.
After leaving the monument I track east over John Bell's Banner towards Stony Cove Pike from where I will collect my third two thousander of the morning where it appears to be brightening up just nicely.

Gray Crag, High Street, The Knott and Kidsty Pike from Stony Cove Pike.
Stony Cove Pike summit is soon reached as was the welcome sunshine arrives bringing a little warmth too. Here Gray Crag can be seen which is where I will collect three more two thousand foot summits along the ridge's 'high spots' some of which were spotted from the summit of Hartsop Dodd a short time earlier.

Heading down to Threshthwaite Mouth with views to High Street.
After leaving Stony Cove Pike I pick up the path that will descend me over Threshthwaite Mouth with aspiring views over Pasture Beck to my left, and the Troutbeck Valley to my right.

The Troutbeck Valley.
Troutbeck, and Troutbeck Tongue seen traversing over Threshthwaite Mouth.

Looking back on Stony Cove Pike over Threshthwaite Mouth.

Descent into Threshthwaite Mouth especially from Stony Cove Pike can be a little tricky and greasy as it was for me just moments earlier as a number of rock steps can be found close to the base which have to be treated with a respect, it pays not to rush even if a couple reading newspapers have their eyes on you.

I pass the couple who were merely enjoying a morning on the fells, we pass on our pleasantries before I take on the steep climb on to Thornthwaite Crag.

Pasture Beck seen from the steep climb towards Thornthwaite Crag.

Stony Cove Pike and Hartsop Dodd.

The Ill Bell Ridge seen from Thornthwaite Crag.

After a steep haul Thornthwaite Crag is reached with views over the magnificent Ill Bell ridge. After a wonder about the summit I decide that I should have an early lunch as I pick a spot to sit on the other side of the wall as I tuck into my sandwiches. However it seems the light is beginning to fade again as I glance up at the sun only to find a mass of cloud high above me, ahead of my lunch spot I am able to spot walkers heading for High Street one of whom doesn't make a summit, instead choosing to follow the path on the back on the summit plateau all the way over The Straights of Riggindale which I found a little odd.

After lunch I shoulder pack only to find the couple who had been reading news papers arrive at the summit, 'I'm just leaving' the summit its all yours I say to the guy who smiles and says thank you as he awaits his wife who is trailing a little behind.

With this I turn heal and head north from where I will collect my three remaining two thousanders.

Bearing down on Gray Crag.
Once on the ridge I am able to spot the first summit above two thousand feet, from memory it bears no cairn so I shall have to rely on map and GPS which wasn't really necessary on a day like today, but still useful if not only to pin point the correct summits.

Hail heading right this way.

Over the course of the last ten minutes or so I had been watching a hail shower over the eastern fells predominately over Dovedale as it slowly sweeps its way over the Kirkstone Pass heading directly for me, my camera was the first to be packed away before the shower hit which I managed to do closely followed by tightening my hood down just in time when before I knew it little balls of hail where pelting at my jacket, my bare legs, I could do nothing about which really didn't but a damper on things, if anything it was more atmospheric than anything.

Because I was fast approaching the first of three summits along the ridge I held back a little before letting the hail shower pass which it did leaving bright sunshine across the far, and eastern fells.

Summit collecting along Gray Crag NY 429 110
I soon arrived at my fifth two thousander marked as 710 metres on the 1:50k maps, my sixth summit is found just a short distance ahead.

Gray Crag from Gray Crag north cairn NY 428 114
The next two thousander is found over the saddle of the ridge marked by a stone cairn, ahead the main summit of Gray Crag awaits.

After the hail and snow, views over Thornthwaite Crag, Threshthwaite Mouth and Stony Cove Pike.

Caudale Moor and Stony Cove Pike from Gray Crag.
After a short ascent over the ridge the main summit cairn is soon reached which marks the seventh two thousander of the walk, behind me views darken as more cloud develops south leaving low light once again while ahead of me further north, the brightness continues.

Descending Gray Crag.

I was lucky to have the brighter of the views during my descent of Gray Crag as I start the steep descent down to Hayeswater Gill. Ahead of me two walkers make thier way on Gray Crag as we pass, we swap pleasantries.

Views over Pasture Beck and Hartsop.

Having dropped of the summit shoulder I continued along the path before stopping to take this photo over Pasture Bottom with views over Hartsop, Brothers Water and the eastern fells.

I couldn't help but sense a touch of jealousy as the Fairfield Group had enjoyed prolong spells of sunshine most of the morning while most of my walk was done under moody skies and brisk winds.

The Knott from Hayeswater.
I trace my way off the path this time in the direction of Hayeswater Gill as I choose to make a pathless descent with views of the new Hayeswater Outflow now that the Dam has been taken away, I must say that this is the first time I have been here since the construction work was finished and I was quite pleased with the new look Hayeswater Tarn - even though everything still looks new and man made I guess in years to come things will start to take on that natural look and the sight of the old Dam will soon be a distant memory.

Hayeswater Gill rapids.

Hartsop Dodd.
My walk was almost coming to an end as I took time to reflect on what had turned out to be a great morning spent on the fells with a mix on hail and sunshine mixed in, ahead familes and couples make thier way onto the fells under glourios skies as I pass the site of the old mine as views into Pasture Bottom open up from where this walk takes its name. All that is left is the short stroll back to Hartsop as I pass through metal gate shortly before crossing Hayeswater Gill, here I arrive much the same time as a woman who politly says thank you as I held he gate open, it was only afterwards later that day did I get a message on my Facebook Page from the same woman who thought she recognised me asking was it me in Hartsop, well it was me and Im sorry we didnt recomgnise each other, even so, it was nice to have briefly met you.

Views into Pasture Bottom towards Threshthwaite Cove.

Grey Crag from the Hartsop sheep pens.

Kicking stones I pass the infamous sheep pens with clear views back over Gray Crag, ahead of me is just the one gate where a mass of badly parked cars now fill the car park, it was minutes later that I realised that some ill minded camper van had almost completely blocked me in as I look around for an alternative way out and find none. 'I tried to tell em' shouts a fellow walker kiting up with his wife, they just ignored me, the camper had blocked any chance bar the tightest of gaps not big enough to fit a pram through, let alone a car, 'Ill watch you out if you like'

Almost instantly the last four hours are forgotten as I try to get my head around why some idiot would park a large van in such a manner and inconsiderate that it had almost completely had blocked me in, at this point I was still kited up and the guy who had offered to watch me out was waiting so I had no other choice than to jump into the car after leaving only half my gear in the boot, with extremely tight negotiations and door mirrors folded in on all cars involved I just about managed to get my car out with thanks to the fellow who had helped me I then go back for my gear and leave Hartsop - only realising somewhere close to Preston on the way home that I failed to put my walking poles back in the car.

My walking poles have been with me on some very memorable walks, its fair to say over time that you can get attached to such objects, they become your companion, in fact, when the day comes when I needed to replace them I wont throw them away, I would shelf them like the trophies they are.

There's no getting away from the fact that todays walk was truly fantastic which brought me a little closer to completing my two thousand footer campaign, but it will also be remembered for leaving some great memories behind.


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