Archive for April 12th, 2015

April 12, 2015

Sheffield Pike and Glenridding Dodd

by backpackingbongos

Ullswater should have come with a health and safety warning that morning. It was hard to keep my eyes on the road as I drove the Bongo towards Glenridding. The waters were mirror calm with a low dense mist floating above the water. I parked in a lay-by and watched a succession of people stop, jump out of their vehicles and take a quick photo. A few gave me a big thumbs up with a smile on their faces. It does look odd when people take photos with full sized iPads though.


7.5 kilometres with 580 metres ascent

Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 14.31.00

Starting from Stybarrow Crag we followed the lakeside path towards Glenridding before taking a track that rises above the village. I totally failed to find the start of the path that zigzags through bracken onto Glenridding Dodd. Spotting a couple and their dogs high above I nipped between a row of terraced cottages and bashed my way straight up the hill. Thankfully I intercepted the well hidden path higher up. The strength of the sun along with no breeze meant that Reuben and I were soon panting, my heavy paramo relegated to my sack. The mist from the lake was drifting south down the valley, obscuring the village below but magnifying the sounds.


Glenridding Dodd was quickly and easily reached, providing a superb viewpoint down the length of Ullswater and along to the snow clad Pennines on the horizon. My next destination Sheffield Pike looked much higher and steeper than the map suggests and I stood and picked out my route up to Heron Pike on the skyline.




We returned some of the way that we had come before attacking the steep eastern slopes. A narrow path led up easily though the heather and rocks and I stopped frequently to take in the views. With every step Catstye Cam and Helvellyn grew in stature, the late winter sun giving texture to every snow filled rake and gully.



We were soon at the top and admiring the onward route up the Dodds, hills we had walked the previous day. It was tempting to continue and spend the whole day on the fells. However I wanted to be back at the Bongo and driving home before lunch time.



The path that descends to the north high above Glencoyne was much trickier than anticipated. The narrow path was compacted snow and ice above some steep and long snow slopes. Typically I had taken ice axe and crampons with me on the previous two days and not needed them. On what I though was be a shorter, lower and easier walk they would have come in handy but were sitting uselessly in the van. I picked my way along gingerly making use of previous footprints for security, thankfully not suffering any slips or mishaps.


Three hundred metres lower and into the woods I crossed into another season, spring was definitely in the air. It was a warm and pleasant walk back to the Bongo and a long drive home.