Date: 25 March 2019 Weather: 8’C, sunny, little wind, great visibility
Height gain: 1,919ft Distance: 5.5 miles
Time taken: 5 hours Wainwright count: 64 & 65 of 214
Route: From Glenridding main car park along Greenside Road turning right up the side of Glenridding Dodd behind a collection of cottages then towards Black Crag and up to the top of Sheffield Pike, over it to the quarry and back via Glenridding Beck.
A beautiful spring day dawned so we headed out to Glenridding to tackle these two on a route we haven’t done before. We parked in the main car park, booted up and headed out of the back of the carpark and up Greenside Road. S’s route up Glenridding Dodd apparently started from behind a small row of cottages – the footpath was clearly on the map but the start of it was blocked and it looked more of an abseil than a walk.
S was adamant this was the right route so we trotted over driveways and clambered over various fences to reach the upward path which passed some sort of small water tower en-route. It was almost vertical and not a well maintained path and we huffed and puffed our way slowly up a few hundred feet until the ground levelled out at the top of a crag. There was no further visible path upwards from here, but there was a just about discernible route to our left. The map showed that another footpath was lurking out of sight round the edge of the mountain so we decided to make our way to hopefully join it.
We finally did join a distinct and well made path that comes up from the road quarter a mile or so further along from where we had turned – using this would have been a much better idea and it was what other more sensible walkers were on today. It was still steep but not quite so vertical and much better underfoot and we made much quicker progress.
The path ends up at flatter ground below Heron Pike and when we reached a gate we turned right and up the last couple of hundred feet to the top of Glenridding Dodd:
We can see Heron Pike directly in front of us, and lovely views over Ullswater behind us:
We can see Catsycam’s pointy top to the west, with only Helvellyn Lower Man visible from here:
We drink in the views as we sit and enjoy our pasties for lunch. A young woman speeds up to the top, says a friendly hello in what sounds like an Eastern European accent and speeds off again towards Heron Pike – oh for such fitness.
The couple we had caught up with at the gate had headed back to Heron Pike and we see them picking their way up what looks like a very steep and exposed rocky path along its edge. Although that’s our intended route I’m not fancying it and when we get back to the gate ourselves I suggest that we go through it and head towards Black Crag and join the route up from Seldom Seen.
We make our way along the craggy terrain making steady upward progress. It all looks beautiful in the clear March sunshine as S pauses to consult the map once again to look for possible routes up:
We realise that the Seldom Seen footpath is actually quite a long way below us. I can see various sheep paths heading upwards from here and it looks very do-able so I persuade S to start heading directly towards the summit of Sheffield Pike.
We pick our way past crags sticking to the grassy areas and make steady progress – it’s not at all difficult and I’m glad I spurned the Heron Pike route. S’s energy is starting to flag on the undulating ground but eventually we reach the top of Sheffield Pike:
AW describes the views as restricted and dull, but we would tend to disagree. The views south-west towards the High Street range look pretty good to me:
And Helvellyn and Catsycam are still looking good to the west:
We don’t spend too long up here but head down an initially steep path towards the quarry we can see below us:
Once we reach the quarry we cross the river and pick up the good path down to Glenridding Beck and back to the top of Greenside Road. We’re just crossing the bridge at the quarry when we see the young woman we saw at the top of Glenridding Dodd descending from the path Stybarrow Dodd and she speeds past us once again – she’s probably knocked off a few of the Dodd’s in the time it’s taken us to summit our two today.
We enjoy the late afternoon sunshine as we plod back down Greenside Road and make it back to the carpark about 15 minutes after our ticket expired – but thankfully they seem to have given us a bit of leeway. It’ll be another few months before I really learn my lesson to just pay for all day parking and not think we’ll finish a walk in X number of hours.
A wonderful walk today and the weather couldn’t have been better.