Great Carrs, Swirl How, Grey Friar

Date: 12 Jun 2016 Weather: 17’C, overcast, still
Height gain: 1,850 ft Distance: 5.95 miles
Time taken: 5 hours Wainwrights: 2,3,4 of 214

Route:  From Three Shires Stone.

It’s the second day of our holiday with 213 mountains to choose from on round two.  S proposes these three from the Three Shires Stone.  We’re staying in a house with a jetty onto Lake Windermere about four miles beyond Bowness.  S was up early this morning and took some photos from the jetty in the early morning light:


But we have to tear ourselves away from the lovely views and head for the hills.  The drive through Little Langdale to the Wrynose pass proves very stressful – lots of traffic and the need for much reversing on the very narrow and wiggly roads which S was finding challenging.

It took us an age to actually get to the Three Shires Stone and the parking opportunities were limited by the time we arrived.  We finally found a spot not too far down the road.

We boot up and take a path heading south towards Great Carrs.  The path is steep initially then flattens out before becoming steep again to the ridge.  We’re both doing ok and manage just under 1,00ft in the first hour but time is getting on after our long drive so we decide to stop for lunch.  The views back down to the Wrynose pass are looking good despite the overcast weather:


Turbo fuelled by our pasties we pick up the pace but miss the route over Little Carrs and have to turn left and head uphill t put ourselves right  but this does give us a chance to visit the crash monument.  The path to the top is then straightforward and we find a good rocky outcrop with a cairn on top:

3 - 1st summit

The views are hazy but the cloud is high and it’s very still.  We’re in no rush and enjoy the views and the quiet around us.  We can spot the Langdales to the north, Pike O’Stickle sticking up prominently:


We take out photos and enjoy the views before heading off on the short walk to Swirl How which we can see to the west:


It’s an easy stroll across the col and up to Swirl How:

9 - 2nd summit

Bowfell and the Crinkles are obvious to the north west and we can see Red Tarn in the dip between Cold Pike and Pike O’Blisco below us:


Coniston Old Man dominates the view to the south with Coniston Water just visible in the haze:


We sit for a while and enjoy the views and debate whether we head for Wetherlam or Grey Friar – at just over half the additional feet of ascent Grey Friar wins and off we go.  All the sitting around has done us good and we bounce down to Fairfield (not the big Fairfield!) and make good progress up the 270ft to the summit of Grey Friar:

12 - 3rd summit

It’s another quiet top and there’s a little breeze which is welcome.  The views look a bit ominous in the gathering cloud, though:


We don’t hang around too long before taking a diagonal descent back to Fairfield then walk along the contour back to Little Carrs and pick up our original ascent path to get back to the car.  The path is steep and eroded in places but generally ok.

We’ve taken our time enjoying the views on these three good tops but still managed to get back before the rain starts.

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