Hartsop above How

Date: 9 April 2019                          Weather: 10’C, bright but cloudy, cool 20 mph winds

Height gain: 1,545 ft                     Distance: 5.0 miles

Time taken: 3 hours 50 mins     Wainwright count: 71 of 214

Route:  From Deepdale Bridge, parked in layby a few metres further on from the phone box after the little row of houses


A bright but cloudy day with very little wind initially, but it picked up as we climbed and had a chill to it.

Our first ascent of Hartsop above How was in March 2013 when we’d decided to make our annual long weekend away in mid March into a full week in the Lakes just before Easter.  We’d arrived to a winter wonderland as a late covering of snow had fallen in the days before we arrived.  We had decided that this climb would be doable in the conditions and we both remember enjoying it very much – me trying out my microspikes for the first time (very successfully) and S seeming to enjoy the thrill of descending the craggy bit in bare boots.

I’d suggested it as today’s walk as I was looking forward to doing it again without the snow, and it wasn’t too strenuous as we aim to build our stamina as the days get longer.

The route up is well defined and is nicely varied – across a field, up through a short bit of wood then onto the hillside and broadly follow the wall up where it’s steep for a bit, then flatter, then a short scramble over a craggy bit – I enjoyed the variety, S was getting a bit irritated by it.

Once at Bleaberry Knott we turned right for what feels like a long walk across to the top, up the final 300ft.  We’d spotted a party of six up ahead of us and unusually they were walking at roughly our pace so not pulling away as we’d hoped.  Convinced that they would stop for lunch at the top we decided we’d have ours in quiet solitude at Hoegill Brow.  Good pasties from the Apple Pie bakery in Ambleside today – our favourite mountain rocket fuel.

The final walk across seemed to take a long time, but we got there in the end.  Three possible summits so we made sure we stood on them all for good measure.  The party ahead of us took us by surprise by not stopping at Hartsop above How but carrying on for the 1,000ft climb to Hart Crag – looks like a good walk, but too tough for us today.

View South from the top, looking across at Red Screes.

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Looking down towards Hartsop Hall, great textures on the hillside.

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Looking Southwest towards Dove Crag, Hart Crag and Fairfield.

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We spent a very pleasant 15 minutes on a comfortable rock taking in the views before heading down again.  Place Fell and Patterdale are in view on the descent.

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The descent seemed steeper than when we were going up, and S had forgotten his walking pole.  No difficulties, though, even the short scramble down the crags was fine.  An enjoyable walk – and as good as I remembered even without the snow.