BB0603:  Islands in the Sky with Brocken Spectres
(or High Street via Gardiner's Grind)

Wednesday  1st February 2006

We wanted a relatively easy walk so Stan advocated Angle Tarn from Low Hartsop and Pete and I concurred.  However we had a rather inauspicious start with a record minimum of less than 100 yards travelled before the map had to be consulted.  Given that the forecast was for a dry day but with cloud up to 700 metres, it would be necessary to pick something quite high to catch the sun.  This led to a change of plan and a route passing by an icy and misty Hayeswater and up Hayeswater Gill onto Racecourse Hill.  Easy, said Stan.  And he was quite right. For a couple of miles.  And then the final assault turned into something that Bryan would have been proud to see us tackle, at which point Stan confessed he had never been that route before.  Stan romped directly up the hill like a Hardaker Gazelle whilst Pete and I took a more measured angle with frequent pauses.  Stan consoled us with the fact it was a virgin route so we named it after him- Gardiner's Grind (see also BB0605).

Ill Bell

Rampsgill Head

As we neared the top, the mist thinned and with the sun streaming down from the col we had our first "Brocken spectre" projected onto the cloud below us.  And then suddenly the struggle was over and we entered a mystical world of strange islands floating in a sea of clouds. 

Luxuriating in the sun and warmth we made our way to the High Street trig point for a leisurely lunch and then north, still enjoying the bizarre views all around to the Knott where there were rude shadows plus more and even better Brocken spectres to amuse us.

High Street Summit

Rude Shadows

Brocken Spectres

Descending from the Knott, we had a decision to make.  Whether to resurrect the original plan to go by way of Angel Tarn or head on down to Hayeswater? Given that there was no sign of the cloud lifting we decided we would save Angle Tarn for another day and headed on down into the fog and near artic conditions, taking it in turns to take pratfalls on the ice!

All in all, it was a most unusual and memorable day, thanks to the weather conditions.  And to Stan's inspired navigation over some of the steepest terrain I have yet encountered!

Don, 1st February 2006


After Note:  For more information on Brocken Spectres see Brocken Spectre.  



6.8 miles

Height climbed:
2.457 feet

Map reference:
See Map

High Street, The Knott


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Slipper Strolls:



  • BB0631  Coppermines
  • BB0630  Relocation, Relocation, Relocation
  • BB0629  Stone Arthur and a Mystery Plume
  • BB0628  Knocking off Wainwrights.  Oh! Plus Skiddaw!
  • BB0627  Blencathra and the Mungrisdale Round
  • BB0626  The Deepdale Round
  • BB0625  Les Garçons de la Botte
  • BB0624  The Crookdale Horseshoe and then some
  • BB0623  Selside Pike revisited
  • BB0622  Round the Dunny!
  • BB0621  The Malham Experience
  • BB0620  Newlands Horseshoe
  • BB0619  Old Man Succumbs!
  • BB0618  Kentmere Horseshoe
  • BB0617 QH2QH High Street (the length thereof)
  • BB0616 Thornthwaite Beacon
  • BB0615  Fairfield Horseshoe
  • BB0614  High Street Racecourse
  • BB0613 The Coledale Round
  • BB0612  Well, Well, Well, Wansfell and Troutbeck Tongue      
  • BB0611  Carlin Gill
  • BB0610  Whitbarrow, Yewbarrow and a history lesson
  • BB0609  Clough Head and Great Dodd
  • BB0608  The Corpse Road and beyond
  • BB0607  Grim Fell!
  • BB0606  A Bit on the Side.....
  • BB0605  Angle Tarn with Surprises! 
  • BB0604  Hart Cragg via Dovedale
  • BB0603  Islands in the Sky with Brocken Spectres
    (or High Street via Gardiner's Grind)
  • BB0602  Holme Fell, Black Fell and Electric  Eyes
  • BB0601  Ingleborough
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