BB0613  The Coledale Round

Wednesday 31st May 2006

In a funny sort of way it reminded me of visiting Disney in Florida.  So many people had told me how wonderful it was that I was prepared to be disappointed.  And I wasn't.  And the same was true of the Coledale Round.

The May (correctly identified this time) was definitely out, the month of May was nearly out, the forecast was good so clouts were cast and we travelled much lighter than in recent times.  Stan was even in shorts!

It was an early start and I was almost on time for once.  The drive through north was a 6-lake treat and Stan, Tony and I parked up at Braithwaite (where Stan had wanted to spend his dotage), setting set off up the steps to the hill at a very creditable 9:30 a.m..

Keswick from the ascentt

Grisedalel Pike

We took Kinn at a gallop, Sleet How at a steady pace and were only a little put off by being overtaken by a dog with a man who was every bit as old as us- we don't like being passed- on the (very) steep ascent to Grisedale Pike which we achieved by 11 a.m., much to all our surprises hence the congratulatory handshakes at the top.  You would think it was at least Mont Blanc!!! 

Grisedale Pike Summit

Hopegill Head.

After a brief stop we set off to Hopegill Head where Hobcarton Crag looked most precipitous.  Stan, being brave, took the path along the edge.  Tony and I, being of greater sense (i.e. wimps), took the more inland path.

Stan was now in slavedriver mode and chastised Tony and I for having a brief rest (it was approaching 12 and that is a critical time for Tony- it is his feeding time).  On we were driven over Sand Hill and down to Coledale Hause where at last we were permitted to rest.  In truth we probably rested too long and set off rather stiff and weary (weighed down by too many ingested butties perhaps) finding the climb up to Eel Crag a bit of a slog.

Eel Crag

Eel Crag Summit

The ridge from Eel Crag to Sail was rather narrower than I had expected and narrower than we wimps were entirely comfortable width.  OK, there was width enough to fit a double decker bus but it was quite rocky and very steep drops to certain death on both sides.



By contrast the slope below the traverse down Sail Pass to High Moss was by general agreement not sufficiently steep to cause death, it would merely rip your skin to shreds, and as such was passed with more confidence.  Apart from the slippery bits.

Next was Outerside and finally, the last ascent of the day to Barrow.  Only it wasn't Barrow.  We had made a false turn at Low Moss and had climbed Stile End by mistake.  Down to Barrow Door and then the last (major) ascent of the day up Barrow, which Wainwright had insisted was worth the detour if you had sufficient energy left.

We then followed the ridge down (and at times up) and I have to confess my knees were hurting like mad on the steep down bits although still reasonably comfortable on the ups and flat.  Reaching Braithwaite seemed like the end of the trail but the car was quite a way up the Whinlatter road, which was a cruel way to have to finish.  So much so that we needed to repair to the Farmers Arms for a couple of very welcome pints of shandy.

You may have noticed that I have said absolutely nothing about the views.  That is because it is difficult to know where to start and stop.  Put simply, it is one of the finest walks I have ever been on for the range and magnificence of the views.  Skiddaw, Blencathra, Derwentwater, Bassenthwaite, Crummock Water, Scafells, Cat Bells, Hellvellyn, Langdales etc etc etc plus the Solway Firth.  The air quality was not as clear as it had been as we drove up and it did cloud over a bit but nothing detracted from the spectacle. 

And as we came out of the pub, the sun was shining, the air was clear and for the second time that day we drove what must be the most impressive road in England.

Don, 31st May 2006


9.6 miles

Height climbed:
4,462 feet

Map reference:
See Map

Grisedale Pike, Hopegill Head, Eel Crag, Sail, Outerside and Barrow



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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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