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At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!

My blog nick-name is SIR HUGH. I'm not from the aristocracy - my middle name is Hugh which relates to the list of 282 hills in Scotland compiled by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891. I climbed my last one (Sgurr Mor) on 28th June 2009


Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Wainwright's Way - Patterdale to Grasmere

Monday 28th October 2019
Wainwright's Way - Patterdale to Grasmere - 6+ miles

At six am I was taken by surprise when I went to retrieve my boots from the car - all was frozen.

At seven am I had a clear run to our researched parking spot north of Grasmere on the A591. BC was ten minutes or so later and was caught up in the Windermere morning rush to work gridlock - what a difference a few minutes makes at that rush-to-work-time in the morning

BC arrived and we had the usual hairy drive up and over The Struggle to start at Patterdale.

I have mixed emotions about Patterdale:

1970 - June - I had my honeymoon in The Patterdale Hotel 

2010 - July - I was walking "Furthest East to Furthest West" (Lowestoft to St. Bees Head.) Descending Nam Bield Pass I fell and cut a vein in my shin and managed to bandage up and hobble down to Hartsop and to Patterdale where I booked in at Patterdale  Hotel for my second time. The walk had to be abandoned and was re-christened The Broads to the Lakes - pity. For a blow by blow account of that momentous twelve hour day:

2011 - September - Patterdale was the finishing point on a walk that proved to be a hill too far and having me walking out with excruciating cramps in my thigh - see blog post:

Here is a copy of our honeymoon bill from The Patterdale Hotel - 21st. June 1970

It is difficult to read so:

2 persons, 5 nights DB and B - £2.19.6 per night each      £29.15.0

Packed lunches 8  x £1 for two people.                             £4.9.0
Drinks.                                                                                £0.13.2
Total.                                                                                  £34.4.0


We had some amusement passing Patterdale church with a notice advertising free Wi-Fi.:

Parson "Here endeth the first lesson on how to access www.jesus's"

Nick Burton whose Wainwright's Way we were following gives the options of going over the tops via St. Sunday Crag or walking up Grisedale, we chose the latter. Unfortunately the valley remained in frosty shadow until we were much higher up. We had our first sighting of snow on the rim of Nethermost Pike.

Our conversation is always wide ranging. At one point we were musing about coffin routes which were established in olden times when coffins were carried over into the next valley to access a church for burial. BC was telling me that one can see large stones on some of these routes where coffins were laid whilst the toilers took a rest and I imagined the ensuing conversation halfway over The Old Corpse Road from Swindale to Mardale in 1650:

Toiler One    "Let's put it down on this rock - I'm knackered"

Toiler Two   "Blow this for a lark. Let's cremate the so-and-so here"

We spent some time viewing Eagle Crag with BC reminiscing about his several climbing visits there.

As we we arrived at Ruthwaite Lodge  we were in sunshine at last and there were several parties about; we pressed on.

A deep cleft took our attention on one of several crags up on our right and we wondered if it had been recorded as a climb. See the photo below. I should have marked its exact location - the photo shows chockstones and an even deeper penetration into the crag than was obvious from our viewpoint - all enticing and interesting.

After a stiff climb Grisedale Tarn comes into view as a welcome sudden surprise. Here we watched a family party across the way ascending Dollywagon bringing back painful memories of the walk in 2011 referred to above:

"...descending from Seat Sandal I was tired, and both knees were moderately painful. The constructed stone stairway up Dollywagon Pike was sapping in warm sunshine..." but it got worse after that.

Going over the col between Fairfield and Seat Sandal there was  biting cold wind, but further down we lunched on the edge of the path in warm and windless sunshine with frequent parties passing up and down.

The long descent on tricky constructed path alternating with rocky natural path needed care and we took plenty of time.

Cars were everywhere on our drive back to Patterdale, lay-bys full and queuing into Ambleside. We had several interesting meetings with cars coming the other way going back over the Struggle. Another good day pinched from the weather forecast.
The Patterdale hotel in early frosty morning light

Our first sighting of snow this autumn/winter

Grasmere church behind, and their invitation to  Wi-Fi below

Dollywagon and Nethermost Pike. The ridge on the right is the lead up to Striding Edge

I took this because of the wall which carries on right over the skyline - better seen if "click to enlarge"

Eagle Crag

Dollywagon Pike (I think)

Ruthwaite Lodge. Locked up and of uncertain ownership

The mysterious cleft - I can imagine someone having an epic experience there.
There must be some record about it?

BC crosses the outflow of Grisedale Tarn

Family party on the ascent of Dollywagon - it's a long hard haul up there

Looking back at Grisedale Tarn. Northern Pennines in the far distance

Looking back at our descent from Grisedale Hause

Our finish was at the A591 road.
The red flag was put on my Memory Map some time ago to mark a camp made by Martin (Phreerunner) who comments frequently here and is a good friend


  1. I wonder which drinks you had for Thirteen shillings and two pence.

  2. Have just replaced my old desktop (over a decade old; I worried about the processor letting me down catastrophically). Grandson Ian oversaw the specification of the new one with Overclockers, then masterminded the transfer of the HD contents from old to new. Urged me to use the new one (now based on Windows 10) to see if I was comfortable with it. So I was up at 06.25 this morning and what more natural than I should leave an acerbic comment on your blog as a sort of test-drive.

    Actually my acerbicity battery seems a little rundown. All I can manage is to question the phrase "Grisedale Tarn comes into view as a welcome sudden surprise" To me that sounds as if you'd left your map at home. For a smallish lake to swim into view - unexpectedly - suggests you were taking a broad view of the terrain you were crossing. That anything smaller than Ullswater was absent from your preconceptions. Then I decided to be charitable; perhaps you were using Google Maps on its lowest magnification. No of course you weren't, you'll tell me, and blahdy-blah--blah.

    Never mind. It seems the new PC is fit for purpose. For some purposes, anyway.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. BC - 'Twas beer.


    RR - I presume you run some kind of back-up on your computer? I have a hard disk that has greater capacity than my Mac desktop and it backs-up automatically. I would be interested to hear of your comfort or otherwise with Windows 10.

    My dictionary gives more synonyms for "acerbic" than almost any other adjective I have taken the trouble to research, and a pretty unpleasant list it is. Why should I qualify, BY DEFAULT, for comments in that mode? You may say it is for my education. I may say it is for you to demonstrate your cleverness.

  5. Back-up should be physically independent of the computer. The idea being that the back-up system should survive the computer's destruction. I have a 128 GB chip in a plastic holder: simple, cheap, but you have to remember to use it regularly.

    Your ability to misunderstand me passes all understanding. I decided to stop writing comments that exceeded 100 words since it was clear you either didn't read everything I'd written or had forgotten what I said earlier in the comment. Thus I wrote a three-word comment a few weeks ago and you misinterpreted that.

    I am not out to educate you, simply to entertain myself. Being acerbic offers me more potential than blah-blah flattery. It's more fun. There is also the matter of style and content; there may be more to the way I say things than to the information the words carry.

    Switching to Windows 10 is demanding, as with all OS changes. But there are hidden advantages. A new OS means you are better equipped to deal with improvements in computer technology. This is a lengthy subject and I'll not burden you with it. It was right to reject Windows 8 because quite quickly Microsoft rejected it anyway. Windows 10 was generally welcomed and I decided to go with the flow. But yes, it can be hard.

  6. The original plan for our October trip was for it to be spent in the Lake District, bagging Wainwrights. As you know, we ended up spending our time in Scotland instead. However, your photos remind me that it's too long since we last spent any length of time in the area. We really must rectify that (although even as I type, I'm thinking of plans for next year and wondering how it could be fitted in).

    (Gah! Accidentally clicked "I'm not a robot" and was put through a lengthy test to prove the point.)

  7. Gayle - You could combine Wainwrights and Marilyns in The Lakes.

  8. We could lend you some of our Red Flags, Gayle...

  9. The only problem with combining the Wainwrights and the Marilyns is that I've only got one Lakeland Marilyn remaining. Most of my Marilyn-bagging in the Lakes was done solo, when Mick was working a few years ago, and I've also visited more Wainwrights than Mick, so when we do finally get around to a Lakes trip, there will be some repetition for me. Not something to complain about in such surroundings!

    (Sorry for the delay in replying. Something just jogged my memory that I'd not responded to your reply and it's taken me a little while to step back through your posts to find the discussion. In doing that I've also noted that whilst I've read and enjoyed the entirety of your Wainwrights Way series, I've (again!) made an appalling job of commenting. I really must do better!)