For newcomers

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


Friday, 25 October 2019

Wainwright's Way - Troutbeck to Patterdale

Wednesday 23rd October 2019
Wainwright's Way - Troutbeck (Limefit Park) to Patterdale

We are now having to rise earlier - it is an hour's drive for me to Patterdale and around two hours for BC.

As I drove up the Troutbeck valley towards Kirkstone pass it was still dark and then thick fog developed. I had an irritating car behind me all the way. At times I could hardly see the road markings or the continuation of this twisty road - that was a desperate drive.

Parking in the Lake District is becoming evermore fraught but I was able to sneak into a small lay-by opposite the White Lion pub and wait for BC as dawn broke. Despite the fog I had set off early and had time to regroup with a mini flask of coffee I had brought in addition to the sandwich and coffee in my rucksack.

We were able to park with permission again at Limefit Park chalet holiday complex and we were off to a good start at 8:45. It seemed a long three miles trudging up the Troutbeck valley in dismal but dry weather with The Tongue prominent ahead and cloud on the higher tops. Eventually we were looking back at the northern slopes of the Tongue and starting on the incredibly steep and long ascent towards Thornthwaite Beacon. I reckon that is as steep a recognised path I can remember ascending anywhere. We were soon into cloud with visibility down to around a hundred yards. We decided to omit the excursion to Thornthwaite Beacon and take the direct path to High Street summit. Out came the compass when the path disappeared - there must be a well established path between Thornthwaite and High Street but we couldn't find it until we arrived at the wall end that leads up to High Street. I said something to BC about our "navigation" and he characteristically laughed and said "more like wandering."

We could see other people drifting along like ghosts in the distance and then there were people about at the summit and the cloud was trying hard to lift giving us sporadic tantalising views of distant fells and valleys, and bit by bit the weather cleared as we followed the path on the western sides of the long ridge descending to Patterdale.

It seems a long time since I was up high in proper hills and the half forgotten exhilaration almost took me by surprise  I gained a strange impression of how big the Lake District seemed. This had been an eleven mile proper mountain walk and beforehand I wondered how I would fare but I felt sprightly and regenerated as we arrived back at my parked car - a brilliant day.

Worth clicking on first photo to see rest as slideshow

Our route headed to the right of the Tongue to the distant cloud covered tops

It was wet underfoot but feet remained dry all day

Start of the steep ascent just ahead

From a short way up the ascent looking back down the Troutbeck valley - our start was well beyond the central cleft

Zoom to ghosts

Following the wall down from High Street - cloud beginning to clear


Impressive Bannerdale

Angle Tarn



Ignore blue route on right


  1. Lovely walk and views, we were up that way ourselves a few days ago on a family excursion, saying goodbye to my father-in-law who passed away last year. He had informed us well in advance that he wanted his ashes scattered in Kentmere, and he arranged for a strong northerly wind, so we had to carry him most of the way around with us (walking clockwise from Kentmere church) to be sure he got blown into the Kentmere Valley, and not over into Troutbeck! Started an interesting discussion amongst us, as to where we will choose when the time comes!

  2. Yes, we have duplicated our photos on this occasion. Splendid walk.

  3. kendal grufties - I often think that if I met somebody I knew on the hills, especially in winter when we are swaddled in jacket hoods, balaclavas, sweat bands and sunglasses I may not recognise them. Were you on bikes up there? Years ago I more or less carried my back from Brotherswater to High Street then had the fabulous downhill descent to the Cockpit stone circle then back over Boredale Hause where I carried the bike again - one of the most exhausting days of my life.


    BC - I don't think photo duplication matters much, they are not exactly the same anyway.

  4. Well worth the early rise and scary drive Conrad. Excellent post and photographs which whisked me back to days amongst these fells.

  5. afoot - For a Scotsman you seem to have spent quite a lot of time in The Lakes, well that is the impression I have gained anyway.

  6. Sir Hugh. I first saw the Lake District when I was 15 and on n a rock climbing holiday with my brother and his wife. Then I climbed there with university friends and of course Lynne and I have walked there summer and winter since we met in 1972. Last year we had to cancel our usual three week holiday near Keswick because I pulled a calf muscle and other things got in the way this summer. Hopefully we’ll be back next year. I love the Lakes District.

  7. Sir Hugh, we were up there on Sunday 20th, so just 3 days before, and I agree it would be difficult to recognise someone out of context, especially swaddled against the weather. We were just on foot this time, although Mr Gruftie has a hankering to do High Street again with bikes (we did it once in our twenties pushing bikes south to north, camping up top). I'm not sure how well I'd cope now, although given enough time, hot drinks and cake I might be persuaded to give it a try!