Friday, 9 November 2012

Wainwright Society Anniversary Weekend around the Hard Knott Pass

GPS Track Three Shires Stone to Pike O'Blisco and return
Remembrance Sunday morning, 11th November and our last day for a while in the Lake District. We rose at 6.30 am and had opted for a packed lunch as an alternative to our hotel breakfast.  We left Windermere by car in mist but as we started to climb towards Little Langdale from Ambleside, we rose above it. After two days in rain, mist, hail and sleet no one could possibly doubt that we didn't deserve this perfect day!

A sunny day - our three shadows cast on the ground on the way up Pike O'Blisco
We were first car parked at the Three Shires Stone in the Wrynose Pass and were walking by twenty past eight, reaching the summit of Pike O'Blisco in less than 50 minutes for a fantastic view down into Langdale and over to Windermere. 

Inversion - the mist we had earlier driven out of in Windermere was still there at 10.00 am
Geoff & Nick arrive on Pike O'Blisco

The view across to the Langdale Pikes from Pike O'Blisco
Being on the summit was a privilege this day and we had it all to ourselves. The cairn was substantial, and I recalled reading in Wainwright's Pictorial Guide to the Southern Fells that the great man had found the cairn destroyed by vandals in the 1960s. Well AW, I'm pleased to say that it has now been rebuilt. 

Geoff M6PYG,  Phil G4OBK (Writer) & Nick G4OOE on Pike O'Blisco (picture taken by a passing fell walker)
This was my second visit to this summit. I had previously gone there with my wife Judy in July 2010 on our way to Crinkle Crags returning via Cold Fell. Nick and Geoff hadn't visited before. 

GPS Track - Harter Fell & Hard Knott from the Pass
Today I chose a different plan, as we were intending to climb Harter Fell and Hard Knott Fell later. This could only be done in a day by cheating a little - so we used the the car to get over to the Hard Knott Pass parking spot as it was too far to walk and also climb the fells in the daylight we had available. 

On the radio for WOTA & SOTA from Pike O'Blisco (LD-024 / LDW-086) with Crinkle Crags in the background
We all made 13 VHF radio contacts from Pike O'Blisco with stations in England, Scotland and Wales before returning to the car for a four mile drive along the pass to NY 232014 and the car parking spot for Harter Fell (and Hard Knott).  

Our view of Harter Fell (LD-028) later  in the day from Hard Knott (LD-034)
The walk from the car to Harter Fell summit took just less than an hour. As we set off we stopped to honour the two minute silence for Remembrance day. I hadn't walked to Harter Fell this way before - there were visible paths on the ground from time to time as we walked the access land to the east of Demming Crag, indeed our route was much easier than our chosen return route which turned into a scramble over Demming Crag - all so we could get a decent view and photograph of Hardknott Castle Roman Fort, at least that was my excuse for our rather rugged return to the pass! 

Nick climbing up to Harter Fell
Hardknott Castle from Demming Crags (seen on our way back to the pass)
When we reached the top of Harter Fell it was busy, unlike Blisco. The time of day had something to do with it. We stayed over an hour and had lunch. During that time at least ten people visited.  The take off on the radio is excellent on VHF from this top - we made 24 contacts and added the Isle of Man to our country totals for the day. We also made contact with the summit stations of Derek 2E0MIX on Green Gable and Richard G1JTD on Hartside. 

Returning to the car by ten past two for more refreshments, we then headed north up to Hard Knott, our final target of the weekend, and a mere 20 minute climb from the car.  There is not much to say about the summit, except it affords an excellent view of Harter Fell - it is a simple up and back route and we were back at car in just over an hour to say our goodbyes, with Geoff heading south for Malvern and Nick and I returning via the Hardknott and Wrynose Pass to Penrith for a fast food meal in McDonalds before proceeding back to Yorkshire. 

It had been another adventure for the three of us  - mission accomplished!   

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