Sunday 5th October 2003

SILVER HOW                      (9km     1600 )

Frost on the car and a brilliant night sky (including the Hunters Sword in Orion and at least five of the Seven Sisters of the Pleiades!) greeted me as I walked out this morning. Portents of a fine day ahead. A tremendous sun rise as I passed Lancaster at 7am was further evidence that this was going to be a day to remember!

By 8am I was parked on the main car park in Grasmere and Megan and I set off for Silver How. The last time I was here I recall it was a Dunmail double in March 1999 when I first walked up Seat Sndal and then crossed the road to tick off another fell. This time I paid more attention to my surroundings.

The path from Grasmere starts at the west side of town and right opposite the Red Lion pub nothing changed there since Wainwrights day then. The climb is gradual to begin with and I found myself spending as much time looking back over my shoulder at the slowly revealing fells with first the cleft of Stone Arthur dominating the skyline (this must be the only location from where this can be said!) and then Helm Crag growing in prominence over the Vale of Grasmere. All the fells north and westwards duly presented themselves for scrutiny before I was able to fully concentrate on where I was going. The path was as narrow as Wainwright suggests but no longer is it choked as it was in his day and progress is easy without fear of going wrong. Eventually, just after the waters of Grasmere and Rydal appear to the west, the path changes and becomes a green carpet I felt cruel setting booted foot upon it!  

Before I knew it the Langdales appeared over the shoulder of the fell and then the Crinkle Crag ridge and Bowfell. Finally, as I crested the last rise, the Coniston range joined in the fun and the view was complete. It was just after 9am and already I was stood on the summit of Silver How!

I spent half an hour here and then wandered due south to a view-point cairn I could see on the skyline, maybe a quarter mile away. It was well worth the effort getting there. The head of Mickleden is seen in full sunlight although not quite full height. Turning east I could then see a roller coaster of an emerald green path leading the two and a half miles to Loughrigg Fell. This really is one of the best paths in the whole district with spectacular views to all sides (with the possible exception of south east) and I enjoyed every single step of the way.

At Loughrigg Terrace I had intended to turn uphill again and complete the day by climbing this fine fell for the, oh, umpteenth time. But, alas, a new fence line blocked my way forward just prior to a stand of trees above Red Bank. A gate then beguiled me to lower ground leading to what turned out to be a fantastic woodland path heading back to Grasmere. An hour later I was back at the car enjoying half a wonderful choc-dip ice cream. Megan, of course, enjoyed the other half! Just time for a quick shop in Ambleside (new pair of Rohans) and then home in time for the f**tball on the box.


Images from this walk - 

GPS track of the days walk courtesy of memory Map and ACDsee. For some odd reason the track is sound through the woodland track adjacent to Hunting stile (although I did have to repair a couple of track points) but then, as soon as I get back in to the open again, the track disappears altogether!


Just after 8am and the shadows are still long and strong. Stone Arthur on the skyline just to prove that it was there! A little higher and the cleft disappears into the background of Great Rigg....


...and a true sylvan scene as Helm Crag rises to the north of Grasmere....


A little more height gained and the smaller scale of Helm Crag (compared to the surrounding fells) becomes apparent. Fantastic surroundings!


The summit cairn on Silver How looking east. Fells on the horizon, left to right, Pike O'Stickle, Crinkle Crags, Bowfell, Loft Crag, Harrison Stickle and High Raise....


....and to the south Wetherlam, Swirl How, Great Carrs and Grey Friar. The view point mentioned above is central on the lip of the lighter coloured grass a quarter mile ahead and a closer view of the Coniston range is shown from there three shots below....


A closer look at the Langdales with Pavey Arc to the right of the image....


Grasmere, to the north now, and Rydal Water beyond....


The Conistons again but now from the view point cairn previously mentioned. The extensive quarrying surrounding the whole Coniston area very much apparent....


This large cairn in just to the east of Dow Bank. It is an excellent viewpoint for the entire Grasmere area! See the last photograph in this series for the view....


....and in the other direction Chapel Stile comes into view on the road leading to the Langdales. The bracken, and indeed all the foliage, is in that transitional phase between summer and autumn. Give it another couple of weeks and it will be truly magical....


An 'arty' shot gone wrong! I was pressing the shutter when this big black&white thing wandered into view!


The Vale of Rydal from Grasmere on the right of the frame to Dunmail Raise on the left....

I have another Panoramic image from this walk and it will appear as my October Image of the month when anotated....


 

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All photographs taken on a Nikon Coolpix 5700 Digital camera and are copyright Dave Newton. You are welcome to use any photograph you want to but please credit the photographer or, better yet, include a link to this site.