Harter Fell from Sadgill Bridge.

Start. Sadgill Bridge, Longsleddale.

Route. Sadgill - Gatescarth Pass - Little Harter Fell - Harter Fell - Brown Howe - Kentmere Pike - Shipman Knotts - Wray Crag - Sadgill.

Notes. The craggy face of Harter Fell dominates the head of the Haweswater valley, guarding the passes of Nan Bield and Gatescarth it's precipitous cliffs once looked down on the tiny farming community of Mardale Green, washed away in 1935 when the valley was flooded to slack the thirst of Mancunians. Ascended from Mardale, Harter Fell makes an excellent excursion, I decided to make my ascent from Longsleddale, the only reason, it's nearer home.

I left the car where the tarmac ended, Sadgill Bridge, a stoney track continues to the valley head, this is the Gatescarth Pass once the main highway to Mardale Green, today my route onto the hill. Striding out between dry stone walls with the many cataracts of the infant River Sprint for company I soon passed the abandoned Wrengill Quarry, here a gate allowed access to the high moors. Still guided by the stoney track I ascended higher soon reaching the gate at the head of the pass, through the gate a path junction marked my route onto the high fells. A steep climb followed before reaching the rocky summit of Little Harter Fell, to my left a boundary fence, this was to be my companion for the majority of the high level walking, it came and went, sometimes a fence sometimes a wall, either way it's a wonderful handrail. Following the fence line I crossed Little Harter Fell and Harter Fell before wandering over The Knowe and Brown Howe, where the fence was replaced by a dry stone wall for a while. I continued over Kentmere Pike then Shipman Knotts and Wray Crag before descending to the bridleway linking Kentmere and Longsleddale, I turned left, stepped through a gate, and begun the short descent back into Longsleddale.

Something that just occurred to me, this would be an excellent route in bad weather, or for novice ramblers not quite at ease with map and compass, my daughter jumps to mind. Get out and enjoy it whatever the weather, you won't regret it.

view route map.


Striding out between dry stone walls, Gatescarth Pass the A6 of it's day.

The infant River Sprint.

Looking back to Goat Scar from near Wrengill Quarry.

Goat Scar and Buckbarrow Crag seen from high on the Gatescarth Pass.

The scene over Haweswater, seen from Little Harter Fell.

Views taken from the cairns between Little Harter Fell and Harter Fell, Branstree backed by Selside.

The route ahead, on the skyline the summit Harter Fell.

High Street as seen from the summit of Harter Fell.

Shining levels.

Thornthwaite Crag with the beacon clearly visible against the grey silhouette of Red Screes.

The summit cain Harter Fell.

My companion for today's walk, a handrail in bad weather, the boundary fence leads across the summits terminating before the ascent of Kentmere Pike to be replaced by a dry stone wall.

Ill Bell and Froswick under a moody sky.

Viewing Kentmere Pike from the slopes of Brown Howe.

Peat hags and wet ground guard the pass into Mosdale.

On a hazy day views across Kentmere, Ill Bell and Froswick seen from Kentmere Pike.

The summit Kentmere Pike.

Ill Bell as seen from Kentmere Pike.

Let the path carry your eye to the summit of Shipman Knotts, a little closer but off route today Goat Scar.

The summit Shipman Knotts with views to the head of Kentmere.

Skeggles Water to the left of Green Quarter Fell with a skyline made up of Brunt Knott and the many summits of Potter Fell.

Looking back to Shipman Knotts.

After a long descent over Kentmere Pike, Shipman Knotts and Wray Crag I stepped onto this wonderful bridleway, behind me the descent to Longsleddale.

Buckbarrow Crag seen over Sadgill Wood with the Gatescarth Pass clearly visible in the valley bottom.

This shot gave me an idea for another walk, it's years since I was up there, Brock Crags and Great Howe backed by Grey Crag, watch this space.

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