Stybarrow Dodd, Hart Side and Sheffield Pike via Sticks Pass.

Start. Glenridding.

Route. Glenridding - Greenside Road - Sticks Pass - Stybarrow Dodd - White Stones - Hart Side - Birkett Fell - Scot Crag - Glencoyne Head - Nick Head - Sheffield Pike - Herron Pike - The Rake - Greenside Road - Glenridding.

Notes. After a week on the wet and windy Outer Hebrides it's good to be back on home turf. I've opted to wander paths and fells I've neglected of late, in fact I can't remember the last time I ascended Sticks Pass, Hart Side with its cairns and small quarry is a distant memory. Birkett Fell proud to carry the name of William Norman Birkett of which I'd never set foot on, but this allowed me to access the path traversing the head of Glencoyne (another first). A late start forced me to pay the extortionate parking fee in Glenridding, a small price to pay for an afternoon in the hills.

My route took me up the Greenside Road. Leaving the small community of Glenridding behind I soon reached the disused Greenside Mine. Finger-posts guided me past mine buildings onto the broken surface of Sticks Pass, named because sticks marked safe passage in winter storms. No problem route finding today, this ancient pony-track carried me through a vast swath of shattered upland, a legacy left from over one hundred years of lead mining. With the steep slopes of Raise and Stang to the south, the cliffs of Green Side and White Stones north I ascended to the head of the pass. A misty Lakeland welcomed me, a shroud of grey covered the fells, views were limited to say the least, this was glorious weather compared to a week on Lewis. With a smile on my face I turned north to ascend the good path onto Stybarrow Dodd.

From the summit of Stybarrow Dodd I followed the grassy ridge south crossing the summit of White Stones before swinging north, it's delightful walking over these less frequented tops. Lovely green paths spirited me from summit cairn to summit cairn before depositing me at the cairn on Birkett Fell, I wondered how many fellow fell walkers pass this cairn overlooking Ullswater without realizing it's significance, more about that later. From the summit of Birkett Fell a dry stone wall descends into Glencoyne, I followed this to reach the highlight of the day, a wonderful path traversing the head of Glencoyne, clinging to the steep head-wall of the valley. Under the precipitous cliffs of Scot Crag and Glencoyne Head I carefully wandered before reaching the coll at Nick Head, from this coll it was a short walk over to familiar ground to reach the summit of Sheffield Pike. Down hill all the way from here, descending over peaty ground, easy on the joints, I made my way to the western cliffs of Heron Pike. An easy descent followed to access The Rake, the coll between Glenridding Dodd and Sheffield Pike, all that remained was a steep descent to the Greenside Road, followed by a short walk back into Glenridding.

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Viewing Place Fell from the miners cottages on the Greenside Road.

Ascending Sticks Pass with a hazy view down Glenridding over my shoulder.

Ascending into an extraordinary landscape of shattered rock and the ghosts of Lakeland industry.

Birkhouse Moor seen from amidst the remains of a once thriving industry.

Still ascending through the pages of Lakeland's industrial past. looking to the summit of Sticks Pass.

Looking back to Sheffield Pike with Place Fell starting to fade into a hazy afternoon.

Ascending Stybarrow Dodd looking down on Thirlmere.

On a hazy Lakeland day, the summit cairn Stybarrow Dodd.

A rather indistinct view over the Helvellyn massif, the nearest top on show being Raise.

Striding out across the summit of White Stones, looking back to the slopes of Stybarrow Dodd and the summit of Sticks Pass.

In the distance the rounded crown of Watson's Dodd, seen from the lonely stretch of upland between White Stones and Hart Side.

Adorned with a cairn and a small quarry the summit of Hart Side.

Looking to Nick Head the coll between Sheffield Pike and the steeper slopes of White Stones.

On Birkett Fell looking to Ullswater.

Birkett Fell, a small cairn with etched plaque in memory of William Norman Birkett, 1st Barron Birkett. Born in Ullverston, educated at Barrow Grammar School, barrister, judge, politician, preacher, served as alternate British judge in the Nuremberg War Trials. What we Lakeland lovers have to thank him for is a passionate speech in the House of Lords, on the 8th February 1962, he spoke out against the Manchester Corporation Bill, a bill allowing the corporation to turn Ullswater into a reservoir, the bill was defeated 70 votes to 36, two days later he passes away of heart related problems.

A glimpse of Ullswater seen from the narrow path traversing Glencoyne Head.

Place Fell seen from under the cliffs at Glencoyne Head.

Ullswater as seen from the lower slopes of Place Fell.

Rising high into a thunderous sky, Caudale Moor with Birkhouse Moor a little closer seen over the Glenridding valley.

The summit Sheffield Pike, it's down hill all the way from here.

Descending Sheffield Pike with views to the head of Ullswater.

The dog leg shape of Ullswater like a crooked finger disappearing into the Lakeland mist.

Views taken from the descent of Heron Pike, the steep slopes of Birkhouse Moor drop in from the left, it's head in cloud White Side.

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