The Scandale Skyline.

Start. Ambleside.

Route. Ambleside - Kirkstone Road - Snarker Pike - Snarker Moss - Raven Crag - Red Screes - Middle Dodd - Smallthwaite Band - Broad Crag - Scandale Pass - Black Brow - Bakestones Moss - Dove Crag - Thack Bottom Edge - High Pike - Low Pike - High Brock Crags - Low Brock Crags - High Sweden Coppice - Low Sweden Coppice - Low Sweden Bridge - Nook End Farm - Nook Lane - Ambleside.

Notes. I've taken the week off work to help renovate Kirsten's new house, it's a fix-a-upper needing a great deal of love and care laundered on it, why was nobody surprised when I disappeared into the hills, joinery and plastering can wait until the wet stuff falls, with the sun shining it was expected of me. I did point the plumber in the right direction before moving the car, I don't think he quite expected me to move it to Ambleside.

My route today is a winter favourite of mine, oh did I wish it was winter as I sweated my way up the Kirkstone Road hunting for the path that would carry me to the summit of Red Screes. I stepped off the tarmac at the second footpath on my left, the path carried me between dry stone walls, ascending a sheep funnel, once used to direct livestock off the fell side. At the head of the funnel (the narrow end) a stile allowed access to the open fell, onwards and upwards I climbed, above Snarker Pike before traversing Snarker Moss then the slopes of Raven Crag, suddenly the path levelled out allowing me to cross the summit of Red Screes.

To the north of Red Screes stands the little frequented Middle Dodd, unless you're a list ticker there's no reason to grace it's summit. I've been there before so today I'd be making a return visit. A good path guided me above the wall of crags overlooking Kirkstone Pass before descending to it's summit, a few photos followed before re-tracing my steps to a dry stone wall I'd crossed on my descent, here I accessed a faint path that guided me above a row of cliffs below Smallthwaite Band. Following the 1600ft contour I eventually stepped onto the main path descending to Scandale Pass, I sat at the head of the pass drinking coffee, contemplating my next move.

My next move was to ascend Black Brow before following the old boundary fence across Bakestones Moss, when the fence turned west I let it guide me straight up the hill. Once on level(ish) ground I made a short de-tour to Dove Crag before starting my descent. From Dove Crag a good path carried me south above Thack Bottom Edge, over High and Low Pikes, I crossed High Brock Crags followed by Low Brock Crags to access Sweden Coppice. Low Sweden Bridge allowed a dry crossing of Scandale Beck before passing through Nook End Farm to access the tarmac of Nook Lane, a short walk down hill and I found myself back in Ambleside.

view route map.


Ascending the Kirkstone Road looking down on Ambleside with the Church of St Mary's dominating the village.

I've just left the hot tarmac of the Kirkstone Road, catching my breath looking to Wansfell Pike before starting the climb for real.

The head of Windermere Lake seen over Ambleside.

Viewing Rydal Water backed by a skyline made up of Pike of Blisco, Crinkle Crags and mighty Bow Fell.

Rising to the southwest Wetherlam and the Coniston massif.

High Pike across Rydale.

Stunning views to Yoke, Ill Bell and Froswick.

Ascending Snarker Pike looking back to Windermere Lake.

Dominating the horizon, the Coniston massif seen over Loughrigg Fell.

Rising from Troutbeck, Yoke, Sallows and Sour Howes, with the hills of Yorkshire melting into a hazy horizon.

Commanding prime position on the skyline to the left the Scafell massif including Great End, to the right the top hat of Great Gable rises above High Raise.

Near the summit of Red Screes looking to Helvellyn over the cliffs of Dove Crag.

Wonderful vistas from the summit of Red Screes, Dove Crag, St Sunday Crag and the Helvellyn massif.

The scene over Patterdale, taking centre stage Brothers Water backed by Place Fell and Angletarn Pikes.

The summit cairn Middle Dodd looking to Red Screes.

Lonely, boggy and beautiful Scandale, a typical hanging valley.

Last time I was up here you couldn't see your hand in front of your face, the next two views just didn't exist, No1 Brothers Water backed by Angletarn Pikes with Brock Crag to the right, to the left Place Fell towers above Hartsop above How.

No2 The fence line, my handrail in the mist with views over Black Brow to Little Hart Crag, rising to the right Red Screes.

Lurking behind Hartsop Dodd the Gray Crag ridge backed by High Street, to the left the shapely summit of Kidsty Pike.

Dappled light on Fairfield seen from the summit of Dove Crag.

In sunlight and shade Great Rigg.

Descending from Dove Crag looking to High Pike with Windermere Lake vanishing into the haze.

Viewing Low Pike and the head of Windermere.

Looking to low Pike. I've mentioned before my dislike of Friends of the Lake District, it also extends to those clowns I believe go by the name of Fix the Fells, here we have a prime example of something that actually needs fixing before it gets any worse. When I first tread these hills the path on the right was hardly visible, now it's a scar all the way to Dove Crag, and yes I'm one who is equally to blame, I firmly believe this is an example for educating the walkers, how about a winter and summer route, do something before it's necessary to fly a JCB in to create yet another massive scar across the face of beautiful Lakeland..

Views up Scandale taking in Little Hart Crag and the western slopes of Red Screes

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