Catstye Cam, Red Tarn and the Hole-in-the-Wall.

Start. Patterdale.

Route. Patterdale - Glenridding - Rattlebeck Bridge - Greenside Road - Greenside - Catstye Cam - Red Tarn - Hole-in-the-Wall - Grisedale - Thornhow - Glenamara Park - Patterdale.

Notes. "If Catstye Cam stood alone, remote from its fellows, it would be one of the finest peaks in Lakeland. It has nearly, but not quite, the perfect mountain form with true simplicity in its soaring lines, and a small pointed top, a real summit that falls away on all sides". The words of Alfred Wainwright, the old chap paints the perfect picture of an almost ideal mountain. Come for a wander with me, see what you make of this pyramid standing sentinel at the head of Glenridding. I parked in Patterdale, a fair walk from the hill I intended to climb, there's free parking on the road side if you get there early enough, and after all the objective of the exercise is to walk.

With rain on my back I wandered along the valley road, by the time I reached Glenridding my coat was in the bag and the sun threatened to break through the cloud cover. The lane running up the south bank of Glenridding Beck guided me into the hills. Passed Gillside I wandered, on reaching a lane I turned left, a short walk uphill carried me to a finger post inviting me to Greenside, I obliged traversing field paths to access the Greenside Road, this in turn ushered me on to the buildings of the Greenside Mine, a holiday cottage and a couple of hostels.

I continued up the valley crossing the beck at a fine foot-bridge to join the path ascending to Red Tarn. After climbing almost to the vast bowl containing said tarn I left the path to ascend Catstye Cam's south ridge. No reassuring cairn marks the path junction, I was at grid ref 3543 1570, an indistinct path climbed the hill. Faint at first, boggy for a while then steep, steep gets you up quickly, I was soon standing on the small, neat almost tiny summit drinking in splendid views over Ullswater and the surrounding hills. My route then followed the path towards Swirral Edge, but I ignored that, descending to Red Tarn to join a trod carving it's way across the mouth of the combe to access the Hole-in-the-Wall. Once at this stile etched in every hill walkers memory I stopped for a brew, a comfy tuft of grass provided a cosy seat out of the wind, I sat a while until the crowds of Helvellyn disciples arrived with the same idea. Ignorant as I am I left, descending into Grisedale, joining a path at Thornhow signed Patterdale. This narrow trod guided me up hill through a splendid pine plantation then into Glenamara Park, a stoney track then oversaw my progress back to Patterdale.

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The scene over Ullswater from the boat house on the edge of the main valley road.

In sheep pastures above Glenridding looking to Place Fell.

Rising above Glenridding, capturing a few rays of morning sun, Stang.

The silhouette of Catstye Cam, it's head in cloud seen across the lower slopes of Birkhouse Moor.

The view down Glenridding, capturing the Glenridding Scree face of Sheffield Pike.

Toiling up the path to Red Tarn, taking a breather looking to Stang and Sheffield Pike, with the disused quarries on Green Side clearly visible.

Seen from the slopes of Catstye Cam, looking rather foreboding under dark cloud, Helvellyn and the Striding Edge approach.

The ragged profile of Striding Edge.

Red Tarn backed by Striding Edge, with dark cloud bubbling over Helvellyn threatening to spoil a pleasant day in the hills.

The dog leg shape of Ullswater seen over Birkhouse Moor.

A wonderful stage set of Lakeland favourites, High Street and its many satellites. Coudale Moor, Hartsop Dodd and Gray Crag to name but a few, I'm afraid that horrible line across the middle of the shot is the path that guides walkers to the Hole-in-the-Wall.

Lurking behind Striding Edge, kissed by cloud Nethermost Pike.

Dizzy views into Keppel Cove.

The stunning view from the summit of Catstye Cam.

Helvellyn and the Swirrel Edge ascent.

Dramatic rock scenery, spectacular views and solitude, it's a wonderful summit, Wainwright was right.

Beneath the mountains dark escarpment, Red Tarn.

Gateway to some of the best fell walking in the British Isles, the Hole-in-the-Wall.

Seen from the Hole-in-the-Wall, Birks backed by the High Street massif.

Above the valley of Grisedale, the rock and shifting scree of St Sunday Crag.

Viewing the head of Grisedale, guarding the pass Fairfield and Dollywaggon Pike.

Dropping into Grisedale looking to Place Fell.

Looking to St Sunday Crag across the green sheep pastures of Grisedale.

Bluebells at Glenamara Park.

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