The cloud enveloped me soon enough, on the way to the highest hill of the day, Great Dodd (2812ft), and across to Stybarrow Dodd (2766ft) as well.
Bemused sheep on Stybarrow Dodd
Things started to improve over Green Side (2608ft), one of the few Hewitts that is not also a Wainwright, and were markedly better at the day’s last hill, Sheffield Pike (2215ft). Though the lowest hill of the day, Sheffield Pike was in many ways the most interesting, jutting out craggily above Ullswater.
The safe way off is to backtrack to the hause to the west and drop down the zig-zags to Glenridding Beck, but a path headed off encouragingly to the SSE, so I thought I would try that. A couple on the top with me were debating whether to go that way, but as I managed to stumble awkwardly at the cairn, I don’t think they wanted to follow! Yet the path works, following down the ridge of Heron Pike to a bracken-fringed path circling Glenridding Dodd.
The interesting way off Sheffield Pike
All that remained now was to decide which pub to eat at, and as the Traveller’s Rest at the top of Glenridding village soon appeared, this was not a difficult choice. And later, the zig-zag couple stopped too.
At the climber’s hut of Ruthwaite Lodge, where the Coast-to-Coast path heads down from Grisedale Tarn, there’s an interesting route that heads up to Dollywaggon Pike (2810ft) via The Tongue. It’s not quite a scramble, but it is steep, and there’s the chance to get up close and personal with a bit of rock.
I was never quite in doubt of my route finding, but there was one little gully which seemed a little more committed than most of the route: just when I was beginning to be a tad uncertain, there was a little cairn right in the middle!
The route to the Tongue above Ruthwaite Lodge goes to the left of the becks
The route soon crosses to the NE prow of the Pike, a grand way to reach the summit.
Approaching Dollywaggon Pike summit
Looking westish to Scafell Pike and its companions, the weather seemed to be closing in – indeed walkers over there were probably having some unscheduled rain.
Looking west from Dollywaggon Pike
Before St Sunday Crag I had one other hill planned, Seat Sandal (2415ft). Unfortunately it’s not remotely as good as the other two, but it’s in the area so might as well be taken. I dropped steeply and directly off Dollywaggon to a saddle just above Grisedale Tarn, and then went straight up the other side, which might have been called Seat Sandal’s north ridge if it did proper ridges.
The box duly ticked, I headed down to Grisedale Hause, then contoured above the tarn for a while before heading up to Deepdale Hause – it was relief to be on good tracks again. The ground then rises inexorably up what is undoubtedly a ridge, the SW ridge of St Sunday Crag (2756ft).
Near the top of St Sunday Crag
From here the path heads relentlessly down the hill’s NE flank back towards Grisedale bridge, but rather than drop directly to the beck, I took a little path which twisted through Glenamara Park before arriving at the back door of the Patterdale Hotel.