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Top 10 Walks: Ridge Walks
Top 10 Walks: Ridge Walks
One in the popular Lake District: Top 10 Walks series of pocket-sized, full colour walking guides written by experts. This attractive and cleverly structured guide gives walkers ten of the finest ridge walks in the Lake District National Park in a popular format.
With clear information, large scale Ordnance Survey maps, eye-grabbing panoramic photographs, and interpretation of points of interest along the way, these guides set a new standard in clarity and ease-of-use. Routes include: Fairfield Horseshoe, Kentmere Horseshoe, Deepdale Horseshoe, High Stile ridge, Coledale Horseshoe, Little Dale Round, High Street by Rough Crag, Mosedale Horseshoe, Striding & Swirral Edges and Blencathra's ridges.
Northern Eye Books
Paperback; 150 x 109mm
full colour, panoramic photos
Book Review by Steve Matthews of Bookends.
Ridge Walks: The Finest High-Level Fell Walks in the Lake District by Carl Rodgers. Northern Eye Books. £5.99
There is a warning and there is an escape route. Carl Rodgers advises, "If you have a change of heart, the path up steps to the left will take you up the easier Scales Fell route." Sharp Edge is aptly named. That most exciting ascent in the Lakes which takes you from ruffled Scales Tarn to the summit of Blencathra looks almost razor sharp. "The ridge crest is quite narrow" we are told. "There is exposure on both sides." More than exposure there is a dizzying drop on either side of the narrow path that winds its scrambling route through the rocky slabs. The route, however, can be negotiated in safety: "The scrambling is straightforward and much of it can be walked with just the occasional steadying hand if you feel confident enough."
There does come a pinch-point. "The crux comes . . . where some small pinnacles must be passed." One route would take you to the right. Some might find the sloping edge intimidating "on account of the drop into the gully on the right". It is an edge that can be slippery in the wet. "The alternative is by delicate moves over a considerable drop on the left-hand side of the crest."
Whichever way is chosen, the path is exhilarating and once you make the final scramble across the slabs you can stride upwards to the rewarding summit of Blencathra.
From there you look south across the breadth of the Lakes, over St John's in the Vale, beyond Helvellyn to the Coniston Fells, to Bowfell, Scafell Pike and, turning to the right to Great Gable and to the Buttermere and Derwent Crags and across the neighbouring fells to Skiddaw. The descent is easy following Hall's Fell Ridge.
Nothing beats walking along the high ridges of the Lakes.
Carl Rodgers gives brief guides - striking pictures and neat maps - of the ten most spectacular ridge walks.
The Fairfield Horseshoe is over 11 miles and involves a total ascent of over 3,500 feet. This "entertaining" walk offers "eight summits linked by a graceful undulating ridge with not too much height loss between and wide views in every direction. Satisfaction guaranteed."
The Kentmere Horseshoe is longer and requires more walking uphill. The shorter Deepdale Horseshoe provides the northerly approach to Fairfield. It is also "the realm of ravens whose deep guttural calls often echo from cliffs and rocks".
The climb to High Stile is steep, but once on the ridge it is a level walk with views over Crummock Water and Buttermere on one side and across Ennerdale on the other. The walk is a compact seven miles and takes in the south-western shore of Buttermere.
To walk the ten miles of the Coledale Horseshoe you should make the steep initial ascent from Braithwaite to Grisedale Pike. Then it is an easy walk from Hobcarton Crag to Hopegill Height and on to Eel Crag at the head of the valley. A comfortable grassy ridge leads you back over Sail, Scar Crags and Causey Pike and down to Braithwaite.
The six-mile Littledale Round takes you over Robinson and Hindscarth. You might also walk over High Street or along the Mosedale Horseshoe, but one of the most exciting walks in the Lakes has to be the one beginning at Glenridding which takes you along Striding Edge and Swirrel Edge and across the high summit plateau of Helvellyn.
Carl Rodgers's compact selection is a guide to some of the very best walking in the Lake District.
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