Training : Lakeland 3000 Shakedown

Hartsop Dodd

The Final Piece of the Jigsaw


View Borrowdale in a larger map

The day started out cool and calm. The photo of Hartsop Dodd captured in a brief stop on the way to Windemere station. On arrival only to find connecting trains late and connections failed, the reliability of Northern Rail brought into question. Would this have happened under good old British Rail?

Re-route via Oxenhome and the delay made up and we’re on our way to Borrowdale, via Keswick and the crowds are awakening, some are in Saabs and Volvos and we queue up behind them and process down the road to Seathwaite. This gives us time to view the road and paths which forms one of the road legs of the route itself. It may look easy but I bet there’s scope for a balls up and the eight miles from Keswick after the first pull up Skiddaw this will be tough in the heat; if it’s as hot as this.

Cresting the hump back bridge at Seatoller and we’re brough up a jolt, there are 100’s of cars and presumably many hundereds of people too. So much for a Friday being less crowded, it’s half term of course.

We’re keen to get going and make excellent progress along the path, past the farm where the route crosses the river Derwent at Stockley Bridge. Then on an upwards quite steeply to Styhead Tarn. A quick stop to check the map, it’s ages and half a lifetime ago since I’ve been here. Locating the Coridoor Route another 1500ft and the col at Lingmell is topped. All the while making guesses, which top is that, Scafell, no you can’t see it from here.

Great Gable

Great Gable

Its crowded now and the haul up to Scafell Pike is taken as fast as possible, topping out at the cairn 2:10min from the start. Stopping for something to eat and drink, consulting the map and options to be discussed and with decisions made. Scafell is only reached by losing around 850ft and climbing back up, via Fox’s Tarn again; then doing it all over again on the way back! The view from the more secluded summit is well worth it.

The route home is via Broad Crag and Esk Hause then Sprinkling Tarn With it’s beautiful seclusion and cool and inviting water it’s difficult not to linger and swim! Grab a few photos, Gable is impressive from here, then on to Styhead Tarn rejoining the route up, back to the car. Damn it is HOT!

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