Coledale Horseshoe

Causey Pike, Sail, Eel Crag (Crag Hill), Sand Hill, Hopegill Head, Grisedale Pike

11 Miles

7th May 2017


Just before 7am.  The top of Causey Pike, in cloud.  I park up opposite the beginning of the trail.  One other car just along the road.  Nobody in sight.

causey pike from stoneycroft


Tackling things head on, Rowling End is a lengthy and steep scramble.

rowling end ascent


Over to the left is Catbells.

catbells from rowling end


Behind is Derwent Water...

newlands from rowling end


Skiddaw (top left) is draped in cloud, as it was for most of the time I was out.

view east from rowling end


Reaching the top of Rowling End, Causey Pike is once again in view.  Well, most of it.

causey pike


Newlands Valley on the left.  From this distance it's hard to believe what delights are to be found in there, but I found out on my last lakes walk.

newlands valley left little dale right


Looking back down to Rowling End, you can see two paths.  Both lead back to the start of the route.

looking down to rowling end from causey pike


The distinctive summit of Causey Pike.  Time to put the camera in the backpack, 'cos I think I'm gonna need both hands...

the distinctive summit of causey pike


A mobile phone photo, just trying to get across the lay of this craggy top.

final climb onto causey pike summit 


From the top, a lovely view of my walk, ahead.

scar crags to the left grisedale pike over to the right


Making my way along Scar Crags...

scar crags


Zig Zag ascent of Sail.  A bit boring, so I ate my scrumpy sausage roll while making my way up.  I got it from Rheged, just incase you're interested.  It was nice...

zig zags up sail


Grisedale Pike with Force Crag Mine below...

grisedale pike with force crag mine below


Nearly at the top of the zig zags.  This shot makes it look like the path is raised, but I don't think it is.  It's just the drainage ditch creating the illusion.

looking back down the zig zags


Summit of Sail, with Eel Crag (Crag Hill) behind - the highest point.  Looks easy...

top of sail crag hill behind


Except, yet again, you've got to lose some height first...  a nice clamber, though...

clamber down from sail


The vast expanse of Eel Crag (Crag Hill) summit...

crag hill summit


So calm and quiet at the top that I did a quick video.  Make sure you turn your speakers up so you can hear the silence!     

From the summit of Eel Crag (Crag Hill)



straight on for grasmoor


Above, straight on for Grasmoor, but I'm turning right to head down to Coledale Hause...

sand hill and hopegill head


Coledale Hause.  Lots of choices here.  Amongst others, you can go straight up for Sand Hill and Hopegill Head, or short cut to Grisedale Pike, up and right.  You can also head down the valley on the miners road...

sand hill and grisedale pike


Whiteside, to the west.  Loweswater JUST visible...



Reaching the top of Hopegill Head is a treat.  It's only when you take the final few steps up onto the rocky summit that the world drops away infront of you, and the northern end of Cumbria is revealed.

north from hopegill head


Walkers make their way up from the west.  Crummock Water now visible.

west from hopegill head


And where I'm going, east.  Last peak of the day, Grisedale Pike, left.  First peak of the day, Causey Pike, in the background.

east from hopegill head


A bigger vista. Path from Sand Hill on the right.

north west fells


The Notch, down the side of Hopegill Head...

hobcarton crag


Lovely slate crazy paving...

crazy paving


Looking back whence I came...

stile end causey pike sail crag hill eel crag


Mountain bikers coming down off Grisedale Pike, after stopping to fix a puncture...

mtbers coming down off grisedale pike


Looking back to Hopegill Head (right most) and the impressive Hobcarton Crags...

sand hill hopegill head


Just below the top of Grisedale Pike...

summit of grisedale pike


Looking below the cloud to Coledale Beck...

coledale beck


And to the other side of the summit...

north east ridge from east how


My route down.  Sleet How.  Actually a really nice descent.  Lots of scree, but you can step down the rocky protrusions inbetween, and make good progress...

sleet how


A glance back...

grisedale pike from sleet how


A look north to Whinlatter Forest. Home to some brilliant mountain bike trails.

whinlatter forest


The step down from Sleet How onto Kinn is extremely steep, and unrelenting.  Very hard on the pads of the feet!  And the trail suffers, too...

diamond steps


Looking down to Braithwaite.  The atmosphere has cleared somewhat...

above braithwaite


Just above Braithwaite...

just above braithwaite

steps into braithwaite


Braithwaite - Very picturesque...



The final path, back along to Stoneycroft.

along to stoneycroft


It was along here that I passed a couple of walkers, who upon greeting, one mentioned that it was the second time we had passed.  We quickly worked out that the first time was behind Eel Crag.  We had a quick chat about our day, and that although we were all a little weary, it had been a superb day out. 

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed the pics.  Please feel free to comment, below.  If you want to add your name, click on Posting as Anonymous.  If you use Gravatar, enter your email address, and your avatar will be used.