A fine clear morning as we set off from Hartsop to take in the two Wainwrights of Rest Dodd and Brock Crags.
The track up to Hayeswater is now open after the construction of the little hydro scheme, which is good, because I think the path up the other side of the Hayeswater Gill is dreadful. I imagine it was in better condition when Wainwright did his guidebook near sixty years ago. We walked it last summer in hot weather and found the going rough and tedious.
I wanted an easy walk as I was feeling spectacularly unfit, so a nice stroll up a good track was fine by me. Hayeswater has changed since I first saw it. With the removal of the dam the water area has been reduced, giving us the original lake or rather tarn that earlier walkers would have seen. Its water is now taken to the hydro in a pipe under the track.
If you used to cross at the now vanished dam use the footbridge instead.
Such beautiful views too, way back west towards Helvellyn and Fairfield. The colours sensational at this time of year, Helvellyn with a light dusting of snow.
Mind, the ground was wet after all the recent rain, slippery too as we climbed up towards our first top of Rest Dodd. But we were fortunate to be out earlier than most – we always try to get out very early – because we saw about sixteen red deer of the Martindale deer herd contouring the slope of the Dodd, not far above us. Mostly hinds and not very bothered by our presence.
From the summit you can look down at The Nab, that once-forbidden summit in the heart of the deer forest. Just before the Great War the Kaiser came here to pot the beasts, staying in the bungalow at the head of the valley. Within a couple of years deadly bullets were flying over the Western Front.
We took the path above Satura Crag and over rough and broken ground to Brock Crags, with its little tarn. It gets small mention in Wainwright, but is worth visiting because of the excellent views over Patterdale.
We went back down much the same way to Hartsop as we’d come up. Unless you are including Angletarn Pikes and Boredale Hause to your ramble there are few easier options.