A Walk on Hartsop above How

Hartsop above How – I spent some of this walk trying to remember the name of the hill I was climbing, coming up with all sorts of variations and thinking of various other Hartsop whatevers along the way.

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On Hartsop above How (c) John Bainbridge 2017

It just seems a clumsy name to me. To be honest, I hadn’t really noticed it on past rambles, always going up to the Fairfield Horseshoe from the other side. Then, browsing through Wainwright, there it was – Hartsop above How.

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Looking towards Place Fell (c) John Bainbridge 2017

So last Sunday, being a beautiful morning of wide views and clear blue skies, we set out to have a look at Hartsop above How. We got out early, before the crowds, from Cow Bridge, following the permissive path through Low Wood before heading up to the hill’s long ridge above Deepdale Park.

Nice ridge, I thought. Easy walking too, with a few rocky bumps to make it interesting. The views are quite sensational, particularly back towards Place Fell and across Deepdale to Birks and St Sunday Crag.

This part of the old glacial valley above Ullswater’s a real sun trap, so I was down to a T-shirt before very long. But then I usually am, even in winter. I read all these articles and books on the art of keeping warm when fellwalking, but I’m usually trying to cool down.

There was the gentlest of breezes as we sat on the summit. Hartsop above How’s top is modest, but as a viewpoint I thought it quite wonderful. We bagged what seemed the highest point and enjoyed the ambience.

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Looking towards the Fairfield Horseshoe (c) John Bainbridge 2017

At one point a lady fellwalker came up, took a quick picture and asked “Is this Hartsop above How”. I said yes. “All I needed to know,” she said, and went tearing down again.

Well, I do think even the most modest of summits deserve a bit more appreciation than that. The older stravaigers among us at least like to linger to get our breath back.

We took a path down from the ridge which goes straight down with almost unremitting steepness to Cow Bridge. It’s not on the Ordnance Survey map, nor is much of the wall that lines the ridge of this fell. But it is worth seeking out, if only for the grand views over Brothers Water and the Kirkstone Pass as you go down.

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Brothers Water (c) John Bainbridge 2017

Hartsop above How. A very pleasant little fell. I shan’t forget its name in future.

You can make the pictures bigger by clicking on them.


5 thoughts on “A Walk on Hartsop above How

  1. Makes a superb descent route from the Fairfield hills – I’ve been down it quite a few times but never up it. Can’t believe these baggers who leave immediately without visiting anything nearby or trying to make a proper walk out of their bagging. I’m an out and out bagger but like to take in everything in the area (whether it has status or not) and make a round of it. I tend not to hang around long on the summits though as it’s usually way too cold. I always go onto the end of ridges for the view though and have a good look around me!


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