Dove Crag

Dove Crag, above Hunsett Cove

Height: 2603 feet above sea level in the first edition, but since then the OS have recalculated and now the height is recorded as 2598′.

Volume: Book 1 (The Eastern Fells)

Date climbed: First visit: 4th June 2011 (walk 36). Second visit: 5th November 2016 (walk 120).

Dove Crag summit view

View south-west from Dove Crag summit

Bagged as number: First round: 114 out of 330. [ << Hartsop above How (113)  (115) Hart Crag >> ]

Second round: 79 of 330. [ << Newton Fell (South) (78)  (80) High Pike (Ambleside) >> ]

Route of ascent and descentFirst visit: Approached by an unorthodox route up from Hartsop above How, then turned round and followed the Fairfield Horseshoe path along and up to Hart Crag.

Second visit: Ascended from Patterdale, via Dovedale and Hunsett Cove (as depicted on page Dove Crag 4). Descended to Ambleside via High Pike and Low Pike.

What Mr Wainwright says (from page 2 of his chapter): “Dove Crag is a mountain of sharp contrasts. To the east, its fines aspect, it presents a scarred and rugged face, a face full of character and interest. Here, in small compass, is a tangle of rough country, a maze of steep cliffs, gloomy hollows and curious foothills gnarled like the knuckles of a clenched fist, with the charming valley of Dovedale below and the main crag frowning down over all.”


Dovedale, with Dove Crag prominent

What I say: It took me several years, and then walk 120, to get to know Dove Crag properly. On my previous visits — and there had been two, seeing as this was one of the fells I took two attempts to initially reach (see walk 5) — it made no big impression on me. This will, unfortunately, be true of most visitors, as by far the majority of ascents will be made on the Fairfield Horseshoe route, from which the crag is not very visible. This is a shame, because it is worth seeing, although we are not talking one of the Lakes’ major rockfaces (like Pavey Ark, say). Impressive though. Come up from Dovedale if you want to see it properly.

There is one accolade Dove Crag has over all the other Wainwrights. According to Hunter Davies’ single volume collection of the ‘highlights’ of the Pictorial Guide, the climb depicted on page Dove Crag 4 was the very first ascent that Wainwright undertook as part of his fieldwork, in November 1952.

[ << Dollywaggon Pike      Dow Crag >> ]

One Response to “Dove Crag”

  1. […] Hunter Davies, Wainwright’s biographer, it was on 9th November 1952 that Wainwright ascended Dove Crag via the beautiful valley of Dovedale, and thus began work on the immense 13-year project that was […]

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