Fairfield, from The Nab

Fairfield, from The Nab. Crags of Greenhow End are clearly visible.

Height: 2863 feet above sea level.

Volume: Book 1 (The Eastern Fells)

Date climbed: First visit: 4th June 2011 (walk 36).

View back to Fairfield summit

View back to Fairfield summit, from the edge of the crags to the north

Second visit: 19th April 2019 (walk 161).

Bagged as number: First round: 116 out of 330. [ << Hart Crag (115)  (117) Great Rigg >> ]

Second round: 196 of 330. [ << St. Sunday Crag (195)  (197) Hart Crag >> ]

Route of ascent and descentFirst visit: Approached on the ridge from Hart Crag and left on the ridge to Great Rigg.

Second visit: A much more adventurous ascent, up from Deepdale Hause via the Cofa Pike ridge. Cofa Pike looks very intimidating from the Hause but this is an easier ascent than it looks, although some scrambling over boulders is demanded (and I wouldn’t come down this way, personally). Left on the ridge to Hart Crag.

Cofa Pike and St. Sunday Crag

Climbing Fairfield over Cofa Pike. St. Sunday Crag behind.

What Mr Wainwright says(from page 2 of his chapter): “…on the north side the Fairfield range is magnificent: here are dark precipices, long fans of scree, abrupt crags, desolate combes and deep valleys: a tangle of rough country, small in extent but full of interest, and well worth exploration. This grimmer side of the Fairfield group can only be visited conveniently from the Patterdale area. Fairfield turns its broad back to the south, to Rydal and Grasmere, and climbers from this direction get only the merest glimpse of its best features; many visitors to the summit, indeed, return unsuspecting, and remember Fairfield and its neighbours as mountains of grass.”

Fairfield summit plateau

View from the Fairfield summit plateau, with High Street on the horizon

What I say: Fairfield has been one of the best arguments yet for doing the second round. On my first visit, which basically followed the Horseshoe path (at least from Dove Crag down to Great Rigg), I felt unmoved enough to say: “Hart Crag and Great Rigg were more attractive or impressive”. How damning an assessment that is can be judged by anyone who has come at Fairfield from the Patterdale side: this face is far more dramatic. The ‘Deepdale Round’ basically undertaken by walk 161 is an excellent way to experience this and sees far less foot traffic than the Horseshoe. Then again so do most paths in the District. Recommended from the north then — but the summit will be busy.

[ << Esk Pike    Faulds Brow >> ]

One Response to “Fairfield”

  1. […] the weather, oh no — it includes spectacular scenery, particularly that of the north side of Fairfield. Many will be familiar with this fell from the famous Fairfield Horseshoe route but that simply […]

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