Harter Fell, from Mardale Head

Harter Fell, from Mardale Head.

Height: The first edition states 2539 feet above sea level. Since then, the OS must have added a bit as the second edition lists the altitude as 2552′.

Volume: Book 2 (The Far Eastern Fells)

Date climbed: First visit: 2nd April 2011 (walk 35).  Second visit: 8th June 2020 (walk 178).

Bagged as number: First round: 110 out of 330. [ << Mardale Ill Bell (109)   (111) Kentmere Pike >> ]

Harter Fell summit

Harter Fell summit. Ill Bell and Froswick behind.

Second round: 247 of 330. [ << Branstree (246)  (248-252) Bannisdale Horseshoe (part) >> ]

Route of ascent and descent: First visit: Approached on the ridge from Mardale Ill Bell, via Nan Bield Pass. Left on the ridge to Kentmere Pike.

Second visit: Came over on the ridge from Branstree, via Gatescarth Pass. Descended to Nan Bield Pass then down to Mardale Head.

What Mr Wainwright says (from page 2 of his chapter): “A broad wedge of lonely upland country rises from the valley of the Kent at Burneside and continues north, narrowing, between the valleys of Kentmere and Longsleddale for nine mies; until, having very gradually attained its maximum height on Harter Fell, the ground suddenly collapses in a tremendous wall of crags, falling swiftly to the head of Mardale amongst wild and romantic surroundings – one of the noblest mountain scenes in the district.”

View of Haweswater from Harter Fell

View of Haweswater from the northernmost cairn of Harter Fell.

What I say: Harter Fell certainly does look dramatic from Haweswater, and the climb up from Nan Bield is also very enjoyable, with some great views, and Small Water seemingly right beneath your feet. This is a great tarn, too, one of the best of its type in the whole of Lakeland.

Once actually up on the summit it turns into a surprisingly gentle and grassy fell, however, and the walk down to Kentmere Pike is, if not actually dull (the views are too good for that), rather unexciting. But it’s still worth climbing. It’s just a shame it is nigh-on impossbile to get there by public transport.

Note: There is another Harter Fell, in Eskdale, one of Wainwright’s Southern Fells (volume 4).

[ << Harter Fell (Eskdale)   Hartsop above How >> ]

One Response to “Harter Fell (Mardale)”

  1. […] 178: Branstree (2339′, no. 246), Harter Fell (2552′, no. 247). 7.75 miles and 2,300 feet of ascent […]

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