High Street, from the Rough Crag ridge

High Street, from the Rough Crag ridge: Blea Water to left

Height:  2718 feet above sea level.

Volume: Book 2 (The Far Eastern Fells).

Date climbed: First visit: 22nd May 2010 (walk 14). Second visit: 5th August 2016 (walk 115).

Bagged as number: First round: 47 out of 330. [ << Grey Knotts (46)   (48) The Knott >> ].

High Street summit

Walkers approaching the summit of High Street.

Second round: 56 of 330. [ << The Knott (55)  (57) Mardale Ill Bell >> ]

Route of ascent and descent: First visit: Ascended from Mardale Head, via the Rough Crag ridge: a splendid (if very hot…) climb. Left along the ridge northwards, for The Knott.

Second visit: Came up from Hartsop, visiting The Knott on the way. Left for Mardale Ill Bell.

What Mr Wainwright says (from page 2 of his chapter): “Most of the high places in Lakeland have no mention in history books, and until comparatively recent times… it was fashionable to regard them as objects of awe and terror, and their summits were rarely visited. Not so High Street, which has been known and trodden, down through the ages, by a miscellany of travellers on an odd variety of missions…. Its summit has been in turn a highway and a sports arena and a racecourse, as well as, as it is today, a grazing ground for sheep.

Rough Crag ridge, High Street

Looking down on the Rough Crag ridge

“The long whale-backed crest of High Street attains a greater altitude than any other fell east of Kirkstone. Walking is easy on the grassy top: a factor that must have influenced the Roman surveyors to throw their road along it. But High Street is much more than an elevated and featureless field, for its eastern flank, which falls precipitously from the flat top to enclose the splendid tarn of Blea Water in craggy arms, is a striking study in grandeur and wildness: on this side a straight narrow ridge running down to Mardale is particularly fine.”

What I say: That ridge, pictured left and which Wainwright (on page 6) calls the ‘connoisseur’s route up the fell’, was certainly the highlight of my first visit here. From the Mardale side it is very impressive and the narrow, sharp Rough Crag ridge (see picture) one of the best such approaches to a fell. The views of Riggindale, Kidsty Pike, Blea Water, Mardale Ill Bell and Harter Fell are all excellent (though you never really get a good one of Haweswater). My second visit saw me coming up from Hartsop, not so dramatic but still a worthwhile climb.

[ << High Stile      High Tove >> ]


One Response to “High Street”

  1. […] 15 miles that surely must count as one of the classic Lake District walks. From Hartsop, up over High Street then along the fantastic Ill Bell ridge, one of the best walks in the […]

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