Longsleddale cottage

Deep in Longsleddale.

WALK 179: five summits in the Bannisdale Horseshoe (two unnamed [1771′ a.s.l., no. 248 and 1819′, no. 249], Capplebarrow [1683′, no. 250], Todd Fell [1313′, no. 251] and Whiteside Pike [1303′, no. 252]). 10.5 miles and 2,000 feet of ascent approximately.

It’s still proving very difficult to get to the Lakes by public transport.  All useful morning services heading north from Preston have been cut, for arbitrary reasons that if you ask me have nothing to do with ‘public health’ in the slightest.  Anyway, that’s a moan you can read on the walk 179 page if you really want to.  Either way, this ongoing problem obliged me once again to book a car out of the pool and drive, this time up the narrow lane that is the valley of Longsleddale’s only link to the outside world.  And this really is a time capsule, surely looking much the same as it did a hundred years ago or more.  It’s very much worth a visit, as long as you have the patience it takes to get there, even with a car.

Whiteside Pike

Looking down to Whiteside Pike, from point 1771′.

The five summits I bagged today were the last ones I had remaining, not just in the Bannisdale Horseshoe chapter, but in the whole swathe of land east of Longsleddale and Haweswater. If you had asked me some years ago which major sub-region of the Lake District I would first complete on my second round, the Shap Fells would not at all have been my prediction — but this is what has happened. I reckon there are 38 Wainwrights east of Gatescarth Pass and after today, I have now rebagged them all. It’s a fantastically lonely part of the world, and you very much need good weather — but this is land well worth exploring.  And it will certainly get you away from people, which is the point at the moment, I guess. (As well as the Bannisdale Horseshoe see also the Naddle, Crookdale, Wasdale and Wet Sleddale Horseshoes, Howes, and the Seat Robert chapters.)

Tractor and Lamb Pasture

View across to Lamb Pasture, on the other side of Bannisdale.

There will be more Wainwrights bagged very shortly as I’m soon off to Eskdale for a few days, a trip booked well before lockdown and which seems to have miraculously survived it.  As of today, though, I have bagged 252 of the 330 Wainwrights on my second round (Capplebarrow being number 250), and thus have 78 to go.

Whiteside Pike

Whiteside Pike

Some days one just has to be nice to oneself. The weather forecast yesterday (Tuesday 10th March) was just too good to ignore, particularly as the rest of the week is supposed to see rain and this week was my only real chance to do a walk before Easter, with February having blown me out. So I rearranged a few meetings at work. Wouldn’t you if you could?

I needed a fine clear day to attempt the 9 summits of the Bannisdale Horseshoe: it’s an easy walk, but there’s no avoiding the fact that it’s a long one, 17.5 miles and thus the second-longest of all these walks thus far. Read about it on the walk 93 page.

View towards Long Crag

Looking towards Long Crag, with the one other hiker I saw today.

Adding in today’s 9 summits — the most of any single-day walk — I have bagged 298 of the 330 Wainwrights, thus have 32 to go. I aim to finish the lot by mid- September (after which work really kicks in again) and I have 10 walks left to do, I reckon. Might squeeze another one in this weekend but no promises — if not, after Easter for the next one.