I arrived a little later than planned at just after 1pm and after failing to find a free parking space I parted with some money and parked at Side Farm.After a short stroll I was soon making my ascent of St Sunday Crag via Thornhow End, with no breeze it was absolutely sweltering up the steep slope and progress was slow.
|Ullswater from Thornhow End.|
I came across an ice cold stream and decided it would be wise to carry a couple of extra litres just in case I struggled to find water later on.
The final stretch seemed to take ages with Fairfield and Grisedale Tarn slowly looming into view
After a quick rest shortly after the summit, I began the relaxed descent of Deepdale Hause, hoping the ascent of Cofa Pike and Fairfield were not as exposed as they looked.
|Cofa Pike from Deepdale hause.|
|Looking back at St Sunday Crag.|
Time was cracking on and I made the short ascent to Fairfield's summit without my pack on.
The plan was to ascend and set up camp on Seat Sandal but I was knackered and needed food so I decided to head to the far end of Grisedale Tarn away from the crowd of tents pitched near the stepping stones.
|Fairfield above Grisedale Tarn.|
As I sat there the thought of taking a dip in Grisedale Tarn was too much!
It was the perfect antidote to a long days hiking in the baking sun, the cooling water easing the days strains.
Once out and dry the sun starting dipping down and I was left sitting in the shade despite it still being a couple of hours before sunset.
I decided to pack up and keep to my original plan of making camp on Seat Sandal, there's no way I was missing out on this sunset!
|Grisedale Tarn with St Sunday Crag directly behind.|
As I reached the peak of Seat Sandal there was a tent already pitched so I went hunting for a level pitch free of rocks.
When I eventually found my spot there were two small pools of water nearby which was a bonus, I set about pitching my tent making sure the front was firmly anchored before inserting the poles as the wind wasn't taking any prisoners!
|Force 10 Ion 2 pitched on Seat Sandal.|
When the sun had well and truly set I had a quick meal and settled down to sleep with the wind now whistling down the surrounding hillside.
After a decent sleep and in a confused slumber I turned my alarm off and woke by chance a short time later, I quickly dressed and stumbled out of the tent towards a decent vantage point.
I got there with a couple of minutes to spare, St Sunday Crag just managing to contain the sun's brightness while I took a couple of pictures.
|Seconds before sunrise over St Sunday Crag.|
As I made my way back to the tent the sun was rising fast and beginning to light up distant peaks.
Breakfast was had and I packed up camp, slowly meandering my way off Seat Sandal.
|Southern side of Dollywaggon Pike.|
It seemed to take an age, no doubt the frequent breathers needed assisted with that!
I carried on the short distance towards the summit and took in the breathtaking views between the North and East.
|Looking East to St Sunday Crag from Dollywaggon Pike.|
I passed a few small groups all heading in the opposite direction.
|Striding Edge and St Sunday Crag.|
The summit was crowded and I struggled to take pictures, shortly after I left the summit and headed towards Whiteside Bank.
|Swirral Edge and Red Tarn.|
|Brown Cove and Catstye Cam.|
|Travel Tap and Sawyer filter connected to a Platypus 3L reservoir.|
The day had gone so slowly and it was nice not having any pressure trying to get to a peak before sunset.
As I'd done 'the usual' of skipping lunch I had a double portion meal for tea.
After picking up a few important items I took a quick bearing on Brown Crag and set off to find a nearby stream, unfortunately it wasn't big enough for bathing and I headed back to where I thought I'd put my stuff.
I couldn't see my pack anywhere and searched around for a short while, eventually I gave up and followed the bearing line back to my stuff (a lot lower than I'd been searching).
This time a shining tent stuffsack guided me back.
As it was getting close to sunset I pitched the tent, failing to insert the pegs fully due to the thin grassy surface layer having solid rock underneath it.
|Force 10 Ion 2 pitched on Raise.|
After another stunning sunset I retired indoors and listened to music for a bit, the wind had started to pick up again a short time later as I headed to bed.
After silencing my alarm and getting dressed I clumsily made my way up the rock strewn slope towards a decent vantage point, timing it perfectly yet again!
|Sunrise over Ullswater.|
It did me the world of good and I had breakfast and packed up just before the sun started to make things uncomfortable, a couple of early morning hikers were making there way up Raise as I made the descent towards Sticks Pass.
|Looking North to Stybarrow Dodd.|
|Looking West over Thirlmere Reservoir.|
The descent was gradual with great all round views, ideal for a nice amble back to the car.
|Looking back at Raise.|
After a quick break in the shade next to Glenridding Beck and a top up of water I carried on to Lanty's Tarn which had definitely seen better days
I'd had the most amazing weather over a couple of excellent days walking and camping, but even though I do love summer, I'm starting to long for some winter conditions :)
Map of route below: