Walk                           :  Birkhouse Moor (2,350 ft) & Catstye Cam (2,917 ft) from Patterdale

Date                           :  25th  May  2019

Weather                    :  Overcast, low cloud and constant rain @ 16°C light to strong breeze on tops


Distance                   :  10 miles round trip

Time Taken              :  1 hour 90 mins to first summit (Birkhouse Moor)


Which part of Lakeland is this walk situated


Terrain Overview





The late May 2019 Bank Holiday weather forecast was not great. The predicted best day was the Saturday with steady rain expected toward the latter part of the

day, which unfortunately for the throngs of people on these popular group of Fells came a little too early around noon. The path we chose to gain the initial height

up to The Hole in the Wall and Red Tarn was via the East shoulder of Birkhouse Moor from the car park at Patterdale Hall just off the A592, which in my opinion

offers the least steep and most unerringly direct path to get to where all the drama unfolds




From the A591 heading towards Ambleside from Windermere take the A592 road (Kirkstone pass) towards Patterdale. In the village take a left turn down at

Patterdale Hall and within 200 yards turn left into a field that offers plenty of car parking space for the charge of £3 in an honesty box



Turn left out of the car park and follow the track that leads to the bridge that crosses Grisedale Beck. The path you can see cutting a diagonal swathe across the

flank of Birkhouse Moor is the route that we will follow to get up to The Hole in the Wall



Follow the path until the gate to private farm land bars the way and turn right following the sign post



Having crossed the bridge over Grizedale Beck follow the path to a hand gate that leads across open public farm land



Across the field and another hand gate gives access to the open fell side and the track up to the Hole in the Wall



Through the gate and turn immediately left and begin the steady climb up the track. No navigational issues here



Roughly half way up and a series of hand gates lead on to some slightly more rockier ground



Looking back from the track and the steep sided buttress of Birks dropping back down towards Patterdale



Looking up the Grizedale Valley towards Nethermost Pike and Dollywaggon Pike



The well crafted tracks leading up to the Col at the head of the valley



Nearing the Hole in the Wall and the steepest part of the track which has been stepped so as to assist the climb and prevent erosion



The piles of heavy rock that get brought in by helicopter to assist the Fix the Fells Team



Looking back to the steep shoulder of Birks overlooking Ullswater



At last the welcome sight of The Hole in the Wall



An early view of Striding Edge covered in human ants !!



Through the Hole in the Wall and initially we take a right turn to follow the level track for about half a mile that leads up to the summit of Birkhouse Moor




Approaching the summit cairn of Birkhouse Moor



Ullswater snaking its way North towards Pooley Bridge



Sue taking in the views from the summit



Team shot on the summit of Birkhouse Moor


Click here for a 360 degree view from the summit … https://youtu.be/WwbyoxFXyyM



Looking back south towards our second destination … Catstye Cam (centre right)



We journey back retracing our steps back towards Red Tarn and Helvellyn in up to now very clear and calm conditions



Close up on the summit of Helvellyn … its quite busy up there !!



Approaching Red Tarn the path on the right is the one we will take to approach Catstye Cam from the less steep southern face approach. This is also the path that

leads up across Swirral Edge for Helvellyn bound traffic




More swarms of ants crossing Striding Edge !!



We stop for lunch at Red Tarn – a very popular spot



As ever Jones (the Bastard) is hopeful of cadging the odd crust or two



Just before we set off for Catstye Cam a quick peek at the folk on top of Striding Edge negotiating the final stage know as “The Chimney”



A shot of Red Tarn and the full extent of Striding Edge from High Spying How (the bump on the left) and the Chimney (on the right)



A view of Swirral Edge as we near the top of the path that will lead us right to the summit of Catstye Cam



The path leading to the summit of Catstye Cam – at this point the weather starts to deteriorate quickly



Looking back to Swirral Edge from the ascent of Catstye Cam



Helvellyn Little Man from the ascent path



Within minutes the weather came in big time …



Looking towards Ullswater (just about !!) from the summit of Catstye Cam. Not a place to hang about for too long. The wind speed suddenly picked up and the rain came

in heavily. The summit top is narrow and very precipitous and cannot accommodate too many people especially in these conditions, so we took our photos a beat a hasty

retreat back down to the safety of Red Tarn


Click here for a 360 degree view from the summit of Catstye Cam … https://youtu.be/GtdErLA4CEE



Heading back down to Red Tarn



We took the popular path back down to Glenridding that swings left round the base of Catstye Cam and follows the line of Glenridding Beck. This is a well crafted path

and very difficult to get lost on as it leads directly to the Village Centre



Looking back to the drop we made from Catstye Cam, at this point the rain was torrential



The Hydro Electric scheme that makes use of the dramatic steep course of Glenridding Beck



Safely back down to the Village Centre and back to Patterdale to dry off !!!



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