Walk 1120 - printer friendly version
Grisedale Pike & Crag Hill from Braithwaite Walk
Author - Lou Johnson
Length - 8.5 miles / 13.8 km
Ascent - 3400 feet / 1030 metres
Grade - mod/hard
Start - OS grid reference NY227237
Lat 54.602533 + Long -3.1981156
Postcode CA12 5TL (approx. location only)
This lake District walk is a circuit of Coledale starting with an ascent of Grisedale Pike and followed by a superb section of high level walking before reaching Crag Hill. Both peaks form part of the Grasmoor Massif with Grisedale Pike easily seen from the A66 on the approach to Keswick from Penrith. Crag Hill on the other hand is less often recognised from afar but is the second highest summit of the group being over-topped only by Grasmoor itself.
The start is in the small quarry (grid ref. NY227237) on the left hand side of the B5292 Whinlatter Pass road shortly after leaving the village of Braithwaite. Parking here is limited although other options are available in the village and further up the Whinlatter Pass road. From the quarry take the footpath that climbs northwest before turning south and then southwest alongside the forest to reach open fell. The path ahead is very obvious with erosion having caused a wide swathe across the grass. Repair work has been carried out recently and hopefully the damage will be minimised in future years.
After a level stretch the climb up the ridge of Sleet How begins. This leads directly to the summit cone of Grisedale Pike and the obligatory cairn and shelter. Continue southwest off the summit descending to a col with the head of Coledale to your left and Hobcarton Crag to your right. A further short climb brings you to a minor summit known as Hobcarton Crags from which a clear path descends to Coledale Hause.
The next objective is Crag Hill. This can be approached by using Wainwright's route through Eel Crags or rather more easily by climbing the valley path to the col between Grasmoor and Crag Hill and then turning east along a clear path to the summit with Addacomb Hole to your right. Having reached the top of Crag Hill you are able to see the complete route and it is quite satisfying to sit and contemplate the rewards for your efforts.
The next summit is Sail, which is reached after an interesting descent and reascent along a rocky ridge with excellent views to Newlands and many other points of interest in the northwestern sector Lake District. From here stay on the ridge in the direction of Causey Pike descending to a clear col before Scar Crags. Fork left to descend across the slope to reach a former mine track that leads eventually to Stoneycroft.
The preferable route is to leave the track and follow the ridge over the pleasant summit of Outerside before reaching Barrow Door (grid ref. NY222216). There are a number of paths in the immediate area so chose carefully and descend north on the path to High Coledale continuing downhill along a track. On you right is the pretty rocky gorge occupied by Barrow Gill whilst behind you lies Coledale with its horseshoe of mountains. Reaching the centre of Braithwaite village turn left on the Whinlatter Pass road to return to the start, which involves an unwelcome short steep ascent to complete the route.