Cold As Ice

C2C – Day 6: Thursday 7 April – PATTERDALE to SHAP (17 miles)

At our high point of the C2C Walk – Kidsty Pike at 780 metres!

Today was to have been the first day that just the two of us, Rob and I, walked together unaccompanied. However on leaving our Patterdale guesthouse we bumped into a fellow C2C trekker, John, who we had met a number of times on the trail, and so it was that we became a three for the day! As it turned out, it was great to have John with us, for his good company and for mutual support, as today’s walk became the most challenging to date and potentially of our whole C2C trek!

Certainly the weather did little to help us on our way today, but it was all rather part of a unique and very memorable experience. An early hail shower hastened us into donning our waterproofs and heralded a day of mist and wintry showers on a strong northerly wind that was to culminate in a full-blown storm in the afternoon. Just to complete the meteorological lexicon we finally had an hour of welcome sunshine to thankfully dry us out a little as we approached our destination.

Our walking route today took us up high above Patterdale, first to Angle Tarn, and then on another steep climb past the small summit of The Knott, before a more gradual rise to Kidsty Pike. This peak, at 780 metres, is the high point on the entire C2C route. The photos tell their own story!

John and Rob on the climb out of Patterdale
A view up the valley, over Brotherswater and towards the Kirkstone Pass
At Angle Tarn, halfway up!
Approaching the col by the side of The Knott, . . .
. . . and above the snow-line now, . . .
. . . before braving the elements near the summit of Kidsty Pike

From the high ground we descended steeply past Kidsty Howes down to the south-west corner of Haweswater. Next followed a two-hour traverse of the tortuous undulating path along the northern shore of the lake, to the dam at its far end. At this point we left behind the fells for an easier walk through forest and along the Haweswater Beck, before an undulating few miles over pastures. Such a change in scenery provided a pleasant end to the day’s marathon, especially once the clouds parted and the sun arrived as we passed the ruins of Shap Abbey and walked the final mile along roads into the village.

Our descent from Kidsty Pike towards Kidsty Howes, . . .
. . . and looking forwards over Haweswater, before the storm blew in
And what a change in landscape, with these Belted Galloway cows seemingly unaware of the harshness of the weather in the hills above them!
Shap Abbey, . . .
. . . and at last arriving at our destination for the day!

Our 17 miles today took us over nine hours, and as we trudged into Shap around 6.30 pm we reflected with some satisfaction that we have now walked right across the Lake District and into a very different region. So far we have covered nearly 70 miles, around a third of our likely C2C total, and we have completed four climbs of over 600 metres. We celebrated with a pub meal and a well-earned early night!

Replacing all those precious lost calories, with John tonight in the Kings Arms in Shap

And up ahead, to the east, the snow-clad Pennines now beckon us on – the next chapter in our challenge! We have a forecast of sunshine for tomorrow with good visibility, and a much shorter walking day in prospect!

5 thoughts on “Cold As Ice

  1. Amazing scenery! And what challenging terrain and conditions! Wishing you better and more spring like weather from now on.🤞🤞


  2. Superb job! Looked very cold and bleak at points but what an achievement- I’d have been going round in circles in that mist.


  3. This is one of my favourite parts of the Lake District and I have walked extensively in the Far Eastern hills.The picture of Angle Tarn made me smile as I swam there in 2018.The conditions yesterday were plainly challenging and it does you credit to have got through it so succesfully.Enjoy the Western dales as the weather looks to be improving.


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