Wainwrights The Final Countdown Part 7

Today I’m hoping to be a teenager again. If it doesn’t go to plan I’ll be 21. I’m not really getting any younger but the number of Wainwrights left to bag is decreasing. Five new ones today (hopefully seven if the weather is OK). I’ve asked John to come along today as its a long run the type he likes. He isn’t back from holiday until later so I’m out of luck and on my own. I like the comfort of somewhere I’ve been before so parking at Dunmail Raise and doing Steel Fell and Calf Crag is my plan today.

Steel Fell and Calf Crag

Both Steel Fell and Calf Crag are on the Bob Graham route and I know both well. Climbing the steep slope of Steel Fell never gets any easier but I always enjoy it. Rain starts falling in the field between the car and the climb. On with the rain jacket which ups the temperature on the climb by ten degrees. At the top I can just about see the car and push on for the summit.

Dunmail Raise from the climb to Steel Fell

Steel Fell isn’t very exciting a couple of ancient fence posts on a mound of stones. Today it is the gateway to my run and I’m happy to reach the top. Some additional visibility would be nice for later but for now I know where I’m going.

Steel Fell

The weather starts to brighten as I reach Calf Crag. I’m reluctant to take off my coat as it is still wet but I’m beginning to boil from the inside so it needs to come off. I tie it to my bag hoping to create a moving washing line. Now for the unknown, which of these similar looking tops are the Wainwrights I’m looking for?

View from Calf Crag towards Grasmere

Gibson Knott

First new Wainwright today is Gibson Knott. It is part of a tentacle that starts at Calf Crag and finishes at Helm Crag. The weather is changeable and it decides to rain again when I taking a photograph. The walkers on Gibson Knott decide to put their coats on but mine is cold and wet so I hope the rain stops. While they are putting their coats on I get a photo of a nice rainbow.

A rainbow on Gibson Knott with Steel Fell in the background

Helm Crag

By the time I’m on Helm Crag the rain has stopped and clag lifted. It is an easy ridge run to Helm Crag with a little climb at the end. There are a few families on this one and it seems to be popular. At only 405m it gives tremendous views of Grasmere and the surrounding tops. The look is distinctive with what one of my friends describes are Howitzers on the top. The imaginary artillery firing projectiles into the valley below sounds like something from Sci Fi.

View from Helm Crag towards Grasmere

On the way back to Calf Crag the weather has improved greatly so I stop at Gibson Knott for a different view.

Gibson Knott with Helm Crag left centre

Tarn Crag

Flushed with the success of early conquests and the improving weather I go on auto pilot after reaching Calf Crag and start climbing towards the higher peaks. It takes a few minutes to remember I’m supposed to be on Tarn Crag next which is another of the tentacles from Calf Crag. It is nice and easy to get onto the ridge across some grassy moor and I’m on my way. I still enjoyed the needless climb but could have saved some time thinking ahead. As Helm Crag was distinctive Tarn Crag is totally without excitement. Not a new view and a boring lump of rock. Unless I’m missing something not one to revisit.

Tarn Crag

Sergeant Man

I’ve added three new Wainwrights to my collection now was the time to climb a couple of hundred metres to bag two more. Everything left in todays run would be accessed via Sergeant Man. First job was to climb up from Tarn Crag to do a loop of 700m tops followed by a gentle descent into Grasmere covering two more new Wainwrights.

Sergeant Man

Pavey Ark

Pavey Ark is today’s highest new Wainwright at 700m. It is part of a ring of five above Langdale near Stickle Tarn. From Langdale the peak is much more impressive but it is interesting from above too having a wall of rock not far after a decoy which I’ve visited before in the clag. Today the visibility is excellent and I bag the summit, another peak done. By now my waterproof is flowing more freely in the wind and must be dry. I’m not tempting fate by putting it back in my bag.

Sticke Tarn from Pavey Ark

Harrison Stickle

Loft Crag is reached via todays highest Peak Harrison Stickle. Harrison Stickle is another rocky lump on the north of Langdale. I could probably avoid this one easier than climb it but I know this path and decide to use it.

View into Langdale from Harrison Stickle

Loft Crag

I’ve ran past the bottom of Loft Crag a few times, I originally thought it was part of Pike Of Stickle but must be far enough away to be separate. I like the simplicity of the slight climb but at almost 700m there must be a cliff on the other side down into Langdale.

Loft Crag with Pike Of Stickle in the background

Thunacar Knott

My next new Wainwright, Blea Rigg is located on a tentacle which starts at Sergeant Man so I’m almost retracing my steps. This time I take the direct route (no detour to Pavey Ark) straight through Thunacar Knott. It isn’t much of a deviation in the ground but recognised as a peak. After Thunacar it is round the back of Sergeant Man and down to Blea Rigg.

Thunacar Knott

Blea Rigg

I immediately enjoy Blea Rigg it is a gentle run downhill with no more hills to come. I’m expecting the ridge to be gnarlier and not as much fun but it is a pleasant experience. The sight of Grasmere lake is again present at the top which is marked with a distinctive cairn. I quickly follow on towards my last Wainwright of the day Silver How.

Blea Rigg

Silver How

After a couple of hours without seeing anyone I’m quite excited to notice a few people ahead. The grassy multi path, multi mound moor is confusing. Just when you think progress is being made another mound is on the skyline. I’ve dropped another 150 metres but it doesn’t seem like that much. Finally the family are in front and having a photo taken on what must be the top. I get there as they make their way down from the summit. Stretch goal achieved, 7 Wainwrights and a teenager again with 19 left to bag. Another nice view of Grasmere to send over to my wife.

View from Sliver How

Back To The Car

My plan to get onto the road to Dunmail through Grasmere wasn’t the greatest ever. My recollection was there was a short uphill after the Old County Tops turn off and it would take 5 minutes. A couple of miles running uphill next to the road later I’m trying to work out if there was a better way. Apart from the route choice at the end it seems like a successful day. My nose is a bit red and I might have caught the sun but the final countdown is well underway.

The “Howitzer” on Helm Crag from Grasmere


New Wainwrights bagged Pavey Ark, Loft Crag, Tarn Crag (Easedale), Blea Rigg, Gibson Knott, Helm Crag, Silver How,

Wainwrights left 19

Northern Fells

Great Sca Fell, Brae Fell, Meal Fell, Great Cockup, Longlands Fell, Binsey

North Western Fells

Castle Crag

Southern Fells

Slight Side, Cold Pike, Harter Fell (Eskdale), Hard Knot, Green Crag, Lingmoor Fell, Black Fell, Holme Fell

Western Fells

Starling Dodd, Great Bourne

Central Fells

Loughrigg Fell

Eastern Fells


Far Eastern Fells

Sour Howes

Companions: None

Run on Strava

If you enjoyed reading this blog I’m sure you would like others in the Wainwrights The Final Countdown series.

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