Hill: Hard Knott
Date: Wednesday 6th April 2016
Company: Myself and Becky
Distance: 2.1km, Ascent: 150m
With a really poor weather forecast for today, including strong winds and heavy rain, we set off on a drive around the Lakes but wearing hillwalking gear just in case we decided to bag a quick summit.
From our base for the week in Barrow-in-Furness, we passed through Dalton-in Furness and Ulverston before making our way up the West Coast towards Ravenglass. We visited Ravenglass three days previous for a trip on Ratty and a traverse of Muncaster Fell. Today, a short distance beyond Ravenglass, we made our way towards Eskdale Green with a view to visiting Ambleside via the excellent Hard Knott Pass and Wrynose Pass. I have driven these passes three times previously and really enjoy their steepness, especially in my Land Rover. My little 1.0l VW Up struggled somewhat on my last visit!
I thought Becky would enjoy the rollercoaster of a ride. She did!
On reaching the summit of Hard Knott Pass, we parked up for a quick smash and grab ascent of Hard Knott, a mere 1km away with only 150m ascent.
In better weather, a longer route taking in the Roman Fort would have been much preferred. Today, we were battling strong winds and hailstones, so a quick up and down was just fine.
Looking towards Wrynose Pass from the top of Hard Knott Pass:
From the road high point, where there is off-road parking for two cars, we followed a wet grassy track to the right of a rocky outcrop.
Initial ascent of Hard Knott from the top of Hard Knott Pass:
We stopped for circa 15 seconds at a small wall before continuing on. Today was not a day for hanging around.
Becky at a small wall passed during ascent:
We initially started to ascend the 523m Border End top before reversing back to the lower track. The 523m top is very rocky on its North side.
523m Border End summit:
We were battered by several hail storms during our approach to and back from the summit. Combined with the strong winds this was not pleasant, especially for Becky who had not experienced hail on a hill previously. I walked right next to Becky providing a degree of shelter from the hail.
Following the track:
The walk out towards the summit of Hard Knott was fairly wet underfoot.
Looking towards the summit of Hard Knott:
On reaching the summit cairn, Becky took shelter while I took some quick photos. We then visited the summit rock circa 8m away from the cairn and then immediately made our way back down hill.
Becky taking shelter at the Hard Knott cairn:
Looking back towards the summit of Hard Knott during descent:
The next photo shows the craggy North-side of the 523m top of Border End. Best avoided if you want an easy walk.
Craggy North-side of 523m top of Border End:
During the walk back to the car, I tripped on a small tussock and landed head to foot in bog. Poor Becky showed great concern for my wellbeing, "Are you ok daddy, are you ok daddy." Nice girl. I was fine apart from being completely soaked.
Descent back towards the car:
On reaching the car, I changed out of my wet clothes and we continued our drive around the Lakes visiting Ambleside, Windermere and Kendal before heading back to Barrow-in-Furness.
Well done to Becky on ascending her 1st Wainwright and 40th Marilyn today. We
are both hoping for better weather tomorrow.