Hart Crag

Published 6 August 2013

The summit cairn of Hart Crag

The Fairfield Horseshoe is a well known walk, and a classic one at that. It takes in a whopping eight Wainwrights. The usual walk is to start at Nab Scar, pop via Fairfield in the middle, and end on Low Pike. Fell number five is Hart Crag.

I’d heard Catherine’s tales of walking the Fairfield Horseshoe plenty of times before I set off on my walk.

“Be careful. It’s really difficult in the mist. Jane and myself got stuck up there, and couldn’t find our way. We ended up following this guy with a GPS in order to get down.”

She had got down safely in the end, and perhaps her own tale of walking the Fairfield Horseshoe would just be a bit more interesting than mine. Let’s be honest, “got lost in a sudden mist, drenched to the bone and had to run for a cup of tea and a cake” is frankly far more interesting a tale than “had no problem navigating. Weather was good. Didn’t miss the cairn. Got some nice panoramic photographs” of mine.

Unfortunately for the reader, this is my tale, not hers.

With four fells in the bag, I left Fairfield following the ridge route to Hart Crag. I followed the path completely correctly, didn’t get lost once and certainly didn’t have any problems scrambling over the rocky path that took me to the summit. I didn’t even stumble and twist my ankle, which is something I manage to do with alarming regularity when wandering around rocky fell tops.

Indeed my journey from Fairfield to Hart Crag was so simple that it was if I’d blinked and missed it. Were it not for the veritable convoy of people I saw going past me, perhaps I’d think I had.

Next Stop: Hart Crag

Within the a few minutes I’d done the compulsory walkers greeting to about ten people. Each time I said “Hi”, before, for the final one, switching to “afternoon” only to find the guy passing my by had clearly had the same idea.

“Afternoon.”

“Afternoon.”

What does one do in such a situation? Neither of us knew. After a moments pause, we each looked to the ground in embarrassment before shamefacedly heading on once more.

If that wasn’t bad enough, I could see another convoy of about fifteen weary looking souls about to pass me by.

“Hello!” I wearily said as the first approached.

The reply was stony silence. Not even eyes met. Raising my eyebrows at the notion, I continued on to find that each steadfastly refused to even look at me, yet alone even say “hi”.

Approaching the summit of Hart Crag

Was Hart Crag the fell of good old fashioned rudeness? It seemed even more so when I finally reached the summit cairn to find two blokes having an intent conversation whilst leaning on it. Hello, there’s people who want to take photographs here!

I loitered around, waiting for them to take the hint that I might just want to take a picture or two, but such social niceties were clearly beyond them. After about five minutes they finally moved off, but no sooner had they done so and large group of walkers muscled in with their two dogs.
When they too finally wandered off, I ran in as fast as I could, noting that yet another large convoy was about to arrive.

I often feel that summits are a place for contemplation and reflection, but Hart Crag’s small, rocky top was more akin to a motorway service station. It was clearly not a place for me. I looked across at the fell top nearby and hoped I’d have better look at my sixth fell of the day, Dove Crag.

Next up: Dove Crag

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