Angletarn Pikes

Published 20 September 2017

The top of Angletarn Pikes

A glorious view of Angletarn Pikes.

Leaving Patterdale, Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk passes by several of the Far Eastern Fells. For my second day walking in the Patterdale area, I followed it, visiting seven different fells along its route. First stop was Angletarn Pikes.

“The sun has got his hat on, hip-hip-horay. The sun has got his hat on and he’s coming out to play.”

Of course the sun didn’t have his hat on. Not in any way remotely possible. In fact it was the complete opposite. The sun had actually sold his hat and had bogged off on holiday to Lanzarote with the proceeds. But the fact that the rain was coming down heavily wasn’t deterring one of the two women walking a little way ahead of me.

Cloud filled the valley and water was pouring from the sky. For good measure, the BBC Weather website also predicted hailstones, thunder and everything. But hey, I was in Patterdale and I was dammed if I was going to attempt to bag some more Wainwrights.

It was my second of three days in the area. After getting very soaked visiting Loadpot Hill and its neighbours, the day before, I was mentally prepared for bad weather. Plus I had come up with several options should the weather get worse.

The top of Angletarn Pikes

A glorious view of Angletarn Pikes.

I would follow the route of the Coast to Coast walking trail out of Patterdale. Eight of the Far Eastern Fells sit near the route, and I’d visit as many of them that the weather would allow. Should there be any hints of lightening or anything, I’d scurry back to Patterdale as fast as I could. I knew from walking it seven years earlier that the Coast to Coast follows a well made path. And I knew from bitter experience that it’s pretty easy to follow even in bad weather. If I needed to abandon my fell bagging due to sleet and lightning, it would be a good path to follow back to safety.

If the plan had any drawbacks, it was that I would be following the Coast to Coast route. This meant I would spend much of the morning walking in convoy with many C2C walkers who were leaving the Lakes for Shap and beyond. And there certainly a lot. I’d spent the previous evening in Patterdale’s premier ale house, the White Lion, where over half the customers had been talking about their Coast to Coast experiences.

So here I was, leaving Patterdale in the middle of the the convoy, with two singing women, and a man carrying his lunch in a white carrier bag. He had no rucksack, and was attired in a pair of waterproof trousers that he’d hacked crudely at the knee to make a pair of shorts. Coupled with the ankle gaiters he was was wearing, it was quite a combination.

Patterdale, in the rain

A very rainy Patterdale village

It was unlikely any off them would be making the short diversion up to the top of Angletarn Pikes though. It would just be me doing that.

I was following an route up there that Alfred Wainwright described as “a delightful walk that should be in the itinerary of all who stay in Patterdale.”

I suspect he walked up here in slightly better conditions. Still, it was an easy climb even if the water was pouring down the path in alarming proportions. And then there were the clouds. Oh so many clouds.

More by accident than design, I found the turn-off for the summit that I needed to take from the main path. Not that I could see the the summit at all. Or indeed much of the hill. It was just some hazy lump hiding in the mist. I had this strange feeling that the view from the top of Angletarn Pikes wouldn’t be that good.

View of Patterdale and Ullswater, seen from the Coast to Coast path out of Patterdale

It may be a busy route, but the Coast to Coast path does give a fine view of Patterdale

Slowly, but surely, I edged closer to and closer; Angletarn Pike’s rocky top gradually becoming visible in the gloom. The path to the top was quickly found, and within minutes I was there.

I’d made it. Although as predicted, I could see nothing at all. I couldn’t even see nearby Angle Tarn, from which the Pikes gets its name. By all accounts, the top of the Pikes provides a quite glorious view of this most splendid body of water. But to see it you need to be able to see more than 20m ahead of you, and thanks to the clouds, that was all I got. The best I got was a 360 degree view of grey murk.

Still, thinking positively, I’d made it up there without even hearing thunder. And I certainly had not been struck by lightening. As for the hailstones? Nowhere to be seen. Now it didn’t matter that much what happened next. I had one fell in the bag. I could hold my head up high and be glad that the day wouldn’t be a write off after all!

Next time, I get lost and arrive at Rest Dodd instead of The Knott. You can see all of my photographs from my three days in Patterdale over on flickr.

A cloud filled view from the top of Angletarn Pikes

Great views I have seen #4861

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