Mardale Head Horseshoe – High Street from Haweswater
An ascent of High Street form Mardale Head and Haweswater. You can extend the route over Harter Fell if you want a longer walk.
|12.1 km||787 m||4 hours|
Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.
Start and Finish: Mardale Head
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Parking and Post Code for Sat Nav (where applicable): CA10 2RP
Car park at Mardale Head
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Mardale Head Horseshoe – High Street from Haweswater Details
When approaching the mountain of High Street in the Lake District from Mardale Head or Haweswater, the route up High Street via High Stile is more popular, with our choice via Kidsty Pike on the day being influenced by the winter conditions. We were carrying full winter camping kit – so didn’t want the added complication of scrambling or tacking overly steep ground. That’s not to say that this walk via Kidsty Pike and Rampsgill Head is second rate, as it provides excellent views and a longer walk than the High Stile alternative. You could easily continue the walk over Harter Fell, Branstree and Selside Pike, but a snow camp had left us damp and exhausted – and in need of a full English.
Mardale Head Horseshoe – High Street from Haweswater Route Description
1 –The walk up High Street starts from the car park at the far end of Haweswater. A good path can be followed north west from the car park, over a footbridge and then turn right along the lakeside. This path needs to be followed, keeping an eye out for a path that takes you left and uphill to cut off the peninsula of The Rigg.
2 – This is where the path for High Stile starts off, so ensure you don’t follow this left up the ridge, instead descending slightly to the footbridge in Riggindale.
3 – Cross the bridge and start the ascent up to the knoll of Kidsty Howes along a grassy path. It becomes steeper as you ascend but is the steepest climb of the day.
4 – Once on the grassy ridge up Kidsty Pike, the views towards High Stile and High Street start to open up, which is one of the advantages this walk has over ascending High Stile. Kidsty Pike is barely a bump on the ridge before you finally reach the summit of Rampsgill Head. Baggers will surely want to dog leg to High Raise, which is 10m higher, but we left it out on the day as we didn’t want to walk any further than needed as we were laden with snow camping equipment.
5 – There’s an unwelcome descent to the col before the final steady pull to the summit of High Street only 1.3 km and 130m of ascent. Ensure that you cross and then follow the path along the stone wall that you can follow to the summit, rather than staying on the bridleway as this contours around the summit.
6 The summit of High Street like most flat topped mountains is rather unremarkable, but the wall provides welcome shelter providing the wind isn’t blowing along it. Better views can be found by walking to the edge of the plateau, but something we didn’t want to do in these conditions!
7– It’s now a steady walk down over Mardale Ill Bell, which barely counts as a mountain. It provided a decent snow pitch for us however!
8 From the summit of Mardale Ill Bell, it’s a steep descent on the path to the col at Nan Bield Pass– there’s a welcome shelter here from the wind.
9 From Nan Bield Pass, the path descends a god path to the tarn of Small Water from which it’s an easy to follow few kilometres back to the car park.