Harter Fell (Eskdale)

For this walk I prised my companion Jim Mercer away from his location near his very own Longsleddale Harter Fell to familiarise him with its Eskdale namesake, at the other ‘end’ of Lakeland - thus does the true Herdwickian spirit venture!
Ascent was from Jubilee Bridge at the Eskdale foot of Hardknott Pass, up along the gently contouring path that gives rise, right from the start, to superb views backwards towards the fells of upper Eskdale - principally, the western end of the Scafell massif, Esk Pike and Bowfell - a continuing feature and crowning glory of most of this walk. Then on up to the summit, where the very hot conditions were somewhat perplexingly added to by a wind of such strength that it was not safe to stand at the very top, for fear of being blown off! (However, the same wind, in a more reduced form, was of course a very welcome relief both earlier on and later, as temperatures climbed into the high 20s.) Descent was initially to the top of Hardknott Pass and then back down from there to the start by the path that skirts north of Hardknott Roman ‘Castle’.
Very few other souls were encountered throughout the walk, perhaps because in such clear conditions they had made a bee-line for the higher fells nearby, or perhaps because they were of the view that only mad dogs and even madder Englishmen go out in such a strong midday sun!
(Highest point (Harter Fell): 2142 ft./653 m. Distance: 4.38 miles/ 7.05 km. Ascent: 1861 ft./ 570 m.)

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