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A Climb of High Street From The Air

Time to head back to one of my favourite climbs of the Lake District. High Street, a mountain in the eastern side of the Lake District fells. It stands at 828 metres (2,718 ft) high, with various routes up, and as I was staying over that way it was a perfect place to head to for a day out in the fresh air.

Drone in the backpack it was fascinating to return here and experience it whilst getting some differing views to normal, the world around and from above.

DJI_0249 A Climb of High Street From The Air

As I say, there are many routes up to High Street and the popular ones being from Patterdale and Troutbeck. My favourite is the route from Haweswater, getting onto the ridge at Mardale Head and up Riggindale Ridge and Riggindale Crags to the top.

You can see the first section of the walk in my pic above, and the dot of my red jacket if you look closely 🙂 As you climb up the ridge the views back are amazing. Haweswater in all its splendour.

DJI_0253 A Climb of High Street From The Air

On my previous article of High Street I talked a lot about the feeling and sights. This route, as I say, starts at Haweswater and being far out of the way to get to it gives you one of the most quiet walks and routes to come across. Beautifully quiet in fact, I have only ever passed one person on the ridge in the last 5 walks here.

This is also one of those routes were you can see the top, the target, for most of the climb. An undulating wide ridge, no scary edges and just the odd little scramble. Anyway, there is too much to see than to focus too much on how far to go. Not only looking back down the valley but down the sides as well, Riggindale itself is an amazing valley to look down into as you walk up. The place that was once home to the only Golden Eagle in England until recent years.

DJI_0262 A Climb of High Street From The Air

To our left you get to see Blea Water, at 200 feet deep it is the deepest tarn in the Lake District. And even on foot you are looking at it from above. In the photo here you can see our path ahead was wider ridge and up to the summit area. Easy scrambling in parts too that adds a little sense of adventure for those that don’t want to just walk, upwards.

DJI_0260 A Climb of High Street From The Air

The change of landscape upon reaching the top of the ridge is incredible! Take one last look at the way you just came up and all the crags and scenery beyond. Way over to the Pennines and before that where the mountains of the Lake District come to a stop reaching the Eden Valley etc.

For the top is flat and wide open. A big flat top indeed. No pikes, no peaked finish, a levelled off huge summit that gives rise to more amazing views. The walk from here to the physical summit leads you onto the famous Roman Road that traverses over the mountain.

DJI_0264 A Climb of High Street From The Air

These stones underfoot on the path are remnants of a Roman Road that passed directly over the tops from Ambleside to Penrith. The reason this mountain is in fact called, High Street. Why did they build a Roman Road over the top of this you may ask? Well, back in Roman times, only the tops of the mountains where open and not full of thick forest. I must admit when you look down in the Lake District Valleys today it is hard to imagine they were once filled thick with trees and marsh. Over the tops the Romans could pass, free of ambush by local tribes etc.

DJI_0265 A Climb of High Street From The Air

You can also see all the way into and over the Eastern and Central Fells of the Lake District. Climbs filled with memories and climbs still to come. Sometimes every climb inspires me to do even more. I am sure many of you know that feeling.

As you come off the summit heading south you can see over to Windermere and beyond evan as far as Morecambe Bay and if you are lucky to have a super clear day then Blackpool Tower can bee senn on the horizon.

Alas we needed to turn left and head back down the next valley via Small Water. The winding, stony path down here takes us right back the car at Haweswater. But first there is another tarn to explore en route, Small Water. The difference this time you can walk along the water’s edge.

DJI_0275 A Climb of High Street From The Air

A perfect spot for a rest or snack. In peace and quiet, within nature, water lapping up against the tarn shores in the breeze.

DJI_0270 A Climb of High Street From The Air

From here it is just a matter of the wander back down to the car park. On that note, the car park right at the end of Haweswater is not large at all. People use this car park to head to various paths and hills all around, so my advice is to get there early before it fills up (room for only about 10 cars). Or else your walk is extended by finding places back along the road. Car parking is free though I must add.

It was a pleasure to be back on High Street and I am sure I shall be back walking and climbing again in the future. I love the tranquillity and rawness of the far eastern fells in Cumbria. It was great to get a different and aerial view too. I am off to do more of the same in a new place, see ya out there! 🙂

Written by Paul Steele

Founder of BaldHiker.com and avid hiker, climber and trekker. Never liking to sit still and always seeking new adventures around the world. Sharing personal views here and tweeting live via @paul_steele

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