There are a few different fells and crags scattered about the Lake District which include Castle in their name and I'm sure most of these were named this way because there was indeed a castle or fort of some description there at some point in time. However, if names were based purely on looks, surely the fell which most deserves such a title would be this one. Harter Fell has to have the most 'castle like' summit in the district, and I'm sure with a little imaginative wall building, this would have made an ideal stronghold.
I've walked over Harter Fell many times over the years and in almost every weather you could imagine, but the one which sticks in my memory more than any other has to be our first ascent. I can't remember exactly what year it was except that it we were having a scorching hot summer at the time, so that narrows it down a little. Anyway, we'd viewed Harter Fell from a few other fells in the area and eventually we decided to go there and explore its craggy looking top for ourselves. What we hadn't banked on however, was for it to be quite so hot. I'd go so far as to say that the last few hundred yards to the summit were probably the most difficult I've ever walked. Needless to say we, and some other people we met, abandoned our plans to carry on with our walks and headed back down to the much appreciated coolness and shade of the valley.
Although I'm much older now, I feel more able to deal with adverse conditions, and I suspect if I had to do the same walk in the same conditions today, it wouldn't have quite the same influence. I've heard it said that old age comes but not alone, so perhaps in my case, age is bringing stubbornness along with it.
So which valley does Harter Fell actually belong to? Well, I suppose that all depends on your preferred route or the route you just happened to have used the most, or perhaps like most people, you're happy to adopt someone else's view on things. Personally, I always think of Harter Fell as being in Eskdale. Just as I tend to think of Cat Bells being in Borrowdale or Place Fell being in Patterdale. All of which could be argued against.