24th January 2009

A Gavel Pike hike to St Sunday Crag


Walk Overview
Time 09.45 to 14.25
Duration 4 hr 40 min
Distance 7.2 mile
Ascent 2700 ft
Walking with Andrew Leaney
Patterdale - Rooking - Deepdale Bridge - Wall End - Gavel Pike - St Sunday Crag - Birks - Trough Head - Arnison Crag - Patterdale
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, opposite Patterdale Hotel

I think I'm correct in saying that the hotel actually owns the car park, so needless to say there is a charge. Thankfully this is a daily charge and if I'm honest it is well worth the cost when you consider the fantastic selection of walk that can be undertaken from this spot.

It does tend to fill up rather quickly though, and not only during the summer months.


Route Map

Looking across the fields between Patterdale and Rooking.

I'm glad I wasn't standing here when the water was high enough to leave the debris you can see on the fence.

The appropriately named Lane Head found below the fellside between Trough Head and Arnison Crag. Our route took us to the end of the lane where we then turned left to follow the track past Deepdale Hall & Wall End.

Angletarn Pikes seen on the opposite side of the valley. This picture was taken at the point where we left the Deepdale path and began our climb up to Gavel Pike.

Up into the snow and the hard work really begins.

Looking back.

Deepdale; a secluded valley found in the middle of an otherwise very popular area of the Lake District.

Birks. We'd get there later in the walk, but first, , , ,

, , , it was Gavel Pike we were heading for. A fine fell in its own right, but rarely treated as such. And although it's found surprisingly close to the summit of St Sunday Crag, it simply doesn't lure the masses away from the standard ridge path. A shame really, but for those of us who like to venture a little further than the norm this is perhaps a good thing as you'll generally find it deserted.
Deserted or not, we had to get there first.

Mountain man in action or should that be action man on a mountain.


Looking down the ridge below Gavel Pike's summit.

St Sunday Crag seen from Gavel Pike.

And the view back down to Gavel Pike.

We emerged from the shelter we'd been enjoying on our ascent, and at the summit of St Sunday Crag we were getting the full force of the wind. It wasn't quite as strong as we'd expected had the forecast been anything to go by, but we still didn't hang around for long.


Just below the summit we passed through this large area of sheet ice. It looked like the snow had melted to slush and then the whole lot had frozen.

Heading down to Birks.

Sunshine at last.

Snow drifts and sunshine; great fun.


The view back to Gavel Pike (left) and St Sunday Crag.

Ullswater on the left and Place Fell behind Birks.


Place Fell behind Birks Summit.

A few of thoughts were springing to mind at this point:-
You've never got a sledge when you need one / It seems a shame to drop down below the snow / We haven't had anything to eat yet / It isn't half getting deeper / We still hadn't built a snow man.

Sunlight on Place Fell.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks