The name is enough to attract the interest of walker and St Sunday’s Crag does not disappoint. It is a graceful ridge above Ullswater leadig to Grisedale Tarn and a return via the Grisedale valley.
St Sunday Crag climbs gracefully out of the Ullswater valley at Patterdale, a beautiful line that is often ignored for the nearby pilgrimage up Helvellyn. For the fell walker this is good as I found when I visited the summit recently. Striding off the summit area and along the long ridge of Birks gave me a wonderful perspective of Striding Ridge and the Helvellyn massif and another aspect of the best of all lakes, Ullswater.
It is also why it is best to start with the valley walk along Grisedale all the way to the lonely tarn at Grisedale before turning back towards St Sunday Crag (as opposed to the arrows on the map) – clearly if it is cloudy it matters less! The walking is very good throughout and the near 8 mile circuit is one that I would recommend to anyone without hesitation.
Stick to the ridge at all times. As is suggested by Wainwright any descent from its flanks are fraught with difficulty, at best unpleasantness and at wost dangerous.
The route up is very straightforward. Walk up the lane at Grisedale Bridge, 300 metres from the Patterdale Hotel. A footpath leaves to the slopes of Birks on the left after a further 500 metres.
The path to Grisedale Tarn leaves the St Sunday’s Crag ridge just short of a mile from the summit. It is in the col with Fairfield.
Monday 3rd of September and Im leaving Glenridding to head for St Sunday Crag,its wet but as I was here two weeks ago I must get up into the clouds and re visit a walk/climb I have not done for 20 years.The weather is atrocious wet but ironically warm,having passed Lantys Tarn I meet up with a group of American tourists who have left Patterdale heading for Thirlmere,after pointing them in the right direction Im off down the valley to start my adventure,after a stop the weather isgetting wetter by the minute I trek on towards the summit visibility is very bad and there is nothing to see a great pity.After three arduous hours I finally reach the top I quite chuiffed really as the weather is horrible.After a quick stop Im off to Deepdale Haus and on my way down I meet a scotsman wearing a Barbour full length wax coat …..with shorts on lol,a quick chat and Im off down to the Hause and down to Grisedale Tarn.A little break and Im off back towards Glenridding,on the way I pass a group of guys Im on a roll so a quick hello and im off arriving back at my car 5 minutes quicker than two weeks ago wowsa and Im soaked to the skin wrong clothing lol see you next time Mike Wilson (MM)
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