Kentmere Horseshoe

Posted by Sam Harrison on April 4, 2014 at 09:23.

 Fell running

cloud inversion fell running kentmere horseshoe lake district sunset

I love winter, don't get me wrong, but it's great to have the long days back! For one, it meant I could pop up to Kentmere on Tuesday evening for a jaunt around the (extended) Kentmere Horseshoe. It was one of those days where everything just fitted perfectly into place and my run was timed perfectly. Perfect timing for clouds to clear off the summits just as I arrived at them, perfect timing for a stunning cloud inversion on Harter Fell, and perfect timing to watch the sun set whilst sat on Kentmere Pike. And I got back just in enough light to not have to use a head torch. Actually, pretty much everything about the run was perfect, from the warming evening sunlight to a distinct lack of wind and a complete lack of people. Even my legs didn't complain too much!

I had initially planned to go to Haweswater, but upon seeing the clouds thickening the more north I drove up the M6, I decided to bail off early and head to Kentmere. The clouds were looming over Thornthwaite Crag and Kentmere Pike when I arrived and I resigned myself to the fact that I'd soon be running in the cloud, but I was pleasantly surprised to see them cloudless when I summited the first hill of the run, Yoke.

Windemere from the summit of Yoke

Clouds looming over Thornthwaite Crag and Harter Fell in the distance.

From here I worked my way along the undulating ridge towards Thornthwaite Crag, taking in the great views across to Coniston and Helvellyn all the while. Things got a bit more gloomy on the stretch from Thornthwaite Crag to Harter Fell (I decided to miss out High Street), but by the time I summited Harter Fell I was in the sun once more. I extended the horseshoe by doing an out and back stretch to Branstree and Selside, which was a bit of a drag, but it did mean that the second time I was on Harter Fell I was treated to a wonderful cloud inversion. After watching the sun set on Kentmere Pike, it was a quick dash back down to Kentmere to get back in the light.

Harter Fell for the first time.

Harter Fell for the second time.

The run turned out to be 24km long with around 1500m of ascent, which took me 3 hours 7 mins. Sorry for the quality of the photos, I only had my phone with me!
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