Seat Sandal - Route One

 

Start - Dunmail Raise NY 327 116 Distance - 1.5 miles Ascent - 1,620 feet Time - 1 hour : 25 minutes


Dunmail Raise, the highest point of the Grasmere ~ Keswick road. There is unofficial verge parking near the stiles on either side of the road and there is a long layby a little further to the south by the Achille Ratti Climbing Club hut
A path heads towards Raise Beck passing the original course of the beck that used to flow south from the summit of Dunmail Raise,   now largely dry.  The stream was diverted to the north to feed the Thirlmere reservoir 
Looking across the slopes of Steel Fell towards Helm Crag and Gibson Knott.  The Howitzer is clearly visible on the horizon
Approaching the entrance to the Raise Beck valley
Looking back to the starting point from the lower section of the path.  The long eastern flank of Steel Fell rises above the opposite side of the pass
Raise Beck runs in a deeply enclosed valley between the slopes of Willie Wife Moor and Seat Sandal which means the views are very restricted.  The path beside the stream is initially quite good but it becomes much rougher as height is gained
Looking down the lower part of Raise Beck
The lower and smaller of the two cascades that are the main attraction on this very confined route
Seat Sandal - page 1
Looking up to the series of waterslides below the higher cascade. The path alongside them becomes quite rough and eroded
Nearing the top of the gill where the view opens out over Steel Fell to the central fells
The gradient eases as Fairfield appears and the path veers away from the beck to avoid a boggy area near its source
A last look back down the steep sided valley
Old metal  fenceposts mark the highest point of the main path before it splits to contour around Grisedale Tarn.  Another path turns to the right and  begins to ascend the northern slopes of Seat Sandal
The path rises towards a collapsed wall and it is just a matter of following its course to the summit ridge
Grisedale Tarn from the start of the path to Seat Sandal's summit ridge  The low point on the ridge above the tarn's outlet is Deepdale Hause with the ridge leading up from it to Cofa Pike and Fairfield
The ever widening views help to enliven the dull climb to the ridge.  Steel Fell now appears completely dominated by the huge bulk of Ullscarf.  The dome of Great Gable appears over the ridge of Glaramara with Pillar further to the right. High Stile and Red Pike are just visible over the summit of Ullscarf with Dale Head on the right
Grisedale Tarn with St. Sunday Crag beyond its outlet, the slopes of Dollywaggon Pike rising on the left
Looking back over Willie Wife Moor to Skiddaw beyond the dark slopes of Helvellyn on the right
Nearing the top of the north slope and looking down to Grisedale Tarn.  Place Fell appears in the distance between Dollwaggon Pike and St.Sunday Crag
The s ummit cairn lies a hundred feet to the west (right) of the ruined wall which makes an abrupt turn at this point and begins to descend towards Grisedale Hause
Looking over the summit cairn to St.Sunday Crag, Cofa Pike and Fairfield.  The cairn has been greatly enlarged since AW drew his sketch over 55 years ago   Seat Sandal - page 6
Cofa Pike and Fairfield
Great Rigg
Looking south over the Great Rigg ~ Stone Arthur ridge to Heron Pike
Grasmere and Coniston Water
Looking south west over Lingmoor Fell and Silver How to the Coniston Fells
Easedale Tarn below a sunlit Blea Rigg. The Langdale Pikes in the middle distance with Crinkle Crags on the horizon
On the horizon from the left, Scafell Pike, Great End, Glaramara, Great Gable, Scoat Fell and Pillar. The High Raise ~ Ullscarf ridge in the middle distance
The north western fells on the horizon
Sunlit High Seat and Bleaberry Fell on the left with the Skiddaw group in the distance
Looking north to High Crag and Dollywaggon Pike 
AW's sketch of Ullswater appears to have made some distance north-east of the summit on the other side of the ruined wall
Seat Sandal - page 8
Place Fell framed between the steep slopes of Dollywaggon Pike and St.Sunday Crag
A lone walker approaches the summit after ascending the south ridge. The cairn he has just passed stands above a steep slope and offers better views down to Grasmere
Grasmere from the south west viewpoint cairn
Easedale Tarn and a sunlit Harrison Stickle from the south west cairn
More sunlight illuminates Great Gable and the ridge leading to Ullscarf from Greenup Edge
The south eastern slopes of Ullscarf  in sunlight with High Stile visible above its summit ridge
The north western fells on the skyline
From the south west cairn there is a much better view of Thirlmere.  High Seat and Bleaberry Fell are the sunlit fells above it with Raven Crag in shadow below the backdrop provided by the Skiddaw group

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