First time around the Kentmere Horseshoe

I decided that due to the brilliant weather forecast last Tuesday, I’d take a day off the PhD and head up to the Lakes with Lorna, Imogen and their Dad. I’ve been itching to do the Kentmere Horseshoe for quite a while, and seeing it bathed in the sunshine the week before whilst we drove straight past cemented the idea in my mind.

We struggled to find a parking place in Kentmere, but fortunately just as we were driving out of the village, one of the locals offered us use of his drive! The weather was just as good as we expected it to be, and we got some stunning view heading up the Garburn Pass out of Kentmere. A lot of the Lakes had a clear inversion layer just below the summits, and whilst the Kentmere hills didn’t, it was beautiful to see.

From the summit of Froswick. Great inversion layer going on in the distance!

From the summit of Froswick. Great inversion layer going on in the distance!

We headed north from the Garburn Pass, over Yoke, Ill Bell and Froswick, ending up on Thornthwaite Crags. There was quite a bit of snow and it was very┬áconsolidated, which made descending some of the steeper slopes a bit tricky without crampons. The summit of Thornthwaite Crags was crowded with people and their dogs – presumably most had come up from the north as the Kentmere hills themselves were relatively quiet.

Summit of Froswick again.

From here, it was on to Mardale Ill Bell and then down the Nan Bield Pass to Kentmere Reservoir and back to Kentmere. I took note of some of the gullies onto the Yoke – Thornthwaite ridge, and there looked to be a multitude of easy gullies and interested mixed lines that I haven’t seen described in any book. I was a bit annoyed I couldn’t take another day off and come back armed with climbing gear.

A rather busy Thornthwaite Crags.

We’ve been really lucky with the weather recently and I felt very grateful to be out in the Lakes in such good conditions.