As you approach the Lake District via Ullswater’s shores, the landscape evolves from verdant pastures, to craggy hills and then, in spectacular fashion, mountains are seen rising into the sky. Hikes to St Sunday Crag deliver you to the top of one of these hulking giants at the lake’s head. They are adventures you will not forget in a hurry.
St Sunday Crag is, in effect, the north east reaching arm of the Fairfield massif, though it is a proud mountain in its own right and rivals Fairfield in terms of sheer grandeur and spectacle. Its huge bulk contains two other Wainwright summits in Birks and Arnison Crag, whilst dividing wild Grisedale to the north from Deepdale to the south.
Expeditions that are up there with the finest in Lakeland
Walking routes to St Sunday Crag are always exciting and strenuous. Paths linking it to Grisedale Tarn mean that it is even possible to launch an expedition from Dunmail Raise or Grasmere, but most will choose to tackle it from the head of Ullswater. All of these bases have a wide range of accommodation options.
Pinnacle Ridge, a notorious grade three scramble, ascends its craggy north western flank; prior experience and a rope is advisable if taking on this challenge.
You’ll feel as though you have earned some pretty special views once the summit is gained, and St Sunday Crag doesn’t disappoint. Every point of the compass is catered for with ridges, peaks and lakes. Striding Edge’s magnificent profile sweeping up to Helvellyn’s imperious summit is definitely the highlight.
In winter conditions, St Sunday Crag may well be too challenging for those not properly equipped with mountaineering equipment.
St Sunday Crag is an outlier of the Fairfield Horseshoe. But with sheer cliffs that plunge into Grisedale (home to the thrilling Pinnacle Ridge), summit views that stretch over the Helvellyn massif and Ullswater, and a lakeside presence that sees it referred to as ‘the Ullswater Fell’, St Sunday is very much a Crag worth bagging.
December 13, 2019
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