Hart Crag is one of the
of hills in the
Eastern Fells and stands on the
ridge running south east from Fairfield to
Dove Crag at the point where a long
subsidiary spur sweeps off to the north east.
Hartsop above How and
although in reality part of Hart Crag, was treated as a separate fell by
Alfred Wainwright in his
Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells.
Being at the meeting point of three ridges, Hart
Crag also has a share in three valleys. Despite forming a part of the
headwall in each case the fell is not the true head of any of them.
West of the summit runs the long and unfrequented valley of Rydal
Beck. This flows almost due south for 3 miles, finally emptying into the
River Rothay at Rydal village. The slopes of Rydal Head below Hart Crag
are steep, but reasonably free of outcropping rock.
To the north of Hart Crag is Link Cove, a
discharging via waterfalls into upper Deepdale. Deepdale Beck in turn
runs north east to join other streams bound for
The main faces of
Hart Crag lie on this side presenting a fine prospect from
St Sunday Crag and other fells to
Dovedale is the third valley, running broadly eastward
and separated from Deepdale by the Hartsop Above How ridge.
Immediately below Hart Crag is Houndshope Cove, a high level
in upper Dovedale.
The ridge to Fairfield starts north westward as
far as the saddle of Link Hause (2,450 ft). This is the geographical
link between Rydale and Link Cove, but there is no practicable walkers'
route from one to the other.
Beyond here the ridge mounts a rocky
step (the end of Srubby Crag) and then turns westward onto the widening
grassy top of Fairfield.
Dove Crag to the south east is reached across the
unnamed col between Houndshope Cove and Rydale. A stone wall runs along
the majority of the ridge, providing an aid to route-finding in poor
The Hartsop Above How ridge starts indistinctly from
the summit of Hart Crag, a descent across a wide area of rough ground
being made before a discernible ridgeline materialises.
The summit of Hart Crag has a covering of rock
with rich turf showing through. Two
mark the ends of a short ridge running along the top, with other cairns
giving guidance to the viewpoints for Deepdale and Dovedale.
highest point is at the south eastern end of the summit area a little to
the west of the main path. The view is good westward to the
Scafells and also toward the
Far Eastern Fells but
Fairfield and Dove Crag obscure much of the District.
Hart Crag is most commonly climbed as part of
This popular fell walk makes a circuit of Rydale claiming 8
Wainwrights over a distance of 10
Starting at Bridgend, Hartsop Above How provides another
means of indirect access.
A number of direct ascents are also possible
and Rydale can be followed to its head from where the steep climb out of
the valley leads to the summit.
Alternatively an approach can be
made along Deepdale, skirting the worst of the bogs, and climbing onto
the Hartsop Above How ridge from the lower part of Link Cove.
Dovedale and Houndshope Cove provide a third possibility.
routes near Hart Crag