Stony Cove Pike and Thornthwaite Crag Walking

Stony Cove Pike is a vastly underrated fell on the eastward side of Kirkstone Pass and commonly referred to under its less-exciting name, Caudale Moor. But don’t be fooled by the flat top: it has far more going for it than is immediately apparent. No fewer than six ridges radiate from the top: one to the east, two to the north and three to the south. There are also five distinct valley approaches intermingling the ridges. And it is the southernmost of these that guides our ascent here. Ridges have airy views but, in hot weather, the cooling presence of water is a major impetus to cling to the valleys. This ascent allows you to drink and paddle to within a few minutes of the summit. The constant presence of water also increases the likelihood of wildlife. This ascent will almost certainly afford you a close encounter with red deer and, in high summer, the upper valley is fat with dragonflies.

Troutbeck Snow on Ill Bell  © Norman Hadley
Troutbeck Snow on Ill Bell
Fetching Map

Detailed description

NY4140802985 If you arrive by car, park considerately in one of the pull-ins opposite the entrance to Limefitt Park. Set off north - there is a path parallel to the road on the eastern side, to avoid tarmac-trudging.

NY4133603411 Follow the bridleway down to your right. This becomes a good farm road heading up the valley, crossing Ing Bridge and Hagg Bridge.
Troutbeck Autumn Colours  © Norman Hadley
Troutbeck Autumn Colours
© Norman Hadley, Oct 2020

NY4213105424 At Hagg Bridge, fork left to Troutbeck Park Farm and pass through the farmyard, picking up the track taking a rising contour above the beck.

NY4180506670 Cross the beck and follow the western bank on a track of increasing sketchiness. The route, however, shouldn't be in doubt: head upriver with the zeal of a Victorian explorer. In high summer, it will be jungly with bracken.
Troutbeck Lone Tree  © Norman Hadley
Troutbeck Lone Tree
© Norman Hadley, Jul 2021

NY4224708193 Just after crossing a wall boundary (gate on the left) you'll see a series of cascades pouring down the flank on your left. Set off up these, getting as intimate with the water as the temperature demands.

NY4177308750 The route levels off into a remote hanging valley where deer often loiter. Cross the wall boundary, using the wooden barrier. Walk upstream, heading north. This becomes a deep ravine and it's once more up to you how closely you want to engage with it. Depending on recent rainfall, the water will still to a trickleeter out around 700 metres. By then you'll have a simple walk up grassy slopes to the east-west wall and the summit of Stony Cove Pike.
Deer in Upper Troutbeck  © Norman Hadley
Deer in Upper Troutbeck
© Norman Hadley, Jun 2020

NY4180109991 Drop northeast on steep ground, with the wall as your guide, to the coll of Threshwaite Mouth and the steep climb to Thornthwaite Crag with its magnificent pillar.

NY4314310044 Head south on a rounded grassy ridge with tremendous end-on views of Froswick and Ill Bell.

NY4324409302 Watch out for the right fork picking up the Roman road down to Hagg Beck.

NY4257506449 To avoid recovering ground, cross the small foot bridge and follow the track along the eastern edge of the valley bottom.

NY4180803174 When you reach Limefitt holiday park, fork right to go through the park back to the start.
Troutbeck Evening Light  © Norman Hadley
Troutbeck Evening Light
© Norman Hadley, May 2021

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Further Routes

by Norman Hadley

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