Start – A591 layby NY336087, Distance – 10km, Ascent – 975m, Time – 4hrs 00mins plus stops.
A short but challenging walk offering an alternative route onto Fairfield. Parking is in the lay-by on the A591 and the route follows the road before turning into the track at Mill Bridge. After about 500m, turn left through a gate into the fields and ascend the broad shoulder of Seat Sandal. Follow the wall steeply down to Grisedale Tarn before ascending (steeply again) onto Fairfield. The route becomes generally easier after Fairfield, although there is a steep descent after Stone Arthur. Route finding is generally easy, particularly after the summit of Seat Sandal.

Climbing the southern shoulder of Seat Sandal. Helm Crag is in the background and Grasmere is just visible to the left.

Grisedale Tarn from the col between Seat Sandal and Fairfield, with St Sunday Crag in the background. The descent from Seat Sandal is steep and occasionally loose underfoot.

Some idiot playing in the snow on the slopes of Fairfield. Trouble was, we’d brought this particular idiot with us! Don’t try this at home

Despite being late December, the tops were relatively cloud-free for most of the morning. We did get a bit of clag on the summit of Fairfield, and here we’re dropping out of it with Great Rigg ahead.

This shot is taken from Helm Crag. The ascent route onto Seat Sandal is in red, and you get some idea of the drop between Seat Sandal and Fairfield.