St Sunday Crag, Patterdale

5.0
St Sunday Crag is a fell in the English Lake District, part of the Fairfield group in the Eastern Fells. It is a prominent feature in the Patterdale skyline, with a distinctive rounded shape. Indeed, it figures so finely in views from the upper reach of the lake that it is sometimes referred to as ‘the Ullswater Fell’.TopographySt Sunday Crag is the high point on the north-eastern ridge of Fairfield, which runs for two miles before descending to the valley floor behind Patterdale village. From the flat Fairfield summit a rough slope descends over the subsidiary top of Cofa Pike to the col at Deepdale Hause at c680 m (2,200 ft). This is a narrow point on the ridge, deeply scarred by pedestrian traffic. The ground now rises again to St Sunday Crag, soaring above the dales on either side. Beyond the summit there is a swift drop to the lower plateau of Birks and beyond this is the further satellite of Arnison Crag.The top of St Sunday Crag is triangular in plan with a third ridge running off due east. This crosses a depression (The Cape) before the lower top of Gavel Pike at 784 m (2,572 ft) is reached. From below this is a shapely pyramid worthy of the ‘pike’ designation, although its subsidiarity is all too plain from above. Below Gavel Pike is the further top of Lord's Seat before the short east ridge falls away over rough ground to Deepdale.It is the north-western face above Grisedale that is St Sunday Crag's chief glory. The long graceful curve of the top is set above a wall of crag half a mile long, the whole face being neatly symmetrical. A series of vertical gullies slice through the crags, which together with the intervening ridges provide sport for scramblers and climbers. The crags peter out at about 550 m (1,800 ft), to be replaced by a steep scree slope falling to the valley floor, a further 250 m (800 ft) below. Fine views of this face can be had from Helvellyn and Birkhouse Moor across the valley.
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St Sunday Crag Reviews
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  • Feels like a hard walk up but worth it for the excellent views. Steep descent at the end. And wide safe path.  more »
  • If you choose a good day, and I did, this is a beautiful walk. The views are superb in every direction. Having said that, never underestimate such a walk. It's not easy but the rewards are plenty.  more »
  • Arduous climb but the views of Ullswater were worth it. If Helvellyn isn't for you, St Sunday may be. If you prefer to hike the valley floor, that is very beautiful also.  more »
Google
  • One of my favourite peaks. A superb walk starts from Bridge End, Patterdale, goes up the Hartsop above How ridge to Hart Crag, a long climb but a good path (bit indistinct near Hart Crag), then along the horseshoe path to Fairfield, then down to Grisedale Hause (when you first see the way down from the back of Fairfield, it's looks pretty scary, but it's a very straightforward good path) and then up the other side to St Sunday's Crag. The descent down the spine of St Sunday to Birks looking down into Grisedale all the while is a delight, you end up on the Grisedale road back to Patterdale - the White Lion pub is then a definite magnet for weary legs. I found it much more difficult to do this route in reverse a few months later - the climb up Birks off the Grisedale Road is steep and unrelenting, all the way up to St Sunday summit.It's exhausting! You can also drop off Grisedale Hause down an indistinct path to Grisedale tarn, and then go down the good path down Grisedale - one of the most beautiful valleys for my money, it looks almost Swiss in the lower reaches. Or of course from the tarn you can go the other way down towards Grasmere.

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