Drawing 209: Summit cairn, Sergeant Man

Direction of view: NE

Notes: Sergeant Man has very little by way of a cairn, certainly not the impressive structure in the sketch.  Wainwright tended to blame vandalism for the disappearance of cairns (cf. Pike o’Blisco and Lingmell), but lightning strikes are certainly to blame in some cases.

One problem is getting your own shadow on the foreground rocks; probably best to take the photo early afternoon in summer.

This view appears on page Sergeant Man 8 in The Central Fells, page 207 of Westmorland Heritage, page 19 of Fellwalking with a Camera (where the sketch and photograph appear together, for comparison), page 56 of Memoirs of a Fellwanderer, and it is the second photo in Fellwanderer.

Comments: I first took this picture on slide film on 6th April 1977  during the Easter holidays of my first year at University.  It was a day with Andrew Amos and Peter Messenger, and we snapped a clutch of sketches around Wythburn, Rydal, Grasmere and up Easedale.  It was an odd day, with a good deal of sun, and some heavy snow showers.

My second picture, also on slide film, was taken on 20th December 1992 – a near perfect winter’s day, cold and clear, with snow on the fells.  Peter Messenger and I set out via a partly-frozen Easedale Tarn, and I enjoyed a scramble on Belles Knott.  We had a late and hurried lunch on Sergeant Man, then went on over High Raise and Ullscarf, and had to use torches on the descent to Pete’s car at Steel End.

I took the picture on digital on my tenth visit to the summit of Sergeant Man.  It was 1st February 2015, a winter walk with Peter Messenger on a beautiful day, but with ice and soft snow making for difficult and tiring conditions underfoot.  Leaving Grasmere at 10.30 it was 2.40pm by the time we reached the summit of High Raise.  Moving across to Sergeant Man, there was good late afternoon light on the fells, but it was very cold for fiddling with camera equipment.  After taking the photo, we proceeded to Blea Rigg, taking drawing 354 (Easedale Tarn) en route.