Drawing 26: Harter Fell, Eskdale

Direction of view: S

Notes: This sketch is taken from the path to upper Eskdale from Taw House Farm.  Best lighting is late afternoon in summer.

This view appears on page 99 of Fellwalking with a Camera.  The photograph and the drawing are extraordinarily similar, though a tiny sheep and lamb appear in the drawing, but not in the photograph.

Comments: I first took this picture on slide film on 29th June 1977.  Peter Messenger and I had spent the night in a tent on the summit of Helm Crag, and were up very early, leading to lots of photography in Ambleside and Great and Little Langdale, then over the passes to Eskdale.  The walk we eventually did was an ascent of Slight Side (my first), and I noted that the distance was “quite long, especially with detour for view of Harter Fell”.

On 16th June 2013, Anne Setright and I were just starting a week’s walking holiday based in Boot.  For a first walk, we ascended Harter Fell, armed with the sketches from the summit.   Unfortunately, by the time we got there, the higher fells were in cloud (see 192).  The weather improved as we descended, so we decided on a detour to find the location for this sketch, particularly as it was one of relatively few needed from the first Lakeland Sketchbook for the Wainwright Society’s sketchbook project.   Interestingly, it looked initially as if Wainwright had distorted the perspective in his drawing to make the summit of Harter Fell more prominent, but by the time we reached the location of the sketch, it looked pretty much as AW shows it.  The valley trees and fields were also recognisable from his drawing.  Annoyingly, as we walked back to Boot, beautiful late afternoon sunshine developed!