The skyline here is of my “Central Fells” with the Helvellyn Massif to the left and the Fairfield Group to the right. Taken at 2:46pm.

(including the tops of Helm Cragthe Howitzer, Gibson Knott, Calf Crag and Dead PikeSteel Fell.)

This day the forecast was for mixed rain and sunshine and it proved correct on this autumnal day around the mini-classic Helm Crag to Steel Fell Horseshoe. A couple of days earlier on a walk to Easedale Tarn, ascending by Sourmilk Gill and back to Grasmere by the foot of Far Easedale over Stythwaite Steps, I had foolishly left my camera behind. The weather and forecast looked dire but as always when I break my golden rule, always carry a camera, I missed out on a continuous display of supersaturated and intense rainbows the like of which I have never seen before.

So today I slung the little Sony over my shoulder as we set off on the ordinary ascent of Helm Crag – from Easdale by way of Jackdaw Crag Quarry. At least I thought I could get a few shots of the bracken, on the turn from dark green to rusty red. We hadn’t planned to go any further than the ‘Howitzer’ summit rock which is good enough for anyone but as it turned out, between periods of bright sunshine and ultra-heavy bursts of rain, the full horseshoe proved irresistible. I describe the full outing in my “Complete Lakeland Fells” and accredit it with four “Birkett’s” – tops over 1,000ft in altitude. You will find a full description in the Langdale Fells Group located in the Western Fells section should you require any more detail. Here are a few pics to hopefully wet your appetite for this fine little outing above the vale of Grasmere. (More images and description of this classic horseshoe in my new “Grasmere Yearbook”).