On Thursday, the “Main Event” was to hike “The Langdales“, which is a series of mountains just to the west of Grasmere. Patty, Andreas, and I would start in the village of Elterwater, hike north up to the ridge, then northwest along the ridge past Swinescar Pike (1348 ft), then west up past Blea Rigg (1775 ft), and on to Stickle Tarn (about 1550 ft). Mary would meet us there, having scaled the 1200 ft climb up Stickle Ghyll (ravine) from Walker’s Pub.
This is the recorded path we took, reading from right to left (The track shows a spur that takes off north, but that was a glitch in the app.). Walker’s Pub is at the end. The total distance was 6.45 miles, with 1555 ft of ascent, and it took us 5 hours and 13 minutes (moving time).
This is one of the early views, looking south towards Elterwater, from an elevation of about 830 ft. The mountains in the distance are, on the left, Black Fell (1060 ft), in the center distance, Holme Fell (1033 ft), and on the right, Blake Rigg (1388 ft).
Look how far that trail goes back! The body of water in the distant right appears to be Windermere, a good 4 miles away! The mountain at center appears to be Loughrigg Fell (1102 ft), which we hiked over and around on Day 4.
And here we are, with a backdrop of Great Langdale, the valley of Great Langdale Beck (stream). On the left, just over that ridge and 800 ft down are the Langdale Boulders, which we will visit the next morning. On the left in the distance is Side Pike (1188 ft). In the center is South Top (left, 2736 ft) and Long Top (right, 2818 ft). Later, we will be returning down the gully (Stickle Ghyll) in the distance over my left shoulder, and about 1.5 miles away. Beyond it is Harrison Stickle (2402 ft), the peak of which is about 900 ft above Stickle Tarn.
Here, Andreas is having a deeply transcendent moment, communing with Nature. Patty is having a snack. To the left, out of view, is Swinescar Pike (1348 ft).
Up and ready for more!
You can’t help but gawk at the views. But come on guys, keep up! And this is on telephoto!
Hill walking at its finest!
Looking northeast, and down on the northern outskirts of Grasmere, from Little Castle How, over a mile and a half away.
Ok, so here you see Patty and Andreas, struggling on a rocky descent, having made the mistake of following me over that crag, instead of simply taking the, unmarked I will point out, path around it on the left. You just can’t find good sherpas these days.
Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.
The cotton grass at this tarn really must have been something when it was in full bloom.
Is that inviting, or what?
This was up the slope from our path. Is it a burial cairn? Even if not, it would be a fine place to put my ashes – but not too soon! I’ve got a lot of hills to walk!
On the upper right you see a sheep pen that may have been there for 100 years or more.
This was one stunning view – looking down the gully, across the valley, up the next ridge, and to the peaks beyond! This is looking due south, at an elevation of about 1560 ft. At left at mid distance on the left is Lingmoor Fell (1539 ft), on the right, Side Pike (1188 ft). I believe at the far distance is Wetherlam (2503 ft) and Black Salis (2444 ft), about 5 miles away.
Look at those stone walls on the opposite slope! Unbelievable! That first ridge is about 2 miles away. The second peak is nearly 4 miles away!
Another view of Pavey Ark, in the distance, and in the reflection off the crystal clear water of Stickle Tarn. The deep crevasse on the right is called Jake’s Rake. Look it up before you consider it. I assume that the grass in the water is the remains of cotton grass.
Here we’re just starting down. It looks like we’re getting ready to hike off a cliff.
The path we’re on is now on the left. And a couple of chaps are a ways in front of us. Stickle Ghyll (ravine) is on the right.
And this is looking back up the hill. Patty, Mary, and Andreas are way up on the right, and a group of students is coming down on the left.
On our descent . . . This place makes you feel small. The knot directly behind us is Pike Howe. Just on the other side of it is Dungeon Ghyll waterfall. And lower down on the other side is a quarry that was used back in the Stone Age.
Here come Mary and Andreas. This is what it looked like climbing down the 1200 ft through Stickle Ghyll. Beautiful beyond belief.
Would you believe that at this very moment Patty has me holding up a doggie door?
Patty and Andreas finally hit the tree line.
Still making our way down Stickle Ghyll.
First things first (first round that is).
Finally! The patio, at Walker’s Bar.
This was just a shot out the car window as we were driving back towards Elterwater on Side Gates Road. This is looking west towards Blake Rigg (about 1720 ft). What a landscape! In the foreground, it’s bracken. At mid distance, those are probably 60 ft firs (These are just up-slope from Blea Tarn, out-of-sight right.). And in the distance, every ripple was a brush stroke from the Hand of God!
Rich and Patty at The Britannia Inn.
Mary had a meat pie.
Patty had a vegetarian chili.
I had the Lamb Henry, with broccoli, new potatoes, squash, and mint gravy. Ummmm!
And we all had the Sticky Toffee Pudding (shared of course)!
The bridge in Elterwater over Great Langdale Beck.
Back in time for our evening walk through Paradise (Ambleside).