Five days of fine walks, centred around Longthwaite, Borrowdale, July 1999
Walks with a Camera © Geoff’s Pages 2011
This being our travelling day, we decided on a short walk on the
way to our ultimate destination. Many years ago, I had "done"
Jack's Rake on Pavey Ark, Great Langdale, and fancied another
Alas, the dry weather changed to a
steady rain at Dungeon Gill. We donned
waterproofs and made our way beside
Stickle Beck to the tarn, then round to
the foot of the rake. It looked
dangerously wet and greasy, He's more
suited to this kind of weather so we turned instead to Easy
Gully - which we found to be easy in name only, an
overhanging chock stone nearly proving to be our downfall,
literally.... We bypassed it, squelched our way to the
summit, then returned to the car and drove on to
Longthwaite, in Borrowdale, our destination for four nights.
Day 1: Pavey Ark
Day 2: Derwentwater and back
We left Longthwaite and followed the Derwent downstream to
Grange, there (after a quick ice-cream) taking the path along
the western shore of the Lake to Hause End. Time for Lunch!
Turning southwards, we ascended
the ridge which starts with the fine
peak of Catbells and continues via
Maiden Moor to High Spy. As we
climbed, the view opened up on the
beautiful Newlands valley.
Heading downhill now, our route took
us via the long-disused Rigg Head
slate mines, back to the path beside
the Derwent and finally to our
Day 3: Great Gable
We left Longthwaite once
again by taking the riverside
path, this time upstream,
past the Youth Hostel, then
took the path up the east
side of the Seathwaite
valley (thus avoiding the road).
Climbing beside Taylorgill Force, it was clear that it would be far
from clear if we gained much more height, so, after a quick
lunch above the fall, we headed for Sty Head and sought the
South Traverse path around Great Gable. There is so much
foreground interest to this path that the lack of a distant view
Joining Moses' Trod at the end of the
traverse, we picked our way towards
Honister when, without warning, great
holes blew into the mist and we were
standing in bright sunshine, watching an
amazing wall of white come tumbling over
the slopes of Kirk Fell and Pillar, while
ragged scraps blew past us. Time for a few
Eventually, we left our viewpoint and continued on our
way, at Honister taking the old road, now a rough track,
back to Borrowdale. It had been an excellent day, and,
most oddly, we seemed to have done far more descending
than ascending - perhaps a reflection on the interesting
routes we had followed.
Day 4: Glaramara and the rain
I had long intended to have a look at Glaramara and the ridge to
Allen Crags, and today's blue sky held great promise....
We followed the previous day's route for the first mile or so,
before taking the path to Thornythwaite Fell and, eventually, the
superb rocky peak of Glaramara. The mists were beginning to
form as we approached the summit; by the
time we had eaten lunch and re-started on
the ridge, a fine rain had begun, which
quickly became a heavy, soaking rain.
We soon passed the rain-soaked summit of
Allen Crags, before turning left to Angle
tarn, and left again down into the (very
appropriately named) Long Strath. The heavy rain (not in
the forecast) became lighter as we descended - hardly a
drop had fallen in Longthwaite.
Day 5: Buttermere, Ullswater and home
Into the car and away, for a lazy morning's photography in the
warm sunshine at Buttermere. Later, heading back towards to M6
at Penrith, we stopped at Pooley Bridge, for lunch and an hour's
gentle exercise - a row on the lake, in a boat which had seen
better days, and a pair of oars which had simply seen too many!