Sunday, 12th September 2010

   

            

 

Walk: Steel End, Steel Fell, Calf Crag, Sergeant Man, High Raise, Ullscarf, Standing Crag, Harrop Tarn
Start Point: Dob Gill car park Grid Reference: NY 315 140
Distance: 11 miles Ascent: 3,660 feet
Time: 7 hours    
Weather: Dry to start but a number of short showers competed with the sunny spells
Comments: A brisk walk to Steel End warms us up for the climb up to Steel Fell, and a chance to check out the views over the valley to Helvellyn, Fairfield, etc - just a few of the many summits we will see today. A good ridge walk leads us on to Calf Crag where a comfortable, sheltered spot provides us with good views as we take our morning break. Leaving Calf Crag it's time to recall Coast-to-Coast expeditions as we cross the head of Far Easedale and make our way beside Mere Beck to Codale Head and on to Sergeant Man, and a new set of summits to identify. Turning our back on the 'Man' we head across to a very windy High Raise. An elderly couple vacate the shelter as we enter it - hope we will still be doing these walks when we are their age! By the time we have finished our lunch there is some very serious-looking 'weather' making its way across the Langstrath Valley, but fortunately it isn't long before it has passed us by. From Low White Stones we have quite a descent to Greenup Edge - and more thoughts of the Coast-to-Coast before climbing again to Ullscarf. Now on the last lap and it should all be straightforward - or so I thought!!!! Descending to Thirlmere Forest Garry decides to explore the deepest part of the boggy ground that he can find - up to his knees! Then in the forest, the path marked as a bridleway deteriorates to little more than a rocky stream bed - and we have had a lot of rain recently. I thought horses  and cyclists should be able to navigate bridleways??!!

Scroll down to see photos of the walk

A short detour at the start of the walk gives us an unusual view of the bridge over Dob Gill . . .

 

then we head down the road to Steel End . . .

 

taking in the view of our climb on the way

 

It really is much steeper than it looks . . .

 

and we are soon well above Thirlmere

 

Finally on Steel Fell summit, the first Wainwright of 5 we are doing today . . .

 

and Thirlmere now looks some distance away

 

On our way to Calf Crag we can see part of our route for later in the day, from High Raise to Ullscarf and beyond

 

From Calf Crag, Greenhow Crags bask in the sunshine . . .

 

and we find a sheltered spot for a coffee break . . .

 

and a good view down to Grasmere, with Helm Crag just above centre-left

 

Further along the path, the sun dapples the ridges from Gibson Knott to Steel Fell, Seat Sandal, Fairfield, St Sunday Crag and the Helvellyn range

 

Sergeant Man is quite impressive from this angle . . .

 

and the male half of the group claim the summit . . .

 

with its views down to Stickle Tarn, Pavey Ark on the right and the Coniston Fells in the distance

 

Looking over the ridge to Elterwater with Windermere in distance

 

After exploring the views from a windy High Raise . . .

 

we retreat to the shelter for lunch . . .

 

but before long some 'serious weather' looks like it's coming our way over Glaramara

 

The shower was short-lived and soon the sun returns as we continue on to . . .

 

Ullscarf . . .

 

where the post points to Great Gable . . .

 

and the wind continues to cause havoc with the hair (now why don't the men have that problem!?)

 

Leaving High Raise we follow the boundary fence line . . .

 

with the Helvellyn massif across the valley

 

Ian braves the precipice of Standing Crag to get this view over Blea Tarn . . .

 

while we take an easier route . . .

 

around its rocky face

 

Heading down to the forest our Chairman, Garry, models muddy trousers - the only one to find the REALLY wet ground!

 

Eventually a decent path leads down to the forest gate

 

Harrop Tarn with Tarn Crags standing guard . . .

 

and a good forest path . . .

 

takes us over the footbridge, but it's all downhill from there!!! (The path is marked as a bridleway on the map but it deteriorates to little more than a rocky stream bed for most of the way. The path on the opposite side of the beck would be a much better option.)

 

Finally back on the road the bridge takes us over Dob Gill and back to the car park

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