Date & Time: Monday 24th July 2006. 11.30 am start.

Location of Start : Near Mountain View, Seatoller in Borrowdale. ( NY 249 135 )

Places visited : Thornythwaite Fell, Glaramara, High House Tarn, Allen Crag, Combe Door, Rosthwaite Cam / Bessyboot, Tarn at Leaves and back to Mountain View.

Walk details : 8.25 mls, 3325 ft of ascent , 7 hrs 30 mins.

Walked with : Ann and the dogs.

Weather : Overcast start but getting progressively hotter as the cloud cleared away. A slight breeze.

Mountain View houses near Seatoller, we parked up the lane opposite.


Our starting point for the walk was the lane up from the main Borrowdale Road. Open the gate or climb the stile !

Base Brown, Green Gable and Brandreth in the background.

The path climbs steadily up the valley through open woodland with heavy bracken on either side, but this is a popular path so it was not overgrown.

Here we pass the upper waterfalls, much reduced by the lack of rainfall recently.

Thornythwaite Combe and the notch of Combe Door
We chose the high ground to catch the breeze

A tactical decision at this point. We were going to follow the Fell and Rock route up the valley and climb steeply at the end to Combe Door,

but decided that there would be more breeze on the ridge. It was already turning into a hot walk.

Skiddaw, Keswick and Derwent Water came into view as we climbed.

Castle Crag and Kings How form the "Jaws of Borrowdale" before the valley opened out again to the lake.

The first view of familiar fells as you reach a ridge or summit is always an inspiration. Today it was Grey Knotts and Honister Crags.

We could also see the Borrowdale Plumbago Mines, a grey line of waste heaps trailing down the fell side opposite (starting below the point of High Stile)

This was the opportunity for the dogs to find their first muddy pool for a swim. Fortunately they were cleaner and under control by the time we caught up with a group of ladies ahead.

We chatted for a while as we walked, then they stopped for lunch and to admire the view before they set off for Combe Head and Tarn at Leaves.

We pushed on to climb Glaramara itself.


A fine little scramble to the top of Glaramara.
Ann half way up, stops for a photo opportunity.


( Don't panic if scrambling isn't your thing, there is an easier grass ascent around the back !)

The Langdale Pikes over one of the rocky summits of Glaramara.

The Helvellyn Ridge reasonably clear through the haze. Fairfield is the high ground in the shadow in the centre.

The southern panorama shows the high fells from Bowfell and Esk Pike round to Gable and Pillar.

In the centre is Great End and Ill Crag over another of the rocky tops of Glaramara.

With a view like that, we stopped for lunch too!

On the move again we walked the high ground from Glaramara over to Allen Crags.

Along the way there are many reasonable sized tarns and the dogs took every opportunity to enjoy them.

High House Tarn with a backdrop of Bowfell, its Great Slab showing up a lighter grey colour in the sunshine.

The Langdale Pikes over High House and Lincombe Tarns.


Nearly there now, a fine view of Great End as we climb the last few feet of Allen Crags.


The rocky summit of Allen Crags.

It's been a very pleasant walk here from Glaramara seen in the distance.

Allen Crags summit looking east towards Esk Pike, Bowfell, Pike o' Blisco.

The sky is fairly clear of cloud now and the day is getting hotter.

Yours truly ~ Photo by Ann.~ Sunglasses by Julbo.

Great Gable and Green Gable over Sprinkling Tarn

Oh yes, those sunglasses !

Having lost my comfortable pair on the Green Crag walk (if you are walking the River Esk from Boot towards Doctor Bridge keep an eye out for them) I dug deep into the cupboard and found my other pair. Sitting on Allen Crags I has a fiddle with the four lenses that were supplied (it's a man thing) and came up with the following results . . . . (see picture above for the standard view)

Grey lenses (probably catagory 3)

Toned everything down but didn't improve long distance views

( certainly helped in the strong sunlight )


Gave a very blue colour and emphasised the haze !

( Haven't yet found a correct occasion for these )

Brown / Green

Improved the haze but not convinced

( very good but gave an over rich green - got worse with time )


Cut out the haze well but was still bright

( the effect improved with time as my eyes got used to them )


Back to the grey lenses for the return trip . . . . must get a better fitting pair comfort wise !

Windermere and the Langdale Valley as we leave on our return walk back towards Glaramara.

Wainwright drew a sketch of this, his "Perfect Mountain Tarn".

We missed it on the way out, but on the return trip we studied the map more closely and found this ideal hideaway.

Wainwright's excellent sketch - Book 4 Southern Fells

Peace and tranquility and Bowfell from Wainwright's un-named tarn.

Tranquility that was, until I took a dip to cool off.

The walk from Glaramara out to Allen Crag and back was quite rocky asnd steep in places, so on the way back we kept to the right and avoided much of the rough ground in favour of moorland grass, sheep tracks and a view down into Langstrath.

Crossing above Driedley Gill which drops down into Langstrath to our right.

By-passing Glaramara summit this time, we headed towards Combe Head.


The view from Combe Door, looking down on the Borrowdale Valley.

The row of white houses below were Mountain View, where we started this morning.

Onward and downward, we wound our way through the rocky outcrops towards our final summit, or should we say summits.

The Rosthwaite Fells are a complicated bunch of tops, split in two by Tarn at Leaves. The highest top, in the southern half, is Rosthwaite Cam but AW mentions specifically that for the purposes of the "book" the northern summit of Bessyboot is the one counted as the primary fell, due to its dominance as seen from the valley below. As a result, we decided to climb both of them.

Rosthwaite Cam summit is the small rock scramble on the left . . .

which gave us this view down to our last top, Bessyboot, in the centre of the picture,

There at last was Tarn at Leaves.

The rough nature of the ground round here is well illustrated in this final view from Bessyboot.

A short and steep descent brought us back to the valley path where we started our ascent seven hours ago.

A last look back to Combe Door and Combe Head before we head for the car.


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Technical note: Pictures taken with a Canon IXUS 400 Digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . an extra litre of water in the rucksack.

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