Date & Time: Saturday 12th May 2007. 10.10 am start. ( NY 338 081 )

Location of Start : The Smithy, Pye Lane, Grasmere, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 143 211 )

Places visited : Grasmere, Lancrigg, Helm Crag, Gibson Knott, Calf Crag, Greenup path, Ferngill Crag, Tarn Crag, Easedale Tarn, Far Easedale Gill, Lancrigg and back via Grasmere.

Walk details : 8.5 mls, 2675 ft of ascent , 6 hrs 45 mins.

Walked with : Chris G, Jo and her dog Megan, Terry, myself and our dogs.

Weather : Low cloud and slight rain, improving till it was high broken cloud, fine and sunny.

Only four and three dogs today


Chris G is in the middle of a short holiday in the Lakes and invited us to join her on a walk in the Grasmere area.

Ann, John P, Jill and Jodie (Jo's other dog) were all unable to walk today so four of us set off for a circular walk around the head of Far Easedale.

Colourful gardens in Grasmere Village
Helm Crag above another nice garden and home.

Low cloud hides the fell tops, and Sour Milk Gill is in full spate behind one of the houses at Lancrigg.

Helm Crag this way . . .
. . . but not for cars !

One look at the narrow stoney lane would have confirmed that anyway.

The route led up through a wet woodland area . . .
. . . full of small old quarries, tracks and streams.

In no time we were up high and looking back on our first view of Grasmere, with Loughrigg Fell behind.

Climbing now, on a good path up through the bracken covered side of Helm Crag.

There were signs that the weather was starting to improve. Tarn Crag, our main target for the day, was now clear.

Terry kneels down for a photo, Harry whispers suggestions about taking it quickly before Bethan arrives.

One last swirl of cloud blows round us as we reach the shoulder, on the way up Helm Crag.

Chris and Jo, as they start the rockier section towards the top of the fell.

A panorama of our walk today from the top of the Lion Rock on the southern edge of Helm Crag.

Ahead is the Howitzer, followed by Gibson Knott and Calf Crag, all parts of this same ridge.

We then plan to climb left onto Tarn Crag (the darker summit below the sky-line)

and complete the walk by visiting Easedale Tarn, and home by following the river down.

The Howitzer overlooking the rocky summit area of Helm Crag, with Dunmail Raise and the road to Keswick beyond.

I climb, Jo waits, the dogs look on, and Terry photographs the attempt.
The rock was slippery today so Jo declined the last few feet of the climb

(photos by Chris)

On with the walk . . .

as Chris starts the ascent of Gibson Knott further along the ridge from Helm Crag .

A fellow walker reaches Gibson Knott as well.

Could that be a patch of sunlight on the crags ahead ?

Lunch today was delayed till we found a sheltered spot under Calf Crag.

Jo had forgotten her lunch, so fortunately Ann's spare sarnies were in Roger's rucksack, so he didn't have to eat them or carry them back down !

Definite sunshine now, and it is spreading as far across as St Sunday Crag, seen through the gap between Fairfield and Dollywagon Pike.

The Grasmere to Borrowdale path crosses the high fells at Greenup Edge at the top of the photo.

Our path crosses it at Brownrigg Moss at the top end of the Far Easedale valley.

A busy little crossroads today.

Looking back to Calf Crag where we had lunch earlier, the cloud have now almost lifted sufficiently to clear Helvellyn Summit.

Bethan catching a photo this time on Ferngill Crag, a minor summit on the way over to Tarn Crag.

There was no formal path on this part of the route, but occasional use by walkers (and sheep no doubt) has created an intermittent path which we followed.

Myself and the two dogs on the same crag.

Well, at least two of us are looking at the camera !

The Coniston Fells and Wetherlam stand clear of the Blea Rigg ridge,

taken from the small tarn seen in the photo above.

A small group of 25 on Tarn Crag ahead
but they leave just before we arrived

We did actually have a chat with the last of the group. They were all members of the "Friends of the Settle Carlisle Railway"

and were on one of their monthly Lakes walks, having travelled over by train to Appleby Station, then by bus into this part of the Lakes.

Chris sitting happily below Tarn Crag summit and enjoying what is now quite strong afternoon sunshine.

A short diversion from the summit cairn took us over to the top of Tarn Crags themselves.

Here we were able to get our first full view down onto Easdale Tarn itself.

Unfortunately . . . . .

In taking his rucksack off, Terry let his camera go and it ever-so-slowly rolled, then bounced in a very expensive way down that grass and over the rocky ledge. The position was so exposed that no one even contemplated making a dash to catch it before it finally toppled into oblivion.

Oblivion, viewed from below . . .

as we took an unorthodox route down the fell side in an attempt to find the remains, and salvage the memory card if nothing else!

Jo consoles Terry as we have to leave the fell without it.

Regaining our intended route we reached the Tarn, but found the river in full spate after the recent rain, so stayed on the path this side.

An old Grasmere sign, with Helm Crag behind.
A holly growing out of the rock nearby.

This was the first time I had descended by the path on this side of Sour Milk Gill.

The route took us down into the main valley and across a well placed bridge over Far Easdale Gill.

From the bridge at Stythwaite Steps we walked the track back under Helm Crag towards Lancrigg,

past several old barns and fine trees belonging to Brimmer Head Farm, or possibly the Lancrigg Estate.

Back at valley level we looked across again at Sour Milk Gill falls.

A small sign on the track offered the opportunity to walk a permissive path through the grounds of the old Lancrigg House.

The house is now an excellent Vegetarian Restaurant and Hotel, and in their day the grounds were a popular haunt of Dorothy and William Wordsworth.

The welcoming sign in the Lancrigg gardens
A shady pool on the path through the grounds.

Afternoon "Walkers Teas" were on offer as we pass the main house.

They were very much appreciated, judging by the faces of the people on the terrace,

but today tea was organised for us at John P's house in Fornside, and Ann was already on her way back over in the car to meet us.

Perhaps another day !


- - - o o o - - -

Technical note: Pictures taken with a Canon G7 Digital camera.

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

This site best viewed with . . . both of Terry's cameras (very sad event)

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Previous walk - 11th May 2007 A short Allerdale Ramble to Watch Hill

A previous time up here - 27th April 2006 The Easedale Fells and Sergeant Man

Next walk - 16th May 2007 Mellbreak with Nick at lunchtime