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" Seathwaite Fell to Allen Crags "
Date & start time: Saturday 21st July 2012, 11.50 am start.
Location of Start : Raingauge Cottage, Seathwaite, Borrowdale, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 235 121 )
Places visited : Taylor Gill Force, Seathwaite Fell, Sprinkling Tarn, Allen Crags, Grains Gill.
Walk details : 7 mls, 2400 ft of ascent, 7 hours.
Highest point : Allen Crags 2,572ft - 785m
Walked with :Hilton, Jo, Ann and the dogs, Amber, Harry and Bethan.
Weather : Overcast, some nice sunny periods, warm and dry.
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To Seathwaite again while Hilton is staying at the cottage there.
A leisurely starting time and a leisurely walk, making the route up as we went along.
Our extensive saunter took us over to Allen Crags and back and gave us a really great day out.
Group photo outside Raingauge Cottage at the start of the walk.
The motorway to Scafell Pike, surprisingly empty despite all the cars parked on the nearby road.
Being nearly midday I think we've missed rush-hour !
Our route would not follow the main track however, but turn right through the arch with the grey metal gate.
Look familiar . . . we were here just six days ago.
This side path leads over to Sour Milk Gill and the waterfalls.
The difference today is that we're staying low and walking up the valley to the left.
Our target was Seathwaite Fell so to climb up alongside the falls today would take us onto the wrong group of fells.
This valley is arguably one of the nicest approach to Styhead Tarn and ultimately the Corridor Route to Scafell Pike.
However, this side of the valley is often damp underfoot and since the main path via Stockley Bridge has been paved,
that is the one that takes the vast majority of the walking public up to Styhead and on to the Scafells.
This is the current view of the Borrowdale Fish Farm.
I haven't asked locally but it would appear that it is not up and running at the moment.
Any ideas anyone ?
The start of the scramble up Taylor Gill Force.
Above the gate, Hilton pauses to enjoy the view as well.
The last cataract on the climb up to Styhead Tarn.
Time for us to leave the main path and strike up the fell side opposite
Just the slight problem of crossing the river.
Concentration wins the day and we are across dry-shod.
A brief pause on the upper side of the Stockley Bridge to Styhead path
before we start the direct and no doubt warm climb up the side of Seathwaite Fell.
That's just short of a 45 degree, one-in-one climb up the side of the fell.
The top bit is even steeper.
Climbing up through the gully similar to the one we used on the side of Base Brown earlier in the week.
No perched boulder this time though . . . but we should top-out near the northern Wainwright top if we've got it right.
Spot on !
The highest point of the fell is much nearer the middle, some 600 yards away and 30 metres higher,
but this top is the most attractive and has the bonus of being the prominent top seen from the valley below.
Time for a little lunch after all our efforts . . . we shelter by the rocks away from the gentle but cool breeze.
Seathwaite has several pockets of water which are present all year round
and this little tarn gave us a slight reflection of Great Gable across the valley.
Zooming in on Windy Gap and the final ascent of Great Gable from the Green Gable side.
Walkers on the Breast Route from the Stretcher Box at Styhead can be seen on the grassy section.
On the rocky summit there seems to be a fair crowd today, whereas our fell is almost deserted.
This was dubbed ' No-Sheep Island '
and it was noticeable how different the vegetation was compared to the surrounding fell.
Time to grab the SLR out of the rucksack again . . . it is a little too heavy to have on my waist belt.
The view from Seathwaite Fell.
The rest of the world and their wives seem to be crowding the top of Scafell Pike.
To be fair it is a great day for climbing as it is not too hot. The visibility could be a little less hazy though.
Looking across to and down Wasdale towards the Irish Sea coast.
Normally I would expect to see the Isle of Man out there somewhere . . . but not today.
And there was I saying there's no perched boulder up here !
That looks a little precarious . . . make sure you don't sneeze.
The one before the big one . . .
a delightful almost tear-drop shaped tarn on the way to the famous Sprinkling Tarn
which is just starting to come into view beyond.
Sprinkling Tarn is dominated by the imposing bulk of Great End which towers above it.
The Styhead to Esk Hause path climbs right to left up under its northern flanks.
Down by the waterside . . .
After discussing the wild camping potential with a bunch of lads
we move on to the stepping stones at the outflow.
Sprinkling Tarn from the path to Esk Hause.
The lads we talked to have set up camp on the promontory but they won't be alone tonight as there were two tents already pitched higher up
and we met a D of E group that intended to camp there as well.
I hope they all leave the place clean and tidy.
Ruddy Gill as the Grains Gill path joins the Styhead one that we are using today.
The name 'ruddy' comes from the redness in the soil and rocks at this point on the fell.
Turn left at the highest point of the path and head up the short distance to the triple-cairned summit of Allen Crags.
Beyond is the other end of the fell . . . which goes by the name of Glaramara of course.
The lake in the distance is Derwent Water.
Time to look around again . . . one advantage of a leisurely pace and no set objectives.
The top of Great Gable is just catching a little cloud.
The old path from Esk Hause and the newer diagonal shortcut coming in from the right,
which will take those, willing and able, on to Ill Crag, Broad Crag and finally Scafell Pike.
Jo is so pleased to be up here that she has a little dance to celebrate.
Hold your cursor over the picture to see her enjoyment.
Why take the same path back when we can go safely off-piste.
We aim down the side of Allen Crags directly from summit and pass this small tarn on the way.
Standing on the edge of the world.
We have descended the grassy slope and head off down to slope, parallel to the Grains Gill path
which hugs the ravine over to the right of the photo.
We take a rather damp line across the side of Low How to the edge of the rock band
and then follow those two gentlemen down the grassy shoulder to re-join the main path lower down.
Question: How long do you think it would take us to walk the length of the last photo back to the farm in the valley ? (answer follows shortly)
I took two photos at White Bridge . . . but we couldn't agree which one was better so you get to see both of them if you wish.
Hold your cursor over the picture to see the other one.
- - - - o o o - - -
[ The answer to the puzzle :- Including this photo stop it would be a full hour till we were back at Seathwaite ]
- - - o o o - - -
Twenty minutes to go and we are just about to cross Stockley Bridge.
It was quite crowded on this last section of the walk as everyone was leaving the fells after a good day out.
The tables are out but there's no-one serving at the Snack Shack.
Had it been open today, Jack (?) would have sold quite a number of cups of tea I would have thought.
After our immediate refreshment at the cottage, the four of us adjourned to the back bar at the Skiddaw Hotel . . .
. . . for a rather nice fish and chip supper.
- - - o o o - - -
Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon Sureshot SX220, my Canon G10 or 1100D SLR digital cameras.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . .your lemon slice wrapped in muslin tied with a posh red ribbon.
Previous walk - 19th July 2012 Lanthwaite Hill with Dee and John
A previous time up here - 24th July 2006 Glaramara and Allen Crags
Next walk - 22nd July 2012 Caravans and Little Mell Fell