Glaramara & Allen Crags

23 06 2019

Wed 10 Apr 2019
During mine and Richard’s trip to say farewell to the folks we stay with down Borrowdale, Richard also wanted to say farewell to Langstrathdale. He wanted to see if it was as long a valley (the ‘Lang’ in the name) as he remembered…

Click on photos for full size/resolution. My manual film camera except where marked

We set off up the road towards Seatoller from the hotel where, on reaching the houses at the aptly-named ‘Mountain View’, we followed the farm lane which starts off heading towards Seathwaite. After quarter of a mile or so, a track turns left across a field into a small wood alongside the beck.

On leaving the wood, the track rises steadily up the side of Thorneythwaite Fell which is the shoulder of Glaramara. We had lots of company up here as it was a busy fell that day. It was a lovely sunny day though so not surprising!


I asked Richard to take this shot with his digi camera

It’s a long, long climb to the ridgeline (or at least it always seems that way to me up this bit) but we eventually reached it where Honister Crag burst into view over Seatoller Fell…

Richard took the two photos below of The Gables as we progressed up the ridge – I particularly like the second one across the end of Seathwaite Fell…

Eventually, the summit scramble loomed – the path heads straight for it. I’m quite puzzled at that actually as it must lead people into unhappy situations as they possibly don’t realise the scramble can be avoided altogether by turning it on the right and going up a simple grassy gully to the summit!

I set off to tackle the scramble but Richard went off for the gully. The start of the scramble is a pretty sheer wall of around 20 feet and, being north-facing, on this particular day was very icy. Just about every foothold I had to use was coated in a good layer of verglas and exceedingly slippery – not encouraging at all!

I got up the steep section with a little worrying and then the crag leans back and goes up in steps which felt much better. There was still a large amount of ice on the rock though. A family with small children were following me up and I took a photo back down towards them – they have just reached the top of the sheer section and are having a rest and a look back in my photo.

When I reached the summit, Richard was nowhere to be seen. I went to look back down the scramble but he definitely wasn’t following me up it. I hunted around the grassy gully but still couldn’t see him anywhere so had to resort to shouting for him. Presently, I heard a shout back from above me – there he was on the summit – no idea how he got there without me seeing!

We had a tour of the couple of rocky summits along with a nice young couple we were chatting to and a brief rest in the sun. When I told Richard how icy the scramble had been, he wasn’t sorry he missed it out. There is a lovely little kidney-shaped tarn between the summits…

There are lots of paths across the undulating fell and we took one which descended beneath these split rocks to the area of the numerous tarns along the ridge (Richard’s digi-photo).

We then set about photographing all the tarns from various angles. It being a calm and sunny day, they looked great!


Great End

There is a nice tarn in front of the dramatic Bow Fell which makes a nice foreground – I couldn’t choose between these two photos as I like the composition of the first one but the tarn was sparkling in the second…

While Richard found a smaller tarn in front of Bow Fell…

We think these are High House Tarn but only two tarns are named on the map so it’s hard to tell…

Richard’s digi-photo of it below…

We then moved onto Lincomb Tarn which has a crag backing it and going straight down into the tarn…

There is another nice tarn with a view across to The Langdale Pikes on the col before the easy climb to Allen Crags…


Great End and Sprinkling Tarn from Allen Crags

We’d originally been going to add on Esk Pike as it is a favourite of mine and it still had a little snow on it. I’d had doubts about whether we were fit enough to include it though as we had a long, long way back along Langstrathdale. In the end, when we reached Esk Hause, we unfortunately decided not to include it.


Great Gable from Esk Hause

That meant we just had to head down the path for Angle Tarn where we sat in glorious sunshine out of the wind for a lounge, coffee and flapjack 🙂

We then descended Angle Tarn beck – a largely unused route following the outflow of the tarn down to the valley. We were most surprised to meet a couple coming up – they were pretty surprised to see us too!

On hitting the valley floor, you get to see one long half of the valley…

As you near the bend in the valley, you approach a bridge. You can take the path either side of the river from the bridge – you also meet the path coming down from Stake Pass here. A further point of interest is that the scramble-arete looms into view here looking very imposing across the valley…


The scramble-arete is the slightly white-edged (rock) ridge coming steeply down near the left of the photo

We decided to swap sides of the river at the bridge (later wishing we hadn’t as the path was much stonier and harder this side). The bridge crosses Tray Dub – a deep swimming area…

Looking back across to the Stake Pass, the route to Langdale but which can also be used to come down into Langstrathdale from Angle Tarn area……

The long valley continues – the river was very low and the valley much drier than usual…


Sergeants and Eagle Crags


Looking up the end of the scramble-arete – looks wider than originally thought here and looks like it may have escape routes after all

As the valley end nears, you reach another landmark – the famous ‘Blackmoss Pot’ aka ‘Blackmer Pot’ in Cumbrian. This is a fascinating pothole in the river which I think people dive into from the surrounding rocks to swim…

Richard took quite a few digi-photos here – they are characteristically ‘digi-blue’!

We upset the local Herdwicks coming away from Blackmer (Richard’s digi photo again)

We then plodded on down the hard, seemingly-never-ending path to the valley end…

By the time we left the valley, we were both relieved and foot/leg sore! My photo looking back…

Unfortunately, leaving the valley isn’t the end of your hard-path woes – there is another two or three miles back to the hotel along equally hard roads and paths via Stonethwaite village. We were tempted to call into the pub for a drink but really just wanted to get back and get our boots off so we plodded on stoically…

It was with great relief we arrived back at the hotel and took our hot boots and socks off and went to soak our feet. We also devoured our usual tea, scones and rum butter with gusto!

Stats: 12 miles, 2800 feet of ascent, 7.5 hours

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17 responses

10 07 2019
tessapark1969

Not sure how I missed this one but you got some glorious views there.

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10 07 2019
mountaincoward

it was a lovely day… apart from the ice!

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25 06 2019
chrissiedixie

Lovely looking day!

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25 06 2019
mountaincoward

it was a great trip weatherwise

Liked by 1 person

24 06 2019
Alli Templeton

Scones with rum butter!? Wow – that sounds fantastic! No wonder you devoured them, but then you had more than earned them. I’m always amazed at the places you get to, and this really is the wilderness with a capital W, isn’t it? Absolutely breathtakingly beautiful. And you’ve certainly got some calendar pics in this lot… I reckon you should do a book. And you were really brave to do that summit scramble. How’s the hip doing?
What a special hike… one to remember. I really enjoyed this, Carol. 🙂

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25 06 2019
mountaincoward

their home-made rum butter is to die for – I hope the new incumbents keep up the tradition – we’ll still be calling in for tea and scones! Langstrathdale feels very remote and it feels really, really long when you walk it. It’s only 6 miles though…

I intend to do a couple of books eventually but not really for photos. I’m intending a ‘Munro Tops’ book as there is so little information about them out there. I’m also wanting to do a book of my most scary/epic/funny days in Scotland on my various trips. Not sure anyone will buy them though as it will pretty much be stuff which is on here for free! I’d like it all in book form though 🙂

The hip is doing great – no problems whatsoever. The surgeon signed me off the other day. I think he has high hopes of doing my other when it wears out but, as he’s in Blackburn, it’s a bit far to go really…

Liked by 1 person

25 06 2019
Alli Templeton

Glad to hear the hip is doing so well, and fingers crossed for the other one when the time comes. It’s all sounds very encouraging though, so you must be pleased.

The books sound really great projects. I guess if you keep some stuff back from the blog it would work towards filling in the gaps for a book. Have you thought any more about the county towns tour? That would make a good book too. 🙂

I hope the new incumbents keep doing the rum butter too – that combination with scones sounds heavenly. I’d make sure to drop in and try them when I’m up that way if they do! 🙂

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26 06 2019
mountaincoward

I will still do the county towns tour but I’m not great with writing about urban areas really…

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26 06 2019
Alli Templeton

It’s a different type of writing, that’s true. I still think it’s a brilliant idea though. 🙂

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24 06 2019
George

I think your blog’s a misnomer: you’re hardly a mountain coward tackling that scramble in ice!

I’ve been on top of Eagle Crag and Seathwaite Fell in recent weeks, so both sides of Glaramara. You’ve whetted my appetite to tackle this next.

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24 06 2019
mountaincoward

LOL – well I was when I started it! I’ve got braver since I took up rock climbing!

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24 06 2019
John Bainbridge

A grand day for pictures.

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24 06 2019
mountaincoward

it was great weather for that whole trip 🙂

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23 06 2019
Blue Sky Scotland

A cracking outing. I can tell right away the shots taken by the two cameras but to my eyes the digi has the more natural colours whereas yours are usually predominately yellow or green tinted as the main dominate colour on hillsides. I can’t see us ever agreeing on the best one as you obviously prefer your own. :o) They are both good however.

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24 06 2019
mountaincoward

we’ll definitely never agree. We were taking photos with Richard’s camera the other day and were astounded how far it was out from reality – my film camera generally takes it how it looked on the day (unless my eyes are funny or something)!

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23 06 2019
Ron Lanham

These pics are breathtaking. I suffer from panic myself, some of the views you share here, while I absolutely love, I couldn’t capture due to that fear.

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24 06 2019
mountaincoward

I’m much less panicky in the hills since I took up rock-climbing!

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