|Distance:||28.8 km or 17.9 miles|
|Ascent:||1443m or 4734ft|
We have recently been experiencing an extended spell of dry, sunny weather, and Monday 2nd July was forecast to be no different. So, with glorious weather pretty much guaranteed, I made another trip to the Lake District, intent on walking Langstrath, a valley that I hadn't previously visited, together with Glaramara and Allen Crags, - two fells that I hadn't visited in many a year. I started from the National Trust car park beside the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel, walking along Mickleden valley and then over the Stake Pass, descending into Langstrath by the steep but well defined zig-zag path.
I then followed Langstrath Beck along the valley floor, passing below Cam Crag and visiting Black Moss Pot, before continuing onwards to Stonethwaite, (passing through Stonethwaite Farm Campsite along the way).
Then came a short road walk over to Strands Bridge on the B5289, there turning back onto the fellside to pick up the Combe Gill path towards Thornythwaite Fell.
From Thornythwaite Fell, I continued on the ascending ridgeline path to Glaramara, and onwards to Allen Crags. From there, descending to Esk Hause, and taking the Tongue Head path to Angle Tarn and the head of Rossett Ghyll, before the final descent back to Mickleden and the valley walk back to the O.D.G. Hotel and the car.
Although it was quite a long walk, the time taken (11hr. 44min), isn't really representative for the mileage. Actual moving time was 8hr. 49min. - The day was very warm, with little in the way of a breeze, and besides stopping for lunch, taking photographs, and a lengthy conversation with two elderly ladies, numerous short breaks were also taken just to take in the scenery and mop the brow!
I had set off carrying 2½ litres of drinks, but needed to top that up with a further 2 litres of water from streams before the walk was completed. - I'm a little bit wary of drinking unfiltered stream water these days, so when that's necessary, (if I'm not carrying a filter), I use water purification tablets - They weigh next to nothing, and I always carry a few in the rucksack, "just in case".
For anyone interested, I use "Oasis Water Purification Tablets". - One small tablet purifies a litre of water - killing anything that might be lurking in there within 30 minutes. They contain Sodium Troclosene (Sodium dichloroisocyanurate), and they do give the water a slightly chemical taste - but it is by no means unpalatable when you are thirsty!
On the way into Great Langdale, I stopped for a quick shot of one of my favourite views of the Langdale Pikes. - Taking this shot seems to have become something of a tradition - but I never tire of seeing this fantastic view!
The Langdale Pikes. (Taken from beside the cattle grid on the B5343, on the approach to Elterwater): -
Looking across to Wetherlam etc. - (From the same viewpoint as above): -
With the walk started, and heading into Mickleden, a shot looking across the lower slopes of The Band, towards Crinkle Crags. (Crinkle Gill ravine in foreground): -
A Red Deer hind, (one of several), seen across the valley in the fields beside Stool End Farm: -
Pike O'Stickle and Loft Crag, seen from Mickleden: -
Looking to the head of Mickleden, with the flanks of Bowfell / Esk Pike (left), Rossett Pike (central), and Black Crags (right): -
Looking towards Bowfell and Rossett Pike, from the footbridge at the head of Mickleden: -
The cairn and slate tablet, marking the start of the Stake Pass ascent at the head of Mickleden: -
Looking back along Mickleden towards the walk's starting point, from part way up on the ascent of Stake Pass: -
The Crinkle Crags - Bowfell - Esk Pike vista, as seen from the cairn at the top of Stake Pass: -
A zoomed in close-up of Bowfell's crags, (Great Slab prominent in centre), as seen from Stake Pass summit plateau: -
A little further on, and Langstrath comes into view: -
Looking down the zig-zag path on the descent into Langstrath. (Cam Crag just right of centre, across the valley): -
The view along Langstrath from the valley floor: -
Looking up to Cam Crag: -
Another shot of Cam Crag, from immediately below: -
Not long after passing Cam Crag, and Black Moss Pot can be visited, being just a few yards away from the path: -
Looking along the Black Moss Pot "Gorge": -
Looking down to the superbly clear waters of Black Moss Pot: -
At this point in the walk my camera appears to have suffered some sort of problem with the memory card. All the photographs taken between Black Moss Pot and the start of the climb to Thornythwaite Fell, (even though each shot was reviewed on the cameras screen at the time), had disappeared when I uploaded the files to the computer. Somewhat frustrating, as the inability to now show images of that section of the walk in and around Stonethwaite slightly detracts from the natural continuity of sights seen along the way. I have no idea what might have happened, but have since installed a new memory card into the camera to (hopefully!) prevent a reoccurrence.
Looking towards Skiddaw from the lower flanks of Thornythwaite Fell: -
A zoomed in shot of Skiddaw from a little further up the hill. Castle Crag (towards left) and Brund Fell (to right), in front: -
Looking across to Fleetwith Pike from the flanks of Thornythwaite Fell: -
Looking across Raven Crag to Combe Head. (Combe Door is at the top of the ravine seen at left hand side of shot): -
A zoomed in shot of Fleetwith Pike, with the spoil heaps of Dubs Quarry prominent. (From further up the hill on Thornythwaite Fell): -
Another shot looking towards Skiddaw, from the flanks of Glaramara, with more of Keswick and Blencathra now in view: -
The ridge path takes you to this crag, requiring a short scramble in order to continue on to Glaramara's summit: -
Some small tarns above Combe Head, with the Helvellyn range on the horizon. - From near the summit on Glaramara: -
A useful looking wind shelter at Glaramara summit. - With Great Gable etc. in the background: -
Looking towards Skiddaw, Blencathra, etc., from Glaramara summit: -
Looking towards Bowfell from Glaramara summit plateau: -
The Langdale Pikes as seen from Glaramara summit plateau: -
A close-up of Pike O'Stickle from the same position as above: -
Bowfell (centre), and Esk Pike (right), seen across one of the many small tarns on the Glaramara to Allen Crags ridge: -
A close-up of Bowfell, with the Great Slab prominent: -
The Langdale Pikes, viewed across two more of the tarns seen on the ridgeline approach to Allen Crags from Glaramara: -
A close-up of the Pikes, from same viewpoint as above: -
Great Gable, with Sprinkling Tarn in the foreground. (As seen on the approach to Allen Crags): -
Hanging Knotts, and a glimpse of Angle Tarn. With Pike O'Blisco & Wetherlam beyond. (From Allen Crags summit): -
Bowfell, (with Hanging Knotts prominent), and Esk Pike, as seen from Allen Crags summit: -
Looking back towards Glaramara, with Skiddaw and the northern fells beyond. - From Allen Crags summit: -
Looking down to Esk Hause, and the track towards Broad Crag and Ill Crag beyond. (The Scafell's are hidden behind Broad Crag): -
The Langdale Pikes, as seen from the Tongue Head path between Esk Hause and Angle Tarn: -
Looking across Angle Tarn to Hanging Knotts crags at the northern end of Bowfell: -
Descending back to valley level, and a shot looking across the Mickleden moraines towards Side Pike and Lingmoor Fell: -
Almost back at valley level in Mickleden, with Pike O'Stickle very prominent: -
Looking up to Pike O'Stickle at the beginning of the Mickleden valley walk back to the car: -
Another fantastic day out on the Lakeland Fells!