Glaramara Round

Incorporating: Seathwaite Fell's three tops, Allen Crags, High House Tarn Top, Red Beck Top, Looking Steads, Glaramara's two tops, Combe Head, Combe Door Top, Dovenest Crag, Rosthwaite Cam, and Bessyboot

15 August 2008

Despite an uncertain weather forecast, Stephen and George went on a walk long contemplated, incorporating 14 separate summits and a 90 minute drive to get there (indeed, a bit longer after a wrong turning was made).

Setting off through the farmyard at Seathwaite - the wettest inhabited place in England, and it is drizzling. We're heading towards Seathwaite Fell, pictured, which is even wetter.

Despite the spots of rain, there are spots of sunshine too. This really is a grand start to a walk, immediately in amongst imposing fells deep down in a glacial valley.

Approaching Stockley Bridge, and we start to get a closer look at our first objective, Seathwaite Fell

Stockley Bridge crossing Grains Gill

From Stockley Bridge looking up Grains Gill to Allen Crags, one of our later objectives.

George takes a breather as we begin the steep and pathless ascent of Seathwaite Fell

Although the ascent was steep it did mean we reached the northern top (Wainwright's top) of Seathwaite Fell in good time, and look back down on Seathwaite and Borrowdale leading to Derwentwater, with the Skiddaw massif with its heads in the cloud.

A few minutes later after twists and turns among the many rocky outcrops we reach the true top of Seathwaite Fell. and look south to the imposing wall of Great End. Esk Pike, centre-left, is disappearing into the cloud, and this was a good indicator of the weather to come for a little while.

Walking alongside Ruddy Gill towards the Wasdale-Langdale watershed.

Here it is, in the fog, with a cairn marking the junction for the path left (behind the photographer) to Allen Crags, our route.

The summit of Allen Crags

A little later, we reach the summit of High House Tarn Top, and the cloud begins to lift

From High House Tarn Top, looking over the Rosset Pike ridge towards the Langdale Pikes, with Windermere peeking into view beyond Lingmoor Fell

Looking past the Lincomb Tarns to Red Beck Top and Looking Steads

Descending from Looking Steads, looking towards the summit of Glaramara. Near here I was asked by a woman if I could tell here where she was - she thought she might be south of Allen Crags - somewhere it had taken me 85 minutes to walk from.

Glaramara summit

The view north up Borrowdale to Derwentwater and the Skiddaw family

After some awkward route-finding, on our way to Combe Head a pause for an impressive look down into The Combe, with the cloud finally lifting off Skiddaw and Blencathra. Near here I was asked for directions for the second time today, by a couple who had downloaded a sketch map from the Internet and had a road map for further guidance. They too wanted to be south of Allen Crags to find the footpath down by Ruddy Gill - a good two hours away. I advised them to retrace their steps, or at least to follow the trod past the tarns to gain the major path down over Thornythwaite Fell.

From the summit of Combe Head, looking back to Glaramara - after trying to descend on the right of picture, we turned round and did a long looping route round to here, round the left of those tarns.

The next summit is Combe Door Top, from where we can look north to our objectives on Rosthwaite Fell

On top of Dovenest Crag, looking back to Combe Head

George on Dovenest Crag

The rocky summit of Rosthwaite Cam is reached after an easy scramble, and provides a view over Tarn at Leaves to Bessyboot, our final summit of the day.

Rosthwaite Cam

The only fell trees seen today


From Bessyboot, looking past Tarn at Leaves to Rosthwaite Cam, with Combe Head in the background

From Bessyboot, our route lies down that way into the valley

Skiddaw from Bessyboot

An increasingly tangled George

George still has the energy to run back up Dry Gill to fetch me

Across Combe Gill, we reach the main path coming down off Thornythwaite Fell, and George has run out of excess energy, and one of his pads is bleeding slightly.

Fortunately it isn't too far to go, and after turning the corner near Strands Bridge, we make our way along the valley footpath back to Seathwaite, pausing to admire this dry stone wall which is more than a metre thick at the top.

Zoom in for more detail, or see map in larger window: Ordnance Survey | Open Street Map | Google Maps

A tiring walk but a great one, and one which means Stephen has now visited all the fells in Wainwright's Southern Fells book.
Total distance 18.2 km with 1152 metres of ascent in 7 hours 30 minutes.



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Unless otherwise stated, all images copyright (c) Stephen and Lucy Dawson