Glaramara from Stonethwaite
Borrowdale is, according to Wainwright, the fairest of the Lake District Valleys. July 13th 2013 it lived up to its reputation.
Making an early start, the softer sunlight picked out each small raise in the valley sides, throwing shadows on the slopes according to their direction. Parking in the car park of Stonethwaite Primary School for a very reasonable £3 donation to their honesty box, I headed south, drinking in the shades of green.
I set off down the ‘flat’ lane blissfully unaware of how quickly all was to change. Instead of following the footpath along the valley I branched right towards the National Trust camp site.
Opposite the entrance is a gate to an innocuous looking woodland area, but through the gate it quickly became a steep, stone staircase up the side of Stanger Gill. Someone, I presume Fix the Fells, has been hard at work as it followed the Gill pretty much all the way to the out of the tree line and out to the open fell.
There was not so much a roaring torrent as a trickle in the Gill, but it still supported sufficient trees to make the climb satisfyingly shaded and cooler than out on the lane. This is not a complaint about the sunshine, merely an observation.
Various birds were flitting about and as the woodland opens out to a grassy amphitheatre four Ring Ouzels joined in. Dashing about like over excited waiters. The only other place I have seen these rather formally dressed birds was on Red Screes.
Behind the amphitheatre the Rancon Bands sit like a line of molars in haphazard jawline. Well worth the detour for views across the Langstrath and to High Raise and the route of the Coast to Coast which I will be walking in September. Follow the jawline round to Bessyboot.
From the Rancon Bands
One reason I had chosen to do the walk was, yes, the weather, books impress it is not one to do in mist, and some paint a very bleak picture of Tarn at Leaves, which was totally unjustified.
Tarn at Leaves
There is little in the way of a path from the tarn to Glaramara but as it was clear I just followed the line of rocky crags along the way. Rothswaite Cam, Cam Crag and Combe Head. There is a very new fence keeping you up on the fell and my route more or less followed its line to Cam Crag,
all the while the Langdales creeping into the picture.
Langdales from Allen Crag
Glaramara was suddenly there. While sat wondering which way to go back, Allen Crags, ahead, really looked quite close and is after all, another Wainwright. My mind was made up with the encouragement of others walking in that direction and the very clear path.
High House Tarn
Lots of choices of loop back to Stonethwaite but I went back via Grains Gill.
Looking back to Glaramara
Take the footpath right at Seathwaite to avoid a rather tedious hike out along the road.
Inspiration for my route came from ‘Great Mountain Days in the Lake District’, though I ended up deviating from the route after Glaramara. As a last minute thought I had stuffed yet more weight in to my pack with the book, but was quite glad I had as much of the way up to Bessyboot lacked markings on the ground, the OS map or both.
The route and details here
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