Tuesday, 19 April 2011
Monday 18 April 2011 - A Lake District Backpack - Day 2 - Below Great Crag to High House Tarn (NY 240 093 - 674 metres)
Yesterday concluded with an unforgettable visit to Great Crag in the light of the newly risen full moon and the red afterglow of sunset. It took some time for the posting to transmit, but on this lovely warm evening it was a pleasure to dally, trying to identify the wide array of Lakeland peaks that are visible from this splendid viewpoint. It's not the first time that an evening saunter in a quest for a phone signal has paid unexpected dividends. I tried to attract Mike's attention and go up again, but he was deep in slumber or i-pod.
Also reverting to yesterday, thanks in abundance must go to Nightbird and her esteemed worse half (whose normal nickname is inappropriate on this occasion) for the really excellent weekend that culminated in a lovely lunch that resulted in a minor food mountain for me almost immediately, as I felt no need for more food for the rest of the day.
Today dawned warm but cloudy, and that cloud dominated the day, with just a few sunny periods.
Good walking weather. Just as well! We managed 1500 metres ascent over our 20 km route. I'd planned to do it in 10 hours, but we 'overshot' by 45 minutes. Never mind, we arrived at this lovely sheltered spot with a view to Great Gable at 6.30, giving us plenty of R+R time. We need that - just reiterating the peaks we visited today is exhausting...
We started with Great Crag, my third visit in consecutive days - fine views. Then past Dock Tarn and a bit of a plod in t-shirts up to Low Saddle, High Saddle and Ullscarf.
The next summit, the distinctive feature of Lining Crag, was more a sort of ... well, crag than a summit. Here we brewed up and watched our first people of the day, pouring up the valley from Stonethwaite, many of them perhaps on the Coast to Coast route.
After the short ascent to Greenup Edge, our summiteering continued, monitored closely by wheatears, with Low White Stones and High Raise, the highest summit in the Langdale area. This heralded an array of 'Langdale' peaks - Codale Head, Sergeant Man, Thunacar Knott, Pavey Ark and Harrison Stickle, below which we enjoyed lunch and rather hazy views of the Langdale valley, with Windermere beyond, seemingly floating in the mist.
After a good break, we set off in search of Thorn Crag, which I'd missed on my last visit with Rick and Stuart & Co. This time I found it, but not without a struggle, eventually winding up at Bill Birkett's map reference via every other possible contending point for the name of Thorn Crag. It was ... a crag!
Loft Crag, however, is a nice summit. We visited that as well, before moving on to Pike O' Stickle, where we wisely dropped our sacks for the short, scary for Mike who hasn't visited the Langdales before, ascent to the airy summit.
A romp down to Stake Pass was then followed by the weary ascent of the ridge leading to Rossett Pike via Black Crag and Buck Pike, from where today's picture of the Langdale Valley was taken.
We managed then to avoid the temptation of the numerous camping spots near Angle Tarn, preferring to continue on up to Allen Crags and High House before plonking our tents in the gathering gloom in this sheltered spot near High House Tarn, where there's no running water. So we're filtering tarn water.
That's 20 Birketts and 11 Wainwrights for the day, by my reckoning.
After the usual sumptuous camp meals an early night was in order - by way of preparation for an easier day tomorrow!
It's spotting with rain and very overcast.
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