24th & 25th January 2015
Grasmere - Great Langdale
On Saturday five of us left our cars at the Travellers Rest at Grasmere and walked over to Great Langdale via Easedale Tarn, Blea Rigg and Stickle Tarn. The weather was dry, clear but with a cold wind and snow patches underfoot, although the snow was avoidable. We thought about wild camping at Stickle Tarn but the only suitable spot was beside the tarn outflow, and it was quite icy and very exposed, so we opted instead for the Great Langdale campsite, with some night navigation to get down there from Stickle Tarn!
On our way down we spotted a stationary flashing head-torch light on the summit of Side Pike, so after watching it for about 15 minutes I called mountain rescue to report it as it just may have been someone in trouble... no news on the mountain rescue website, so we're non the wiser as to whether there was someone in trouble.
The campsite was positively tropical compared to Stickle Tarn, so we pitched up, ate dinner then headed to the ODG where there was a lively Irish folk band playing and a roaring log fire (also Old Peculier on tap!).
On Sunday, we decided to head up onto Side Pike, which is a fantastic 'mini mountain' with easy scrambling, impressive crags and a narrow cleft of rock to squeeze through (Fat Man's Agony) in order to continue on to Lingmoor Fell. Progress was slow because of rain, heavy rucksacks and quite difficult terrain, so beyond Side Pike we dropped back down into Great Langdale via some dense juniper bushes to join the Cumbria Way path at Oak Howe. We then climbed back over to Grasmere from Chapel Stile, skirting below Silver How. Another great weekend in the Lakes, albeit very wet!
If you arrive on foot at the National Trust campsite at Great Langdale, then camping is only £3.50 per person - bargain!