Wednesday, 16 September 2009

A-Walking: Striding Strollers

Judging by the number of people we encountered today, Striding Edge must be one of the most visited areas of the north-east Lake District. Today's expedition took us on a circular route from Glenridding {NY 387 170} via Striding Edge, Helvellyn, Nethermost Pike, Dollywaggon Pike, Grisedale and Lanty's Tarn.

Prior to leaving the coach, our leaders had informed us (see here) that during our expedition we would pass by four ‘famous’ landmarks to events that had taken place in this area. We were therefore given the task of trying to locate these as the day’s walk progressed.

We set off from Glenridding at about 11.10 am. There were 10 people in the group: JB, PB, RB, JC, CH, MH, MalH, LM, SR and MS. MH and CH led the walk.

From our drop-off point in near the Ullswater Hotel, we located ourselves at Glenridding Bridge {NY 387 169} and from there we walked in a westerly direction along the southern bank of Glenridding Beck (see the picture below).

Leaving Glenridding
We followed the course of the beck until we reached Rattlebeck Bridge {NY 379 169}. From here we started the first (and hardest) climb of the day - a total ascent of 1800 feet! We climbed in a south-westerly direction (with Mires Beck on our right) up to {NY 372 161}. Now changing to a westerly bearing, we continued our climb up towards Birkhouse Moor. We completed our ascent at {NY 364 161} and now turned left onto a south-westerly bearing again. We maintained this bearing in order to reach Hole-in-the Wall {NY 359 155} where we stopped for a well-earned lunch break. The views from here were terrific.

After our lunch stop, we had our second climb of the day (about 500 feet). We continued on our south-westerly trek along Bleaberry Crag - passing Low Spying How on our left. Just after High Spying How, we came across the first ‘memorial’ which MH had requested us to find; this was located at {NY 349 149}. After passing this we continued in a westerly direction across Striding Edge {NY 347 149}. Because the weather conditions were so good, our crossing was a fantastic experience - with some tremendous views of Red Tarn on our right. It was surprising how many other people were also there to do Striding Edge and/or Swirral Edge (which lay a little further to the north-west). At some points during our traversal we had to ‘queue’ in order to get through some of the more precarious rocky areas.

Striding Edge
After crossing Striding Edge, we had our third major climb of the day (about 450 feet) up the rock face onto Helvellyn {NY 342 152}. On our way to the summit, we encountered the second and third of the memorials that we were to pass. After posing for a group photograph on Helvellyn we turned about and headed in a southerly direction to Nethermost Pike {NY 345 140}. After taking in the wonderful views, we continued on our southerly bearing and stopped near High Crag {NY 343 132} for a short tea stop.

After our short break, we climbed up onto Dollywaggon Pike {NY 346 131}. There were some really good views of The Tongue and Grisdale from here. Once we had taken in the views, we started our long and steep descent down to Grisdale Tarn {NY 350 123}. Just after passing the tarn we found the fourth memorial (“Brothers’ Parting Stone”) at {NY 352 123}.

Now heading in a northerly direction, we passed Ruthwaite Lodge (a climbing hut) at {NY 355 135} on our left as we made our way through Grisdale. Just after the hut, at {NY 357 137}, our path split into two. We took the one on our left that ran in a north-easterly direction along the northern side of Grisdale Beck. This path led us to Lanty’s Tarn {NY 383 162}. From here we descended down to Westside {NY 383 167} and then, at {NY 384 168}, we re-traced our steps back to Glenridding Bridge and then back to our coach which was waiting for us in the car park at the Ullswater Information Centre {NY 386 169} (see the picture below).

Ullswater Information Centre
We had a tremendous day today. The weather was brilliant, the views and scenery were magnificent and the company outstanding. Many thanks to MH and CH for ‘making it happen’!

During the course of the day I took 56 photographs and we accumulated over two hours of stop-time (much of this was taken up in admiring the awe-inspiring views). These figures reflect the outstanding nature of the sights we saw.

Use the buttons below to see where we went and some of the scenes we encountered.




At 16 September 2009 at 17:12 , Blogger Martin said...

Did'nt we all have a grand day on the Lakeland Fell's. along with my recent Coast to Coast Walk, Striding Edge was great. Good Photos esq of the old bald head which I take is me :)

At 17 September 2009 at 01:58 , Blogger philbee said...

Hello Martin. Yes that fine figure in the foreground of the photograph on Striding Edge really is you.


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