Lower Langdale

Stuart Marshall suggests an expedition based on Elterwater covering four little Wainwrights which are not very adjacent to each other.  The area is green and picturesque - at least, it is in good weather.  Unfortunately, we chose a day when the clouds were low and grey, so we missed out on some great views.  And there was the small matter of the bracken, about which more later.

Here are the pictures (click on any picture for a larger version).



Today we were accompanied by Martin Roberts, a fellow-member of the Wainwright Society doing the round like us.  Although he does not have my advantage of living in the Lakes, he is a dedicated soul and has covered most of the fells in a short time.  But most of today's route was unfamiliar to both of us

We parked in Elterwater, by the bridge, and started off downstream for a mile or so, before striking off up left towards Loughrigg Fell.  Here, and at other points during the day, we were navigationally challenged and wasted about half an hour before reaching the foot of the fell.
Considering the view across Grasmere from Loughrigg Fell is one of Lakeland's classics, today was a bit disappointing...


The route up Loughrigg Fell.  Samba waiting patiently as usual...
Martin at the top, with the dogs.


Another classic view, of Loughrigg Tarn looking south.  You will note the bracken barring our descent.  The path was marked as running down by this wall, but we lost it after about 10 yards.  Liberally inter-twined with brambles, the bracken was well over head-height most of the way down - and I was wearing shorts!
Looking back from the Tarn at the ordeal.  I thought of inserting here a picture of my scarred legs, but decided to spare the squeamish reader...


About three miles to the south, having crossed the busy A road to Coniston, here we are on the top of Black Fell.  Again a fell with a reputation for views, but not today...
The next stop was Holme Fell, another three miles away to the west.  That is the top of the fell..


Oh, no it's not! When we got there, it was identified as Ivy Crag, with the top of Holme Fell about 400 yards away to the right.  That is Coniston Water in the distance.
The view north from the top of Holme Fell.  Our path down into Little Langdale is to the left of the little reservoir.


But first the mandatory pose for Samba at the summit cairn...
Our long descent into Little Langdale took us past the disused slate quarry of  Hodge Close.  Certainly the most spectacular thing we saw all day!  Note the climber on the right.


This is Lingmoor Fell on the other side of Little Langdale.  By this time it was getting late, and Martin had a long drive ahead of him, so we decided to give it a miss for today, in favour of a quick drink at the Elterwater pub.

I have sadly to report that this was Samba's last high walk for some time, if not for ever.  She was quite lame that evening, and the vet diagnosed the onset of osteo-arthritis, which is always a threat with retrievers.  It means that she basically can walk, but no serious gradients.  Poor old Samba! She so loved her walks, the longer the better, and you had to admire the way she hurled herself at the difficult bits.  And we all loved walking with her, so all in all we're feeling a bit miserable.  Even Sophie senses that something has happened...

If you would like to sponsor me and the dogs in our quest to walk all the Wainwrights for the Great North Air Ambulance Service, please click here - and thank you for your generosity!