GREENUP GILL, LINING CRAG & LOW WHITE STONES from STONETHWAITE

 


Summary

Date - 1st August 2010 Distance - 7.25 miles
Ascent -
2100ft
Map - OL4 Start point - Stonethwaite, by telephone box (NY 262137)

 

Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Lining Crag 1778 542 NY 2830 1121
Low White Stones 2398 731 NY 2824 1004

 

Preface

Shaun, with Little Eric hitching a ride on his back as usual, trotted in with Grizzly, to find Allen and Tetley sitting in front of Dad's laptop with books scattered around.

"What are you on with pals?", Little Eric asked.

"We are walking on Sunday, and Dad wants us to come up with suggestions of where we might go", replied Allen.

"Well it can't be Wainwrights, as you have only got Grisedale Pike left to climb, and we have promised to do that with Uncle Eric", said Grizzly.

"I know", replied Allen, "so that is why Tetley and I are looking at the list of outstanding Birkett tops",

Tetley who was scrutinising the list closely, said, "there are still quite a few in Eskdale, but after that hard walk in the Stony Tarn area, perhaps it would be best to leave those for next year."

"You're right. Although the hills were not all that high, the bracken, boggy terrain and the fact that there were few paths, made up for it", replied Little Eric.

"Dad also took in Eskdale Fell, that was part of another walk, to get it out of the way, so that added to the difficulty. Still they are done now and if I remember, Dad said he is not likely to climb those again", Tetley replied.

"Well, enough of that, what ideas have you come up with so far", called out Shaun.

"There is Place Fell, where there are a few tops to do", said Tetley.

"We wondered too, about going to Borrowdale, and walking from Stonethwaite to do Lining Crag, then on up to Low White Stones", added Allen.

"They both sound good. It seems ages since we went to Borrowdale and it is such a beautiful area", said Shaun.

"We'll just have to put our suggestions to Dad, and see what he thinks", said Little Eric.

"I'll go", called out Allen, as he ran out of the room.

Presently he returned.

"Well", said Tetley.

"Dad likes both our suggestions. We will be doing the Lining Crag walk this Sunday, and if the weather on the following Sunday is good, we are going to Place Fell."

That's great. The best of both worlds, so to speak", cried Grizzly, excitedly.

 

The Walk

It is quite a long drive to the start, so we had to be up early. Shaun got us organised with various jobs to get the picnic ready and safely stowed in Allen's rucksack, before we dashed out and settled in the car.

Going north on the M6, we passed the Howgill Fells, the tops covered in cloud, and ran through a few rain showers.

"If this is the weather here, we are bound to get showers in Borrowdale", remarked Allen, knowing full well that it is about the wettest area of the Lakes.

Leaving the M6 at Penrith, we headed west along the ever so familiar A66. As the fells came into view, we all mused to ourselves on the many walks we had done climbing them. Soon we were at Keswick and heading into Borrowdale along the narrow road. To the right Castle Crag loomed up, with King's How above to the left. These are known as the 'Jaws of Borrowdale'. Beyond the road twisted and turned as the landscape opened out into the fertile valley. After passing through Rosthwaite, the left turn to Stonethwaite was soon reached. This narrow road ends in the hamlet, where by the telephone box there is space to park.

As Allen had predicted the rain was falling as Dad got his boots on. The showers persisted for a while, but by mid morning the weather brightened, the rest of the day being quite sunny then with excellent views.

"Which way?", asked Little Eric.

"We want the route to Greenup Edge and Grasmere", replied Shaun

"It's to the right", called out Tetley, who had gone to look at the signpost.

"Right I'm ready "called out Dad.

So we hurriedly settled in the rucksack. We crossed the bridge over Stonethwaite Beck, to shortly pass through a gate on to the Cumbria Way, where we turned right on a good path with a substantial moss covered stone wall on our right.

As we continued ahead on the track, passing the large camp site on the other side of the beck, the view ahead was dominated by the massive bulk of Eagle Crag.

It forms a massive cornerstone. To its left ahead is Greenup Gill, our route today, while crossing right over the footbridge leads to the valley called Langstrath. The two streams Langstrath Beck and Greenup Gill converge here to form Stonethwaite Beck.

"We have promised to climb Eagle Crag with Uncle Eric", said Tetley.

"When we climbed it in 2005, we came down that way, but for the life of me I cannot remember or see where the path is", replied Grizzly.

"The bracken is at its full height at present, so maybe it would be easier when it has died down", mused Shaun.

So keeping ahead we started the climb beside Greenup Gill. As you know, Dad's and our favourite sheep are Herdwicks, so it came as no surprise to us when Dad whipped the camera out to take some shots of those that stood and posed. We think that there have been quite enough sheep pictures in our stories, but Dad has implored us to include these, so we hope that you will bear with us (sorry that was an unintentional pun).

As we climbed, Greenup Gill tumbled down on the right. There were a number of waterfalls, this being the prettiest we thought.

Ahead were a line of mounds known as moraines, that are debris of boulders, gravel, sand and clay, left by glaciers. The path wound its way over and through these, to finally reveal ahead the dramatic prospect of Lining Crag, with its spectacular vertical western cliff, our first summit objective today. The summit area is quite small, so it is well to remember not to stray too far on its west side, as a fall down the cliff would without a doubt be fatal.

"However are we going to get up there?", called out Little Eric.

"Well, while it may not seem so from here, there is a narrow path and steps that wind up its left side", replied Dad reassuringly.

As we stood surveying the scene, other walkers passed us, stopping to ask if we were going to Grasmere.

"No, just climbing Lining Crag and Low White Stones, before returning the same way", Dad said.

"It is very steep and slippery, so we don't envy you on the descent", the lady replied.

In actual fact by the time we were coming down, the sun was out, and the path had dried up considerably.

This couple were not the only ones to ask if we were going to Grasmere, and suddenly we twigged that this is part of the leg of the Coast to Coast route that ends there.

So on we walked and indeed as we got closer, we could pick out the route. It was very steep and wet so Dad went carefully. The path zig zagged up, before crossing right, to the small neat summit.

We could not wait to scramble out of the rucksack, Tetley calling out, "come on Dad, take our picture."

Behind is the valley we had walked up, and the mounds of the moraines can be seen clearly too.

The couple Dad had spoken to earlier and two other gentleman, who were also doing the Coast to Coast walk, arrived at the summit at about the same time, and we were introduced. One gentleman asked if he could take our picture. "By all means", said Dad. Well we are never shy about that!

Continuing on, basically south, the ground was grassy, but extremely boggy, with just a very gentle rise to the ridge of Greenup Edge, running between High Raise and Ullscarf. The path for Grasmere crosses the edge and descends roughly east down to Easdale, passing the stepping stones of Stythwaite Steps. The route from those to Grasmere being familiar to us, from the adventure to climb Tarn Crag in March 2009. Before walking on we stood to take in the dramatic views to the east.

Steel Fell (1811ft) is in the rear foreground, the ridge going round to the right in the immediate foreground to Calf Crag. Behind the clouds swirl over Dollywagon Pike (2815ft), while to the right is Seat Sandal (2415ft), over topped by Fairfield (2863ft).

Our route however, was to continue in the same direction , roughly south, up the steady ascent for just over a quarter of a mile to Low White Stones, the second and final summit today. A large rocky cairn marks the summit and we scrambled up and settled for our picture.

Just a short way further south, we could see the summit of High Raise, but as we had all been there before, we did not go on today. The last time we were there was on that same walk that took us to Tarn Crag via Stythwaite Steps.

From Low White Stones, it was just a straight reverse of our outward route. First down to Greenup Edge, where looking west over the rocky Long Crag, the sun is catching the rounded point of Black Star on Honister Crag (2077ft), with just behind the highest point Fleetwith Pike (2126ft).

Then we recrossed the boggy ground to the summit of Lining Crag, from where Dad took this shot down the narrow Greenup Valley, the route we were to follow to the car. On the way down, we met a grand chap from Sheffield, and he and Dad chatted about walking climbing etc for about 15mins. Very nice interlude.

The paths today had been completely new to us, so it was nice to have explored yet another corner of Lakeland. Thank you Dad, as always.

Unsurprisingly food was the thing on Dad's mind now. He decided to get a good part of the way home before stopping, so he drove to Tebay, going to the Old School House to see Steve and Joanne. Lovely ham and veg soup was followed by an excellent roast pork dinner, with a pot of tea. So fully fortified, we completed the journey home.

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