Date - 1st August 2010 Distance - 7.25 miles
Ascent -
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



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?", asked 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.

"Oh and Dad has said there is limited parking at Stonethwaite, so wants to be there before 09:00, so we will be setting off around 07:15."


The Walk

On the day we got up very early to ensure we did not delay Dad. 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, Tetley said, "soon now we take the left turn to Stonethwaite. The narrow road ends in the hamlet, the parking being by the telephone box."

"Not yet 09:00 and nearly full already", commented Grizzly. "Dad was right to set off so early."

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. Dad shouldered this and strode off crossing the Stonethwaite Beck, to then shortly pass through a gate on to the Cumbria Way. "We go right", said Shaun.

This was a good path with a substantial moss covered stone wall on our right.

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

Looking up from the map Allen said, "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 in 2005 we went up via Sergeant's Crag then came down via Eagle Crag. 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.

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.

Allen said, "there have been quite enough sheep pictures in our stories."

"I know said Dad, "but the Herdwicks are special."

"Ok", then sighed Allen.

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.

"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. Allen commented, "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."

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.

"Do you know what the origin of the name is, Grizzly", asked Shaun.

"According to Diana Whaley's book, it is on the boundary between the former counties of Cumberland and Westmorland. So this might suggest some connection with surveying or drawing of boundaries, but this cannot be proven."

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, "can I take their picture."

"By all means", said Dad. "they 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", said Shaun.

"The route from those to Grasmere is familiar to us, from the adventure to climb Tarn Crag in March 2009", replied Tetley.

Before walking on, Little Eric said, "what a dramatic view to the east."

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

Shaun said, "our route is right along Greenup Edge for the just over quarter mile ascent to Low White Stones."

A large rocky cairn marks the summit and we scrambled up and settled for our picture. "Great that's the summits done", cheered Grizzly.

Looking on south, Tetley said, "it is just a short walk to High Raise. However we have all been there before, so there is no need to visit it today. The last time we were there was on the walk that took us to Tarn Crag via Stythwaite Steps."

"Right", said Shaun. "Now we just reverse our outward route."

First down to Greenup Edge, where looking west over the rocky Long Crag, Allen said, "the sun is catching the rounded point of Black Star on Honister Crag, with just behind the highest point Fleetwith Pike."

Then we recrossed the boggy ground to the summit of Lining Crag, from where Dad took this shot down the narrow Greenup Valley.

On the way down, we met a grand chap from Sheffield, and he and Dad chatted about walking climbing etc., for about 15 minutes. A very nice interlude.

Most of the way beside the path, Greenup Gill danced down on its way to the confluence with Langstrath Beck.

"These paths were completely new to us", commented Allen. "Nice to have explored yet another corner of Lakeland. Thank you Dad, as always."

"Another grand day out", added Tetley.

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 vegetable 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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