Date - 5th November 2014 Distance - 5.75 miles
Ascent -
Map - OL6 & OL7 Start point - Blea Tarn car park (NY 2955 0341)


Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Brown How on Lingmoor Fell 1539 469 NY 3027 0460
Side Pike 1187 362 NY 2931 0536



Allen and Tetley strolled into the room to find Little Eric and Southey looking at the iPad.

"What are you on with?", asked Tetley.

Little Eric replied, "Checking the weather for Wednesday, as Dad has said that he plans to get out for a walk."

"So?", said Allen, "what are the prospects."

"It looks like it will be a really good day. Dry, light winds and sunny for the most part."

Southey then went on, "the last two walks have been just country walks, but we were wondering if we might get on the fells this time. I know that Dad has had lots of commitments lately, which has meant walks have had to take a back seat, and he has had his share of problems with shoulder and back trouble, but in that he seems to be better now."

Little Eric then said, "Dad did say that he would try to finish Book 2 for me, but I realise that it would be better to leave that for next year now, but I wonder what else we could do in the meantime?"

"Well", replied Tetley, "I agree the walk from Hartsop to complete Book 2 should be left to next year, but you have many outstanding in Book 4, so let's look there."

Just then Shaun and Grizzly, arrived with the flasks and cake.

"Ooh great", cried Allen. "I am gasping for a cuppa."

"Me too", called out Southey, "and cake too."

"Ha ha", laughed Tetley. "You two are real tea bellies and cake stuffers, just like Dad."

Allen and he went and got the mugs and plates and soon we all had steaming mugs in paw.

"What's the cake?", asked Southey.

"Mincemeat slice, made by Little Eric, and I have made chocolate brownie", replied Grizzly.

"Ooh spoilt for choice", responded Southey.

"We'll just have to have one of each", at least", said Allen.

So all well with the world, our thoughts then turned back to the walk, Tetley, having told Grizzly and Shaun what had been talked about before.

This prompted Shaun to go and get Book 4 off the shelf, and finding the page with the list of fells, said, "what is needed is a walk that is not too demanding." Scanning down he then said, "how about Lingmoor. It is between Great and Little Langdale, so there should be super views."

"I think that is an excellent idea", agreed Tetley. "And we will also take in Side Pike, which will mean Little Eric, that you will bag two more Birketts, as well as another Wainwright."

Looking at the website, Allen said, "it is over eight years since we last climbed it."

"Which way do you think we should climb it this time?", mused Grizzly. "I reckon we went up from Elterwater in 2006."

Southey had been and got the Birkett book, and finding the route description he said, "Birkett does it from Blea Tarn."

"Sounds good, let's suggest to Dad we do it that way", replied Shaun. "Right off you go Allen."

"Why is it always me that has to ask Dad?"

"Because you have a way with words, such that Dad does not know how to refuse you."

"OK" he replied draining his mug and heading out of the door, book in paw.

"Better pour him another mug", said Tetley, "he will deserve it."

"And another piece of cake too", added Little Eric, who helped himself as well.

In minutes Allen returned, a broad smile on his face. "Thanks pal", as he accepted the steaming mug. "The walk is on. Even though Dad is tired after all the busy commitments and driving, he was thinking about going on the fells so I did not have to be too persuasive."

"Great", shouted Little Eric

"Wonderful", added Southey. "It will be another completely new area for me. I can't wait!"



The Walk

Dad had planned that we would start walking about 10:00 and so we would be leaving home about 08:15. With this in mind we made sure we were up early and all lent a paw to get the picnic ready and safely stowed in Allen's rucksack.

It was to be one of those days where we were blest with terrific visibility and so there were amazing views.

At Ambleside, Dad took the Coniston road. "Do we go all the way to Coniston?", asked Southey, who is still getting his bearings, having only join our club late last year.

"No pal", replied Grizzly. "We go as far as Skelwith Bridge, then turn right. This road leads to Elterwater, and onwards then into Great Langdale."

After the first section, we came to a cattle grid, where the view opened out with Elterwater village below, and ahead majestically the Langdale Pikes. "Wow", cried Southey. "That is just unbelievable."

The rest of us knew what to expect, and there was no surprise when Dad stopped and got the camera out.

"So what exactly can I see?", asked Southey.

"Loft Crag is to the left, with just the very top of Pike o'Stickle to its right. Then right of the depression is Harrison Stickle and Pavey Ark", said Tetley helpfully. "Oh and of course the village is Elterwater."

Dad drove on passing though Chapel Stile and into the valley. The road is rather narrow so Dad took his time. The New and Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotels were passed, then seemingly the road ended at a track to Stool End Farm. "

"Wherever now?", said Southey. But hardly had he said this, when he realised that the road turned sharp left, with high ground in front.

Allen said, "pal the road now climbs up ahead in a series of zigzags, then continues on Blea Tarn."

Part way up the road was blocked by a man with a digger who was working on the ground at the side of the narrow road. We waited patiently and after a minute he stopped work and drove up off he road so we could pass. From there it was very narrow, Dad's car seeming to fill the road completely, as we passed by Blea Tarn House, then pretty soon we were pulling into the car park on the left, with the tarn below on the opposite side.

"I honestly cannot remember the last time I was here", said Dad.

Dad was soon ready, and Shaun said, "we go left along the road towards Little Langdale."

"Yes", agreed Dad, "but first let's just walk down to see the tarn."

"Just beautiful", exclaimed Little Eric.

After few more moments, Dad then said, "right let's get going.

Across the cattle grid the road then started to descend steadily towards Little Langdale. After a while Grizzly said, "I think that view of the Langdale Pikes is worth a shot for our story."

"Quite", agreed Dad.

"They look so close", said Allen. "It does not seem that there is Blea Tarn and the area to the top of the valley and then the valley itself in between!"

Again, hungry for knowledge, Southey asked again, "what are they called?"

Grizzly obliged, saying, "from the left, the round top of Pike o'Stickle (2326ft), Loft Crag (2238ft), falling to Thorn Crag (2106ft) then rising to Harrison Stickle (2415ft)."

Shaun was looking at the map and before we set off said, "we will pass a disused quarry, and then just a few yards further will be the grassy track with the barrier to stop vehicles on the left. That is our route."

Dad strode up the track, coming by the wall that can be seen on the skyline. Here it was rather boggy but soon a proper if narrow path materialised. To the right the view had opened out and Southey said, "there is a tarn."

"It is Little Langdale Tarn", replied Allen. "We drove through the valley with Uncle Eric, when we went to climb some of the Coniston Fells."

"Ooh yes, I remember", said Southey. "The road was ever so narrow in places, and Uncle Eric joked about Dad taking his big car along it."

"I will have to some time, as we need to do the walk taking in Pike O'Blisco, which starts from the same place on Wrynose Pass at the Three Shires Stone", Dad said.

Looking right, Little Eric said, "there are some of the fells we climbed that day with Uncle Eric. Swirl How, Great Carrs and Little Carrs, with the long ridge in front enclosing the Greenburn Valley. Even through in shadow they are so clearly defined today."

Dragging our eyes from these wonderful scenes, Dad walked onwards again, the path running below the bulk of Busk Pike that buttresses the southern end of Lingmoor Fell.

The route was ultimately to be on by the wall under the hillside, but first the path took us through a gate and then down to a beck that Dad easily forded.

At the far side, it looks like there is a path rising up the slope, and despite running with water Dad walked up this, only to find that there was no ongoing path.

Shaun said, "sorry Dad, I should have said that the path was in fact immediately right up a rocky step."

"It's OK lad", as Dad made his way carefully down where the route was then clear to see.

Continuing on the path under the slopes of the fell, after a little while Dad said, "phew I'm getting warm. I'll have to take my jumper off."

So we hopped out so he could stow it in the rucksack. Then we strode off again, but what none of us noticed was that Dad had left his stick planted in the ground beside the track. Passing a couple coming the other way Dad had a brief chat with them, and then pretty soon we reached the buildings of The Bield and High Bield below the wall.

"That looks to be a nice shot of the Little Langdale Tarn with the fells behind", said Tetley.

"Yes", agreed Dad, "but I think we should walk on a little further for the best angle."

Stopping finally, it was now that he realised, no stick! Thinking he might have left it just where Tetley had remarked on the view, we walked back. There was of course no sign, as it finally dawned on Dad where it was. "Darn, I left it where I took my jumper off. Its too far to go back though, but someone will get the benefit, and I will just have to get a new one".

"Oh dear Dad, what are you like!", exclaimed Allen. "That's makes three, so maybe now that will be the last as they say things happen in threes."

"Where did Dad lose the others?", asked Southey.

"One was on Brownber Head, on the day we climbed Nine Standards Rigg with Uncle Bob, at the end of March 2009. The other was left on Sharp Knott on the circuit of Gavel Fell from Lamplugh in July 2009."

"Well at least this one lasted longer than the second", said Little Eric, with a laugh.

"Right", said Dad, "back to the matter in hand, getting that picture."

Again Southey asked, "I now know that is Little Langdale Tarn, but what are the fells we can see."

Tetley was happy to oblige saying, "above the tarn is Low Fell of which the summit is Great Intake, the rounded hump. Then to the right is Birk Fell whose summit is called Birk Fell Man. This is over topped by Wetherlam. The last two we climbed back in July 2008."

"Yes and we met a lady who kindly took Dad's photo with us at the cairn on Wetherlam", added Allen. "Then just over two years later we were on Harrison Stickle, and a group of walkers arrived. Last was a lady who seeing us sitting at the cairn, said 'I have seen you before. I took your picture on Wetherlam'."

It was nice to reminisce, but putting the camera away, Dad strode off again. The path followed by the wall, until just before a gate, we took the old quarry track left that climbed steeply. Looking up we saw a gentleman who had stopped to take a picture before walking on.

On reaching the point where he had stood, Shaun said, "Dad there is a glove on the ground."

"It must be that gentleman's", replied Dad. He called out, saying, "excuse me, have you dropped a glove."

Checking he replied, "yes."

So walking to him Dad reunited him with it and then chatted a little while. Walking on the path climbed in a series of zigzags coming to a cairn.

"There are two alternatives here", remarked Shaun. "We can either go round left, or take the path on by the wall."

"We'll do the latter", said Dad, striding off.

The route passed a stile on the left in the wall. "That's the path from Elterwater", said Shaun.

Ahead were a group of walkers on the top of a rise, but they had moved on by the time we reached it. "Look, a seat", cried Grizzly. "Let's sit here a little while. Oh and Dad will you take our picture?"

Dad then sat next to us and we took in the superb view of Elterwater, with Windermere beyond.

"Wow", breathed Southey.

Little Eric then said, "that white building on the shores of Windermere must be the Low Wood Hotel, which we pass on the road between Windermere and Ambleside."

"Spot on pal", agreed Tetley.

We could have sat there all day, but getting to the summit beckoned, so we settled in Dad's rucksack and climbed on. Soon now we rejoined the main track climbing another rise and rounding a corner, where we stopped in our tracks such was the magnificent view before us.

"Oh boy", cried Southey.

Grizzly described the view for Southey this time. "On the left is Great Knott (2283ft). Then it is the Crinkle Crags of which there are in fact five summits, the highest being the the second, Long Top (2816ft). Right of these is Shelter Crags (2674ft) just to the right of the col at Three Tarns. Distant behind this is Ill Crag (3067ft) part of the Scafells. The prominent top above the col is Bowfell (2960ft) with Esk Pike (2903ft) behind. Finally behind on the far right is Great End (2984ft)."

This view was to be with us for the next part of the walk, and as we crested the next rise, Allen called out, "finally, the wavy wall!"

"That's amazing", responded Southey. "What a fantastic day I am having."

"It is not far now, as the rise behind is Brown How that is the summit", said Shaun.

By the wall the path led on and up Brown How, to just below the summit cross the rickety stile, to the cairn. There were lots of people here too. We quickly hopped out and settled at the cairn for the usual picture, with again that fantastic view as a backdrop.

"Time for lunch", said Allen rubbing his tummy in anticipation.

"Quite", agreed Dad.

The area around was taken up by other walkers so we just stayed on the cairn. It was not long before we heard a gentleman say, "I have just noticed the teddy bears."

He came over and took our picture, and Dad explained. Dad then chatted to him and the other members of his party, one lady saying, "I have seen them before, or maybe it was on the website."

Our fame seems to be spreading, we thought.

Lunch over and settled again, Dad set off on the rough and rocky path that descends from the summit towards the next objective Side Pike.

Looking right Grizzly said, "there's a pretty tarn."

"It's Lingmoor Tarn, unsurprisingly" replied Shaun.

Strolling on, a few minutes later there was this rather atmospheric view of Blea Tarn. Eventually our route would be along the far side and through the trees.

At a wall and fence corner only the second stile on the walk was crossed, this view being taken afterwards.

Now with the wall on the right the path led on, Side Pike dominant in front. Tetley said, "that's the gentleman who we reunited with his glove."

At the base of the fell the path passes between the rock wall and a flake of rock, the narrowness of the gap meaning it was necessary for Dad to take the rucksack off.

The gentleman who had dropped his glove, was just in front and now kindly helped Dad by taking the rucksack for him.

"Ooh", cried Southey, as his nose rubbed against the rock in the process.

Dad then squeezed through, and the gentleman kindly held his rucksack for him to slip it back on. How kind.

Now we just followed the path again, coming to the point where a narrow path struck off right. "This is the route to the summit of Side Pike", called out Shaun.

The ascent was steep the path winding it's way up the hill to reach the summit, marked by a cairn. "Yippee", cried Little Eric, "that's two more Birketts ticked off as well as a Wainwright."

"Me too", added Southey.

Here too there was super views, such as this of the valley called Mickleden. For Southey's sake, Allen said, "the ridge rising on the left is called The Band and that is Bowfell again with Esk Pike behind, and Great End to its right. The wall of rock at the end of the valley is Rossett Pike, Buck Crag and Black Crag, with rising behind Allen Crags, from which I get my name."

Ready for the off again, Little Eric said, "where now."

"We return by the ascent path, then continue along the ridge, making the descent to the road by the cattle grid", replied Shaun.

This was a steep rough descent with a number of rocky steps making for hard going. "I am not enjoying this part, as it is making my knees hurt", said Dad. "But nevertheless it is good to have rock again under my boots!"

Finally it was done and the road was reached, which we crossed and then it was through a gate onto the path to Blea Tarn. A couple were just in front and the gentleman held then gate open for us. If he had not Dad may well have been tempted to take pictures of some Herdwick sheep.

"Good", Allen mused, "looks like we will finally get a sheep picture free story."

On and off Dad talked to them as they walked along. The good track leads behind Blea Tarn and round the far end and so to the car park. Dad took a few shots as we approached, like this capturing some nice reflections.

There were lots of people with cameras and tripods by the tarn, something we had not seen before, but the reason was obvious because of the excellent light and visibility today.

As we strolled up towards the road, once again we marvelled at the view along the tarn to the Langdale Pikes and Side Pike, with a just slightly ruffled reflection.

"Wow, that is truly beautiful. Thank you so much Dad, it has been a wonderful day", said Southey. "Apart that is from you losing your stick. I wonder what Uncle Brian will say."

Leaving it to readers imagination, it was something not very polite that rhymed with stick!

Back at the car, Tetley said, "are you going for tea and cakes?"

"Yes if I can find somewhere", replied Dad.

"There is the cafe Brambles in the shop at Chapel Stile", suggested Grizzly, helpfully.

A good idea, but unfortunately whilst the shop was open, the cafe was not on Wednesdays. So instead Dad just drove us home and had tea and biscuits there.

Magic day!!


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