The walk over the ridges of Grasmere circles Easedale Tarn and Upper Easedale. It covers a number of Wainright fells as the walker picks their way through the knobbly terrain. Very enjoyable.
I had never completed the ridges of Grasmere until a few years ago. It was clearly going to be a long day but I underestimated the undulating nature of these broad ridges. It is classic Lakeland terrain. The route winds its way through a never ending series of rocky outcrops and hidden hollows. The views over the Langdale Pikes (from an unusual angle) are a highlight. The beauty of Far Easedale valley is another. The views over the tarns of Coldale and Easedale are more to be expected but none the worse for it.
I included 6 Wainwright summits on this ten and a half mile circuit. However I could not help thinking of the slightly arbitrary nature of those he selected as official ‘Wainwrights’ , one rocky outcrop appearing as worthy as another. The exception is of course Helm Crag (better known as the Lion & the Lamb) which provides a fitting finale to the walk. Not just the fine summit which requires some Grade 1 scrambling skills but the lovely views over Grasmere on the weary trudge down.
Unless you really are ticking summits avoid the tedious trudge up to High Raise. Sergeant’s Man providing an excellent ‘far point’ to the walk.
In cloudy conditions the southern ridge is more challenging to follow than the northern one. On Blea Rigg a number of sheep tracks may lead you astray so keep roughly on an initial bearing when you hit the broad ridge (north west for nearly two miles). Making the right turn to Seargent’s Man and avoiding High Raise is difficult.
To answer Hannah’s question it took us about 7 hours but we got a bit lost and it was a somewhat icy march day so we took a bit longer getting down from sergeants man.
How long does this route normally take?
Far Easdale is a favourite of mine, all higgledy piggledy Thora Hird with lots of ups, downs and rounds giving different and surprising views throughout. Not surprised the Victorians had it as a destination on their tours. A shorter route in would be their track from Grasmere to the Tarn itself, now well made and stepped. Very easy. At the tarn veer south, north or keep on through the vale – all are good choices. I confirm that from the tarn/Sargeants’s to Calf in a snowstorm is a major navigational test! The L&L is a little gem to finish on.
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