Blea Rigg

Date: 6 June 2019                         Weather: 16’C, sunny spells, light wind

Height gain: 1,657ft                     Distance: 7.2 miles

Time taken: 5 hours 30 mins    Wainwright count: 82 of 214

Route:  From Grasmere taking a footpath off Easedale Road past Little and Great Castle Hows and back down via Easedale Tarn.

I’m not sure how Blea Rigg has been left on its own but it is our only objective of the day.  We decide to climb it from Grasmere, not a route we’ve ever done before.  It’s a very pleasant day, sunny spells in amongst the puffy clouds and a cool breeze.

We park up in the (very expensive) Grasmere village centre car park and get booted up.  I start packing my rucksack and realise that my phone is still on top of the banister at the bottom of the stairs at home – note to self, don’t leave it there in future or it will get forgotten.  So the pictures from this walk are from S’s phone which isn’t  as good as my phone.

We head through the village centre and on to the familiar Easedale Road, although this time we don’t stay on it too long, soon taking a left hand turn through a gate and into the fields.  The views to our right across to Grasmere and Helm Crag (Lion & Lamb) are particularly good as we gradually gain height:


After a bit of trial and error in route finding as we make our way in a generally upwards direction we find the path we’re looking for signposted to Silver How.  I’m bemused as to how Silver How can be walked from both Grasmere and Elterwater (which is a route we’ve done before) – either Elterwater is closer than I think or Silver How is very long.

The path is attractive and relatively steep.  As we come out onto open hillside the views back to Grasmere are good:


We diverge from the route to Silver How at this point and head up steep hillside in the general direction of Blea Rigg.  As we reach Swinescar Hause we’re not quite sure how to make the leap across to the slopes of Blea Rigg and realise we need to do a bit more up before the path becomes obvious in front of us.  Lots of people start to appear at this point on the route down from Silver How towards Blea Rigg – the two must quite often be walked together.

There are a few craggy tops to negotiate as we make our way across towards the Langdales:


We decide to tuck ourselves under one of them and stop for lunch – our favourite Apple Pie shop pasties.  A noisy couple are slowly making their way below us (how do people climb uphill and talk loudly at the same time?) but seem to be heading for the path down to Easedale Tarn rather than carrying on upwards.

We soon set off again – a bit of debate on the route, but I find a path that circumvents the top of Great Castle How quite nicely and we’re soon on the final scramble up Blea Rigg.

It blows us away when we finally get there – a completely different view of the Langdales from the back, and we can clearly see our favourite route up Pavey Ark – North Rake:


We sit on a rock and admire the views for a while – everyone up here seems to be bypassing the top so we have it all to ourselves (why, it’s glorious?!).

Eventually we drag ourselves away and head east to find the path down to Easedale Tarn.  We seem to have found the steep route, more of an abseil than a walk.  However, it doesn’t prove too arduous and we reach an easier grassy path as we approach the tarn.  We look back up at what we’ve just negotiated:


And a bit further on back up to Blea Rigg behind us:


Easedale Tarn looks beautiful as always – we’re not used to arriving at it from above:


We sit on a grass verge a little distance from the tarn for afternoon tea and watch the various groups of people enjoying the water, including two young women who strip off and go for a swim.  It’s a pleasant day for hillwalking, but it doesn’t feel quite that warm – made me feel a bit chilly just watching them.

We finally decide to set off again and meet a couple coming the other way – they stop to chat and say they are heading for Stickle Tarn, glad that the weather has turned nice for the last couple of days of their holiday – they are visiting from Norfolk.  Easedale Tarn and Stickle Tarn in one walk – what a nice thing to do.

We reach the familiar path down Sourmilk Gill – it doesn’t seem as steep or long today, although the walk back into Grasmere does seem to go on for a mile too long as usual.

We’ve had a really lovely walk – seemed a bit slow actually getting to Blea Rigg on the way up, but what fabulous views of our favourite Langdales once we got there.

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