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About Summiteer

~Seathwaite Circular~

23rd January 2010

I was looking forward to a weekend walk and discovered that Neil Haslewood was in the Lakes and wanted to add a couple of fells to his Wainwright list. So we met in Ambleside, I drove to Borrowdale and we parked on the roadside approaching Seathwaite....

Seathwaite Fell Summit

Scroll down for photos and a description of the walk

Base Brown at 10:00

Today's walk was to be a circular one, starting with Seathwaite Fell, then Esk Hause, Allen Crags, Glaramara, Rosthwaite Fell and back along the Allerdale Ramble to Seathwaite and the car. Simple.

Grains Gill Atmosphere

Elsewhere on the 'net, there had been spurious reports of Stockley Bridge's demise after the November '09 floods. It was a slight relief to see this wonderful bridge in good shape, but I felt that if the bridge had collapsed, others would have knowm. Seathwaite Fell is up there on the right.

Stockley Bridge and Seathwaite Fell

Stockley Bridge

Base Brown Gully

This is rightly described as the Summit. It is not the highest point on the fell, but it holds a prominent position and offers a great view down Borrowdale. Not my first visit, but certainly the best views I've had up here.

Seathwaite Fell's highest points

A crisp, frozen landscape up here today. Great End lurks in the background.


We were certainly looking forward to a high level tramp over Allen Crags and Glaramara.

Seathwaite Fell Summit from the top!

Great Gable and Sprinkling Tarn

Great Gable and increasing clouds

Crampons were donned along this route as the majority of footsteps were now on frozen snow, some of which would not withstand a man's weight and revealed variable depth up to about 3ft in many places.

Climbers on Great End and a look up not-so Ruddy Gill

Allen Crags at 12:42

Allen Crags at 12:51

Oh dear! Neil and I had a rethink and decided to walk up to Esk Hause and review the skies. At the hause, snowflakes were falling and the sky looked menacing. We were not going to go up to Allen Crags and Glaramara in these conditions, it could have led to whiteout conditions. We decided on a descent down Allencrags Gill for Langstrath.

Looking Back

Great Gable is disappearing as the clouds roll in.

The Langdales (l) and Rosset Pike (c) - grim!

Neil on Ice

Perhaps this report will not reveal some of the challenges we experienced descending Allencrags Gill as cameras were put away. All the little gullies were full of frozen snow and we had to "kick" our way across many places. The path was not evident and it was a relief to get to the bottom and take the crampons off.

Deep & Wide & Tall - Langstrath Beck

Water Meets

Allencrags Gill joins forces with the waters from Angle Tarn and they flow off down Langstrath and into Borrowdale. The time is 14:48 and we haven't stopped for lunch, we decided to press on and eat a little snack on the move.

Me in Langstrath

The photo report finishes here as light is fading. It's still 5 miles back to the car and we kept moving, finishing the walk on the tarmac all the way from Stonethwaite around to Seatoller and along to Seathwaite - mostly in the dark. Always carry a headlight or torch, or illuminated GPS....

Walkers: Neil Haslewood and Me

Time taken: 7hr 45 minutes over a distance of 14 miles

Route: Seathwaite, Stockley Bridge, Seathwaite Fell, Sprinkling Tarn, Esk Hause, Allencrags Gill, Langstrath, Stonethwaite, Seatoller, Seathwaite.

Weather and conditions: Bright start, clouds building, a little snow and then light rain for a while.

Greetings Count: Low, not many folk on our route, plenty on Great End, very few elsewhere.

Richard's Refreshment Review: We went to The White Lion in Ambleside and very good it was too. Quick service, good food, reasonalby priced drinks. Not gordon blue, but ideal for those seeking quick calorific input after a stretch on the fells. Click the link, not everyone shares my views, but that's not unusual.

All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2010 ©