Mountain Journeys

Big walks in the Lake District

On Wednesday & Thursday of this week I met up with Kim, Barbara, Julia, and Vicky for two days of challenging walking over the rugged Lakeland fells.
This is the 7th time we've been out together since our first easy walk around the shores of Rydal and Grasmere. How things have changed since then! We've now ticked off the Lakes 3000's, Welsh 3000's (most of), Lakes 24 peaks, Wasdale horseshoe, and Ennerdale horseshoe!!! Some massive walks there and so much fun along the way.

This time it was to be the Langdale horseshoe on day one and Helvellyn via Striding Edge on day two.

The forecast was very good, and actually turned out even better than expected, with clear skies and light winds the whole time.
Meeting at 8.30am on Wednesday we set off from the National Trust campsite in Langdale to ascend by Stickle ghyll to the tarn and on to Pavey Ark, this is the big uphill of the day. The summits we then climbed are: Thurnacarr Knott; Esk Pike; Bowfell; Crinkle Crags; and Pike O' Blisco. 14 miles and around 1550 metres of ascent and descent over a wide variety of mountain terrain, including the notorious 'Bad step' on Crinkle crags! Descending from Pike O' Blisco there was some 'leg shake' evident from our tired muscles, but nothing stops these determined and super fit ladies. We had whizzed around this long route in 8 hours and I was definitely feeling pretty knackered by now and wandering how to recover quick enough for Helvellyn the following day!

Thankfully I wasn't the only one feeling some tiredness from the Langdale walk, so the pace was a little more gentle (only a little though)!
A slightly later start and shorter walk was in store today, and again the weather was perfect. Upon arrival at Red Tarn we noticed a few tents and plenty of campers. Julia was even offered a cup of tea. The tarn was perfectly still, mirroring the Helvellyn headwall and adding to the drama & beauty of our surroundings. For all it would have been a cold night to camp high up, but the rewards would have been high.

Striding Edge soon focused our minds and concentration levels went up in line with the drop below. Myself and Barbara opting to stay on the crest the whole way, whilst the others occasionally used the small path to the right. The tricky down climb was passed with ease and all that was left was the final scramble up to the summit of Helvellyn. Lunch at the summit seemed a good plan, and whilst there we could enjoy a view of yesterdays route, not bad.
We continued over Lower Man and White side, before descending to the valley to arrive back at the car in a little under 4 hours, nice one.

Really lovely to see you all again and to meet Vicky. So much fun and so many entertaining stories along the way. Thanks so much and hopefully see you again for more big walks next year.




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