Richard, Lorraine, Sarah, Thomas, Sapphie, Gem. Robert had a rest day after going over on his ankle the day before. Forecast - showers and low cloud.
We set off up the path to Blindtarn Moss, which I think is one of the prettiest spots in the Lakes and one that I had never encountered until last year despite dozens of stays in Grasmere. It feels like there should be a tarn there, and there is plenty of water flowing down the outlet stream, but instead there is a large marsh in the shadow of Castle How. The ascent was mostly not too steep, except for the final push up to the ridge, but we struggled a little having not yet really found our rhythm.
We started off up the ridge in pleasant-enough conditions, but before too long the clouds had descended and we were in sideways drizzle. Not my favourite. We ate lunch at the top of Blea Rigg and discussed what to do next - original plan had been to head up towards Sergeant Man but the consensus seemed to be that a return via Easedale Tarn would be better given the cloud levels. On the way to the pile of stones that mark the top of the path to Easedale Tarn we missed a turning, and ended up heading towards Stickle Tarn - we quickly realized our mistake but decided to carry on anyway as we had plenty of time - the clouds rewarded our decision with a 10 second view of Harrison Stickle and Pavey Ark as we headed down towards the tarn.
We didn''t go all the way down to the tarn, so as not to lose too much height, but instead set off back towards the main ridge and the top of the path down to Easedale.
When we set off down the Easedale Tarn path I remembered why we had decided NOT to use it last time we were in the area (and as a result had discovered Blindtarn Moss). It starts off very steep over loose rocks, and requires negotiation of several steep rocky outcrops before levelling off near the tarn. On the plus side, we passed several very pretty waterfalls where the streams run flat over those same rocky outcrops, and got to see Belles Knott transform from a tame grassy top to a Matterhorn-like peak as we passed it.
The path alongside Easedale Tarn has a number of causeways made of large stepping stones through all the bogs - very welcome! At Easedale Tarn we rested a while while the dogs swam - unfortunately we could not find any sticks to throw in for them...
The path down from Easedale Tarn to Grasmere is excellent and fast easy walking, and Sour Milk Gill was lovely as always.
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