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A Song of Ice and Rocks: Glaramara

PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 7:51 pm
by The English Alpinist
0 white walkers.JPG
White walkers!

A reference to one of my favourite books/TV shows in the title for this one! The conditions and terrain seemed like a good location for shooting series 7 perhaps. Possible sightings of white walkers aside, I myself was not so much the 'king o'the north' as a somewhat frightened little English Alpinist. Glaramara is one serious place in cloud and snow. From the upper half of Rosthwaite Fell onwards it was a complete whiteout for the rugged ridge trek to Esk Hawse. I'm not even sure whether I hit Rosthwaite summit, but I'm giving myself this one! Following the compass heading I must surely have crossed it as near as damnit, and I wouldn't have reached Glaramara if I hadn't. It's the same mountain in effect. The 'Tarn at Leaves', an expected early landmark, I somehow missed, but I passed over some rocky outcrop with a sizeable cairn which I'd bet good money was Rosthwaite Cam.

Glaramara summit was beyond doubt, with its twin cairns a few metres apart and craggy surroundings half-glimpsed in the frigid haze. Heaven knows what angle I approached it from, and I had a very hazardous climb up a steep snow-ice face to get onto it, barely able to dig my toes in for grip to avoid a 30-foot fall. Should have put the crampons on for that, and had an ice axe too. It got a bit more straight-forward en route to Allen Crags, but still some 'tricky' descents. I fell headlong one time, fortunately plunging only into snow. The good old-fashioned compass did it's job magnificently. Reaching the famous shelter at Esk Hause was a major relief (literally a relief for some, judging by some yellow stains in the snow). At that point I met the first humans (definitely not white walkers) since a young couple on the early ascent of Rosthwaite.

After a minor hitch finding the path down to Sprinkling Tarn, things certainly did get easier, and dare I say enjoyable. Seathwaite Fell was a picture of winter beauty, stunning views of the larger fells all around and bright blue waters. Well down on the descent, a lapse of concentration sent me turning over on my ankle, very nearly doing damage. I must be careful now, so close to my goal. Only 8 more walks to do to complete the Wainwrights in Winter. Once again, I reached the bus stop (this time Seatoller) with 15 minutes to spare! I should have had loads of time, but the ice and rocks of Glaramara could easily have cost me much more than a missed bus.

1 Seatoller.JPG
The tiny hamlet of Seatoller, where the bus terminated.

2 ascent.JPG
Ascending onto Rosthwaite Fell.

3 whiteout.JPG
Felt very much like the territory 'beyond the wall'.

3a indeed.JPG

3b rocks.JPG
Somewhere on Rosthwaite Fell, or between it and Glaramara.

3c Cam.JPG
I'll never be sure whether I encountered it or not.

4 map.JPG
Definitely 'something' of significance, and definitely before Gllaramara.

5 Glara 1.JPG
On top of Glaramara. Pretty sure.

6 compass.JPG
Glaramara's other summit, the higher one. Must be.

7 ponds.JPG
'High House Tarn' - a welcome sight, which proved my position en route to Allen Crags.

8 Allen summit.JPG
Summit of Allen Crags. Definite.

9 cairn.JPG
Nature's minimalism ('path' marker down to Esk Hause).

10 Esk Hause.JPG
Damn, I was pleased to see the shelter at Esk Hause. Other walkers around now.

11 emerge.JPG
Descent from Esk Hause. Emerging back into the world.

12 view north.JPG
Looking north.

13 Sprinkling.JPG
Sprinkling Tarn: my turn-off for Seathwaite Fell.

15 Gables view.JPG
View of Great Gable.

17 true summit.JPG
The true summit of Seathwaite Fell, looking north.

18 official top.JPG
Great view north from the endmost summit cairn.

19 vantage.JPG
Bird's eye view of Seathwaite and Glaramara from Great End, 11 days ago.

20 descent.JPG
Any which way down Seathwaite Fell.

21 Stockley.JPG
Stockley Bridge.

22 bus stop.JPG
15 minutes to spare - again!

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Re: A Song of Ice and Rocks: Glaramara

PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 10:06 pm
by ChrisW
Lovely closing shots TEA, almost the exact opposite of the opening whiteout :crazy: Be careful out there man, it's incredible how a little turn of the ankle can finish you off for weeks (just ask my mrs :roll: )

Re: A Song of Ice and Rocks: Glaramara

PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 10:53 pm
by dav2930
That's some of the most complex and confusing terrain in the Lakes - a real navigational challenge in those conditions! You did well to persevere with it. :clap:
As Chris says, take care; it'd be a real shame to scupper your mission with a twisted ankle, or worse, after all you've achieved so far. :shock:

Re: A Song of Ice and Rocks: Glaramara

PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 11:01 pm
by The English Alpinist
Thanks guys. It was a real lapse, trying to save time in the race for the bus. I was taking my coat off off and trying to stuff it in my rucksack without stopping! Failed to watch my footing.