Winter returns to The Lakes, a Seathwaite round

Wainwrights: Allen Crags, Bowfell, Esk Pike, Seathwaite Fell
Hewitts: Allen Crags, Bowfell, Esk Pike

Date walked: 20/01/2018

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 16.5km

Ascent: 1125m

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Like most of the hillwalking fraternity I had been studying the weather reports for the upcoming weekend. Saturday seemed the only option, a seemingly "still" day amongst the winter storms. My first option would have been a 2 day raid on The Donalds as I'm keen to get into Glen Afton and maybe use Clennoch bothy but a study of reports and seeing locals FB entries regarding the amount of snow lying in southern Scotland it was a non starter, so a visit to The Lakes was arranged and maybe a chance to use the axe and crampons.
Pick up was made at a local station and it was en route across the A69. As usual no definite plans were made and it was a case of choosing en route. If the snow had been bad down low I would just have chosen something roadside. Getting to Penrith area I was surprised how good the roads were and it was straight down to Borrowdale. Quite surprised how many cars were parked up on the lane and surprised how many chose to bury their cars in the deep mud verges :crazy:
I was with a mate, Steve who is unaware of how many Wainwrights he has done as they are spread over a lot of years so he has started them again. I had been on Scafell Pike on boxing day so didn't want to repeat it so opted for a different circuit perhaps not one people would immediately think of.
First off was the route along to Stockley bridge and then the ascent up towards Styhead tarn. When we got past the site of the former huge cairn that I was always told was the 1000ft marker we headed straight off up the rake that leads to Seathwaite Fell. I included this in his round as I had ignored it for years not knowing it was a Wainy.

Looking down Borrowdale from Seathwaite Fell
Having got onto Seathwaite Fell it was then a case of bagging the other cairns and then making our way over to Sprinkling tarn. En route over steve suffered the dreaded winter mishap, sinking straight through the snow and into a hidden bog thus ensuring a cold wet foot for the entire day. Getting over to the tarn and up towards Esk Hause was hard work, the snow being fairly deep and soft. As we walked the weather was changing to the north and began to clear. Southern Lakes remained under cloud however.
Sun trying to break through over Esk pike
Top of Grains Gill
Looking north from Esk Hause.
Inversion over Langdale
The path up onto Esk Pike was better, the wind having stripped the slopes of snow leaving ice which was walkable. The sun came out on Esk pike and the day became a perfect winter walking day. Esk Pike completed it was down to the col and the quick ascent of Bowfell before dropping back down to the col again and then dropping down towards Angle Tarn but before the path dropped too far cutting over snowy ground to join the path going up to Esk Hause. From there it was a quick ascent of Allen Crags as it only sits about 250ft above Esk Hause and was too close to miss. Spoke with 3 youngish lads who had been backpacking for a couple of nights and were camping again at Angle tarn, hardy folk considering the forecast for Sunday
Yours truly on Esk pike
The Scafells
Top of Allen Crags
Allen crags towards Great End
From Allen crags it was back down to Esk Hause and then down the slip slidy descent to Sprinkling and Styhead Tarns and then down the icy path to Stockley Bridge before the return to the car as darkness closed in.
Good round in hard conditions, just over 10 miles and 4 wainys.
Great Gable in the clouds.

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Comments: 5

A Daer Reservoir Donald round, with a bonus day

Attachment(s) Grahams: Ballencleuch Law, Queensberry
Donalds: Ballencleuch Law, Black Law, Comb Law, Earncraig Hill, Gana Hill, Greenside Law, Queensberry, Scaw'd Law, Wedder Law
Date walked: 07/01/2018
Distance: 28.7km
Ascent: 1281m
Comments: 10
Views: 837

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Attachment(s) Grahams: Green Lowther
Donalds: Dun Law, East Mount Lowther, Green Lowther, Lousie Wood Law, Lowther Hill
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Distance: 21.3km
Ascent: 1175m
Views: 479

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Donalds: Capel Fell, Croft Head, Ettrick Pen, Loch Fell, Wind Fell
Date walked: 01/12/2017
Distance: 15.4km
Ascent: 1099m
Comments: 4
Views: 696

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Attachment(s) Date walked: 05/09/2017
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Attachment(s) Date walked: 24/08/2017
Distance: 247km
Ascent: 4565m
Comments: 2
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Ascent: 2163m
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Attachment(s) Wainwrights: Cold Pike
Hewitts: Cold Pike
Date walked: 18/05/2017
Comments: 8
Views: 838

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Attachment(s) Wainwrights: Base Brown, Seathwaite Fell
Hewitts: Base Brown
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Distance: 10km
Ascent: 759m
Comments: 1
Views: 389

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Hewitts: Fairfield, Red Screes, St Sunday Crag
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Distance: 20.4km
Ascent: 1418m
Comments: 4
Views: 752


User avatar
Location: NW Durham
Activity: Munro compleatist
Pub: Any at the end of a walk!
Mountain: The buachaille
Place: Cairngorms
Gear: Paramo velez light
Member: none
Camera: Sony RX 100
Ideal day out: Backpacking anywhere in the Highlands.

Munros: 282
Corbetts: 27
Grahams: 24
Donalds: 83
Wainwrights: 214
Hewitts: 141
Long Distance routes: West Highland Way    Cape Wrath Trail   

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Last visited: Jul 19, 2018
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