Lifting the Gloom

Wainwrights: Rosthwaite Fell

Date walked: 14/04/2021

Time taken: 4.5 hours

Distance: 9.8km

Ascent: 639m

With restrictions being further lifted on Monday I wasn't initially planning on a visit to the Lakes, even though as far as I could see if somebody can drive from Berwick to Cornwall and stay in a cottage surely I can drive over the A66 for the day. :? Anyway my resolve weakened and then broke entirely so I decided to head over on my day off.
I found out on the morning that It would be a solo outing as Hughie, the ever confusing hound I share my house with, decided he didn't want to join me. Most probably this reluctance was due to a recent hair cut and it being frosty outside :roll: Once I tired of attempting cajoling him, I left the wee soft beastie to his warm bed and set off.

Alone and feeling a touch put out I turned up at Stonethwaite around 8:30AM and was surprised at the number of cars already present. Often if I turn up midweek this early I'm one of the first arrivals, not today however so I suited and booted wondering just how bad things would be in a few hours once I returned. As it turned out I returned to the car far quicker than expected in order to dump my camera in the boot, not a lot of use with the memory card still stuck in the card reader of my PC :roll: :lol: As a result of this embarrassing oversight the images on this report were taken with my phone, nowhere near as high quality but good enough to be honest.

The plan for the day was to head up the path by Big Stanger Gill and onto Bessyboot, still unbagged on round two, and possibly visit Rosthwaite Cam before heading down to Langstrath for the walk back to Stonethwaite. Inspiration was taken taken from one of TMs encyclopaedic walk reports which are becoming a fantastic resource for wanderers in the English hills.


The path up by Big Stanger Gill turned out to be the perfect antidote to the frustrations of lockdown and not being able to visit places like this. The babbling waters in the Gill, the birds singing their hearts out, the morning sunshine raking through the trees was all truly fantastic, rewarding every upwards step and peeling away the months of doom and gloom. The way does go a little close to drops from time to time and in places the elements have started to wash it away but it is by in large a joy all the way up to the cleft between hanging Haystack and Alisongrass Crag, which, once traversed, deposits you out onto the undulating top of Rosthwaite Fell.

Setting off

Fields at Stonethwaite

Big Stanger Gill

Light Streaming into the Valley

On the Wooded Slopes

Gaining Height

Glorious View Already

Light unlocking the Fellside

Bit of Cloud on Skiddaw

I followed the route much travelled for a shot while before my attention was drawn by the crags of the Racom Bands. It looked far more interesting than the flat boggy plane leading towards Bessyboot so I crossed the gill once again and diverted up the first obvious 'band'.

Racom Bands

View from Higher up

The going over grass and low crag was nice and easy and I soon encountered a lonely un-named tarn, a perfect mirror in the breathless conditions, before making my way over to the spot height of 541 meters which I suppose is the summit of Racom Bands. I decided to have breakfast in the stillness of the morning. It was incredibly calm, so much so that the group of walkers around 300meters away by the Tarn at Leaves were clearly audible, even though they weren't raising their voices in any way.

Tarn on Racom Bands


Breakfast View

South from Racom Bands

A blissful breakfast of overnight oats, blueberries and hot coffee over with, I wandered over to Bessyboot, which I had to myself before descending towards the Tarn.

Bessyboot Summit

Tarn at Leaves from Bessyboot

North from Bessyboot

Shady Tarn at Leaves

...and back to a sunny Bessyboot

The question as too whether I climbed Rosthwaite Cam or not wasn't hard to answer on such a beautiful day so I ventured off up the largely pathless terrain before dumping my pack for the simple scramble up to the top. Like the last time I was up here quite a few years back I was struck wondering just why AW picked Bessyboot and not here as the summit of Rosthwaite Fell? This really is a fantastic little rocky top with a great view and worthy of any bodies time. Not that Bessyboot is terrible, it's just not in the same league as here. Once I had taken in the views fully I clambered down again and had lunch sat in the sun on a nearby slab.

On the way up to Rosthwaite Cam

Looking back to Bessyboot and The Tarn at Leves from the Ascent

North from Rosthwaite Cam

Combe Head from Rosthwaite Cam

Below should be a link to a 360 degree panorama from Rosthwaite Cam

Rosthwaite Cam from my Lunch Stop

The temptation was to continue onwards and upwards, visiting Dovenest Crag, the tops around Combe head and perhaps even Glaramara but the reality was this was my second time on the hills in four months, with the previous time being the far more forgiving North Yorkshire Moors. I reluctantly saw sense and headed east towards Stickle Brow and the descent into Langstrath.

View North from the way to Stickle Brow

Looking across Langstrath

On the way down to Langstrath

Langstrath Beck

On my pathless way down to Langstrath I visited a small cave bothy thinking this was the hidden houff of Langstrath but since looking at photos I realise that this isn't the main bothy as images on the internet show it to be far larger. I'll go into no more detail of it's location and leave it at that.

Small Cave Bothy

Langstrath in Shade

By the time I got down to Langstrath it was obvious that I made the right decision to keep things short and sweet, 20km walks with 1500 meters of ascent can wait for another day, this was quite enough for the time being. Langstrath isn't a valley I've ever visited before so it was nice to amble along taking in the sights on the way back to Stonethwaite.

Heading back along Langstrath

..and again

Langstrath Beck

Beautiful Clear Waters of Langstrath Beck

Light and shade

Galleny Force

When I returned to Stonethwaite it was a pleasant surprise that the number of cars hadn't particularly grown. Looks like those who had decided upon a walk had turned up early and the others didn't bother. Certainly I crossed paths with no other walker during the day, the closest interaction being a farmer on a quad bike who passed me on the path in the valley. Having explored Rosthwaite Fell a bit on this walk I think AW was quite unkind to it, I felt this walk had sustained interest and topped out on a quite lovely rocky summit in the shape of Rosthwaite Cam. So good to be back and looking forward to the next walk already.

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Comments: 5

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User avatar
Location: County Durham
Occupation: General dogsbody
Interests: Walking (Who would have guessed), photography and playing Guitar.
Activity: Mountaineer
Pub: Moulin Inn
Mountain: Blaven
Place: Isle of Skye
Gear: Boots
Member: None
Camera: Canon EOS760D
Ideal day out: Ridge walk without to much exposure.
Ambition: Too keep climbing hills

Munros: 25
Corbetts: 10
Grahams: 10
Donalds: 3
Wainwrights: 214
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