Grisedale

This outing was originally planned for the start of the year, but had to be postponed because the weather made it too risky to drive to it over the Kirkstone Pass. The same problem occurred this time as well, but we were able to arrange beforehand to get to ‘base camp’ via Pooley Bridge instead, so got the best of Mother Nature on this occasion.
The first part of the walk was from Glenridding to Lanty’s Tarn, and from there on up the short path to Keldas, where there were excellent views of Ullswater and elsewhere in the area. On this part of their walk and for some time later on, fox hounds were also much in evidence, as well as their owners - they (the former) gave Sooty a quick once over, but then swiftly moved on, clearly with more appropriate quarry in mind!
Then began the walk up the north-west side of Grisedale, on one side the magnificent ‘wall’ comprising the slopes of Striding Edge and the south-east faces of Nethermost and Dollywagon Pikes, and on the other, the north-west slopes of St Sunday Crag. After some time we arrived at Ruthwaite Lodge, where we had lunch, but not before wondering whether it had recently been moved further up the valley, a question that also entered out minds later on with respect to the location of Grisedale Tarn!
Anyway, soon afterwards we crossed the snow-line and after what seemed like a longer and harder than usual pull upwards, we finally reached the gloriously sunny and snowy opening-out of Grisedale Hause and its eponymous tarn. After a good look round, we set off back, via the Brothers’ Parting Stone (where, in 1800, the brothers William and John Wordsworth parted company, having walked over from Grasmere, John being on his way to Penrith: unfortunately, this was reportedly the last time they were to see each other before John, a sea captain, was drowned in 1805).
The remainder of the return down the valley seemed longer than on the way up, perhaps an impression caused by retracing our steps, and thus as good a reason as any to always try to go by circular, more ‘Herdwickian’ routes whenever possible! But towards the end the mist that had been gathering earlier on over Ullswater began to gradually creep up the valley as well, and especially when the crescent moon also rose, created a magical scene, worthy of Wordsworth or Coleridge. To cap it all, as darkness fell completely on the last hour of the walk, Jim’s ‘head light’ was finally put to the test (something he had been eagerly looking forward to on several previous walks!) and thus were Sooty and I safely escorted through the final stages of the journey. In this way ended yet another great day out, in excellent company!
(Highest point (Grisedale Tarn): 1,800 ft./ 548m. Distance: 8.86 miles/ 14.25km. Ascent: 2250 ft./ 685m.)

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