Sunday, August 4, 2013

Tarn Crag (Easdale)

from the summit of my 213th Wainwright looking towards Grasmere with Windermere beyond

Fellow Wainwright baggers often talk of the less exciting fells they left to the end or almost the end: the fells that you are much less likely to visit if you're not bagging Wainwrights.  I think Tarn Crag, my penultimate Wainwright falls into this category, not because it is insignificant, but because it lies in the middle of a much more appealing horseshoe.  The Helm Crag route draws people up, and rightly so.  Once up, however, it is natural to carry on to Calf Crag and then either down the valley or around to High Raise.

So today, I planned a walk to Tarn Crag.  An easy walk, my aim was not to sweat and I managed this until I started climbing the steep path up from Easdale Tarn to Belles Knott.  Lots and lots of people out today.

7.8 miles in about 2.5 hours

The route up to Easdale Tarn is marked with blue waypoint arrows.  It's an obvious path to walk and in good condition.  Once at the tarn, I had to make a decision - clockwise or anti-clockwise.  I chose to go anti-clockwise and followed the path around the tarn.  I was looking for an earlier opportunity to head up but dense heather and an unwillingness to get my feet wet in boggy ground found me keeping to the path.  After a while it starts to climb and there are some fun scrambly bits as it goes around Belles Knott.  I turned right and along the eastern side of Coledale Tarn, continuing on over, what I am sure is usually boggy ground, to the climb up towards Tarn Crag.  

first views of Sour Milk Gill
Tarn Crag across Easdale Tarn

Coledale Tarn
Tarn Crag summit cairn looking towards the skyline view of the Coniston fells on the left.  Pike o' Blisco and Cold Pike are on the right, two-thirds across.  Blea Rigg in front.
looking South West, Coledale Tarn is just visible over the summit cairn.  The Coniston fells on the left.  Left to right.  Coniston Old Man, Swirl How, Great Carrs (Great Carrs is the pointy fell with a straight slope on the right), Grey Friar, Pike o' Blisco and Cold Pike then over on the left to Harrison Stickle and Pavey Ark

looking over Easdale Tarn on the way back down
From the top, after an initial drop down, I followed a path, through thick heather, along the ridge and out onto the main path.  

There is a helpful "Grasmere" with an arrow on a large rock pointing towards the path.  I can see why it has been done as it seems as though you are turning back on yourself to get on the path.  I followed the sign, down a well kept path, across a footbridge and then followed the main track back to Grasmere.

One more Wainwright to get.

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