Initially I had planned on a night up Kinder Scout but due to work being slack I was able to wangle a couple of extra days off during the week thus making a trip to the Lakes worthwhile.
I had a pretty long route planned (around 40 Kilometres with lots of ascent) so I took enough supplies for three days.
I arrived at Langdale on Thursday just after lunch time and headed for Cumbria Way via the path from Stool End, patches of cottongrass swayed in the light breeze as I skirted around the edges of The Band, after a cautious weir crossing I was soon plodding along Cumbria Way.
After the footbridge I kept right and made slow but pleasant progress up Stake Gill, turning around every so often to see the Langdale valley becoming more and more impressive as I gained height.
|The Langdale Pikes (left)|
A short way from Rossett Pike I heard the approaching roar of a fast jet, I turned around to see a Tornado rip through the Langdale valley, barrel roll beneath the Pike of Stickle and carry on in the direction of Ambleside, it was truly breathtaking!
I did worry that the traverse across the Black Crags and Rossett Crags might be quite exposed but thankfully that wasn't the case and It's now my favourite route from Langdale.
After a quick rest on Rossett Pike a time check revealed that Allen Crags and Glaramara would have to wait till another day, as progress had been slower than I anticipated.
I made a move and joined the main path at Angle Tarn and it was a long slow slog upto the shelter beside Allen Crags, mid way up a couple of trainer jets shattered the silence flying over Esk Pike and I just managed to capture the second one before it disappeared over Tongue Head.
After finally reaching the shelter I'd now find myself passing by the Great End and descending towards the quirky shaped Sprinkling Tarn and noting some fantastic deep gills on the way down, there were a few walkers out and about but on the whole it was pretty quiet.
|Sprinkling Tarn looking towards Glaramara.|
As I reached Styhead Tarn it was already early evening and I'd got the massive hulk of the Great Gable to climb, I filled my water bottle as I knew I was in for a beasting!
|Great Gable and Green Gable looking over Styhead Tarn.|
|Looking back towards The Band from the Great Gable|
The descent was very frustrating with loose scree taking ages to negotiate safely as I didn't fancy ending up a human landslide!
On the plus side Wastwater came into view so I didn't have too far left to travel.
|Wastwater from the scree of the Great Gable|
It was just after 8pm when I'd found my pitching spot, water was plentiful, the views were spectacular in every direction, I had the place to myself and the late evening sun was still bathing the area in its warming glow. Magic!
|Force 10 Ion 2 pitched on Kirk Fell.|
I crawled into my sleeping bag just after sundown as I'd set my alarm for 4am in the hope of catching an amazing sunrise.
I awoke at 4am (and a few intervals after) to a cloudy sky, slightly disappointed as it would have been something really special.
|Reflection of Scafell Pike in Kirk Fell Tarn.|
To my (pleasant) surprise there was still no sign of any fellow explorers.
|Looking West from Kirk Fell.|
|Great Gable screes with the Scafell Massif in the background.|
|Gable Crag looking menacing.|
I noticed some dark clouds in the direction of Kirk Fell beginning to roll in as I snapped a few pictures.
I headed back to the cairn, picked up my pack and began the descent via Aaron Slack to Styhead Tarn, not long into the descent it began raining lightly so I got out the waterproofs and it stopped a few minutes after. typical!
|Styhead Tarn on the descent via Aaron Slack.|
Reaching Styhead Tarn I made for the far bank so I could have something to eat in peace away from the passing groups, a couple of ducks joined me for a few minutes before lazily paddling on.
Not wanting to cover the same ground twice (and seeing it was still early) I veered off to follow Ruddy Gill which passed by the side of Allen Crags, it was a slow descent and light rain showers made it even trickier.
I crossed over Stockley Bridge and continued North, it seemed to take forever and I was stomping along cursing myself, I began to regret my diversion.
|Stockley Bridge looking back at Seathwaite Fell.|
Despite my mood the valley floor had beautiful flowers in abundance.
Some time later I could see the rocky summit but I knew it was farther away than it looked, I'd found a tiny stream nearby so I decided to stay put and pitch up.
I'd managed to cover a lot of distance and my reward was nice views towards Derwent Water.
|Looking back over Derwent Water.|
|Inversions aplenty on distant fells.|
The Langdale Pikes soon loomed into view once again looking sinister amongst the dark cloud.
I had Glaramara to myself and with my early start I could really take my time and enjoy the many gorgeous views it offered as I wandered towards Allen Crags.
|The Great Gable has its head in the clouds.|
I had a break just after the summit of Allen Crags and basked in the warm sunshine trying to find a close water supply before I tackled Esk Pike.
|Great End with Sprinkling Tarn at its feet.|
Three fell runners playing a game of eye spy made me chuckle on my way up and I noticed the crowds had started to appear.
|Bowfell being engulfed by cloud.|
|Some intrigued visitors.|
I made short work of Bowfell, the mostly solid path making a nice change from energy sapping scree.
The descent required a keen eye on the map and compass as the lack of landmarks made navigation all the more tricky.
It was a good test for me and when the Pike of Blisco appeared out of the cloud I knew I was on the right track.
|The Pike of Blisco from Buscoe.|
I went off the beaten track for a good hour hoping to find a suitable spot but it wasn't to be so I rejoined the path and descended further.
I found what looked like a decent spot near Crinkle Gill, it was early afternoon so I ditched my pack and relaxed by the flowing water, I was hungry from my days trekking and a couple of people appeared from a little used path nearby.
Just as I was going to collect water the penny dropped, this location just wasn't remote enough to feel special (from a wildcamping perspective), I was camping for the sake of camping so I put my gear away and slung my pack on, making the short journey beside The Band back towards Stool End.
All in all it had been a great couple of days, my nagivation was spot on, I was getting to know the peaks and the weather had been fantastic, I just can't seem to stay away :)
I created a rough map of my trip here: