YHA Langdale weekend – 26th-29th May

As usual, during the weekend in the Lakes District people split into different groups doing different things. I am publishing the reports as they come in and, hopefully, they wind up as some sort of coherent story of ‘what went on’!

We begin with Lou’s report of his Saturday walk.

Over Lingmoor to the ODG – Saturday 27th May

Story and photos contributed by Lou.

Having arrived at YHA Langdale in unusually hot and humid conditions, the IOG were studying various weather forecasts and pondering the exact timing of the impending storm. Come the morning of the 27th, the consensus seemed to be that the rain would hold off until the afternoon. Whilst the more sensible folk planned a short morning walk returning to the hostel, Lou decided that it was worth risking the climb over Lingmoor Fell (469m), timing it so that we were safely down in the Old Dungeon Ghyll before the rain arrived. Thus 8 hardy folk climbed up past various abandoned quarry workings to admire the workmanship of the summit wall. Although there is no path marked on the OS map, the summit traverse followed a (mostly) good path along the wall.

A sheltered spot was found for lunch, with good views across to the Langdale Pikes. Some dark clouds threatened us from above on a couple of occasions, but the walk went to plan and sure enough the ODG welcomed us in the Great Langdale Valley. After introducing the group to the delights of Old Peculier, we set off on the valley path back towards the hostel. The route passed a further 4 pubs and it would have been ideal to shelter in one of them when the rain arrived. However, we got caught about a mile before Chapel Stile and arrived at the Wainwright Inn fairly wet.

In summary, a 9.5 mile walk with 400m of ascent, good views and plenty of good pubs.

Mike’s Loughrigg Fell Walk – Saturday 27th May

Story and pics contributed by Mike Emmerson.

This was one of the shorter walks taken on Saturday – a five-mile trek. The weather was lovely and we set off along Loughrigg Terrace with views out towards Grasmere Lake and town. We then came to Rydal Water with Heron Island in the middle.

An ice cream van provided a good place to stop at Pelter Bridge. We then proceeded up the road beside the River Rothay to the hardest climb on the walk. We were all knackered by the time we got to the top so a sandwich break seemed appropriate. On the way back Loughrigg Tarn was a lovely peaceful spot.

Thanks are due to Bob for helping me not to get lost!

Climbing Scafell Pike – Sunday 28th May

Words and pics contributed by Sarah Sheppard.

View from the top of Scafell Pike.

My main objective for organising our trip to YHA Langdale was to climb Scafell Pike, following climbing Snowdon on our trip to Snowdonia on the same weekend last year. Four IOGer’s therefore set out early in order to tackle this mountain on the nicest day of the weekend, on what turned out to be a very long but successful day. As we were climbing from the Langdale side, as opposed to the more touristy Wasdale Head side, the route was much quieter as well as offering some great scenery along the way.

One of the steepest sections, up to Angle Tarn, was very hard going and I questioned myself several times. However once that part was behind us, it was a little easier going for a while and I was enjoying myself. The final push up to the top was very steep and slippery for a while, but everyone coming down in the other direction were very encouraging, saying things like, ‘You’re nearly there,’ and ‘Not far now,’ which spurred us on.

Me, Dave, Andy and Kate therefore made it to the top of the mountain and had climbed to the Top of England! Wow, what an achievement! We took some time to take some photos at the top before starting our descent. Andy recommended that we take a slightly different route down, one that was a little longer than the way up, along a footpath called the Corridor Route. This was all so pretty and lovely to see on our long route back down.

Returning to Angle Tarn, we then had the lengthy descent back to the Old Dungeon Ghyll where we had parked. Dave went off a little ahead of the three of us and therefore we found him in the pub enjoying a well deserved pint (or two!) when we arrived back.

A lovely and very successful day was had by the four of us. My thanks go to Dave, Kate and particularly Andy, who did all of the map reading, for coming with me and for their support up (and down!) the mountain. I just need to tackle Ben Nevis now to complete the set!

Langdale Pikes – Sunday 28th May

It would have been rude to stay in Langdale and not visit the Langdale Pikes – those knobbly projections that rise menacingly above the valley. Sunday 28th was the only fine day of the weekend, so that was the day of 3 high walks, this being one of them. The others drew larger numbers, so it was left to the three of us to enjoy (or should that be endure?). Anne and I had done this walk before but, for Stela, it was her first high walk in the Lake District.

The fine weather had drawn quite a few families out for the trek up Stickle Ghyll and we had to take care not to tread on them as they rested in the middle of the path. At Stickle Tarn, we found the Pikes shrouded in clouds – not a good sign. We rested awhile, but sure enough the forecast was right and the clouds lifted to reveal glorious views all around.

We made the ascent of Pavey Ark (700m) via “the path round the back”, to find a lunch spot with a view above the tarn and down to the valley far below. From there it was a relatively easy traverse to Harrison Stickle (736m) and Pike Of Stickle (709m). The path runs out before the summit of the latter, but it was worth the short scramble for the 360 degree views. It was at this point that Stela lay down and declared that to be quite enough climbing for one day. So it was that we missed out Loft Crag and made our way back down to the Stickle Barn for a well-earned ice-cream.