Keswick - Ennerdale - Langdale (September)

Discussion in 'Trips Reports' started by snow, Jan 4, 2019.

  1. snow

    snow Trail Blazer

    Finally finished writing up my most recent trip to the Lakes. It's on my ~~~blog~~~. A couple of older trips on there too and I'll try to write up some more at some point...

    Is there an easy way to copy stuff from wordpress to here? No problem posting stuff here but damned if I'm going to re-host all the photos...
  2. Robin

    Robin Thru Hiker

    On an iPad, I highlight everything I want to copy, select “copy”, then paste into the “post reply” box. Sometimes you need to add a “space” or “return” to format it. Photos come across automatically. I’ll do it for you if you want.
    Munro277 and edh like this.
  3. snow

    snow Trail Blazer

    Let's try then... :)

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    Keswick – Ennerdale – Langdale

    My second (and last… oh well…) trip of 2018 was in late September to the Lake District. Unusually this was timed for Thursday-Saturday – I had a surfeit of leave and good reasons to be home on the weekend and the weather window was perfectly placed.

    I took the train up to Penrith with only a vague plan of starting in Keswick and ending with lunch (strictly speaking brunch) in Ambleside as usual, and a desire to see the western and northwestern fells that I hadn’t been to before. This was mostly a success and in the end I had a decent route and a good time.

    Day 1
    Taking the train at 9:30 from London isn’t the best way to maximise your time out, but its the only possibility on a weekday (a post on this is coming up). I started walking from Keswick around 2pm in cloudy and windy conditions with an uncertain forecast for the evening, meaning I still didn’t have a clear plan for the day. In the end I had a nice climb of Catbells (and only a few people for company on such a popular summit) but decided to forego the rest of the High Spy ridge and drop down to Borrowdale – no point climbing into the clag.

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    Trying to stay off the roads I followed a path past Castle Crag and through an empty valley to just above Seatoller where I had a big decision to make. The bad weather had focused my mind on idea of Seathwaite campsite but as I stood at the intersection studying my map there was the first hint of the forecast change in the weather. I cautiously committed to going up to Honnister Pass, figuring I could still double back and head for the campsite.

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    At Honnister Pass the weather was still bad but showing some more signs of improving so I pushed on towards Dubs Hut, straight into a cold shower that made me doubt myself even more…but eventually I was rewarded by the sight of clearing skies, a distinct freshness in the air and great views.

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    I made it to Blackbeck Tarn just in time for sunset and had it to myself.

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    Worth it, and the right decision.

    Day 2
    I woke with a start at 10 past 7, unusually late. A slight frost overnight made me glad to have brought my heavier down jacket because my campsite was in shade until just before I headed off around 8:45.

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    My tentative plan was to do a loop of the hills around Ennerdale, but the late start and a desire for a short finish the next day meant that was abandoned quite quickly. It was a beautiful day though, with great views of Buttermere, Ennerdale and the surrounding peaks and all the way to the Isle of Man and North Wales, and almost no one around.

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    I decided instead to drop down to Ennerdale from Red Pike, and had my lunch by the river; an idyllic place.

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    I walked up through Ennerdale and past the intriguing Black Sail Hut, then up Black Sail Pass, on a contouring “path” around Pillar and finally up to a windy Great Gable.

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    I had decided to camp on Allen Crags, where I’ve camped before – there are a few potential spots among the rocks, great views and almost certainly no other people. Despite the cold wind there were already several tents in the mid-afternoon at Sprinkling Tarn so I was glad for the latter.

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    My timing was perfect (the Ennerdale shortcut turned out to be the right choice) and I had a mellow evening on Allen Crags, sheltered from the westerly wind behind the ridge.

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    Day 3
    During the night the wind shifted to a southwesterly and battered my tarp – not hard enough to be dangerous but hard enough to make a hell of noise, particularly as I hadn’t pitched that well due to the rocky ground. I was completely awake by 5 and up and away by 7:30 in the light of what passed for dawn.

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    It cleared up a little on the way down into Langdale, enough for some nice views, but the wind didn’t let up until almost the valley floor and I was glad to be heading for a cozy lunch.

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    I got some beer for the train from the impressive bottle shop in Ambleside and was home in time for dinner. A successful trip – not having time to do the Pillar/Kirk Fell ridge was the only problem, but I’ll return to address that soon.
  4. Robin

    Robin Thru Hiker

    Bingo :thumbsup:
    edh likes this.
  5. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

    A fine few days
  6. Munro277

    Munro277 Thru Hiker

    I do same as robin only thing I have add afterwards is the vid link always seems to miss copying that...nice trip report
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019
    Robin likes this.
  7. gixer

    gixer Thru Hiker

    Great report and pics, lucky with the weather
    Diddi likes this.
  8. snow

    snow Trail Blazer

    I wouldn't go for a trip like this if the forecast was gixer-esque... ;)
    gixer likes this.
  9. dovidola

    dovidola Section Hiker

    It doesn't matter how many people visit, it's still a special place.

    Your report is making me think about doing it by public transport, something I've not considered before. I can see how to get to Penrith, and I presume there's a bus onward to Keswick, but what did you do for return transport once you reached Langdale?

    Edit: Bus 516 from Dungeon Ghyll?
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019
  10. snow

    snow Trail Blazer

    Yep! Not the fastest but it's very scenic...
    dovidola likes this.
  11. Teepee

    Teepee Thru Hiker

    Great Tr and some really nice images. :)

    Thanks for taking the effort to post it up here. I thought I was bored of that part of the Lakes, haven't been for months.....now I want to go back ASAP.
    snow likes this.
  12. OneBeardedWalker

    OneBeardedWalker Trail Blazer

    Very much enjoyed reading that report, thanks for sharing it.
    snow likes this.

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