22nd October 2005

A day in the clouds around the Esk Hause fells.


Walk Overview
Time 08.50 to 16.40
Duration 7 hr 50 min
Distance 12 mile
Ascent 4619 ft
Walking with Andrew Leaney
Seathwaite - Stockley Bridge - Esk Hause - Great End - Broad Crag - Ill Crag - Esk Hause - Esk Pike - Orr Gap - Bow Fell - Orr Gap - Allen Crags - Grains Gill - Seathwaite
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Roadside parking leading to Seathwaite, Borrowdale

The popularity of the fells around here are more than reflected in the number of cars you find lining the road from Seathwaite Farm working back in the direction of Seatollor. I'm almost tempted to say that this is somewhere you'll never fail to get parked. Simply join the back of the line on the grass verge.

Parking is free and there is a tea room and toilets at Seathwaite.


Route Map

Stockley Bridge.
This superb example of a packhorse bridge crosses Grains Gill at the bottom of Styhead Pass, which links the valleys of Borrowdale and Wasdale. Rather than continuing up to Styhead, we turned left at the wall and followed the path next to Grains Gill and Ruddy Gill to give us the shortest route up to Esk Hause.

Grains gill is crossed again about 400 ft Higher up the route, only this time the crossing is made using this narrow footbridge. As we were crossing the bridge we noticed a lot of debris about half way up the wire mesh. Presumably a result of the floods we had a couple of weeks ago. This picture doesn't really show fully just how much water must have been coming down the gill during the floods, but it must have been both spectacular and frightening to see at close quarters.

Well up into the cloud now at Great End summit.

The rocky descent off Broad Crag.
This is undoubtedly the rockiest of all the fell tops in the Lake district and can be quite tricky even in the best of conditions, but when the rocks are wet a great deal of care is needed as the risk of slipping becomes apparent with every step taken.

Slightly better visibility along the route back to Esk Hause.

This shelter is found next to the path between Esk Hause and Great End.
There is another shelter quite close by at Esk Hause itself (the one marked on the OS map). This shelter isn't as exposed at the one at Esk Hause and would probably be the better option if it was shelter that was needed rather than just somewhere to sit to eat.

Descending to Orr Gap from Esk Pike.

Leaving Bow Fell.

As we were sescending from Orr Gap to Tongue Head we dropped below the cloud base for a while and managed to get some brief views down to the head of Langstrath valley.

Angle Tarn and Rossett Pike almost from almost the same place.

Esk Hause from Allen Crags just as the cloud was about to move in and hide the view.

looking down the deep ravine which lies below the path that runs between Sprinkling Tarn and Esk Hause.

Looking down Grains Gill.

Grains Gill from the same footbridge we crossed earlier in the day.

Stockley Bridge, looking in the direction of Seathwaite.

Close up of Taylorgill Force waterfall.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks