Old Dungeon Ghyll to Rosthwaite;
8th September 2008
day started badly. First of all I dropped the
cold and slippery jar of marmalade onto one of Margaret's
favourite plates and broke it.
I took her tea and toast in bed, but the tea was cold.
I got into trouble for having made our lunch time butties
with out-of-date ham.
thought I had really blown it by arriving in Ambleside
twenty minutes earlier than necessary to catch the bus
but managed to retrieve the situation by taking her
for coffee and toasted teacakes, even though they had
to be consumed at a gallop.
original plan had been to complete the Dales Way (no,
there has been no further action since DW13
on 22nd October 2007- the logistics and weather have
been against us). However the forecast for Skipton
area was distinctly poorer than for the Lakes so we
decided to continue our progress (such as it has been
in this miserable summer) up the Cumbria Way.
thanks largely to the miserable summer we have not been
any further since we reached the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel
on 15th May (see CW04).
and three other couples, all flashing our free passes,
boarded the Langdale Rambler. The drive up the
valley provided an interesting reminder of our last
Alighting at the ODG, the weather was
cloudy bright with patches of sunshine, a welcome change
from..... no, I've banged on enough about that.
from the bus
started as we had finished, with washing hung out at
the house behind the hotel. Had it ever been taken
in? Comparison of the photos will determine the
answer. And the difference in the weather!
September washing and weather
May washing and weather
o' Bliscoe and the Crinkles in mist
were licking around the fell tops. Crinkle Crags
would make brief appearances. Pike o'Stickle gradually
cleared. We were hopeful that it would all burn
off but it wasn't to be.
o'Stickle clear of mist
first mile and a half up Mickleden is very gentle but
then it starts to steepen to climb up to the Stake Pass
and a fine view back down the valley gradually opened
view back down Langdale, Pike o'Stickle on the left
I must say I was impressed with the vigour with
which Margaret tackled the hill, passing three other
groups on the way (one of which said they were heading
for Grasmere..... doh??), We were actually glad that
it was not a sunny day- that would have made it hard
moraines on the northern side of the watershed
Combe is a mass of moraine and it is pretty similar
once over the watershed. Then, suddenly, there
is a spectacular view of Langstrath opening up in
front of you. So magnificent, the thought of having
lunch anywhere else was not on the agenda. Sadly
the photo does not do it justice, probably due to the
lack of sun!
view of Langstrath
looks better in the cheesy team picture,
when the sun shone on at least a part of
descent was possibly a little steeper than
the ascent and it is on such ground that
Margaret does find things a little tricky,
holding on to my rucksac either for security
or to make sure that if she goes, I go with
her. It's a legacy of her broken ankle.
Beck tumbles attractively down a series
of waterfalls whilst Langstrath can be seen
off to the left, the path to the Scafells.
team photo above Langstrath
Stake Pass waterfall.....
in the valley bottom, where Stake Beck joins
Langstrath Beck, things were much easier.
hadn't paid much attention to the map or
the guide book and nearly took us down the
wrong side of the beck.
I had reason to want to be on that side!
Margaret had read the guide book when we
stopped and corrected my error.
We we took afternoon tea by some huge boulders
below Sergeant's Crag.
boulder had some strange markings, making
it look like a fossilised tree.
didn't linger long as it was threatening to rain and
indeed the weather was seriously closing in behind us.
bit further on, Greenup Gill came in from the right.
If you don't know it is there, it comes as a bit
of a surprise, it is not until you are close that you
see it coming.
If you do know it is there, then
it comes as a relief. It is a long walk out!
have always liked the gentle curving nature
of the fell top ridge as you look up Greenup
Greenup Gill junction, well disguised
some spectacular red funghi, you cross the gill by a
bridge that is a memorial to a young man from Manchester,
Gordon Hallworth, who perished from exhaustion in the
valley in 1939 despite the efforts of his friends. A
sad story but it didn't stop us taking another
cheesy team picture.
Team photo number 2
Gill to the left with Eagle Crag centre stage
down, just before Stonethwaite, on the other side of
the beck (where we would have been had Margaret not
corrected me) is the site of my old school camp.
of young lads from fifty years ago haunted the field.
One in particular of a baking
hot summer's day, seeing, on the other side of the beck,
three of the older boys, one of which, Reekie, was wearing
a large cycling cape.
Now why was Reekie wearing
a large cycling cape on a baking hot summer's day, you
may well ask?
ghosts of school camp!
Answer, to camouflage the crate
of ale that he had carried back from Rosthwaite! I
can't believe the masters were fooled; they probably
took a commission!
remember that it was Reekie who solved the problem of how to signify
that the latrine was in use. He had a battered
old headpiece that he called his "mal hat" and from
then on, if Reekie's Mal Hat was hanging from the pole,
you could tell from across the field that the trench
was always the first, half day walk, then on to Keswick
for ice cream and a bus home. Next day was a slog
up Honistor then onto Dale Head, High Spy and Cat Bells,
returning via Grange for ice cream.
the most exciting walk was not Scafell Pike, but Great
Gable, which we did in the dark. Could schools
do that sort of the thing these days?
enough of geriatric reminiscing and back to the present.
We saw some washing across the beck at Stonethwaite
but too far away and too uninspiring to get Margaret
excited. She hoped for better at Rosthwaite.
did promise to stop reminiscing but the length of the
path to Rosthwaite gave me new admiration for Reekie's
efforts and determination. It's an awful long
way to carry a crate of ale.
the valley opened up, Borrowdale was looking beautiful,
even on a grey afternoon.
arrived at Rosthwaite bus stop with twenty minutes to spare.
Long enough for
an ice cream (old habits!) and a search for some proper
Up a back lane with a high hedge we could
smell the distinctive aroma of a fresh laundry.
the head round a gate revealed an extensive load flapping
in the breeze.
to the bus stop for me where I engaged the couple already
there in conversation.
They told me, disgustedly,
that they had been unable to get on the last bus as
it was full of old age pensioners travelling for free.
As more and more ancient couples gathered to await
the bus, I was getting concerned that Margaret had not
appeared. She had met two ladies with a cute Lakeland
Terrier- I think she was hoping they might sell it to
she and the ladies with dog, came to the stop just before
the Wrinkly Wranbler bus arrived. I need not have
worried- it was a substantially empty double decker.
What is more, it was topless! It was fun
upstairs, riding along the lake back to Keswick. It
is easy to understand why there is the warning not to
stand up. Tree after tree would ensure that no
one could sing "I'm still standing".
Standing on Upper Deck
from the bus
bus pulled into Keswick bus station just as the 555
was scheduled to pull out. However there was a
great bit long queue of, yes, wrinklies waiting to board.
the second time today (and probably the first time for
thirty or more years, other than City Tours) we went
upstairs on a double decker. Driving round Keswick
was a memory jogger for both of us. When Margaret
first moved up to be near me, the nearest teaching post
she could get to Kendal was in..... Cleator Moor in West
Cumberland, as it then was. So we used to meet up at Keswick.
journey to Ambleside is, if possible, even better now
than it was then, thanks to the recent tree-thinning along
had parked down near Hayes so it was a bit of a trek
back to the car from the bus station, only to find when
we got there that there was a bus stop outside the car
park. We'll know next time.
summary, this was a delightul walk that has taken us
into the second half of the Cumbria Way. It was
quite challenging for someone
not used to climbing the fells but the girl done good.
8th September 2008
38.4 miles cumulative
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the progress of
Don and Margaret
along the Cumbria Way.
Click on the photos
for an enlargement or related large
Ulverston to Blawith
Blawith to Coniston
Skelwith Bridge to
the Old Dungeon Ghyll
Old Dungeon Ghyll to Rosthwaite
got to do with it?
to Gale Road Car Park (and back)
seen by Margaret: