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Stonethwaite, Eagle Crag, Sergeants Crag, Stake Pass, Langstrath, Cumbria.
[14.8 km]  Wed 12 Jun 2019

Lat/Long: 54.515065, -03.143941
OS Grid ref: NY 26041 13909
At home it had been raining continuously for over 24 hours. The weather forecast showed that North Cumbria should be cloud but no rain with rain coming later. It was raining heavily as I set off north along the M6 but by Lancaster it had stopped raining but was still very overcast and dull. I reached Stonethwaite under thick cloud but no rain had arrived. Today's walk is to partially follow a route I did with my friend Eric Bell on the 28th of May 2003.

Eagle Crag in the distance
Just before I set off two groups of walkers passed the car heading the same way as me. I followed into Stonethwaite then turn left at the telephone box along the narrow track and over the River to turn right and head up towards Greenup Gill. One of the groups were young people probably teenagers who stopped to take a layer off before getting too warm. I continued up the track and caught up to other walkers heading the same way. At Sithymire Island in the river which doesn't look like an island.
Looking back to Stonethwaite

Today's view from Eagle Crag

Eric and me May 2003
I took a right fork and headed down over the wooden footbridge to cross Greenup Gill. The first part of my work is to head up to Heron Crag and a wet path took me along the river side to a wall heading steeply up the hill. I followed the faint path to the left of the wall which makes a direct ascent. Higher up there was a style to cross the wall and follow a complicated route up through the steep north face of Heron Crag. When I last did the walk over 10 years ago I recorded a GPS track which I am now following on my Garmin. It is quite interesting to see that part of the route I followed no longer has a path but alternative routes have been worn by walkers in the intervening years. Unfortunately the cloud base was fairly low and by the time I reached Heron Crag I wasn't far below it. It is interesting to note the actual summit is angled slabs of Stone which used to have a cairn on but now there is nothing to be seen. I was able to identify the location of a photo I took of Eric and myself in 2003 and also a submit photographs I took in February 2008. Wind was starting to get quite strong as I continued south initially descending steeply to a wall and then across open ground to Sergeantís Crag. At this summit it was difficult to stand on the top that so I continued over and try to try and find some shelter to have my sandwiches. I descended a short way to the west and was able to get out of the very strong north easterly wind. Originally my objective was to head to High Raise but it was completely lost in cloud and I could see there was a very strong wind blowing over the summit. I decided to continue part way up and then take a direct southerly route roughly following the 600 m contour.
As I crossed the west face of High Raise I still had views and the terrain was quite interesting and pleasant to walk across only with the exception of a few boggy patches. I could see down into Langstrath which is always a very impressive valley to look at. Eventually I reached the start of my descent route and picked up the GPS track that I had recorded 11 years ago. It took me easily down the grassy slopes to the main Stake Pass track. As I descended it was quite interesting to follow the stone steps down following a zig zag route making the descent quite easy.
Descending Stake Pass back down to Langstrath
At the bottom was a wooden footbridge across Stake Beck where I then crossed some wet grass to the next footbridge across Langstrath Beck this bridge is quite impressive as it is partly held in place by wire cables and spans a deep gorge down into a waterfall and pool. I followed the stony track along the west side of Langstrath descending slowly down towards Blackmoss Pot but this is not a pot hole but presumably a feature in the river. I was now meeting people on the path as it is only a couple of miles from the Stonethwaite campsite.
Footbridge at Langstrath
Instead of following the stony track all the way I left it near the southerly camp area to follow a path down by the river that goes through the campsite area. There were hardly any tents and I continued through until I reach the track by the Langstrath Hotel. It was then only a short walk back to the car.