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Elterwater, Dow Bank, Great Castle How, Blea Rigg, Stickle Tarn, Stickle Ghyll, Chapel Stile, Cumbria.
[14.5 km]  Thu 18 Jul 2019


Elterwater
Lat/Long: 54.435405, -03.033358
OS Grid ref: NY 33070 04935
The weather forecast for today's walk above Great Langdale Cumbria was not very good. It had cloud and sunlight rain during the morning. I drove to the outskirts of Elterwater and headed for the car park along the lane to the north of the village. It was quite large but was a pay and display with the usual exorbitant prices.  I returned to the main road where there was plenty of off road parking on the verge. It was overcast but wasn't raining as I set off up the grassy path through the wet ferns. I hadn't been going long before I had to put on my waterproofs as the rain arrived. It was pleasant walking up the minor lane then I started the main climb up following a footpath in a north westerly direction up Dow Bank. The cloud was quite high so I had good views looking down into Great Langdale as I gained altitude.

Crossing Spedding Crag
The path was very good underfoot and quite enjoyable even on the sections that were steep and rocky. Eventually the steep section was finished and I reach the high fell where I had good views to my left and right. Away in the distance I could see Harrison Stickle which is a very prominent feature. The weather worsened and the rain increased so I decided to find some shelter for an early lunch.
Great Langdale

Shelter from the rain & lunch

Shelter interior
 Fortunately I found an old shepherd’s stone shelter as the heavy rain got even worse. I was able to climb inside and escape the main deluge. However rivulets continued to dribble down through the stone roof slabs I continued in less wet weather by Little Castle How and noticed a lone figure on the top. My path was lower so didn't get the chance to say hello. The view ahead was impressive but Pike of Blisco was lost in cloud as were the rest of the high fells.
Stickle Tarn & Pavey Ark to the right

Swimmers in StickleTarn
Eventually I saw Stickle Tarn ahead as it sits below Harrison Stickle. There was a steady descent across wet ground to reach the east shore of the tarn. It was here that I started to meet other walkers coming the other way as the main tourist car park is immediately below. It was interesting to see several swimmers in the tarn. Some were swimming fast and some behind taking their time. Across I could see the impressive Jack’s Rake path going steeply up Pavey Ark and two walkers were on their approach to start it. I reached the dam area and took the eastern path down Stickle Ghyll most of the walkers seem to be climbing up the ghyll on the western path.
As I got lower I noticed a few parties of school children on an adventure trip up the Gill. They all had hard hats on and bright over clothes. Farther down some were climbing out of the ghyll from a point below a waterfall. A short way down I reach the main path back to the car park at New Dungeon Ghyll.
Cairn and Loch Rannoch
It was fairly busy with tourists and many were heading up the ghyll. I was on the road and headed back to my car but fortunately there was little traffic. I reached Chapel Stile and soon could soon see my car ahead as I approached Elterwater.
Cairn and Loch Rannoch