Silver How & Tarn Crag (Easedale)

19th June 2011

I guess I’m pretty lucky I ever completed this walk today which would have been such a shame for so many reasons, the main one being last nights weather report & that of rain & a low cloud base, both of which would have normally seen me sat at home chewing my nails off because right now as I write this, its sunny out there in Wigan. I wish I could have said the same for Central Lakeland (in fact most of) but I cant,. It was dull, overcast miserable, damp, dank you name it there wasn’t a fell to be seen on the way into Ambleside, I could just make out lake Windermere & the main reason for that was today it was hosting The Great North Swim & the buoys  lime green in colour were practically visible from space.

I’d made myself worse on the drive  up the M6 with more self pity coupled with lashings & lashings of rain ‘Paul’ I thought, you cannot walk in this’  this is just stupid, I was in between Lancaster & Carnforth, the next junction was  (35) & this is where I will turn around with a beast of self pity & shaking ones fist at the weather gods.

Like Moses parted the Red Sea as I crested the brow on the motorway there before me not grey & dull sky with water pouring out of it but actual light in colour grey/white sky, it wasn’t to last, but this was more than enough reason for me to carry on & glad I did.


Wainwright Guidebook

The Central Fells

Ever since it first became fashionable to make excursions to behold the scenic wonders of the English Lake District. Easedale Tarn has a popular venue for visitors: a romantic setting , inurned in bracken-clad moraines with a background of craggy fells, and easy accessibility from Grasmere, have combined this a favourite place of resort. The dominant feature in the rugged skyline around the head of the tarn is the arching curve of Tarn Crag, above a wild rocky slope that plunges very steeply to the dark waters at its base.

Easedale Tarn is not the only jewel in Tarn Crags lap. A smaller sheet of water, Coledale Tarn, occupies a hollow on the higher shelf; beyond, indefinite slopes climb to the top of the parent fell, High Raise.


Ascent: 1,774 Feet, 541 Meters
Wainwrights: 3, Silver How, Blea Crag & Tarn Crag (Easedale)
Weather: Dull & Very Overcast, Some Rain (Cloud Base At 390 Meters) Small Gust, Highs Of 16° Lows Of 13°

Grasmere C E Primary School, (Donation Box)

Area: Central
Miles: 8.1
Walking With: On my own
Ordnance Survey: OL7
Time Taken:  

Map and Photo Gallery



Always a good place to park if your early enough, Grasmere C.E Primary School & if you fancy a warm up you can always try out the climbing wall. Parking here is a minimum donation to the school of £3.00

The sky had stopped raining enough for me to boot up & walk through the deserted streets of Grasmere almost deserted except for the odd delivery van.


Sam Read’s book shop at the bottom of the Easedale Road, I love Grasmere I really do, as far as picturesque goes this is the Lakeland village that has it all, but going with that I personally feel that Grasmere is just a ‘passing through’ kind of place for the likes of walkers, as I walked its deserted streets I was gazed upon by folk dining on there breakfast (yes dining) looking at me thinking bloody fool out in this, well I may be bold & adventurous but your not going to be able to experience the real Lakeland sat behind a table cloth.


I took this from the tarmac path skirting Alan Bank, here looking towards Helm Crag & Seat Sandal, I thought to myself just how green & lush Easedale looked this morning, and the reason for that was the drops falling on my head.


You’d of thought the trees gave you shelter from the rain… no you just end up with bigger rain drops hitting you as you pass underneath them.


Commanding views towards Grasmere & Loughrigg.

I needed to fix my mind set, although you cant see it, it is raining here, the rain however I don’t have a problem with, its the camera & an over heating issue with myself, I’ve been on-off, on-off with the lens hood adapter thus making it very difficult to fit in to my camera bag while attached, slowly but surely this is becoming more than a bug bear, so after this shot was taken the lens hood was fixed through my waist strap on my pack & there it stayed there for the rest of the duration so apologies in advance for any rain hitting the lens…its the little things that get me! don’t get me started on how muggy it was & what was I to do with my jacket, keep it on keeps you dry, take it off & that gets you wet, keeping it on boils you like a lobster..ok complaining over, The jacket stays on, & I sweat like a pig.


Crossing Wray Gill.

With the summit now in sight & me having not made a complaint under my breath for at least three minutes I now find myself talking to the locals …you’ve lost it Sharkey


Silver How summit cairn with Grasmere, Rydal Water & Windermere in the distance, the views are opening up a little yet going as fast as they come.


Heading west into the wind & rain, I was quite unsure about this section as I have never traversed here before, for anyone taking this route in between Silver How & Blea Rigg & had there un certainties like I had, the paths even in conditions as I had today were remarkable, marked by cairns no less than 80 Meters apart this part of the walk I enjoyed immensely knowing I had good paths to follow.


Lang How features quite prominent along the route, here together with Lang How Tarn.


And the second tarn you will come across (about 50yards) from Lang How Tarn, this one looks like its rapidly disappearing under reed & mosses.


Just one of the  many stone cairns found along the ridge.


Blea Rigg appearing out of the cloud.


And the stone shelter near the top of Blea Rigg.


Tempting.. very tempting, but I pressed on.


Blea Rigg Summit cairn.


Somewhere down there is Coledale Tarn my next destination, my intentions were to walk the ridge all the way to Sergeant Man’s summit & then descend to Coledale Tarn but seeing as the weather was so bad I cut short my plans. Sergeant Man is a summit I don’t really have to visit as I have already been there at the beginning of last year If I remember rightly, I just wanted to make my walk a little more interesting on a personal aspect but cutting short the route wasn’t such a crazy idea in these conditions.


Through the clag, Easedale Tarn.


Harrison Stickle & Pavey Ark from Blea Rigg, It would have made a multitude of difference to me if I’d made the effort to get  a closer shot of Harrison Stickle & Pavey Ark, Stickle Tarn even, but seeing as seconds earlier I couldn’t see them I thought it best I make my descent down to Belles Knot & Coledale Tarn bound.

#  If a fell is worth photographing I will always go out of my way to get the best shot #


Views down to Coledale Tarn, a place I have always wanted to visit as this is one of the nicest tarns found in Lakeland, the Tarn is perched shelf like underneath Coledale Head & Sergeant Man  bound, In bad visibility it is easily missed as I did when I walked straight past it on my ascent from Easedale Tarn towards Sergeant Man.


With Belles Knot in the foreground & Tarn Crag in the background, the unmistakeable shape of Easedale Tarn on the right.


Time to rest at Coledale Tarn, it really is a beautiful spot, pity about the weather..


Looking back on Coledale Tarn & Coledale Head.


One of two stone cairns found on the summit of Tarn Crags.


The second stone cairn marking the true summit of Tarn Crag, the weather had improved significantly enough for me to tie my jacket under the lid of my pack & make the muggy descent down to Easedale Tarn a little more comfortable.


Heading down the grassy slopes of Greathead Crag.


With quite a bit of descent behind me Easedale Tarn looms, I still had quite a bit to go for next it was a gentle descent through the bracken of Cockly Crags (ahead) & hopefully meeting up with the shore path that circulates the tarn.


Promising blue skies ahead as I look back on Tarn Crags from the outflow of Easedale Tarn.


From the head of Easedale the roaring sound of Sour Milk Gill.


Easedale with Helm Crag on the left & Nab Scar ahead, I cant believe what I did next..


I’ve just ‘fell off’ the main path heading down into Easedale & to make matters worse right in front of a young girl & her golden lab who subsequently laughed (the girl not the lab) how could I fall off a path over six feet in width? with my left leg now disappeared in the wet bracken & just my right leg holding my body up my arms flapping like god knows what to hold my balance I must have looked like a complete wazzock,. I shall tell the folks at home it twas a war wound. Now the good people of Grasmere have to put up with a tramp gracing its terraces, steaming with sweat & now picking stone grit out the palm of my hands..


Now a guest house, Blind How cottage holds a haunting past, during 1808 proprietors George & Sarah Green both died  during a blizzard leaving there six children alone for days. The Wordsworth’s had recently taken up residence in Allen Bank. Agnes, the eldest child of the Greens spent time in their service.


The new bridge (2007)


Looking across the Easedale road towards Helm Crag.


And back to normality, Grasmere was now jam packed with visitors drinking coffee on there fancy silver chairs & people eating pastries from their wicker tables  (I’m not into the habit of taking pictures of crowds of people) so I wait until when I thought no one was within shot when this couple strolled into shot (I guess they’re saying who’s the guy taking a photo of the church lets walk in front just to annoy him!) well I wasn’t annoyed at all for you see I had had a wonderful day out on the fells .


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