23 June 2021

Further Coast to Coast Adventures of 4 Fearless Petersfield Ramblers

Day 3: 23 June 2021

Today started from Bowness Knott car park where we were picked up at the end of Day 2. Optimism and trepidation were both evident, optimism that the day and the walk were going to be good, trepidation concerning the steep climbs that were ahead.

The path wound its way along the track by the side of Ennerdale Water with wonderful sights of the surrounding glens and woodland. Further along we had to make a decision- the track was closed for logging. Should we risk it or take a lengthy diversion? We risked it. A mile or so further on we came to some activity but we were greeted with a cheery wave so continued along the track.

Lunch stop

The way gradually gained height as we passed Black Sail YHA. Walking across boggy areas we managed to cross one beck with fairly dry feet only to have to cross a subsequent one which resulted in a few wet boots. Then the real climb started up the Black Sail gully shown on the map with very close contour lines. Fortunately, much work had been done on the path which provided stones to climb on all the way up. What an exhilarating feeling when we eventually achieved our goal. Then it was off across the fells towards Honister Pass.

At this point the low cloud obscured our views and made navigation more difficult. Using our maps and the cairns we made our way along, eventually coming to an old tramway that we would follow down to Honister Pass. Never have four women been so quiet as they carefully picked their way among the large stones and scree on the downhill path. Eventually we arrived at the road and then followed purpose-built paths that take the Coast-to-Coast walkers safely down to Seatoller avoiding the frequent cars that use the pass.

Gratefully we sank into our waiting transport, dreaming of the cup of tea that would await us at the hotel.

View from Stone Crag

Day 4: 24 June 2021

Today saw us all with more confidence knowing we could tackle the sharp climbs and achieve our goals. A gentle walk along by a river was the first part of our journey, hampered rather by a difficult traverse around some rocks supported by a chain to ensure we didn’t fall into the water. 
We followed Stonethwaite Beck up into its valley admiring the beauty of the area as we walked. Gradually the ascent became steeper as we made our way up the fells. It was a long, hard slog up to Lining Crag and just when we were about to congratulate ourselves at arriving at the summit, we realised we had more climbing ahead. So, after a water stop, chance to take photos and admire the scenery we set off again promising ourselves lunch once we reached Greenup Edge.
Thankfully, due to countless hours of hard work by Lake District Rangers the steep uphills have been given step like features so that the path is fairly clear and the footing reasonable. So, like mountain goats we made our way to the top to be greeted by strong winds. Hunkering down behind a rock we ate our sandwiches and revelled in the views.

Lunch stop sheltering from the wind

As on the day before, the going down proved more difficult than the going up. Sure footwork was needed to prevent accidents. We slowly made our way down by the side of Easedale Gill, dropping height all the way. It was a deceptively long descent, around every bend we expected to see Grasmere, but no, just another stretch of the path and yet another river bluff to walk around.

Patterdale Descent

And then we were nearing our goal when it decided to rain. Donning waterproofs, we walked on towards our meeting point and were gratefully collected to go to the B and B for a cup of tea and hot shower.
The evening saw a dramatic end. After a well deserved meal and relaxation we found we were locked in. A scenario that maybe many would relish, being locked into a pub! After the door handle was unscrewed and two strong walkers had barged at the door it relented and opened. We were able to walk across the road towards our comfortable beds.


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