Lake District Walks
Date: 24th October 2006
Distance: 7.5 miles
Ascent: 1850 feet
Time: 3 hours 50 minutes
Start Grid Ref: NY339073
An enjoyable walk up on to Tarn Crag from Grasmere via Far Easedale and returning via Codale and Easedale Tarns.
Route Summary: Grasmere - Stythwaite Steps - Tarn Crag - Codale Tarn - Easedale Tarn - Easedale - Grasmere
1. Lisa on the bridge at Stythwaite Steps
2. Looking up Far Easedale to Calf Crag
3. Looking back down Easedale towards Helm Crag
4. Tarn Crag
5. Easedale Tarn from Tarn Crag
6. The summit of Tarn Crag
7. On Tarn Crag
8. By Codale Tarn
9. Lisa looking towards Blea Crag
10. Easedale Tarn and Tarn Crag
11. The upper falls in Sourmilk Gill
Walk Detail: After persuading Lisa that I was quite happy to drive to the Lakes again I chose this walk as it would not be too arduous or long. It was a beautiful morning and we had a good drive out even though we got stuck in traffic a few times. In fact we were lucky in the end to get one of the last remaining parking spaces in Grasmere as it was half term.
The walk started with a nice approach up Far Easedale and the crossing of the beck at Stythwaite Steps gave a nice view up the valley with Calf Crag dominant. The thin path heading up the east ridge could easily be missed and probably would have been in summer when the bracken was rampant. It was a good steady climb with a few steep sections with increasingly good views behind us.
As we approached the top the clear skies got cloudier and it was obvious that the forecast rain was going to be a few hours ahead of schedule. Tarn Crag had a fine little top with surprisingly extensive views to the south east in the direction of Ingleborough while the view of the Helvellyn and Fairfield fells was excellent. We ate our lunch east of the top overlooking Easedale Tarn until we took cover during a short spell of drizzle.
While it rained on and off for the remainder of the walk it did not spoil things and indeed the gloomier weather in places served to heighten the dramatic look of the fellsides. The walk down to Codale Tarn was pleasant if moist in places. Codale Tarn itself was quite lovely and one of the nicest tarns I’ve yet visited in the Lakes.
The path down to Easedale Tarn was rockier than I had imagined and we needed to be careful as the rain had made the stones slippery. Tarn Crag looked impressive hovering over Easedale Tarn which is one of the more extensive tarns I’ve come across and possibly as a result of this loses a bit of charm. Still, had the sun been out at that point, I would have been quite happy to while away some time in the area.
Blea Crag was a notable feature of the descent which on the whole proved to be a rather wet one, not only because of the rain but also the wet and often boggy ground. The final feature of note on the walk was the impressive falls of Sourmilk Gill, the third such named that I have visited in the Lakes this year. All in all this was a most pleasant walk. No great altitude was gained and only one top was bagged but it was a fine top and there were also the added bonuses of Far Easedale and Codale Tarn.