Lake District Walks
Allen Crags & Glaramara
Date: 31st July 2011
Distance: 7.2 miles
Ascent: 1742 feet
Time: 6 hours 20 minutes
Start Grid Ref: NY228092
The second part of a two day walk this was a real peak bagging expedition visiting all the summits on the Allen Crags - Glaramara - Rosthwaite Fell ridge.
Route Summary: Sprinkling Tarn - Allen Crags -High House Tarn Top - Red Beck Top - Looking Steads - Glaramara - Combe Head - Combe Door Top - Dovenest Top - Rosthwaite Cam - Bessyboot - Combe Gill - Allerdale Ramble - Seathwaite
1. Matt leaving Sprinkling Tarn
2. The summit of Allen Crags was quickly reached
3. Glaramara from Allen Crags
4. On High House Tarn Top
5. High House Tarn
6. Looking back at Allen Crags
7. Great End
8. Looking down into the valley above Seathwaite
9. Matt enjoying the view from Looking Steads
10. The summit of Glaramara looking to Wainwright's top
11. By the cairn on Wainwright's preferred Glaramara summit
12. Combe Head from Glaramara
13. Combe Gill and Borrowdale from Combe Head
14. The Rosthwaite Fell ridge from Combe Door Top
15. Looking back up at Combe Head from Dovenest Top
16. Rosthwaite Cam
17. Bessyboot and Tarn at Leaves from Rosthwaite Cam
18. On the summit of Bessyboot
19. Matt descending into Combe Gill
20. Base Brown from the road to Thorneythwaite Farm
Walk Detail: After a leisurely breakfast and having packed away our tents we set off from Sprinkling Tarn to head for Allen Crags, the first of many summits on the day's itinerary. It was an easy walk to the top and within only 30 mins we had arrived at the summit.
It was a fairly cloudy morning with patches of hill fog obscuring parts of the higher surrounding fells such as Great End, Esk Pike and Bow Fell. Despite this it was easy to appreciate Allen Crags position as an excellent viewpoint, in particular my eyes were drawn south towards Glaramara and the intervening ridge we were about to cross. Perhaps because we had arrived there so quickly and with so little effort that we didn't really hang around on the top of Allen Crags for very long and gave it perhaps less attention than it deserved, particularly as it was, in terms of altitude, the high point of the walk.
Our route from Allen Crags led over a number of minor tops to Glaramara from where we then took the easterly of the two ridges either side of Combe Gill over a number of other tops to Bessyboot, the final summit of the day. Rather than provide a blow by blow account of each of the summits we visited (10 in total - 11 if you class Wainwright's Glaramara summit as a separate top), I'll instead pick out a few highlights.
One of these highlights was the region around High House Tarn which we arrived at soon after leaving Allen Crags. Located between the two Nuttall summits of High House Tarn Top and Red Beck Top this was a beautiful little area containing High House Tarn itself, the Lincomb Tarns and numerous other small sheets of water tucked away amongst the rocks. It helped that for the first time in the walk the sun broke through the clouds to shine down upon us. Certainly it looked a nice spot for a potential future wild camp.
The large boulder marking the highest point of Looking Steads had probably the best view south of the day. Wainwright's preferred summit on Glaramara definitely proved to be a better viewpoint than the actual summit. Perhaps my favourite view of the day was from Combe Head where the length of Combe Gill proved to be a fantastic foreground to Borrowdale and Derwent Water.
Combe Head was perhaps the biggest revelation of the day. Looking down from Glaramara it looks like a fairly prominent rocky knoll with an interesting hinterland of tarns. When viewed from further down the ridge, especially from Dovenest Top, the sheer cliffs above Combe Gill, make it by far the most impressive object on show and completely blocks the view of Glaramara itself.
The final fews tops; Dovenest Top, Rosthwaite Cam and Bessyboot, all had their plus points (especially the rocky scramble up on to Rosthwaite Cam) but by this time we were both getting quite tired and suffering a little from an excess of summits - not something I'd have previously thought possible.
Whilst the total distance and ascent were not that great our pace was really slow. Whether this was because we were constantly going up and down with very little in the way of level walking or whether it was because of the extra weight we had in our packs the walk took us much longer than anticipated. It was probably a mixture of both but we were not helped by the fact that, while we'd both taken food to cook for breakfast and for our supper the previous evening, neither of us had enough left for a long day on the fells. Certainly the lack of food didn't help our energy levels.
All in all this was a fabulous walk, the Allen Crags - Glaramara - Bessyboot ridge really is fabulous, it is full of interest and would definitely merit further visits. Next time though I'd perhaps be more minded to break the ridge up into sections to explore in greater detail - taken in its full length it is not possible to do everything justice.