Far Easedale and the Helm Crag Ridge.

Start. Grasmere.

Route. Grasmere - Easedale Road - Far Easedale - Stythwaite Steps - Moor Moss - Brownrigg Moss - Calf Crag - Gibson Knott - Bracken Hause - Helm Crag - White Crag - Easedale Road - Grasmere.

Notes. Full of optimism I drove north into the Lake District, accompanying my drive, filling the rear view mirror a wonderful intense orange glow, cloud ahead of me burned in a kaleidoscope of reds, oranges and browns, rolling and bubbled over the serrated skyline of Lakeland, one of those very special moments you have to rise early to see. When I reached Windermere my heart sunk, it suddenly dawned on me, I was about to drive under all that cloud cover, welcome to grey Lakeland. Last time I was in the these parts I made a promise, take you dear reader to the head of Far Easedale, a wet and lonely, desolate place visited by few, a promise I was about to keep.

Cloud blanketed the summits as I strolled along Easedale Road, ignoring the path to Easedale Tarn I continued until the tarmac ended, a stoney track now guided me into the valley, finger-posts assured me I was on the right path. Accompanied by the many voices of Far Easedale Beck I wandered up the valley, at Stythwaite Steps I crossed the beck before continuing into the wild unspoiled emptiness of Far Easedale. Under the cliffs of Horn Crag and Moment Crag, passed the impressive Dear Bields crags I wandered, many cataracts and cascades guided me forward, soon the world around me extended but a few feet, enveloped in a shroud of thick cloud I crested the summit of the pass, a small cairn and a couple of rusty fence posts welcomed me.

A word of warning, many paths meet on this coll, the path to Helm Crag is pretty obvious, even in bad weather, I took a compass bearing before continuing, with some very boggy tracts of land to cross it's easy to wander off in the wrong direction. The first being Brownrigg Moss, traversed to access the summit of Calf Crag, I took another bearing before crossing Pike of Carrs and Moment Crag. After leaving Moment Crag the sun finally cut through the cloud cover, slowly revealing Far Easedale, a thousand jewels sparkled, the bog splattered valley below capturing the first rays of a winter sun, crags that had only been shadows until now unveiled in all their glory, the day just got better, another magical Lakeland moment. On I walked to Gibson Knott before the final steep ascent, not onto but into the rock architecture of Helm Crag. After a brief exploration I descended to the south, the path soon swung west, passed White Crag before winding it's way to the valley floor depositing me a few yards from the tarmac that had guided me in.

view route map.


Seen across the mouth of Far Easedale, the white water of Sourmilk Gill.

A promise of better weather on the horizon, the orange glow I left behind so long ago.

Gibson Knott and Helm Crag as seen from Far Easedale.

Far Easedale Beck looking north.

One of many water chutes, cataracts and cascades that make up Far Easedale Beck.

Plunging from the cliffs of Calf Crag this curtain of water has no name, after heavy weather is well worth a visit.

The last time I passed this way this was a wall of ice.

Approaching the head of the valley, a lone tree backed by Broadstone Head.

A lonely coll in a wonderful mountain setting, it would be if you could see the mountains.

The summit Calf Crag.

A window in the cloud.

Far Easedale, the day just got better.

Looking to Gibson Knott, the next summit on the ridge.

Under cloud, Steel Fell seen over Greenburn.

Views across Far Easedale taking in the lower slopes of Tarn Crag.

Blakerigg Crag the Greenburn face of Steel Fell.

Looking to the head of Far Easedale from the summit Gibson Knott.

Seen from Gibson Knott, Helm Crag.

Viewing Greenburn, the Cotra Breast ascent of Steel Fell and the pass of Dunmail Raise.

The summit Helm Crag, looking back along the ridge, Gibson Knott and Calf Crag.

Wonderful views over Grasmere and it's vale.

Seen from above White Crag, the head of Far Easedale.

Another view over the Vale of Grasmere, with Loughrigg Fell centre left and Silver How to the right.

Hills walked earlier in the day, what I like to call the Helm Crag Ridge seen from Easedale Road.

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