High Raise over Tarn Crag.

Start. Grasmere (Lay-by on the A591 north of the village).

Route. Grasmere - Easedale Road - Far Easedale - Stythwaite Steps - Greathead Crag - Tarn Crag - Codale Head - High Raise - Sergeant Man - Easedale Tarn - Sourmilk Gill - Easedale - Easedale Road - Grasmere.

Notes. This walk's been hidden in the deep recesses of my hard drive for god knows how long, it was time to put into practice what looked like an interesting ascent on the map. I've been on Tarn Crag many times always descending to Codale Tarn, today I crossed the trackless waste of peat bog and sphagnum moss before earning the right to ascend Codale Head, it sounds like wet feet and aching legs but keeping to high ground my feet stayed dry and the climb was relatively easy.

I left Grasmere on Easedale Road, when the road ended a way marked path guided me between dry stone walls away from the busy Helm Crag route, my way was the quiet, the not so frequented valley of Far Easedale. After a mile of delightful walking the footbridge at Stythwaite Steps marked the start of my ascent. Climbing south towards Easedale Tarn I hunted for a path on the right that would carry me over Greathead Crag and on to Tarn Crag, I found it at Grid 316 089, a green trod heading up hill through bracken.

A faint path left the summit of Tarn Crag, I followed this in a westerly direction until it abruptly vanished at a stretch of peat bog. Carefully picking my way through I headed for dryer higher ground, on the other side the pathless face of Codale Head rose before me. Opting for the route of least resistance I ascended over grass between craggy outcrops and low cliffs, eventually stepping onto the main path onto Codale Head.

My ascent over it was easy walking to the High Raise with it's trig point and wind shelter. This is where the Lake District begun 500 million years ago, once the summit of a large volcanic mound, rain water cut the first valleys, like the spokes of a wheel emitting from it's summit, later the effects of ice left the landscape we see today, more or less! I could waffle on for pages. From the summit I headed southeast crossing Sergeant Man before descending to a coll between Langdale and Easedale, from here I descended to Easedale Tarn. Victorian entrepreneurs built a small tea shop here, they also constructed a pony track to service the said tea shop. The path follows the foaming waters of Sourmilk Gill to the valley floor, It also made for easy walking back to Grasmere.

view route map.


Early morning in Grasmere looking to the craggy summit of Stone Arthur.

Seen from near the summit of Greathead Crag, Helm Crag across Far Easedale.

My first view of Easedale Tarn backed by Great Castle How and the shadowed face of Blea Rigg.

On the slopes of Tarn Crag with views to the head of Far Easedale backed by the long ridge of Greenup Edge.

From the summit Tarn Crag views over little Codale Tarn taking in Harrison Stickle and the wall of rock that is Pavey Ark.

An almost endless view over Easedale and the Vale of Grasmere.

I'm on the south summit of Tarn Crag, not so much perched having a brew but roosting, I was nodding off before taking this picture, Seat Sandal over Gibson Knott with Fairfield to the right and the Helvellyn massif the left.

Seen from the summit of Tarn Crag, the green fields of Easedale carry the eye to the Vale of Grasmere.

The dramatic rock scenery of Langdale seen over Codale Tarn, with Codale Head rising to the right.

On the lower slopes of Codale Head with a stunning view to the east, in shadow Fairfield with the long ridge leading over Great Rigg, Heron Pike and Nab Scar, look closely there's a group of walkers on Tarn Crag, the only people I saw until reaching High Raise.

Rising above the shadowed faces of Blea Crag and Eagle Crag the grey hills of the Coniston massif.

Spectacular views from the approach to Codale Head, scudding cloud over the Helvellyn massif.

I stepped onto the main path at this small unnamed tarn with spectacular views.

Magical views to Seat Sandal with St Sunday Crag in shadow to the left and Fairfield the right.

Seen from Codale Head bathed in sunlight the Coniston fells with Coniston Old Man through the gap in the far distance.

A summit to visit on my walk out, Sergeant Man, but first off to High Raise....

....to be welcomed by this, someone's about to get wet.

After the storm seen from Sergeant Man the centre of Lakeland, High Raise.

A glimpse of Stickle Tarn from Sergeant Man, with Lingmoor Fell rising across the valley.

A classic Lakeland view, Codale Tarn to the left backed by Tarn Crag, Easedale Tarn and Belles Knott on the right backed by Helm Crag with a high skyline made up of the Helvellyn and Fairfield massifs.

Belles Knott, for would be scramblers it's a perfect first ascent.

Views to the head of Easedale, my descent route passed through the coll between Belles Knott and Eagle Crag.

Rising from Easedale Tarn, Tarn Crag.

The scene over upper Easedale with the cliffs of Eagle Crag dominating the valley head.

Sourmilk Gill.

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