The Greenburn Round.

Start. Grasmere.

Route. Grasmere - Butharlyp Howe - Easedale Road - Helm Crag - Gibson Knott - Moment Crag - Calf Crag - Shoots - Steel Fell - Cotra Breast - Ghyll Foot - Low Mill Bridge - Grasmere.

Notes. I seem to recall traversing the head of Greenburn with Sue some years ago, a walk that I remember for the wrong reasons, we walked into the most horrendous hale storm I've ever experienced, the pair of us cowering between rocks in a vain attempt to find shelter, the noise and quite a bit of pain leaves lasting memories, the world turned white in seconds. Today the sun is shining, no hard hat or body armour required.

I parked in the rather large lay-by to the north of the village, a short walk south along the edge of the A591 lead me to Pye Lane which I descended to access Broadgate. After fifty yards a finger-post announced the start of the footpath through Butharlyp, a good short cut to Easedale Road. Once in Easedale Road I wandered north, when the tarmac ended a finger-post invited me to climb Helm Crag. On a good path I ascended, steep at first before the gradient eased somewhat, I was soon standing on it's rocky summit soaking up stunning views over the Vale of Grasmere.

From the summit my route lay before me, what I like to call The Helm Crag Ridge. I started the long ridge walk by first descending to Bracken Hause, a narrow path guided me to Gibson Knott then above the cliffs of Horn Crag, this path wound it's way over Moment Crag then above Pike of Carrs before finally reaching Calf Crag. After a quick brew I headed northeast, on a wonderful green path I traversed the head of Greenburn, my target two unnamed tarns and a boundary fence that would guide me to the summit of Steel Fell. After another brew ( killing time, I'd ran out of hill the only way was down) I descended Steel Fell's southern ridge, the steep descent crossed Cotra Breast before dropping to Ghyll Foot. All that remained a short walk over tarmac passing Low Mill Bridge before stepping onto the A591 at the foot of Dunmail Raise, I could see the car in the distance but the smell of sunday roast drifting from The Travelers Rest Inn made my mouth water, I stepped into the bar.

view route map.


Seen from the edge of the A591 Helm Crag on a perfect morning.

Helm Crag on a cool golden morning seen from Easedale.

Gracing the southern skyline the silhouette of Loughrigg Fell with Silver How across Easedale to the right.

Far below Sourmilk Gill tumbles from upper Easedale, on the skyline in shadow Blea Crag.

Seat Sandal seen over Dunmail Raise with Fairfield in shadow to the right.

From near the summit mouth-watering views over the Vale of Grasmere.

The Howitzer marks the summit of Helm Crag, if you're ticking off summits in your little book then I'm afraid you'll have to scale it.

Seen from Helm Crag a wonderful view along the ridge I'm about to walk, with Greenup Edge across the skyline and the Far Easedale face of Tarn Crag in shadow to the left.

The mirror like surface of Grasmere seen from near the summit of Gibson Knott.

Viewing Seat Sandal and the Helvellyn massif from the summit of Gibson Knott, the ridge in the middle distance being Cotra Breast my descent route, hopefully much later.

The summit Gibson Knott looking to High Raise.

Steel Fell over Greenburn with Nethermost Pike and Dollywaggon Pike to the left, Seat Sandal backed by Fairfield to the right.

The summit Calf Crag with views to Greenup Edge.

From Calf Crag a stunning view across the head of Greenburn.

Views back along the Helm Crag Ridge.

Crossing the head of Greenburn looking to the ridge leading to Steel Fell, dominating the scene the Helvellyn massif.

The unnamed tarn passed en route to Steel Fell.

The head of Greenburn provides a fine viewpoint, across the skyline Great Rigg and the ridge leading to Heron Pike and Nab Scar.

The summit cairn Steel Fell.

From the summit of Steel Fell an absolute stunning view the length of Thirlmere, across the skyline the northern fells, Skiddaw and Blencathra.

Descending Steel Fell's southern ridge looking to Seat Sandal.

Reluctantly heading down with a stunning view over Helm Crag.

Looking back up the steep southern ridge of Steel Fell.

From Ghyll Foot a final look to Steel Fell.

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