Thursday 1 September 2016

Guided Fell Walking in The Lake District. An ascent of Glaramara. Saturday 27th August 2016.

After only a few days, Iain was out providing yet another Guided Fell Walking Day in The Lake District for Donise Winter, her daughter Leila and Donise's sister Nicole. However, on this occasion, they were joined by their friend Tim, also from London.

It had been an ambition of Donise's to climb Glaramara for some time and she thought that this would be an attainable object for her daughter & group of friends. Indeed, Donise & Leila had successfully climbed Scafell Pike from Seathwaite with Iain only a matter of a month earlier, so Iain believed this objective was a perfectly achievable objective for them today.

Photo one sees the group as we headed up the footpath from Borrowdale into the Combe Gill Valley. Iain had collected Donise & Leila from home and Tim & Nicole from the Cragwood Hotel where they were staying and had driven the group to Borrowdale where we parked on the Stonethwaite Road. We took a footpath via St Andrews Church past the local primary school; and after a short distance on the main road, picked up the path to take us directly to Glaramara.

Photo two sees our group some time later with a view up Combe Gill to Raven Crag (immediately above Donise) famous for it's 8 pitch mountaineering rock climbing route. Our route would follow the right hand skyline towards the summit just left of centre (Combe Head) The true summit of Glaramara is actually out of sight in photo two just beyond Combe Head.

Photo three sees Tim, Leila, Donise & Nicole several hours later after we had travelled a further 2 km with the summit buttress of Glaramara behind us and now only some 300 metres distant.

To get to this point had taken us about four hours, with two stops along the way and Leila delighting in clambering over every bit of rock she could find near to the path along our route. The way to the summit behind us involved walking straight towards the dip in the middle, but this also meant scrambling up a rock step which Iain felt might be difficult for Tim. Iain suggested that Tim, Donise and Nicole made their around the foot of the final buttress rightwards - up the easier route to the summit, whilst he indulged Leila's passion for climbing by scrambling straight up the summit buttress with her.

Our final photo from this post about a Guided Fell Walking Day in The Lake District sees the whole group at Glaramara's summit; cairn on what had been a beautiful day throughout.

Our route from Stonethwaite had taken us almost five hours, but given that Tim has been a Parkinson's sufferer for many years - getting to this summit was a massive achievement for him and for Nicole who doesn't get much of an opportunity to go walking up big mountains. We set off on the return journey and reached the car at around 5:45 pm before enjoying a refreshing drink at The Langstrath Country Inn in Stonethwaite which was understandably heaving on this Bank Holiday Saturday! It was about 7pm before Iain returned the group to Donise's at Troutbeck. It had been a long day out, but the weather was good; and from Iain's perspective, it was great to be able to help these people reach the top of another great Lake District mountain.

For people who don't know. Glaramara lies at the head of Borrowdale in The Lake District and it is the highest point of a 6 km ridge separating the valleys of Langstrath and Borrowdale. Our route took us from Stonethwaite up into the pretty valley of Combe Gill and on along the west ridge to the summit. Total distance travelled would have been 8 km or approximately 5 miles; and our height gain was 683 metres or 2240 feet.

A pretty alternative to our route can be to start at Stanger Gill just up the valley from Stonethwaite opposite the camp-site and climb steeply up to gain the summit of Bessyboot (Rosthwaite Fell). From here, one can then continue past Tarn at Leaves along the undulating ridge to Combe Door at the head of the Combe Gill valley then on to Glaramara. Our route then makes for an easy return to the valley floor and Stonethwaite. For Rock Climbers & Scramblers - in the Combe Gill valley there are venues such as Glaciated Slab and Corvus on Raven Crag which is a much sought after classic rock climbing tick. Another alternative way on to Glaramara is by way of the Langstrath Valley to just beyond Blackmoss Pot and then one takes the line of buttresses rising to the right (Cam Crag) as another scrambling route. From the top of Cam Crag, one heads left to get to Combe Door, Combe Head; and the summit of Glaramara.

Iain at Kendal Mountaineering Services is an experienced Mountaineering Instructor with a lifetime of experience walking, climbing & scrambling on The Lake District's Fells. Contact him at Kendal Mountaineering Services to arrange your Guided Fell Walk in The Lake District and if you would like to take in a rock climb or a scramble along the way en route to your summit of choice, then he will be happy to arrange this for you. We look forward to working with you.

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