Yet another decent forecast; yet another (still rare) chance to get out walking on the fells. In the event it wasn’t wonderful – misty again, if not quite as foggy as our previous trip to Coniston. But it was dry, and not too cold, and brightened up gradually into a lovely day – although typically, the sun didn’t come out fully until we got home!
This time we descended on Grasmere, along with half the rest of the population of Cumbria. Not so much I wandered lonely as a cloud as we joined the queue… but at first it was possible to stride along without bumping into too many people, and the scenery emerging from the mist made it more than worthwhile.
We hadn’t tried the walk up Easedale, past the Sour Milk Gill waterfall, to Easedale Tarn, for many years. I remembered it as being steep enough to qualify as precipitous, but I’ve lost weight since then and managed remarkably well. Until a point about three quarters of the way up, when the path vanished, to be replaced by fifty or sixty yards of ominous, jagged, slippery, sopping wet rock. I might have got over it, with a lot of help and shoving from behind, but then I’d have had to come back again, and we were already running short on car park time. So back we turned and hopped back down, pausing to chat to various groups of various nationalities and warn them about the path ahead.
I read recently that the Fix the Fells group had been working on this whole area and certainly sections of the path further down the slope have been transformed, from quaking bogs into decent, laid-stone paths. I can only hope that they’re still planning on coming back and finishing the job, because it seems such a shame to be defeated so near to the tarn.
Here’s a few of the nicer shots I took. You can see why the falls are called Sour Milk – that’s exactly what they look like as the cascade down the fellside.
Helm Crag (‘The Lion and the Lamb’) from the lower reaches of Easedale.
Sour Milk Gill. The red dot on the left is a person and gives some idea of scale.
Easedale, brightening up (honest!)