30th December 2008

Grasmere to High Raise


Walk Overview
Time 09.00 to 14.20
Duration 5 hr 20 min
Distance 9.5 mile
Ascent 2600 ft
Walking with Andrew Leaney
Grasmere - Easedale - Easedale Tarn - Blea Rigg - Sergeant Man - High Raise - Codale Head - Tarn Crag - Stythwaite Steps - Easedale Grasmere
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, Broadgate, Grasmere

Broadgate is one of the three main car parks found in Grasmere. They all charge what may be considered over the odds, but I suppose parking in an area with so many walking options does come with a high price tag.

In addition to the walking on offer, the car park is within a minutes walk from the centre of Grasmere and everything it has to tempt the visitor.


Route Map

Leaving Grasmere in a temperature well below zero.

The view through Easedale to Tarn Crag; the highest point in the middle of the picture.

There are three Sourmilk Gills in the Lake District and after the recent spell of frost, I'm sure the other two would have been equally as frozen as this one was today. And although there was still a small amount of water flowing over the ice, this did nothing to lessen the satisfaction you get from viewing waterfalls in this state. Of course the whole scene was enhanced by the blue sky and sunshine we were enjoying at the time.


Seat Sandal, Fairfield and Great Rigg, seen behind the Gibson Knott / Helm Crag ridge.

Easedale Tarn.
Notice all the stones on the ice, just waiting the for the weather to warm up a little, where they'll then sink to the bottom of the tarn, never to be seen again.

Easedale Tarn and a very hazy long distance view, seen here from the route up to Blea Rigg.

The Langdale Pikes taken from the ridge near Blea Rigg.

That's where we were heading, and at this time we were still hopeful that the cloud might still lift (as it was forecast to do). It turned out that all our hopes had been in vain; as the following pictures will show.

A close up of a semi frozen Codale Tarn.

Frost covered stones at Sergeant Man summit. (not a black and white picture; honest)

Two other walkers at the summit of Sergeant Man.

Walking up the path between Sergeant Man and High Raise in an eere frozen silence.

And again.

High Raise summit.
To say the temperature dropped when we left the summit would be the understatement of the year. The wind was so calm it isn't worth mentioning and we certainly weren't dawdling about, so we'd obviously walked into an isolated area of much colder air.

Heading onto the ridge above Tarn Crag.

One of the many small frozen tarn we passed along the way.

Easedale Tarn. The white lines on the tarn show where the edge of the ice is.

Looking back to Tarn Crag.

So much for the day brightening up, not in the part of the lakes anyway. Although once I got over Dunmail Raise on the way home it was a different scene altogether, with lots of blue sky and even the highest fells free from cloud.

Every year thousands of people on route from Easedale Tarn to Far Easdale must look across from the path and see this 'small tree growing on a big rock'. The usual problem with getting close is the wet and boggy ground, but There was no problem with that today. Instead of boggy ground however, we were faced with large areas of sheet ice. One option would have been to sit on the ice and slide down to the rock, , , on the other hand perhaps not!

Stythwaite Steps; almost unidentifiable now, and redundant since the introduction of the wooden footbridge.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks