17th May 2014

Wetherlam from Elterwater and the 'other' plane wreckage on Great Carrs


Walk Overview
Time 9:20am to 5:15pm
Duration 7 hr 55 min
Distance 13 mile
Ascent 4000 ft (felt like more)
Walking with Neil Haslewood
Elterwater - Little Langdale - Slater Bridge - Low Hall Garth - Greenburn Tarn - Broad Slack - Swirl Hawse - Wetherlam - Swirl Hawse - Prison Band - Swirl How - Great Carrs - Wet Side Edge - Fell Foot - Little Langdale - Elterwater
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, Walthwaite Bottom, Elterwater

Elterwater is such a popular village with visitors to the Lake District that the car park in the centre of the village and also the roadside around its edges soon become clogged up with cars. This car park appears to act as an overspill, although I suspect this one fills up just as quickly as the others.

Parking is free.


Weather Readings

The Gadget
All readings were taken using a Kestrel 2000 Weather Meter
Live temperature recorded at the time I press the hold key
Maximum Wind Speed Maximum wind speed since the weather meter was turned on at each location Average Wind Speed
Average wind speed since the weather meter was turned on at each location
Wind Chill
Combination of wind speed and temperature. The gadget does the calculations not me.

Route Map


Quite often I'm driving to or from a walk and I see views that can't help but impress but I normally look as best as I can and then drive on past. Today, I was early and the conditions were so good it seemed rude not to stop for a minute to take a photo. Down there is Elterwater. The long fell in the picture is Lingmoor Fell and the bigger ones on the left are Wetherlam, Swirl How and Great Carrs.

As we reach the high point between Elterwater and Little Langdale we look ahead and see most of our route. Wetherlam, Swirl How, Great Carrs and Wet Side Edge.

Little Langdale Tarn provides the perfect foreground for a picture of the fells we'd be walking on today. Yet, as lovely as the tarn is, and despite walking close by the tarn dozens of times, I have to admit, I've never had my boots wet by the water in the tarn itself. There's no path / route alongside the waters edge so as a consequence it's one of those places I never actually find myself getting right up to.

Lingmoor Fell.

The tarn again, this time in front of Pike O'Blisco.

Zooming in on Low Hall Garth and High Hall Gath.


Arguably Slater Bridge could still be described as a lovely spot even on the most dismal of days, so, to arrive here in perfect conditions like this was nothing short of magical.


Low Hall Garth.

and High Hall Garth.

From this angle the Langdales show their distinctive skyline.

A close up of Bridge End.

A series of waterfalls in Greenburn Beck lead up to the disused mines.


Here are some of the old mine buildings still to be found in Greenburn. It must have been a real hive of activity at one time and I reckon these ruins could have been the canteen. You know the type of thing, snack machines selling crisps and chololate, microwaves and toasters for people to use and perhaps they even had those water coolers we all go mad for.

The sign found further back along the path describes the mines as a "Scheduled Ancient Monument". Okay, I admit it's a fantastic place that should be preserved; I'm not saying otherwise. However, I wouldn't have thought it was either ancient or a monument. We were also asked not to climb on any of the spoil heaps. Unfortunately the path goes over the top of one of them. Luckily nobody spotted us and asked us to leave the area.

Perhaps there was a waterwheel of some sort here, , , you can probably tell I'm no engineer.

We passed quite close to Greenburn Reservoir which allowed us to see the extent of the dam used to retain the water.

The view backwards.

I had two ambitions on this walk, the main was to walk up Wetherlam from Elterwater. Why? you might well ask, but I'm afraid I don't really have an answer for that, other than 'because I wanted to'. The second was to visit the rest of the aeroplane wreckage on Great Carrs. I'm sure the wreckage near Great Carrs summit will have been visited by many of you but I wonder how many people realise there is much more of the same aeroplane to be found in the scree run on the side of Broad Slack. A few years ago I'd read about the way the plane had been pushed into Broad Slack and after that I'd made a point of locating it from above; just to make sure it was still there. This was the first time I'd actually been across for a closer look.
A bit of effort was needed to get up to the flag from this direction, and although it would have been much easier to get there from Swirl Hawse, Greenburn is a great place to walk so that more tham makes up for the puffing and panting.




After a bite to eat at the wreckage, it was a surprisingly short and easy walk across to Swirl Hawse.

The other option for a walk today was over there in that direction. Looking at the little bit of cloud knocking about I think we did the right thing coming here instead.

A close up of Bow Fell.

From the route across to Wetherlam I look backwards to get a view of Swirl How and Great Carrs. Even though the longer distance views were becoming increasingly hazy, the closer fells were still clear enough to pick out every rock and crag.

Approaching the stoney summit of Wetherlam.

The view from Wetherlam summit.

Wetherlam seen from Prison Band.

I'm still on Prison Band and now I'm looking across to my right to get a view of Great Carrs.

Swirl How summit.

and in hardly anytime at all, you find yourself almost at Great Carrs. Before getting to the summit, we take the slightest of de-tours to visit the more well known aeroplane wreckage.

After visiting the 'other' wreckage from this plane crash it only seemed right to come across to the more widely known site found just below Great Carrs summit.

Almost 70 years ago. I wonder how their lives would have turned out if they hadn't have ended their days up here at such young ages.


Great Carrs summit.

Swirl How seen from Great Carrs.

For most of the walk down Wet Side Edge you get a great side on view of Wetherlam.

Heading down Wet Side Edge.


A young River Brathay was crossed close to the bottom of Wrynose Pass and yes, I can confirm the stones are as hard as they look. While trying to fill up the water bottle, my right foot slipped into the water to give it a good soaking and the left leg landed on one of the stones aaaaaggggggg !!!

Looking through Little Langdale. It's not a very long valley but what there is of it would put most other places to shame.

Fell Foot Farm is passed as we begin our walk through Little Langdale.

and a little while later we pass Fell Foot Bridge.

Little Langdale Tarn.


We followed the same route back to the cars as we'd taken at the beginning of the walk. Although it's a nice walk over here it's very rough under foot.

The Britannia Inn was doing a good trade again today. I could be wrong here but looks like the shop may be reopening once more in Elterwater. It looked like work was being done inside the building and there was a sign on the door saying staff was required. If this is indeed the case, they should have tried to open by this time of year so they caught the whole of the spring / summer season.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks