Outline of Route
Stonethwaite - Bessyboot - Rosthwaite Cam - Combe Head - Glaramara - Allen Crags - Angle Tarn - Langstrath - Stonethwaite (Grid ref. NY 260139)
Total Distance 10.4 miles, Total Ascent 3000 feet, Equivalent Distance 16.4 miles
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Details of Route
One might be forgiven for thinking, after glancing at a map, that a walk over Rosthwaite Fell and Glaramara would be a simple to navigate, easy stroll over undulating fell. A closer investigation of a decent map will show the area to be rough and craggy and pitted with tarns and wet ground. It is a feast for the investigative fellwalker in clear weather, but might best be avoided in hill fog.
There is adequate free parking space on the road to, and in the village of, Stonethwaite. On both my recent visits the car was parked off the road at the above grid ref. It's a short walk back, past the school to the T-junction and a turn to the left. Walk past the church and through the farmyard and continue along the path towards Burthwaite Bridge. Where the main path makes a turn to the right continue along the less frequented one straight ahead. After about 50 yards, at Grid Ref. 255138, there is a path on the left heading straight up the fell. I is described, on a notice nearby, as a permissive path. Despite its being opened only recently, it is well trodden and easy to follow in the early stages. It is steep and in wet weather proves awkwardly slippery, which is disconcerting when it passes above some very steep drops. There are soon fine views to see over Borrowdale (photo). As the top of Rosthwaite Fell is reached the path is harder to follow and a number of lower summits disguise the direct route to Bessyboot (photo). Once the top is reached the view of the top of Rosthwaite Fell opens up (photo).
Head down from Bessyboot to the right of Tarn at Leaves and follow the path up to the summit of Rosthwaite Cam (photo). The view from the Cam to the north east shows once more the complex nature of these fells and a fine distant panorama (photo). There is an easy descent from Rosthwaite Cam on the western side but beware heading straight for Combe Head. Line up Combe Head and set off diagonally to the left, slightly to the east of south. There is a path, which goes down into the Great Hollow and then ascends between Dovenest Crag and Cam Crag. Walk well to the left of the tarn to avoid boggy ground then towards Combe Head either round to the left of the crags or threading up through Combe Door (photo) finally heading west to the summit. Head south east from Combe Head to avoid the tarns and climb Glaramara either circling the crags to the left or heading for the summit by a minor scramble up a gully (photo) where there is yet another fine view in retrospect (photo).
There are two subsidiary summits to Glaramara which are easily visited on the way to Allen Crags. Head south west for the first of these, which is not on the main path, then south west from there to rejoin the path and south to the third summit. Now go south west to return to the path and follow its clear track to Allen Crags. There are a number of tarns on this undulating and enjoyable route, perhaps the most memorable being Lincomb Tarns (photo). From Allen Crags there is a clear view back to Glaramara (photo) and across to Great Gable (photo). The path south west to Esk Hause is easy to follow and, after a final look at Great Gable (photo), bear left along the well worn path towards Angle Tarn. It is worth a detour to one of the crests on Tongue Head for a view of Langstrath (photo) before descending to the outflow from Angle Tarn.
Leave the main path here and head north east down alongside Angletarn Gill. There is little to chose between the sides but the left bank gives a more open view of Langstrath. Follow the gill as it bears to the left and then the right, cross it near the bottom where it joins Langstrath Beck and continue along the right bank of this. Five or six hundred yards further on it is worth looking for a place to cross Langstrath Beck as it is easy here. Now continue along the left bank. If you cannot find a safe crossing place just continue on the right bank until you cross a footbridge over Stake Beck. From here drop down to another footbridge which crosses Langstrath Beck and join the left bank path. From here it is an easy walk along Langstrath (photo) to Galleny Force and thence to Stonethwaite and back to the car.
Rev. 19 July 2012