Walk Date – 23rd January 2016
Distance – 8.9 miles
Weather – rain, strong and gusty winds but very mild
The weather gods seem to have decided that we’ve had enough fun in the snow so they’ve moved the cold spell somewhere else and brought back the moist southerly air again. It rained all day yesterday, so the snow has all but disappeared, and today’s forecast seemed a very uncertain with a mixed bag of rain showers, low cloud, wind and the occasional sunny spell. We got everything except the last bit. A walk round Crummock Water would get us out and provide a lengthy enough walk without venturing onto the fells.
So here we are, walking from the parking area, just above the church, down into Buttermere. Its raining, its windy but at least it isn’t cold.
The High Crag, High Stile and Red Pike fells on the western side of Buttermere. Red Pike is out of shot to the right but the top was in cloud anyway so I didn’t bother too much.
Crossing the outflow flowing from Buttermere into Crummock Water.
A look across to Fleetwith Pike as we reach the other side. Everything’s looking very grey and brown today, so different from our walk just two days ago.
The bridge over Sourmilk Gill, yesterday’s rain and the snow melt adding to the volume of water coming down.
Scale Bridge. The path along Crummock Water shore can be accessed using a field path from Buttermere village which leads to this bridge.
A little further on from Scale Bridge and we’re still walking alongside the outflow, with Rannerdale Knotts over to the left, and Whiteless Pike, more or less in the middle. The cloud covered grey shapes behind them are the fells of Grasmoor and Whiteside.
A look back over the shoulder towards HIgh Snockrigg and Robinson.
Looking ahead with Mellbreak on the left, Rannerdale Knotts on the right, and the Loweswater fells appearing in the centre. Everything was sodden through along here.
High Snockrigg and Robinson on the left and a rapidly disappearing Fleetwith Pike over to the right. The path all along this side of Crummock was very trying, deep pools of water everywhere, wet and slippery stones, and ankle deep mud patches. It didn’t make for quick walking but if there’s ever a competition for best puddle jumper/bog hopper/slippery stone skipper we’re in with a chance, we certainly had the training for it today.
Looking ahead through the rain over Crummock Water. We’ve reached a grassy section of path so that should be a bit easier we thought. No, it wasn’t, water was just running down over the top of it so we got a bit of grass ski-ing practice in as well.
Its raining again and very windy along here as we head towards Ling Crags. If it hadn’t been raining we would have been able to walk in shirt sleeves as it was so mild, as it was we were enduring sauna like conditions inside the wet weather gear we were wearing.
A look back at what’s happening behind us, nothing, apart from rain, cloud and wind.
Looking across Low Ling Crag to Grasmoor and its neighbours.
The little promontory of Low Ling Crag jutting out towards Rannerdale Knotts, with Whiteless Pike to the left and High Snockrigg and Robinson to the right.
No sign now of Fleetwith Pike which, on a better day, woud be visible right at the far end of the shot. If you’re wondering what that white area is to the bottom right let’s just say that it was once a sheep.
On the left is Whiteside and on the right is Grasmoor, white tops to the waves are beginning to appear on the water.
We’re nearing the end of Crummock Water so we’re almost halfway around. The Loweswater fells to the left of the shot. We aren’t the only daft beggars out today you know, along here we came across a female runner and a bloke walking three dogs.
The wind is really whipping up the water now and its still raining hard.
We were nearly blown over as we walked along the little beach just here at the head of the water.
A little further on, around the corner from the previous photo (after having to walk on the lakeside wall as the path was flooded) we reached the pumping station (built by Workington Corporation in 1903) which provided some much needed shelter from the wind so we decided to have some lunch there. Out came the soup and rolls and very welcome they were too. This is a shot of Carling Knott and Burnbank Fell from the pumping station area.
The Loweswater fells from the same spot. Darling Fell is over on the far left with Low Fell in front of it.
Moving on after lunch and the rain has stopped, the cloud has lifted and we have a clearer view of Grasmoor over on the left. As you can see from the water its still windy.
Another storm casualty. A little further back from where this was taken we had to take to the wall again, the path was under about a foot of water back there as was the land to the side of it.
Crummock Water’s outflow running into the River Cocker and on to Cockermouth. The picture is a bit off the horizontal but it was difficult enough to stay upright in the wind, never mind getting the composition perfect.
Returning via the terraced path above the lake, which shows more evidence of the damage done by recent storms.
The path continues through the trees which provided welcome shelter from the wind. The camera is playing tricks here as it was nowhere near as bright as this in reality.
Mellbreak on the opposite shore.
Grasmoor from the lakeside path just below the road.
Rannerdale Knotts on the left, and the first clear view today of Red Pike, the rounded hump over to the right.
Grasmoor from the section of road walking we had to do. The lake shore path stops at a section of private land and then turns back up to the road. Not a problem today as there wasn’t much traffic.
A look back, across some of the land we weren’t allowed to set foot on, with Mellbreak on the left and the Loweswater fells to the right.
Debris alongside Cinderdale Beck brought down during the storms.
A look back at the Loweswater fells.
Heading along the road towards Rannerdale Knotts. Where is everybody? I know its a rubbishy day but even so, its Saturday and you generally get folks just out for an afternoon drive along here, but everywhere is so quiet.
Looking back at Grasmoor from the road into Buttermere.
Whiteless Pike on the left and Rannerdale Knotts on the right. The wind has dropped and the clouds are higher now.
Canada geese making their usual loud and irritating noise as they invade one of the fields, slap an ASBO on them!
Grasmoor still hanging on to some stretches of snow right at the very top, although its a bit hard to see against the lighter sky.
Approaching Hause Point. The road contours around the rocky point and, as you can see, there is no lake shore path available just here.
Looking back along Crummock Water.
No cloud now on the Red Pike – High Crag ridge.
There’s also a clearer view of Fleetwith Pike on the left and Haystacks over on the right. Along the ridge between the two are Grey Knotts, Brandreth and Green Gable.
Red Pike, the high point on the right, and High Stile over on the left. The little hump between the two is called Dodd and between Dodd and Red Pike is a heather clad corrie containing Bleaberry Tarn. I don’t know why I mentioned that because you can’t see it and I didn’t go up to take a photo either.
Back on the lakeshore path at the Buttermere end, and a look back at Mellbreak to the left of centre. Its just a short walk from here back into Buttermere village.
Finally we walk up the hill past St James’s church to the car park which is just behind it. We did have a short break between here and the previous photo. We had to pass the Syke Farm cafe so we treated ourselves to an ice cream. Yes, I know its January but it was so mild and we were thirsty. Yes, I know we had some drinks in our packs but that’s not the same thing at all, and its the best ice cream I’ve tasted in the Lakes, possibly even anywhere, so it would just be plain silly to walk past and ignore it, wouldn’t it?