2 friends and the coast to coast walk

Patterdale (Glenridding) to Grasmere (and back!) by gleavem
June 11, 2009, 8:47 pm
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You may remember that on our C2C crossing last August we missed out the section between Grasmere and Patterdale as we arrived too late in Grasmere thanks to a particularly tough trip from Stonethwaite.  From our campsite in Glenridding we donned our boots & waterproofs and headed down the road to Patterdale to find our entry point into the Grisedale valley.  The weather wasn’t fantastic…

Sid at the gate - on the way to Grasmere

but we’ve grown used to walking in wind & rain and were hopeful it might improve, so carried on regardless.  We walked along the south side of the valley, in the opposite direction to how we would have been walking back in August.  It’s a nice valley walk, with interesting peaks all around; Helvellyn, St Sunday & Dollywagon Pike.  In the first hour or so we saw only one other walker, a solitary gentleman in orange, who assured us it was wet, windy & miserable up ahead.  In time we reached the climbing hut (all shut up) and perched on the door step to rest, admire the view & nibble on a pork pie…Sid enjoying a snack at the hut

As we began the ascent to Grisedale tarn the wind really started to pick up, as did the number of coast-to-coasters!  Judging by the time of day they had started from Grasmere rather than Stonethwaite (probably a wise move).  We also re-encountered the wind fairies (Canadian C2C-ers we met in the wind near Blacksail) and were all nearly blown off a rock by the gusts coming over the pass.  After a rather soggy section around the tarn, we were quite happy to see the good path descending from Hause gap.  We had intended to branch off on the path down Little Tongue, but distractions (good path, waterfall & lunch stop) meant we missed the path & so we simply carried on down the valley above Tongue Gill to Grasmere.

Windy tarn

We had decided to see if we could have a little adventure on Lake District buses for the return leg to Glenridding, so finding bus timetables was our first priority when we arrived in Grasmere.  As we’d found previously it’s virtually impossible to get public transport from Grasmere to Patterdale, so we opted for returning on foot.  We’d also pondered doing St Sunday crag, but to be honest we weren’t sure if we’d suddenly flag on the way back, or the weather might worsen again, so we chose the low route to be safe.  We stocked up on food (a lovely scone & hot drink in Grasmere plus a cake for the journey), adjusted our waterproofs and headed out for our journey home.  We were soon stripping off jackets & fleeces as the sun came out and we got very warm heading back up to Grisedale tarn.  The climb back up was pretty tough and we were putting down quite a pace as we didn’t want to get back to the tent too late, but it soon got easier and happily the wind had calmed so we had a thoroughly delightful walk back. We opted for the north side of the valley on the return trip and had pretty much only sheep and lambs for company all the way!  It felt quite different walking in the late afternoon sunshine and we were both really pleased we’d walked back; we also felt that by doing it twice we were paying our penance for not doing it on the C2C!  Instead of heading home the way we’d come (via the road) we turned north and climbed up to Lanty’s Tarn; what a beautiful site it was, incredibly tranquil and unlike any other tarn we’ve encountered.

Lanty's tarn 1

Back at the tent we tucked in to our emergency rations (cakes form Grasmere), freshened up and headed to Pooley Bridge for tea.  We’d been looking forward to fish and chips, but had to settle for a very sleepy dinner in the pub.