Lake buddies do Helm Crag

Today’s route…   

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Today was another outing for the Lake Buddies, unfortunately a few couldn’t make it, they were sorely missed by Emma, Julie, Scott, Craig, and I.
So as it was we were more like the famous five today, rather than the naughty nine 😂
Today’s route was planned at 13km up on to Helm Crag, along the tops overlooking Easedale Valley, and dropping down to Easedale Tarn, before returning to Grasmere for the world famous gingerbread 👍
However when we got there Emma decided we should mix it up a bit and do the route in reverse…..
So somehow it became 15km?
Good call Emma 😄

So off we set from the beautiful village of Grasmere…..my only gripe of the day being that you have to pay 20p to pee in the car park toilets!!! The machine said it took 10, 20, 50, and £1 coins. I inserted 50p fully expecting 30p change….. I didn’t get it!! So 50p to pee it was 😯
I thought about hanging around the toilets for another 5 mins or so to get my money’s worth, but to be honest it seemed to make the other Gentlemen peeing quite uncomfortable; and the rest of the buddies were eager to get started on the walk….
So off we went…..
Grasmere is the most visited village in the lake district largely due to it being the home of William Wordsworth, a famous English poet apparently?
I’m not a lover of poetry but I did read up a little of his work a week or so ago…
Here’s an extract from his most famous piece…

I WANDERED lonely as a cloud That floats on high o’er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils; Beside the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Now whether I’m still miffed over my toilet faux pax or not…..but I think it’s a bit rubbish!!! Each to their own 😂
I will try my own hand at poetry a little later on in the blog..

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Looking back down the valley from Sour Milk Ghyll

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Sour Milk Ghyll

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Emma got us all to pose at the waterfall

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A more comfortable pose…

Its a nice pleasant walk from the village up to the first POI(point of interest) Sour Milk Ghyll waterfall. Surprisingly it has been quite dry of late in the lakes, so the waterfall was not as impressive as it can be in full spate, but still a lovely place to stop for photos(see above)
On from there it’s a clear path all the way to Easedale Tarn. The weather was a bit overcast with the odd bit of blue sky poking through, but it was still very warm. By the time we reach the Tarn the temptation to go for a dip was too strong….
So in we went…

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Julie trying her synchronised swimming routine…

We stayed at the Tarn for a good 30 to 45 mins. For me it’s these kind of things that make everything ok in the world. Splashing around in the glacial meltwater on the side of a mountain with good friends. How can you not release the worries we all carry around with us. Even just for 45 mins, it’s a great stress buster 👍
Unless of course like Julie you bought your walking trousers from sports direct….but that’s a different story haha.
Needless to say I’d not want to be the Manager of Teeside Park on Monday morning 😄

For the first time on our Lake Buddies walks I was about to enter new territory. All of our previous walks have been past walks that I’ve done solo.
I’ve been to both Helm Crag and Easedale Tarn before, but never up the valley or on to the other tops of today. It’s always nice to get your feet on to new Rock 😆
We headed off in to the valley in search of the footpath that would take us to the far end of Easedale Valley, chatting to the many other outdoor lovers that crossed our paths on the way.
That’s something else I love about this pastime….most people will stop and ask where you’ve come from, where you heading, how are you enjoying your walk?
It brings out the best in people and encourages conversation.
I can’t remember the last time I walked down Darlington high street and told a total stranger I’d come from Argos and was now on route to Greggs on this pleasant day. Maybe that’s what we should do? The world would be a better place for it 👍

When we walk as a group we always tend to talk about a particular subject. In the past its been food, exercise, we’ve even had the odd sexual fetish thrown in there(this goes hand in hand with food)
Today it was sheep inspired puns. They came thick and fast!!! Thick as the sheep’s wool, and as fast as Julie after she ate a full pack of refreshers after an isotonic fluid gel drink haha

The first was when we were trying to identify a layer of oil on most of the puddles on the valley floor. We decided it must come from the sheep’s coat when they walk through the puddles, or lay in them to cool down….

So oil of ewe-lay it was 😂😂😂
Sorry
We then made an observation of how many black sheep were around on today’s walk…..according to Emma…. its not un-ewe-sual to see that many 😂😂
They got worse so I’ll leave it there before I get lambasted…..stop!!!!!!

A few more pics of the walk….

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Heading up the valley

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Strike a pose…

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Julie and Craig heading up the valley

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Crossing calf crag..

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Chatting to fellow walkers

We met many walkers today. A group of Americans were over here doing the coast to coast. A 192 mile trek across 3 national parks. Starting in the west and heading to East. People come from all over the world to this beautiful corner of  England… it took us 90 minutes to get here…how lucky are we 😆

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A group shot of the five of us.

The above photo was taken by a lovely woman who bore an uncanny resemblence to Griff Rhys Jones

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But without the beard obviously

I was tempted to ask if she was related but thought better of it….. it was a long way down if she decided to throw my phone!!!!

I like to catch some natural shots of the guys when they’re not expecting it. Sometimes these are the best ones.

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The staged ones are equally as good 😅

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We set off again on our way to Helm Crag, which would be our final summit of the day (and only Wainwright)

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There’s them black ones again…

It was a long slog along the tops as the path faded in and out, and Helm Crag didn’t seem to be getting any closer!!
Time was getting on now so we went for a final push to the summit.

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Last sheep shot……
Once on the summit of Helm Crag there is one more challenge to do……
The true summit is to stand on top of ‘The Howitzer’, the highest point of Helm Crag.

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The great Alfred Wainwright, legendary fell walker never got to the true summit. He left a footnote in one of his guidebooks for the day he went back to climb it….it still remains blank. A shame he never got to the very top 🙁

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I’m pleased to say that I did make it 😆

After a brief rest on the lower summit of Helm Crag We set of on the final leg of our walk, often the hardest part for me…the descent. Thankfully HC is than that high, and the views over Grasmere more than compensate for the pain in my knees.

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Once back down in to Grasmere it was time to go all touristy haha. We visited the gingerbread shop(world famous), then on to the Wordsworth spa and hotel for a well deserved drink

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As we were missing a few members today we raised a glass for them, and also introduced a new ‘Lake buddy’ to make up the numbers…..

Meet Ginge…..

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Ginge will be coming on all future walks with us.

So back to Wordsworth and poetry.

My own take on his famous work… ..

I used to wander lonely as a cloud
But now I walk with an amazing crowd
The love of this beautiful place has brought us together
And I wish the Lake Buddies could go on for ever
But alas, one day, we’ll not be able to climb that last mile
And all we can do is look back and smile.
We will remember the laughs
And sometimes the tears
And these memories will transport us back there for years.
Thank you Lake Buddies for making our friendship so deep
But please, for the love of God no more jokes about sheep!!

Until the next time

Scotty out 👍

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