Sunday, June 14, 2015

Coast to Coast Day 3 – Stonethwaite to Grasmere

May 28, 2015

Miles: 8.8

Time:   9:00 - 3:50
Elevation gain: 2,737

Year to date miles:  232.1

Hike description:

Last night our hotel looked out to a sheep farm. I had to wear earplugs because the sheep were keeping me awake! How funny! This morning the people with views to the front of the hotel were awoken to sheep being herded down the road.

We had a shorter mileage day today. It took us a long time to get started in the morning while we tried to decide what to  wear. We ended up putting on layers and taking off layers at least a dozen times today. We had sun, strong wind, showers, and hail. 

As we were starting on our hike, we got to watch a couple of border collies herding around 200 sheep. I loved watching them - so focused and intense. Yet when they weren't working, they were very calm.

Our hike started out with a steady climb up to Lining Crag. We had many stream crossings today. We would also cross waterfalls and hike up waterfalls. The trail was very wet. We had to jump over peat boggy areas as well as sink into them. 

Once we got to Lining Crag the views were crazy incredible. After this our hikes at home will feel dull! No wonder people love the Lake District. 

The navigation after Lining Crag was difficult. Even though we know not to follow other people, I felt glad when we could see people both in front of us and behind us. We had to search for cairns which were hard to see. And often you couldn't see a trail. This was the hardest area to navigate through on the whole trip. In the Lake District, there are no signs for trails. If you are lucky you might have cairns.

We made it to Greenup Edge Pass, where the cairns stop. Again it was very hard to navigate as there wasn't always a trail. The Harvey strip maps really are too low a resolution for my preference. We have just been using the hand drawn maps in the Stedman guide. Not something you could use a compass with, but the notes on the maps are fabulous.

We made it to where the trail splits, offering a high route and a low route. The weather looked good enough to do the high route despite the showers. This is a ridge route with 360 degree views. There are no trees up in the mountains, so the views are just incredible! We both loved today's hike! The ridge walk was very windy. At times, I felt if I let go of my poles they would just fly away. We also had hail on the ridge! And quite the wind chill. On some high points I sat rather than stood because I didn't want to be blown over.

We hiked over Calf Crag, Moment Crag, Gibson Knott, and Helm Crag. They don't seem to call anything a mountain here. Actually England's highest peak is only around 3,200 feet. But that doesn't mean you won't feel on top of the world up there.

We descended down to Easdale and did the Poet's Walk - which is basically the beautiful grounds of the vegetarian Lancrigg Hotel. We continued on to our B&B in Grasmere. We popped in, changed into less muddy clothes and headed into town to look for dinner.

I had heard that the vegetarian hotel's dinner was very expensive and the service poor. We stopped at Greens, which is vegan friendly, but they close at 5, and they had already stopped serving cooked meals when we arrived at 4. We tried the well reviewed Jumble Room, but nothing stood out as vegan. We ended up just going to the Coop, where I picked up a head of broccoli and some Tatziki sauce. Also a small bag of salt and vinegar chips and some chocolate orange Jaffa cookies. Have I mentioned how huge my appetite has been the last two days? I have not been very good about snacking frequently while hiking. We do stop every day on the trail for lunch.

Even though Grasmere is a touristy village with lots of shops, we spent the evening relaxing in our B&B. It was raining on and off all evening and we both just wanted to stay dry.

Video best viewed in full screen mode:


Night: Silverlea Guest House

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