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" Lily Tarn and Loughrigg in the sunshine "

Date & start time: Saturday 21st March 2015, 1.15 pm start.

Location of Start : The Tarn Foot junction, near Elterwater, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 345 040 )

Places visited : Tarn Foot, Lily Tarn, Loughrigg summit and back via Loughrigg Tarn.

Walk details :   4.9 mls,  1200 feet of ascent, 3 hour 45 mins.

Highest point : Loughrigg Fell, 1,101ft - 335m.

Walked with : Ann and our dogs, Harry and Dylan.

Weather : Sunshine and blue skies with just an occasional breeze.

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Despite being such a popular fell, we have only visited Loughrigg twice in the last five years.

We aim to put that right today as the weather is set fair and we've time enough on our hands

to drive down to the southern Lakes and still have a good walk before the end of the day.

Tarn Foot Lodge oversees the start of the track around the back of Loughrigg Tarn,

but we will take a right down the track alongside Harry and return through this gate at the end of the walk.

The bridleway to Ambleside . . .
. . . marked with slate signs to avoid confusion.

We walk away from one tarn and head up towards another.

We aim to walk over to Lily Tarn and then double back over the top of the fell, passing Loughrigg Tarn on our return.

More than a tarn . . . Windermere is the largest natural lake in England

and it comes into view as we gently climb the track heading up the south eastern corner of Loughrigg Fell.

We have to climb but should we take the track or the path ?

We opted to stay on the main track but soon realised we had missed the fine viewpoint.

We climbed up and back on the other side and reached a lovely bench.

No need for a rest yet but we did stop a short while and take in the view of Wetherlam, Great Carrs, The Crinkles, Bowfell and The Langdale Pikes.

A fuller view of Windermere from here too.

A broad track crosses the top of this part of the fell and it was a busy route for people so perhaps the wide machine-made track was justified.

Here only three fellow walkers, but we had passed many more on the way up.

Our objective was Lily Tarn not Ambleside

so about this point we left the main route and headed out onto smaller paths.

The delightful Lily Tarn . . . as beautiful as we remembered it.

We've only been here once before and that was five years ago with Sherran and Bill.

Time for a little lunch I think . . . I'll just take a quick picture before the dogs disturb the reflections.

- - - o o o - - -

As we sat and enjoyed a sheltered lunch spot the reflections on the tarn came and went

as the gentle breeze increased and decreased for reason best known to itself.

Single trees on islands like these are not just coincidence.  

The fact is that they survive because no sheep are able to nibble at the sapling when it is growing.

Looking over the smallest of outflows towards Bowness-on-Windermere as we re-start our walk.

The wind had dropped and the reflections of the iconic tree returned, adding symmetry to a beautiful location.

As we walked round the lake the aspect of the island changed as did the camera's interpretation of the colours.

From the south west . . .
more to the south . . .
 and slightly into the sun from the northern side.

" I see no ships ! "

The tarn in reflective mood as Ann passes the only other human visitor by the lake at this time.

The reflections were being disturbed by the ripples from someone taking a dip !

Then there were two . . .

The only trouble was that Harry was delayed in getting out, stirred up the mud and got extremely dirty !

I wonder who or what delayed him ?

Still, we mustn't delay any more if we are to complete the walk before sunset.

Time to be leaving the lovely Lily Tarn.

Looking north towards the high fells.

That's the Heron Pike - Fairfield - High Pike round, the valley of Scandale and therefore the western slopes of Red Screes.

Calf Cove with the last of the remaining snow on the Rydal Head side of Fairfield.

From our elevated position we can look down on the ever-widening view of the houses of Ambleside.

West now . . . and you have to chose a route through the confusing lumps and bumps of Loughrigg.

Fortunately the summit is the point that looks the highest, so we have a relatively simple point of reference to aim at.

Back across the made-path . . .

. . . and once more onto the natural by-ways of the fell.

Twists and turns bring us alternate views . . . this time we look across to Langdale

and the outline of Bowfell, Esk Pike and of course, the Langdale Pikes.

The top is characterised by a never ending sequence of small tarns . . .

. . . and paths that are totally unable to keep a straight line through the many undulations and outcrops.

A steep climb means we are looking straight into the sun . . .

Dylan in a commanding position on the high ground.

A few minutes later, Ann captures the high ground, as I hold back to capture the summit-bagging photo on Loughrigg top.

A lovely day if slightly blue into the distance due to the fine weather haze.

Looking across to Dunmail Raise, the road pass that separates south from north in Lake District terms.

The first dark shadow is Helm Crag and the one behind it is cast by the summit and ridge of the larger Steel Fell.

Harry the 'sheep' dog . . . as he was referred to later in the day.

He certainly has the slight Herdwick-grey about him after his swim.

On the summit, Dylan and then we met a couple from Lincoln.
They had a retriever, Tessa, the same age as Dylan.

One bouncy one-year-old is bad enough . . . put two together and they run and play like mad.

They went that way but returned this . . . the rocky ground didn't seen to deter them or slow them down in any way.

The more mature Harry refuses to join in these teenage games.

All good things come to an end and it is time to head down from the summit.

Harry's ready  . . . now where's Dylan ?

He's away down the steep pitched path.
Trees find the most improbable place to grow sometimes.

A crack in the rock to nurture the seed, a protective outcrop to deflect the wind, and a bit of luck has allowed it to grow where others have not.

Lower down the fellside growing conditions are easier for the trees

and now we have our first view of Loughrigg Tarn before it is obscured by summer leaves.

Distant Black Crag, seen over Little Loughrigg on the other side of the tarn.

Another lovely example of a vertical hinged gate, similar to the one on our outward track.

This principle of how to hang a gate dates back in time before the introduction of more complicated metal hinges on the side of the uprights.

On the track that traverses around the back of the tarn, Ann finds a well placed seat to pause and enjoy the view.

Wrought iron swirls on the metal fence allude to a more prosperous era of estate management.

We pass on the waterside path in favour of the top track.

Stretched shadows as the sun is getting lower in the sky.

It is nearly 5pm but there's still plenty of daylight left as the days get longer this Spring-equinox afternoon.

Strange curved lines on the track mirror the nature of the old railings,

which bends in and out to give wavy shadows to a seemingly straight fence line.

- - - o o o - - -

We had talked to the group in distance and offered them our rather creased A4 paper map of the area.

They had walked around from Pelter Bridge and were unsure of the way back - basically lost !

It will be a long walk back for them with their young families to the diagonally opposite side of the fell.

The Langdale Pikes make a lovely backdrop to Loughrigg Tarn.

The Pikes again with a foreground of old trees

as we head away from the tarn and back to the car.

Herdwicks in the late afternoon sunshine.

A living willow arch in the garden of The How offers protection

and an element of snugness to the elevated garden bench.

The end of the walk, looking over the wall to the tarn and the high ground that was ours just a short while ago.

- - - o o o - - -

Time to be getting home . . .

It is not often we feel the need to wash the dog after the walk.

In view of the falling temperatures outside, Harry has the rare honour of a warm shower . . . more or less the first of his life.

Normally the are treated to a hose down in the garden if exceedingly dirty.

He's clean . . . but did you see the state of the water !

- - - o o o - - -



Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon Sureshot SX220, or my Nikon P520 digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

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Previous walk - 20th March 2015 - Friday is Eclipse Day

A previous time up here - 8th February 2012 Loughrigg Fell in the Snow

Next walk - 31st March 2015 - Crummock with the Boys