Some of us were up bright and early next morning, outside taking pics well before breakfast...
Looking over the hostel grounds
The River Derwent from Longthwaite Bridge
High Spy and Castle Crag
Eventually the others surfaced and after we had breakfasted we headed off towards our objective - Bessyboot on Rosthwaite Fell. Even though it was still early a heat-haze was beginning to develop:
Heading for the crossroads
The first time I've ever seen this sign dry!
From the crossroads we headed for Stonethwaite, there were plenty of opportunities for the kids to lag behind looking at the newborn lambs:
Beyond Stonethwaite we took the lane above the fields to the crossing of Big Stanger Gill, from where a steep but well-tended and delightful path winds up through Bull Crag Woods towards the notch between Hanging Haystack and Alisongrass Crag. The steepness and increasing heat meant plenty of stops for the kids and hence some photo-opportunities:
Alisongrass Crag and the fells above Watendlath
The path twists and turns between the trees
Looking down on Stonethwaite and the Borrowdale valley
After another pit-stop at the "very awkward stile" and another after the wall-crossing, we reached the open fell and made our way along the track to find a suitable place for lunch. By then the sun was beating down with some ferocity and the SPF50 had to be wielded:
Chris poses for scale
In search of a place for lunch
Curiously-weathered mineral veins
A peek at Eagle Crag
After lunch we crossed the marsh that is the standing source of Big Stanger Gill and made our way around to the perched boulder which marks the start of the easy short pull up to Bessyboot, the summit of Rosthwaite Fell. As you can see, Millie was quite chuffed to have reached her first ever Wainwright summit, so chuffed that I had to take two pics:
Millie and Anna atop Bessyboot
Although Bessyboot is a low summit, it has great views of the surrounding fells:
The two Gables, Base Brown, Brandreth, Grey Knotts and Fleetwith Pike
Tarn at Leaves, Rosthwaite Cam and Glaramara
The Skiddaw group in the distant haze
We left the top and went down to the waterside to catch some rays or to dip toes in the cool clear water. Wainwright says "Tarn at Leaves has a lovely name but no other appeal". I beg to differ - it's a fine place, a wildcamper's delight:
Reeds and weeds
Muggins spoiling the view of the crags around Rosthwaite Cam
Anna took this pic
Anna and Millie after the toe-dipping
Offers to nip up to the Cam for a look-see were declined, so we shouldered the packs again and made off for the track down to Combe Gill.
Rosthwaite Cam and Glaramara again
We had intended to intercept the OS's green-dashed path but it turned out to be a map-maker's flight of fancy. Before long we were going down a worryingly steep grassy and craggy slope on the north side of Dry Gill. Some of the party found this section unpleasant, but our pathfinders were enjoying themselves:
Anna found and photographed some interesting pink rocks in Dry Gill. Not sure what they are but they're different to the other rocks outcropping thereabouts. I suppose I'll have to dig out the BGS map of the area to find out what they are:
Pink rocks in Dry Gill
One more view of Rosthwaite Cam and Glaramara
Eventually we crossed Dry Gill to easier ground and found a fair track that's not marked on the map:
Descending on the south side of Dry Gill, with a great view before us
Chris nearing Combe Gill
After crossing Combe Gill we had a breather. The kids amused themselves by throwing stones from our pathside perch to the gill below, with no other folk about we thought it was a bit of harmless fun until Anna accidentally let one go vertically instead of across and down. With no idea where it would land, we just hunkered down and hoped for the best. After what seemed ages, there was a loud thud and a shower of gravel in the small area around which we were sitting. Lucky, eh? The ensuing rollocking echoed around the fellside but soon we all saw the funny side of it and a course of proper stone-throwing was instigated.
From there it was a simple but delightful walk back to the hostel via Mountain View, over Folly Bridge and along the short via ferrata riverside chain-walk section just as we entered the hostel grounds.
After we'd got ourselves showered and changed we booked in for a superb meal at the hostel and chilled for the rest of the evening before turning in early again to get some rest in preparation for the expected rigours of the next day.
To be continued...