Saturday, August 10, 2013

Angle Pikes and Tarn - The best on the list.

Sometimes perhaps it is the time of day and the light but the view of Angle Tarn from Angle Pike was one of the best new Lakeland scenes I have enjoyed for a while – I can’t wait to enjoy this walk again.

We weren’t able to set out to the walk until after 4.00pm but as the day had been a little overcast it was now improving at pace. The Ullswater Valley is close enough to Wetheral Cottages to be just a short journey to the start of our walk. Parking the Car in a small lay-by at Bridgend on the A592 between Patterdale and Hartsop we could easily pick out our starting route, after crossing the valley bottom a steady climb saw us up to Boredale Hause (the col between Angle Pikes and Place Fell). We stopped on the way up to pass the time of day with a shepherd who was assessing the whereabouts of a ewe and lamb in preparation for a gather (bringing the sheep off the fell) the following day in preparation for clipping (shearing) the following day.

Angle Tarn from Angle Pike
 Wool this marvellous natural fibre but the Herdwick and Swaledale sheep which are the main breeds in this terrain produce a rather coarse wool. Recently much research has been undertaken into alternative uses and we now find it used as house insulation but traditional garments woven or knitted with Herdwick wool still benefit from the weather proof properties of the basic product.

From Boredale Hause we swung right the path becoming a bit more rugged and our expectations to see Angle Tarn became more eager. Our first good view of the tarn came from the top of the first of the two Angle Pikes, the light on the tarn and the surrounding fells made the scene worth the effort. The rain the day before had cleared the air and from this vantage point we could clearly see, Penrith, the Dumfriesshire Mountains to the north and towards the southeast High Street, round to Helvellyn in the west. Brothers Water (always thought it a funny name for a lake!) glistened up at us as well. We were ready for a drink so bagged the second Pike and then found a sunny crag overlooking the tarn for
 our break.

Brothers Water from Angle Pike
Knowing the route we had chosen took us well beyond the tarn, we were not able to enjoy the view for perhaps as long as we would have wished, so descending from this crag to the tarn we were able to follow a newly laid path along the edge of the tarn but this soon gave way to a route that was a bit indistinct and then back onto a newly laid path. Stopping a couple of times to check the map to ensure our instincts were taking us in the right direction we soon saw Hayeswater in the distance, then once it was below us we found the path down, this being the aim of our decent and from where we were to follow the service track back to Hartsop.

Reaching Hartsop the walk had already taken us just over 4 hours a little longer than planned and yet the terrain had not been difficult but there was still good light as we took the path to Patterdale which led back to our car. Yes even if we were just to climb up to the pikes and paddle in the tarn the walk gave some of the best views I have seen for a long time. Angle Tarn we will be back.

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