Raven Crag

Name of walk Raven Crag
Date of walk 2018-06-23

On Saturday Brendan and I drove to the north end of Thirlmere, parking opposite the dam road. We were going to walk up to Raven Crag for what should have been a two mile, under two hour walk, but turned out to be a seven mile, five and a half hour walk!

01

Looking across to Raven Crag from the walk towards the dam from the main road.

02

The fallen trees are visible from here. I knew there was still storm damage on the west side of Thirlmere, but had not realised how extensive it was north of Thirlmere too.

03

Walking across Thirlmere dam with Raven Crag directly ahead.

04

Thirlmere is a reservoir for Manchester.

05

View down Thirlmere from the dam.

06

View from the start of the road down the west side of Thirlmere, currently closed due to storm damage.

07

Uprooted trees litter the fell side, even north of Thirlmere.

08

09

This would have been our way up. Only forty minutes to the summit, but it is still closed due to the fallen trees and the hazardous conditions. If we want to go up we will need to go round the base of The Benn and up the side of Shoulthwaite Gill, and summit from the west side. An easy, but much longer walk, as most of it is on logging vehicle roads. I have descended via this route twice before, so we decide to continue on.

10

Looking across to Castle Rock, with the Dodds behind.

11

Cordulegaster boltonii, the Golden-ringed dragonfly in Shoulthwaite Moss.

12

Walking along the base of The Benn through Shoulthwaite Moss. This is usually the starting route of the Keswick to Barrow Walk, but not this year, due to the closure of the west side of Thirlmere.

13

Skiddaw and Lonscale Fell.

14

View back as we trudge up the track.

15

We take a detour up to The Benn and the view down Thirlmere.

16

Finally we reach the spot where the routes up converge for the final pull up to the summit. The path has been redone since my last ascent, as have the steps at the top.

17

An excellent new boardwalk.

18

The view back.

19

As nice as it is, the new railed platform seems a bit 'nanny state'. I used to love the precipitousness, sitting on the rock edge with my legs dangling over the edge. We meet the first people we had seen all day. They had come over from High Seat and were now heading for Armboth Fell.

20

All the old trees have now gone, opening up the view. Helvellyn on the left.

21

Blencathra left, and Clough Head across.

22

The Dodds with the dam below.

23

Looking down on the dam and Great How.

24

We defy the platform and carefully move further down to the rock edge to enjoy the views. The route up had taken three hours, but for this type of walking I'm still using my crutches, as I don't want to risk any injury to my new knee! So take at least an hour off that time if you want to follow this easy route up.

25

Looking towards Dunmail Raise. Sitting with my knee bent I notice that its swelling either side of the scar, so we don't sit for very long.

26

The long trudge down!

27

Moss covered rocks. The moss looks to be the only thing preventing them from sliding down.

28

The track continues on.....

29

.....and on....I don't remember this path being so long. My knee is fine, but my palms are killing me. Crutches are most definitely not designed for this type of activity!

30

We cut the corner off the return by taking the footpath through Bridge End Farm.

31

Crossing the gill.

32

After the walk we take a short drive to the Kings Head for a well deserved meal.

The walk was a lot longer than I would have liked at this stage in my knee recovery, but the alternative would have been several hours of shopping in Keswick. I think I made the right choice! Sometimes you just have to push the boundaries! My knee has been fine, but my upper body and arms are still aching. I still managed two bell ringing sessions on Sunday morning, despite my arms protesting. I’m now thinking what mountain to do next! 🙂

Jo.

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