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Saturday, June 24, 2006

Grasmere to Patterdale

We started off after breakfast to walk the highest point (for us) on the coast to coast, Helvellyn and Striding Edge. The walk up to Grisdale Tarn happened while it was still cool, and we ran into a British couple on the way there, who gave us an explanation of what the various terms were:
  • fell: between a mountain and a hill
  • tarn: mountain lake
  • beck: mountain stream
We arrived at a waterfall, where Lisa & I took pictures, and then split up, with Lisa & I going ahead, since we had Helvelyn to get to. The walk up to Grisdale Tarn was easy and not at all strenous, and once there, I looked for the brother's parting stone, to no avail.

We walked up Dollywagon trail, passing workers who were there to spread stones on the trail to prevent more erosion. Near the top, however, we walked past the start of Striding Edge without noticing. Fortunately, we stopped to eat, and were soon corrected.

For the last couple of days, we'd been warn that Striding Edge was a difficult and scary traverse along the ridge. The descent certainly required a fair amount of scrambling, but once on Striding Edge proper, Lisa simply walked along the ridge easily. It didn't seem that hard at all. We were later to learn, however, that a person had fallen off Striding Edge and sustained severe injuries.

From Striding Edge, we walked to the hole in the wall and descended steeply along Birkhouse Moor and then to a tarmac road where directions once again confused us, but we fortunately were able to ask someone and made it down to the bottom of the valley with no problems. There, I called the Greenbank Farm which gave us directions, which we followed. The Farm was quite a distance from where the trail bottomed out, so we hobbled along, once again footsore from our exertions, but the knowledge of a rest day ahead helped us.

We arrived at the Greenbank Farm, where Peter and a dozen dogs greeted us. Peter told us that he actually owned all the Farmland all the way up to Helvellyn and we had walked past his sheep on the way down. After a shower, he was gracious enough to give us a ride down to the restaurant in Glenriding, where his daughter worked. She gave us a ride home after a much needed meal and we slept well that evening.

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