Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Wainwright’s - Eagle Crag and Sergeant's Crag

Set between the wonderfully picturesque valleys containing Langstrath Beck and Greenup Gill, these two hills looked like they would make a great days walking.  Eagle Crag also looked like it would offer a bit of adventure in the form of some easy scrambling too.

The only slight worry today was that heavy rain was forecast mid-afternoon and added to last night’s rain we were a bit worried about how greasy the scramble would be and if any streams we had to cross would be doable. In the end we decided to avoid the Lining Crag decent route as this would involve an un-bridged stream crossing and instead do a clockwise walk using the bridges over the lower section of Greenup Gill to access Eagle Crag and then drop down off the north western slopes of Sergeant Crag into Langstrath. 

In the company of Graham and Sandra we made our way in pleasant sunshine along the valley from the Chapel House Farm campsite to Stonethwaite.  Here we used Stonethwaite bridge to get us onto the track on eastern side of the beck. 

Ahead we could see Eagle Crag, which looked impenetrable from this angle.

Eagle Crag with Sergeants Crag just visible to the right

This was followed north east up to Smithymire island to a second bridge at the confluence of Greenup Gill and Langstrath beck.

 Looking back the sunshine was already disappearing and the cloud ceiling dropping.

Stonethwaite Beck from the confluence of Langstath Beck and Greenup Gill
Once across the beck we only followed the path for a few metres before branching off to the left.  Crossing the fence via a stile a rather boggy path led alongside a small wood below Bleak Howe.  After passing through a couple of intake walls we then struck steeply up the eastern flank of Eagle Crag.

The short scramble, while a bit greasy was not a problem and made for a really enjoyable way up.

Traverse above the scrambling
Zigzagging up the final metres to the summit the sky began to look rather oppressive.  This suggested that the rain would arrive well ahead of the forecast.

Sergeants Crag from upper section of Eagle Crag
On top after the obligatory summit pose we had a quick break before heading off towards Sergeant’s Crag.

Borrowdale from the top
By the time we reached its summit the rain was falling and the cloud base was well down.

The summit of Sergeant's Crag 
The craggy nature of the ground to the west meant a direct descent could not be made into Langstrath so we followed the broad ridge south for a km or so towards Brown Crag. Once beyond this we made our way diagonally down steep ground to pick up the Cumbria Way. This was followed for the last leg to the campsite.

Heading down Langstrath on the Cumbria Way

With these 2 hills in the bag we have 50 left to go.

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