Day Three - Rosthwaite to Grasmere  

    Wednesday 29th  April 2009

Lining Crag

Today we conspired to make a late start.  This was helped by a rather strict 8:30- 9:00 breakfast time, but we then loitered for an hour.  It was a strange place, but on balance we gave it 9 out of 10.

We finally started walking at 10:00.  The morning's climb was functional, we soon got into a rhythm and two hours later we had managed four miles and 700m of climbing.  Half way up we passed the foreign group we saw two days ago.  I've now revised my opinion and think they are Dutch.  We made steady progress past them and didn’t see them again until well after we had arrived in Grasmere.  The 'big' climb had ended with a sharp pull to the top of an escarpment called 'Lining Crag'.  This gave a glorious view westwards and would have been worth a stop, however the weather had become windy and neither of us felt like hanging around too long.  Therefore, after a quick halt almost in deference to the panorama, we started the final half mile to the high point of Greenup Edge.

Quickly the going changed and it became boggy – to such an extent that the path became indistinct.  I had taken a compass bearing and followed it, so we were able to get to the other side of the mire as efficiently as possible.  It would have been so easy to veer of to the drier ground on the left and later we spotted a trio which had done just that,.
The way down from Greenup was, however, not pleasant.  It was either rocky or boggy.  Rocky and boggy meant that you did, at least, have stepping stones.  We were still feeling OK, so decided to take a slight detour to Steel Fell, adding a couple of miles to the day.  We slanted off to the left and that was when the wind hit us.

The prevailing wind was obviously southern and we had finally reached the point where we were no longer protected by the hills.  We continued to make steady progress, but it was always head down with the occasional involuntary lateral lurch. 

The strongest gusts were reserved for the top of Steel Fell, but on the positive side there were some glorious views of Thirlmere, Helvellyn, Seat Sandal and the Helm Crag ridge.  We also saw a low flying RAF plane go along the valley, but rather than being a fighter bomber, it was a small two engined turboprop, a bit like a cargo plane.  After five minutes we started our descent down to Grasmere and the further we descended the less windy it became.

Once off the fell it was another mile to Grasmere and we made our way along a quiet lane arriving at about 2:50.  We just sat on a bench for ten minutes and then went to the Co-op to buy a late lunch.  That done we checked into the hotel. 

We didn't do a lot for the rest of the day.  I slept for an hour and David did some puzzles.  We had dinner in the hotel's public bar at about 7:00.  David again went to bed early while I retired to the hotel lounge with a book and large whisky.