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High Close (Langdale) YHA to Black Sail YHA

This walk is part of the trek Six days in The Lake District, five YHAs, twenty-five Wainwrights.

Day 2 of a circular route walking through the Lake District. Eight Wainwrights and three tarns.

Technical sheet
No. 2950496
A Cumbria walk posted on 03/02/20 by El Sud. Update : 22/03/20
Calculated time Calculated time: 9h30[?]
Distance Distance : 13.26mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 4665ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 4311ft
Highest point Highest point : 2874ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 558ft
Difficult Difficulty : Difficult
Back to starting point Back to starting point : No
Walking Walking
Area Area : Lake District
Location Location : Cumbria
Starting point Starting point : N 54.438369° / W 3.021593°
Arrival Arrival : N 54.500005° / W 3.244936°
Download : -


(D) Take the path out of the YHA Langdale to the road and turn left. After the cattle-grid head up the grassy slope to the right and over Dow Bank. At a crossroads of paths, turn right to climb up to Silver How (third Wainwright at 395m). Head west-north-west from the cairn to pass a couple of unnamed tarns and pick up the path past Swinescar Pike and on to Blea Rigg (fourth Wainwright at 541m). Head west then north-west to slowly climb up to Sergeant Man (fifth Wainwright at 736m). If the mist isn't too thick, you should be able to see the Langdales over to the left and Stickle Tarn in front of Harrison Stickle. About 100 yards further on (on the same heading) you should reach High Raise (sixth Wainwright at 762m).

(1) There are some great views from High Raise across to Great Gable and Scafell Pike. Looking right, Eagle Cragg and Langstrath Beck show the way down to Borrowdale. However, our route heads south-west down to Langdale Combe, where we cross over the Cumbria Way before heading up to Lining Crag and along Black Crag to reach Rossett Pike (seventh Wainwright at 651m). Take the path down to Angle Tarn for a well deserved rest.

(2) Angle Tarn is a great place to stop for lunch and paddle your feet. Then it´s onwards and upwards, heading north-west over Tongue Head and up to Allen Crags (eighth Wainwright at 785m). Come back down to the crossroads of paths and the shelter but don't go up to Esk Hause. Rather turn right and go down to Sprinkling Tarn with the great crags of Great End dominating the landscape on the left. Then on again to Sty Head where you should pass by the stretcher box, with Styhead Tarn down to the right. Take the obvious path that quickly gains height above Raven Crag, bearing left when the climb levels out to bring you out onto the top of Great Gable (ninth Wainwright at 899m).

(3) From the main cairn (if the weather allows) take time to visit the Westmorland Cairn to the south and approach (with care) the northern edge looking over Gable Crag down into the Ennerdale valley. There is a plaque at the main summit dedicated to those who lost their lives in the Great War (WWI). You now have an interesting decent to Windy Gap. Great care is required and strong, steady legs are put to the test until level ground is reached. One last climb is required to reach Green Gable (tenth Wainwright at 801m) and have a look back to Great Gable and Great End. The route now heads initially north to avoid Greengable Crag then descends gently to cross Moses' Trod and continue on the grassy slopes between the river Liza and Tongue Beck arrive at YHA Black Sail.(A)

Waypoints :
D : mi 0 - alt. 584ft - YHA Langdale
1 : mi 4.98 - alt. 2484ft - High Raise
2 : mi 7.92 - alt. 1850ft - Angle Tarn
3 : mi 11.01 - alt. 2874ft - Great Gable
A : mi 13.26 - alt. 928ft - YHA Black Sail

Useful Information

Water to refill your bottle is available in the streams but make sure you take some food and fruit before you leave YHA Langdale as there are no shops along the route. Book an evening meal and breakfast at YHA Black Sail to keep the backpack light and enjoy the hot shower. YHA Black Sail is especially convivial as there is little else to do apart from swap some good stories with your fellow hostellers (and maybe plan tomorrows route).

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

Keep an eye on the weather and pace yourself. It's a long day but should be enjoyed, so take time to stop, look and listen. This is the heart of the Lake District and if the weather is kind to you the views are spectacular. Take care coming down from Great Gable and if the weather is bad, don't go up there but head straight for Windy Gap. Pay special attention to the route at Allen Crags as the main path takes you up to Esk Hause (don't just follow the people in front, they may be going up Scafell Pike).

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.