There are many mountain
views that are instantly recognisable on sight even to those visitors who
never set foot on them. Possibly the best known of all may well be that of the
Langdale Pikes which not only dominate the valley whose name they take, but
are additionally seen on the main approach to the area from Windermere, and
even at this distance their bold outline and grandeur is clear to the eye.
From other angles they are not so imposing especially to the north where
their summits may just appear in views from other fells overtopping the
sprawling slopes of Thunacar Knott. This does not in any way lessen their
appeal to walkers, and from the hills above Grasmere right round the southern
half of the district to Bowfell they are a notable presence in the landscape.
It can be fairly stated that the Langdale Pikes are all subsidiaries of
Thunacar Knott, as a study of any map will confirm. The parent fell does not
however measure up in scenic attractions to those of it's dependants, and a
scattering of pleasant rocks and boulders plus a small tarn is the best it
can manage. The main ridge continues north to High Raise the highest point of
this group, and again it is the appeal of the supporting fells that catches
the eye, even if it must be conceded that the view is superior to the others.
Nearby Sergeant Man draws the attention, though it's summit barely rises
above the plateau. It looks down onto the Stickle Tarn basin, and is additionally
part of a popular round from Grasmere. Apart from the wide ridge going north
from High Raise to Ullscarf and the heathery moors between Thirlmere and
Borrowdale, others spring up from Grasmere and Stonethwaite, and provide some
of the most delightful walking to be found anywhere. The most well known will
be the Helm Crag ridge; full of interest and charm which leads to the head of
Far Easedale, where Sergeant Man and High Raise can be accessed. Equally
attractive is the popular ridge from Silver How over Blea Rigg; while the
lesser known one over Tarn Crag is a splendid way to the tops. A tougher
prospect but no less scenically rewarding is the ascent of Eagle Crag from
Stonethwaite. I dont know of a better finish to a summit, but the lower part
is hard work. Considering the fell's position and outline above the valley I
am amazed that so few walkers consider it. I have to sing the praises of
Easedale and Codale Tarns above Grasmere; jewels of their kind which can
easily suggest a long siesta on their shores if the day is sunny and warm.
Try to resist the temptation though, and get on the ridges!