Blea Rigg

Published 11 June 2014

Cairn on the way to Blea Rigg

The date is 3 April 2014. The place is Langdale. And the plan is to do four of Langdale’s lesser known fells, walking from Silver How and ending at High Raise. After tackling the first fell, it was time to walk on to Blea Rigg.

The best walks are so often those where the destination cannot be seen. Where it’s all hidden at the start, but then suddenly you reach a point where it all comes into a focus. A grand reveal as it were. As if someone’s suddenly whisked away the red curtain that was in front of your eyes and gone “ta-da!”, before standing off to one side discretely.

Langdale, oh beautiful, sweet, majestic Langdale. How had I missed it in the many months since I’d last set my eyes upon you. How I ached to be live nearer to it; to be able to visit that lovely valley whenever I wanted. Why did I need to live 300 miles from all this?

Langdale. Oh the folly of ever considering starting this walk in Great Langdale itself. If I had, I would have climbed the hillside with the valley in full view. Yes, it would have been stunning, but I would have been deprived of that glorious moment. The one where I turned a corner and stood, and saw it. Langdale. The moment where I was in heaven once more.

Langdale in the haze

I bounced merrily along the path to Blea Rigg, like a junkie who has just had his fix. Or perhaps – a tad more pleasantly – a lover who has just seen their partner, after been apart for far, oh far too long.

It was a bumpy ridge route that led me on the two mile journey from Silver How. Up and down, left and right. I was never entirely sure quite where I was heading. Just what the top of Blea Rigg looked like, I could never be truly sure. Was it that lump coming up? The one behind it? Or the third, tucked off in the gloom?

More than once I strayed off my path, clambering up a slope, wondering if that bit of raised ground to my side was actually the fell top. And more than once I was wrong. I inevitably am. It’s like I don’t trust my map reading skills. Although that’s no doubt because on a Lakeland fell, nothing ever seems to look quite like what’s on the piece of paper produced by the old Ordnance Survey.

As I strode on, soaking up the wonder of the place, I suddenly heard a yelp and a shout in the distance. Indistinct. Unclear.

Again, there it was again. And again. Was someone calling for their dog? Or was there trouble afoot? I rounded a corner, Easedale Tarn now in view. The shouting seemed to becoming from somewhere down there, but where I couldn’t see anything. And with no idea what was even going on, there was little I could do. I could hardly call the Mountain Rescue team in for what could just be a farmer trying to round up some sheep.

Eventually the frequency of the shouts slowed down. Maybe help had been found. Or the sheep had all been gathered. I never would know.

People on the top of Blea Rigg

An increase in rockiness suggested I was finally near my goal and I rounded a corner to spot the summit, busy with people, all sat in a line admiring views whilst eating sandwiches. I strolled over the summit, admiring the fine and now full view of Easedale Tarn, as well as the Langdale fells nearby.

The seats with the best views had clearly already been bagged but I headed down a short way to get myself out of the wind, to a spot where I could eat my own food and rest a short while. And then, off in the distance I heard that shout again. And again a few minutes later. Still just as unclear. Still just as incomprehensible.

I shrugged. If there was trouble in the hills, there were plenty of people around. People nearer than I was, who could tell what was being shouted. And I sat on a boulder and admired the view. Langdale was over there. And I had some time to spend looking at it.

Next fell: Sergeant Man

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