Glaramara and refined ambitions

Glaramara is one of those fells I always seem to miss out. I guess I probably will have walked it as a kid, but it’s not in the memory banks from recent years.

Doing so would take me towards Esk Hause, with the plan being to carry on over Great End and on to Scafell Pike.

Or maybe on to Esk Pike and Bowfell and down to Langdale. Or maybe down to Styhead and on to Gable. One of the few perks of bus travel is circular routes and fixed plans aren’t a necessity as long as you remember when the last one departs…

This walk had intended to be a ‘calm before the storm’ outing, with gale force winds and heavy snow due to move in later in the day. However, both of these were a heavy enough presence for the duration of the walk as it was.

Hopping off the bus at Seatoller means doubling back along the road for a short section to take the path over Strands Bridge but apart from that you begin to climb straight away, and I was soon up on to Thornythwaite Fell, breaching the snowline and into the wind.

It was certainly more of a buffeting companion than I’d expected this early in the day. Nothing too problematic, just strong enough to make you feel like you’re up a mountain, which is as it should be.

It did however add an annoying element to the walk; constantly scooping up the loose powdery snow and whipping me in the side of the face. You don’t really change direction very much on Glaramara, so after a while it was like being constantly pelted with soft gravel.

Temperament veered between expletive ridden vexation and attacks of giggly silliness as I imagined someone watching me from a distance swearing futilely and pulling down headgear protectively against the attacks of some unseen airborne foe.


I’m always prone to giddiness on grand winter mountain days in soft snow anyway. You can lose control and fall about a bit more and always find a soft landing. As long as you don’t fall off anything too big.

Suspected austerity of pace in the wind and snow was confirmed with a time check at the summit cairn. Initial route ambitions would have to be scaled back. There wasn’t really anywhere else to go until I dropped off Allen Crags to Esk Hause anyway, so I decided I’d re – route then.

It ended up being a severe route shortening, with me taking the direct return route to Seatoller via Ruddy Gill and Grains Gill. Five hours to do just that short circular, but it felt like a good long day in the hills, which is always a good feeling to take home.





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