YHA hopping in The Lake District - YHA Langdale to YHA Black Sail

The YHA is a great institution and I guess most fell walkers have stayed at a hostel at some time in their lives. Funny how they were created "to help all, especially young people of limited means, to a greater knowledge, love and care of the countryside, particularly by providing hostels or other simple accommodation for them on their travels". Here's a collection of routes starting or finishing at a YHA in The Lakes. Along the way are 8 Wainwrights and 3 tarns.

Technical sheet
No. 2950496
A Lakes walk posted on 03/02/20 by El Sud. Update : 04/01/22
Calculated time Calculated time: 10h10[?]
Distance Distance : 21.33km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 1422m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 1314m
Highest point Highest point : 876m
Lowest point Lowest point : 170m
Difficult Difficulty : Difficult
Back to starting point Back to starting point : No
Walking Walking
Area Area : Lake District
Location Location : Lakes
Starting point Starting point : N 54.438369° / W 3.021593°
Ending point Ending point : N 54.500005° / W 3.244936°
Download : -
YHA Black Sail The summit of Great Gable The trig-point on High Raise looking west

Description

(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 (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 (Wainwright at 541m). Head west then north-west to slowly climb up to Sergeant Man (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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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 to arrive at YHA Black Sail.(A)

Waypoints :
D : km 0 - alt. 178m - YHA Langdale
1 : km 8.02 - alt. 757m - High Raise
2 : km 12.74 - alt. 564m - Angle Tarn
3 : km 17.72 - alt. 876m - Great Gable
A : km 21.33 - alt. 283m - 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).

Other walks in the area

Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
distance 15.11km Vertical gain +308m Vertical drop -406m Durée 5h10 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in Lakes - Cumbria

The YHA is a great institution and I guess most fell walkers have stayed at a hostel at some time in their lives. Funny how they were created "to help all, especially young people of limited means, to a greater knowledge, love and care of the countryside, particularly by providing hostels or other simple accommodation for them on their travels". Here's a collection of routes starting or finishing at a YHA in The Lakes. Along the way are 1 Wainwright, 1 tarn and 1 pub.

Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
distance 19.62km Vertical gain +802m Vertical drop -904m Durée 7h55 Difficult Difficult
Starting point Starting point in Lakes - Cumbria

This is a varied walk with a couple of fells to climb but nothing really difficult. Take care of yourself and look out for wildlife along the way. Just enjoy the journey and make the most of the moment. Along the way are 2 Wainwrights, 2 tarns, 2 pubs and a lake.

Walker
distance 22.44km Vertical gain +1120m Vertical drop -1121m Durée 9h35 Difficult Difficult
Starting point Starting point in Lakes - Cumbria

This variation of the Fairfield Horseshoe starts from High Close on the western edge of Loughrigg Fell. The route follows a clockwise direction offering a different perspective to the normal horseshoe route.

Walker
distance 8.51km Vertical gain +184m Vertical drop -183m Durée 2h55 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in Lakes - Cumbria

In contrast to the great lakes of the Lake District, here are three small lakes that lay south of Elterwater village.

Walker
Lingmoor, Side Pike and Little Langdale
distance 14.4km Vertical gain +574m Vertical drop -572m Durée 5h45 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in Lakes - Cumbria

This is an interesting walk from Elterwater or Chapel Stile.

Walker
Loughrigg Tarn and Loughrigg Fell from Elterwater
distance 6.8km Vertical gain +288m Vertical drop -286m Durée 2h45 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Lakes - Cumbria

This is a short walk with a lot of interest. Despite it not tackling any of the major Lakeland summits the views over Loughrigg Tarn are excellent and the panorama from Loughrigg Fell is one of the best. The descent through the arboretum of High Close and Low Wood maintains the interest. This is a great walk for a half day, perhaps when it has rained and then has started to brighten up.

Walker
distance 10.42km Vertical gain +189m Vertical drop -187m Durée 3h30 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Lakes - Cumbria

This is a low level lakeland walk suitable for a short day. It takes in Elter Water, Skelwith Force and Colwith Force waterfalls before heading through farmland to the impressive Cathedral Quarry. The return leg passes a good pub which serves food and then through the working slate quarry above Chapel Stile.

Walker
distance 12.07km Vertical gain +471m Vertical drop -470m Durée 4h50 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in Lakes - Cumbria

A circular walk from Chapel Stile along the Great Langdale valley to the New Dungeon Gill Hotel. Then an ascent along the pleasant Stickle Gill to Stickle tarn followed by the ascent to Blea Rigg and a return to Chapel Stile along the ridge.

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