Your small effort climbing Loughrigg Fell, is rewarding not only for a sense of achievement and the experience, but for the wonderful views of the surrounding fells; the panorama sweeps from the Coniston Fells, across the Crikles and Bowfell, in front are The Langdales, then High Raise, Steel Fell and Seat Sandal to Fairfield and its horseshoe grasping Rydal and Ambleside. Loughrigg is a wonderful viewpoint, on each side of the fell are valleys with Rivers Rothay and Brathay, both feed Lake Windermere whilst lakes and tarns abundant, like tiny jewels glittering across this beautiful landscape.
Our circular walk is varied and interesting, starting at Skelwith Bridge, close by, the exciting and powerful Skelwith Force waterfall, we follow the Brathay to Elterwater village along the Cumbrian Way. It’s an easy riverside walk rewarded with magnificent views of The Langdale Pikes, in particular Harrison Stickle and Pavey Ark, whilst our summit for the day (Loughrigg Fell) rests quietly on our right shoulder anticipating our visit later.
After strolling through Elterwater, we cross Elterwater Common, passing the YHA on a heading for Loughrigg Terrace where we get our first glimpse of Grasmere (lake).
Our final ascent starts here, regular rests on the climb afford wonderful views, north to Dunmail Raise, the familiar dip between Steel Fell and Seat Sandal, Grasmere village nestles quietly in the valley bottom and Helm Crag looks tiny against a backdrop of higher neighbouring fells, it is an enticing scene. The climb takes us directly to the summit topped by the stone pillar (trig).
Among the summit rocks I sit in silence, my mind is not wandering aimlessly, I am concentrating, I recall the name of every summit I see, every familiar fell, every valley as I reconstruct a model of this sweeping landscape in my mind, a model I have constructed over the years. In this moment, I reaffirm the familiar, I remember forgotten places, I recall memories of a past. It’s a silent private process transporting me to those special places lodged in my memory, those places ultimately define me. It’s a self-indulgent moment that I enjoy, that I repeat on every summit I visit these days, I’m certain others do something similar. Does this sentimental longing give a different meaning to the landscape, does it mean there is more than just topographical form? Is it now about personal experience, of just being there? Is it about the encounter away from the everyday? It seems to be about now, it’s about me, it’s about you, alone with our own thoughts, living in the moment, living the dream.
The top of Loughrigg Fell is a collection of bracken covered lumps and rocky outcrops connected by many paths, some of the highest spots are marked by cairns and worth visiting, they afford excellent viewpoints of the valley below.