Cam Crag Ridge Walking

Although the most ridge-like thing about it is its name, this fantastic rock feature provides superb scrambling in a scenic but accessible low mountain setting on the flanks of Rosthwaite Fell. This classic route was pioneered back in the age of tweed breeches and hobnails by the prolific Borrowdale enthusiast Bentley Beetham – they don’t name them like they used to. Experienced scramblers will love every metre of it, but on this benchmark grade 2 scramble a rope might not go amiss if you were leading a nervous beginner.

Stephen Goodwin enjoying the impeccable rock of Cam Crag Ridge  © Dan Bailey -
Stephen Goodwin enjoying the impeccable rock of Cam Crag Ridge
Fetching Map

Detailed description

NY2627513689 From Stonethwaite head southeast along a farm track, passing through a rustic campsite beside the wide bouldery course of Stonethwaite Beck. On nearing the buttress of Heron Crag turn right to enter Langstrath. Stay west of the beck on a stony track through the idyllic valley, to reach the gin-clear pool of Blackmoss Pot, a favourite haunt of the wild swimming set.

NY2667711320 Above the nearby floodplain Cam Crag rises in a row of rocky tiers scattered up the hillside to make what can, with poetic license, be described as a ridge. Quit the main path for a fainter one, unmarked on OS maps, that climbs the steep bracken-cloaked slope, passing just right of the lowest pyramidal buttress (optional scramble) to reach a grassy levelling beside a jumble of huge blocks at the foot of the ridge.

NY2620511087 Ascend leftwards through the boulders to a short slabby wall, which gives access to a mini arête. Climb this on good solid holds, then an easier-angled section above leading to the base of a steep little right angled corner. Exposed and strenuous for the grade, the corner is the route's crux; it may be sensible to offer beginners the security of a rope. Above, the angle quickly relents. Short solid scrambling steps and spells of simple walking alternate up the broad crest. At the next major steepening follow blocky holds up a right-slanting fault. The ground then gradually eases, though a last steep wall climbed on slightly questionable angular chunks provides an optional sting in the tail for the confident.

NY2601111302 You're now up among the boggy hollows and craggy knobbles of Rosthwaite Fell, a rugged wee hill with an uncrowded feel. Head roughly north through the maze of hummocks to the pocket peak of Rosthwaite Cam.

NY2558211818 Head for the secluded pool of Tarn at Leaves. Pick up one of several paths at the left side of the tarn, all of which descend northwest towards the hanging valley of The Combe. Stay on the path east of the gill, passing through a series of enclosures. Go right at a fork in the path, dropping into Borrowdale and soon reaching Stonethwaite.

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