The succession of tiny basins with intervening breaks coinciding with rock bars or morainic ridges is a attribute of several valleys which as soon as witnessed the passage of ice. Yet another comparable ungraded valley is that of nearby Kent mereLake District Honeymoon Hotel
. Here a much bigger lake when existed in the vicinity of Kent mere Hall in which diatomaceous* deposits steadily accumulated and led in time to its infilling. A key break in the long profile of the valley takes place north of Kent mere Church exactly where a pronounced rock bar, its edge plucked and accentuated by moving ice, is created at the junction of the soft and nicely cleaved Brow gill Slates with the tougher volcanic rocks. Towards this bar, the glacier rested during its retreat stage and laid down a excellent boulder moraine just north of the church. Upstream a additional rock stage occurs near Kentmere Reservoir , despite the fact that the creating of the dam has masked much of this glacially derived feature.
In contrast with the outlying valleys like Kentmere and Lengthy Sleddale, Great Langdale seasoned a a lot fuller and much more extreme glaciation more than a long time period. Lying in the lee of the highest peaks like Scafell and Excellent Gable, the valley head never lacked the hefty snowfall to nurture energetic glaciers. The area also felt the total force of outwardly moving ice streams when the entire central region was blanketed by a much more or much less steady ice dome. Even following the Ice Age had ‘officially’ ended, its upland corries as soon as more saw the growth of tiny glaciers for a short time about 8800 B.C. As at the head of Borrowdale and elsewhere, these grew and in the end spilled over and moved gradually down into the trough finish of Excellent Langdale at Mickleden to a height of only 400 ft.
There the glacier laid down the same agglomeration of hummocky drift, with hillocks and intervening marshy hollows happening above a wide spot . This was but the ultimate dying phase of glacial action in the valley. Earlier a far more intense glacier action had previously transformed what was originally a small V¬shaped valley eroded by standard river action into the Ushaped trough we know today. With its steep rocky sides, scree slopes, abrupt combe finish and marshy floor broken only by rock bars, it fulfils all the requirements of a common glaciated valley. Microfeatures like roche moutonees, wonderful boulder trains left behind following the ice melted and striations* on the exposed rock surfaces, all take place as additional evidence of intense nearby ice activity.
Many of the significant features witnessed by those going to Fantastic Langdale date from a tinle when a wonderful glacier occupied the complete valley throughout the Final glaciation. There is proof to propose that at its highest stage of develop¬ment the upper surface of the glacier lay at a height of about one,400 ft. At this time the snout lay properly past the mouth of Great Langdale. Whilst advancing in the path of Ambleside and the head of Windermere it was continually fed by ice accumulating in its source region about Bowfell. In this active state the sole of the glacier gouged out hollows in the valley floor these later on grew to become the websites of lakes like Elterwater. The existing lake is really considerably the shrunken remnant of a larger unique characteristic. Infilling has taken area and its irregular reedy margins show that the procedure is nevertheless going on and in time no doubt the complete lake will disappear.
This has currently been the fate of a similar lake which as soon as occupied the valley floor upstream from Chapel Stile. The glacier, for all its fantastic erosive powers when at the height of its activity, never ever very succeeded in removing the tougher rock bars which lay across its path as at Chapel Stile and Skelwith Bridge. Each rock bars coincide with beds of a toughened volcanic ash. The ice, by plucking at the properly cleaved slates and jointed lava beds on both side of the rock bars, tended to accentuate the characteristics rather than take away them. With this kind of prominent obstacles in its path the river has been forced to reduce deep gorges by way of the rock bars. That at Skelwith Bridge is well recognized and much visited. Undoubtedly after heavy rain the waterfalls make amazing viewing when observed from the footpath which wends its way up through the wooded glade of the gorge.
Adrian vultur writes for Lake District Honeymoon Hotel