photo of Mountain with Small tarn hidden
Site 4: Small tarn
How to get here
As per main page instructions. Only one road running along the reservoir below Small tarn.

The car parking is limited and being an extremely popular site means coming early in the morning is an essential and very necessary element if you plan to dive Small tarn.

In the Media Menu click (photo a) to view position of this site. For maximum depth etc please read 'Tigerdive' Grant's report below!

Small tarn is only accessible via Haweswater lake. Plan for this one to take you one and a half hours before reaching it. This is a hard upward hike. Have lots of rest stops along the way. The physical exertion coupled with high altitude may make you feel ill if you are prone to it - I am !!

Small tarn is marginally smaller than Blea tarn. (makes sense to call it small tarn then!!) Both with very similar surrounding terrain of steep, high sided mountains and lots of rubble strewn everywhere from erosion. If these dives appeal to you please be sure to read the warnings at the foot of this document!

The Dive

Well "Tigerdive" have done it again. We dived Small Tarn on 18th May 2008.
So the honors list is Grant Duggan, Dave Slater, Michael Fenwick. Support: Jane Uttley and John Uttley.
Unfortunatley Mick had to pull out as he was urgently required else where so he is very disappointed at missing this. But he is over the moon with what we achieved over the weekend.
We left the Car park at the head of Haweswater at about 8.45am. By10.00am everyone was at the side of Small Tarn.

After an hours rest and chilling out (or getting ones breath back ) we kitted up and entered the tarn.

Walking in shallow water towards the west side, the water gradually became deeper, then dropped right off !

We finned on the descend, but the tarn proved to be only 9m at its deepest. Viz was 4 to 5 metres. Temperature was at 8c.

We discovered that this tarn has a fine silty bottom of peat.
Towards the western side there are dark patches in the bottom looking like algae but wrong colour. We did come across a few algae growths on the bottom towards the south.

Plant life was abundant but small around the edges to about 4m. Life included snails. A good few.
I did see something move fast to get under a rock. But was unable to see what it was. Looked round the rock but saw nothing. we found a couple of dead newts!. Saw a frog and a few tadpoles. Couple of leeches. And there were some strange tracks.
Didnt get any photos as my camera packed in just as we kitted up.

John was supposed to be diving but due to injury could not. So he helped his wife with the support. Not as hard as Grizedale but hard enough. No mean feat. Grant

Hazards to Divers
High altitude leads to little bottom time on this type of dive, added to this the extremely strenuous climb up and then back down. Plus if you have an incident you are in a remote part of the world here without mobile phone use. Need we say any more??

Altitude Dive: Small tarn is at 1837 feet (490 metres)

From webmaster Paul: I went up by myself to check out both the Small and Blea tarn dive site's and bring back the photos carrying nothing more than my camera - I admit I nearly didn't come back due to exhaustion - then again I did both sites in a day. The challenge is the physical endurance required to climb and walk about two miles up and along a very rocky mountain carrying gear. Twisted or broken ankles are a real threat. Slipping on grass and getting bogged down in some areas have to be overcome. The fact altitude has to be considered, hampered by mobiles that do not work and land phones that are several miles away all add up to make this a serious challenge. If I were to plan a dive at Small or Blea tarn, I would have two teams on VHF. a ground team ready to backup the mountain expedition group that would consist of (per diver) three equipment carriers and someone who knows more than first aid!

Alt navigation:-
Small tarn is the unmarked tarn here

Comparative Graphical Temperature Range for Small and Large lakes

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