walkhighlands

This board helps you to share your walking route experiences in England and Wales... or overseas.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

The Mighty or Terrible Yewbarrow

The Mighty or Terrible Yewbarrow


Postby mountain coward » Sun Oct 25, 2009 3:46 am

Wainwrights included on this walk: Yewbarrow

Hewitts included on this walk: Yewbarrow, Yewbarrow North Top

Date walked: 25/10/2009

3 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Yewbarrow has to be the most challenging mountain in Lakeland and, depending on your level of confidence, or even how you’re feeling that day, can be either mighty or terrible – I’ve had one day of each! For a little ‘un (just over 2000 feet) it’s a toughie!
The Mighty Yewbarrow!.jpg


I did this as my second Wainwright – a really silly mistake but I think I wanted to get it out of the way. I followed it the same afternoon by Scafell, including clambering onto Pisgah and peering down into the abyss – ending up having terrible nightmares all night!
Scafells fm Wasdale.jpg
The View from the Start of the Climb


My first trip up Yewbarrow, we parked in the carpark at the foot, booted up and I set off quickly – not giving myself time to back out. After the steep grassy nose, you go up a rocky zigzag by the foot of Dropping Crag and then head up gullies or a buttress (I chose the loose gully). At the top of the loose, nearly vertical gully, I knew I couldn’t go back down so had to continue. I then went up the left-hand steep scree path and missed out ‘The Great Door’ (Richard went for a peep). After that there is a steep, narrow, rocky ridge which eventually widens to a walk across a wide grassy summit ridge to the cairn.
Yewbarrow Route.jpg


I knew at that point my problems were nowhere near over though as then there is the infamous ‘Stirrup Crag’ to get down. To cut a long story short, I ended up refusing to go down a big step out over the 2000 foot drop into Mosedale valley and sat down refusing to move. Richard told me to ‘Wait for the helicopter then’ and continued his descent. Luckily two guys saw this and sent him back up for me telling him he couldn’t leave me there! He then found me a sensible (the proper) route down various small chimneys from one ledge onto another. Being long and with a good reach, I found it fairly plain sailing to sit on a ledge and lower myself to the next one – plus we were over the col which was probably only a 100 foot or so below us.
Stirrup Crag (dark).jpg


Fast forward quite a few years – I was having a good year. We’d decided to go up Red Pike and Scoat Fell to do the Mosedale Round and set off up Yewbarrow’s grassy ridge again to take the Overbeck Path below Yewbarrow up to the Dore Head col. I had a sudden urge to go up Yewbarrow again – despite a fairly new broken rib I was feeling very adventurous. I communicated my desire to Richard who stopped and stared at me in shock and disbelief. “But you don’t like Yewbarrow’ he said... “I do today” I said, “we’re going up...” “Fine by me” he said and we diverted off up the rocky zig-zag once more.
Wasdale fm Yewbarrow.jpg
The start of the buttress/gully choice (not the buttress you can see)...


There was a couple ahead – he was up the buttress and waiting for her – she seemed to be making quite a meal of the buttress. I ignored the scree gully this time and scrambled enthusiastically after her up the buttress. I was hell-bent on zooming past her, completely forgetting about my rib momentarily... by the top of the buttress I was getting quite a painful reminder from it! But I’d won – I was in front...

This time I took the right-hand steep scree path up to the Great Door and onto the peak to its right – quite an airy vantage point! We then both clambered down to the narrow neck round the Great Door and up the next airy and narrow vantage point.
Yewbarrow-Great Door.jpg
Yewbarrow-Gt Door.jpg
Yewbarrow retrospect.jpg
Wow! I was there a moment before!
The lady who’d been on the buttress wasn’t looking keen but went up both. She was definitely doing more clinging on than me though as this time I was totally confident and happily clambering about.

From there we went up the narrow rocky ridge into the teeth of a gale, at times having to go on hands and knees until we got onto the wider bit as the wind was trying to pluck us off the ridge and hurl us back down.
Yewbarrow end.jpg
Looking back while having a break from the gale
We battled against the wind to the summit and then headed off for Stirrup Crag once more.

This time it was my turn to be the confident one – Richard was going down in front (as is customary for us) but he kept getting a bit stuck and wondering where to go next. I was leaning right out over the drop and looking for his hand and footholds – by now he really thought I’d flipped. We bounded down the crag which finishes with quite an awkward stride round a huge bulge above the final drop onto the steep scree – I thought it was great fun as I squeezed past it.
Stirrup Crag route.jpg
Looking back up from the base of the crag
Yewbarrow-Stirrup Crag.jpg


Then it was all over and we continued on the rest of the Mosedale Round (which I don’t really intend to talk about here). The only other ‘incident’ of note was on the walk back along the road under Yewbarrow back to the car.

After completing the round, we were strolling along the road by the side of Wastwater when Richard shouted and thumped me really hard in the back. Apparently I’d been completely asleep and was walking in the middle of the road in front of a car! This happened several times as, for some reason, I really couldn’t stay awake all the way back along the road and was staggering mostly down the middle. It’s funny that you can still continue walking, with your eyes open, but be totally unconscious – but you can – just not very accurately! Must have had a bad night’s sleep the night before or maybe it was all the excitement at the start!
Yewbarrow fm Illgill.jpg
Not the same walk - from across the valley...
Wastwater at dusk.jpg
Night Night.jpg
mountain coward
 

Re: The Mighty or Terrible Yewbarrow

Postby AndrewP » Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:09 am

Looks like an interesting walk.
Lovely pics, esp. of the Wastwater.
User avatar
AndrewP
 
Posts: 83
Munros:3   
Grahams:1   
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:1   
Joined: Jul 22, 2009
Location: Hall Village, ACT, Australia

Re: The Mighty or Terrible Yewbarrow

Postby susanmyatt » Sun Oct 25, 2009 2:06 pm

Great walk, my husbands really wants to do this walk but suspects he won't stand where the lady is, it looks a bit exposed, we have the Fred Talbot series and he shows this walk, its a good dvd, thanks Sue :D
User avatar
susanmyatt
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 438
Hewitts:95
Wainwrights:141   
Joined: Feb 3, 2009

Re: The Mighty or Terrible Yewbarrow

Postby mountain coward » Sun Oct 25, 2009 10:47 pm

Well you can go on the scree path to the left and miss out the Great Door bit, which is what I did the first time. But I can't say it's a pleasant mountain for anyone without a head for heights as the scramble up the loose gully or the buttress is extremely steep and not confidence inducing. I definitely wouldn't say Stirrup Crag was much fun for anyone who lacks confidence at all - I only enjoyed it that day 'cos I'd flipped somehow (I get those moods sometimes) - I don't think I'd want to make a habit of going up Yewbarrow really. Also I would say Stirrup Crag's normal route down the ledges and chimneys is probably fairly hard for someone smaller than me (I'm 6 foot) as there were some quite long reaches (unless you're happy to drop onto ledges). But I'm sure smaller people manage it - Richard is only about 5 foot 8 and he manages it - but he definitely finds it physically harder than I do because of some of those long reaches.

There is another route from about 2/3 of the way along Overbeck below Yewbarrow. You can rake across rough ground and grassy bits to the summit cairn. I would only do that on a clear day I think as you can't afford to choose the wrong route back down that side again so you would need to find the exact route back.

It's a pretty well-defended peak really...
mountain coward
 

Re: The Mighty or Terrible Yewbarrow

Postby john923 » Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:08 pm

Nice report mc. We did Yewbarrow a couple of years ago but I don't recall that we had too much difficulty on the Stirrup Crag descent. My wife is petite and finds some scrambles fairly tricky where others would have no problem, but we managed this ok. I think it's one of those sections that look more intimidating looking back at where you've come from than in the actual doing.
Cheers, john.
john923
 
Posts: 196
Munros:16   Corbetts:9
Grahams:6   Donalds:11
Sub 2000:12   Hewitts:221
Wainwrights:168   
Joined: Apr 20, 2009
Location: Worcestershire

Re: The Mighty or Terrible Yewbarrow

Postby mountain coward » Fri Nov 06, 2009 2:35 am

There's probably several routes down really - maybe she did the one I refused to do the first time! :)
mountain coward
 

Re: The Mighty or Terrible Yewbarrow

Postby sipatterson3899 » Sat Nov 14, 2009 9:56 pm

Great report mc. I've always been fascinated by yewbarrow. My first ever trip to Lakeland was some 14 years ago and was to wasdale. Ever since I've wanted to do it but people keep saying it's not a good idea! Maybe next spring when the weather is better!
User avatar
sipatterson3899
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 7
Hewitts:16
Wainwrights:13   
Joined: Mar 9, 2009
Location: Lancashire

Re: The Mighty or Terrible Yewbarrow

Postby mountain coward » Sun Nov 15, 2009 9:16 am

I would definitely only do in non-snow/ice times myself, but then I'm not a confident winter walker yet... It is a fascinating mountain but doesn't have much in the way of escape routes if you decide you hate it (like I did the first time). You could always take someone more experienced with you if you've any doubts...
mountain coward
 

Re: The Mighty or Terrible Yewbarrow

Postby fedupofuserids » Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:46 pm

As I said MC it looks steep, but I'm sure some of that is just the camera angle.

Must find time to read more of your reports, there is always that bit of drama and comedy in them !
Your Scotland reports will be the most useful to me once I start walking properly in Scotland again .
fedupofuserids
 
Posts: 835
Joined: Mar 24, 2010

Re: The Mighty or Terrible Yewbarrow

Postby colgregg » Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:14 pm

New postby fedupofuserids on Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:46 pm
As I said MC it looks steep, but I'm sure some of that is just the camera angle.

No fedup It really is bloody steep. I've done a lot of descents (as we all have) and coming off Yewbarrow Via Great Door and the gully mentioned is the worst I've encountered. I swore I'd never do it again. The walk along the summit is great and the views over Wastwater and Wasdale head impressive but I'd rather go up and down Stirrup Crag than face that again. Was even more annoyed when I slipped and put a rip in my brand new Peter Storm trousers. M.C. I'd have slapped Richard about a bit for leaving you like that!!
084.JPG
Just about to drop off the Southern end of Yewbarrow.
colgregg
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 2182
Munros:15   Corbetts:5
Grahams:5   
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:182
Wainwrights:214   
Joined: Aug 25, 2009
Location: Richmond North Yorkshire

Re: The Mighty or Terrible Yewbarrow

Postby houdi » Mon Oct 25, 2010 11:17 pm

"I did this as my second Wainwright – a really silly mistake but I think I wanted to get it out of the way. I followed it the same afternoon by Scafell, including clambering onto Pisgah and peering down into the abyss – ending up having terrible nightmares all night!"

Not sure I understand the connection between Scafell and Pisgah, MC. Pisgah is part of Pillar Rock. Are you saying you climbed up on top of Pisgah. I've done this several times and, even though it wasn't particularly difficult (for me) I'm pretty impressed if you did.
Sorry about the "quote" thing, I still haven't worked out how to use that facility properly.
houdi
Rambler
 
Posts: 288
Munros:93   Corbetts:1
Grahams:3   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:2   Hewitts:74
Wainwrights:48   
Joined: Aug 29, 2010
Location: South Devon

Re: The Mighty or Terrible Yewbarrow

Postby colgregg » Mon Oct 25, 2010 11:29 pm

No houdi, M.C. is spot on. Scafell also has it's own Pisgah. Still ought to be well impressed though, looks an awesome spot. see the text below.
The actual summit of Scafell is a little disappointing after what you will have seen on the journey to get here. But a couple of hundred metres or so to the North and it's a different story. You're above the gills that cut deeply into the vertical cliffs with jaw dropping views into them. Deep Gill Buttress rises to your left from the depths below. Scafell Pinnacle and Pisgah rise in front of you - Rock archtiecture at it's best!

It's possible to scramble onto Deep Gill Buttress and onto Pisgah for an amazing photo opportunity.

Pisgah-and-Scafell-Pinnacle.jpg

Pisgah-Scafell.jpg
colgregg
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 2182
Munros:15   Corbetts:5
Grahams:5   
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:182
Wainwrights:214   
Joined: Aug 25, 2009
Location: Richmond North Yorkshire

Re: The Mighty or Terrible Yewbarrow

Postby icemandan » Tue Oct 26, 2010 12:38 am

Its biblical and means mountain top or cleft.

And Moses went up from the plains of Moab unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that is over against Jericho.". Deuteronomy 34:1

although what Moses was doing in North Wales I'm not entirely sure.

Returning to Yewbarrow, I always include it on the Mosedale horseshoe to avoid the appalling slithery descent from Dore Head.
icemandan
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 447
Munros:257   Corbetts:26
Grahams:13   Donalds:13
Sub 2000:16   Hewitts:200
Wainwrights:214   Islands:33
Joined: Jun 30, 2010
Location: Kendal

Re: The Mighty or Terrible Yewbarrow

Postby mountain coward » Tue Oct 26, 2010 8:42 am

Yeah, like Colgregg says, there's more than one Pisgah - the one on Scafell is actually an extremely easy scramble - if it can be classed as a scramble at all. I wouldn't say it was that airy either - just when you look over the edge of it towards Scafell Pinnacle and the big drop to Hollow Stones - then it is!

And yeah, I think I should really have slapped Richard about a bit. He doesn't often leave me and is very good nowadays - I did give him a pretty stiff rollocking though when we got back! It was pretty early on in our walking career and I think he just didn't have the patience or understand what was going through my head as he was so confident from the start about scrambling.

I've never been down the Dore Head Screes and I can't imagine anything which would induce me to do so - it's looks scarily steep - and steep and loose I just hate! I always use the Overbeck route between Yewbarrow and Red Pike - maybe longer but much nicer...
mountain coward
 

Re: The Mighty or Terrible Yewbarrow

Postby houdi » Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:00 am

All is clear now. Actually, if you look at my Walk Report on the Scafells, my mate Stu took a photo of me on top of Scafell Pisgah which I posted as one of my route photos. And, of course, I came up via Deep Gill Buttress, or the gulley scramble inside it at any rate. Personally, I prefer Scafell to The Pike. Okay, the true summit is a bit detached but it's altogether a more interesting mountain with better routes to the summit if you're prepared to be adventurous. And Yewbarrow is excellent but I was under the impression it was part of the Mosedale Horseshoe anyway. If not, that just leaves Pillar and Red Pike which is a pretty poor horseshoe. Totally agree about Dore Head and I said as much in a recent Mosedale Walk report. Can't imagine why anyone would want to venture down (or even up) those screes when there is a perfectly good (and safe) valley route behind Yewbarrow.
houdi
Rambler
 
Posts: 288
Munros:93   Corbetts:1
Grahams:3   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:2   Hewitts:74
Wainwrights:48   
Joined: Aug 29, 2010
Location: South Devon

3 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Next



Walkhighlands community forum is advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Outside Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests