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.

Ennerdale Horseshoe

Ennerdale Horseshoe

Postby yellowbelly » Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:57 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Crag Fell, Great Borne, Green Gable, Haycock, High Crag, Pillar, Red Pike (Buttermere), Scoat Fell

Hewitts included on this walk: Great Borne, Green Gable, Haycock, High Crag, Pillar, Red Pike (Buttermere), Scoat Fell

Date walked: 10/06/2011

Time taken: 14

Distance: 35.8 km

Ascent: 2687m

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

There are several interpretations of a horseshoe walk around Ennerdale, but I chose to follow as closely as possible the route used by the annual fell race. I did the walk with our friend Lynda to whom I am grateful for taking these photographs.
We set off from Bleach Green car park just after 6am and soon reached the outflow of Ennerdale Water with Great Borne our first objective in the distance.
EH walk 018.jpg

Looking back to Crag Fell, our final objective, with our starting point at the end of the lake on the right of the photo.
EH walk 019.jpg

After Great Borne we skirted round the North side of Starling Dodd where it started raining. The view back reveals Mellbreak, Whiteside and Grasmoor with Crummock Water.
EH walk 021.jpg

Up onto Red Pike (Buttermere) where the Loweswater fells can be seen in the far distance with Hen Comb and Mellbreak a little nearer - Loweswater and Crummock Water.
EH walk 022.jpg

Here we are on Red Pike summit where the rain has stopped for the time being.
EH walk 023.jpg

We skirted round High Stile on the Ennerdale side which produced this view up the valley to Green and Great Gables, Kirk Fell and Pillar, with the Scafells beyond.
EH walk 026.jpg

Route finding proved difficult after this point but we eventually managed to regain the ridge before High Crag summit. View from High Crag to Hindscarth, Dale Head and Fleetwith Pike with the Helvellyn range on the horizon.
EH walk 028.jpg

From High Crag looking up the valley our route went over Seat and Haystacks with the Gables now in cloud but Kirk Fell just clear.
EH walk 029.jpg

Route finding from the Eastern shore of Blackbeck Tarn towards the fence proved interesting. Then across Moses Trod to Gillercomb Head and up the ridge to Green Gable. View from Green Gable down Ennerdale with Haystacks in centre, Buttermere and Crummock (Gerald the giraffe courtesy of Lynda on cairn).
EH walk 032.jpg

Time for 10 mins rest and more food on Green Gable at about 1 pm.
EH walk 034.jpg

Looking across to Great Gable from Green Gable - our route misses out Great Gable by descending Windy Gap to Moses Trod then left up to Beck Head.
EH walk 035.jpg

View down Wasdale to Wastwater from Beck Head.
EH walk 036.jpg

Up onto Kirk Fell summit next was no problem but the descent is more "interesting." I opted for the scree gully rather than follow the fence posts but had no experience of traversing either despite previous visits looking up and down them. The scree moves freely with every step and then halfway down is a drop of about 8 feet which we had to get round by using narrow rocky ledges on the left. This took quite some time and I can't recommend this route! And it had started raining by this point.
No wonder I was looking happier by the time we reached Pillar summit at about 5pm with the sun starting to come out. By then I knew we had cracked it with only 7 miles to go.
EH walk 037.jpg

From then on the weather improved immensly and we had a beautiful still warm sunny evening. The descent off Pillar to Wind Gap is unpleasant underfoot but then good clambering over boulders onto Scoat Fell. More grass underfoot meant better pace with only the stony top of Haycock to slow us down. Skirting round Caw Fell and following the wall over Iron Crag seemed to go on for ages and I was not looking forward to the last climb up Crag Fell. But I guess the adrenaline kicks in and knowing you are nearly there helps. The view back up the valley to see our route was fabulous in the sunny evening.
EH walk 038.jpg

And here we are on Crag Fell.
EH walk 039.jpg

The steep descent of Crag Fell was a real pull on the leg muscles on the way back to Bleach Green.
EH walk 042.jpg

A nice note on my car windscreen from my wife saying "food and beers ordered in the Fox and Hounds Ennerdale Bridge" completed a great day.
Last edited by yellowbelly on Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
Posts: 140
Munros:59   Corbetts:7
Joined: Sep 13, 2010
Location: West Cumbria

Re: Ennerdale Horseshoe

Postby icemandan » Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:30 pm

That's a hell of a walk. The Iron Crag ridge is a long drag even if you've only come from Haycock.
Munro compleatist
Posts: 451
Munros:282   Corbetts:26
Grahams:13   Donalds:14
Sub 2000:16   Hewitts:199
Wainwrights:214   Islands:33
Joined: Jun 30, 2010
Location: Kendal

Re: Ennerdale Horseshoe

Postby Dogshome » Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:18 pm

Congratulations on one massive achievement. I am very proud of my 25 k routes but this one is massive. And it covers some of the best scenery available. Views down Ennerdale Buttermere and Wastwater wow but I don't think I will be rushing to emulate it.
Munro compleatist
Posts: 12
Munros:15   Corbetts:8
Joined: Mar 15, 2011

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

Walkhighlands community forum is advert free

Your generosity keeps this site running.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by donating by direct debit?

Return to Walk reports - Outside Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 13 guests