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High Stile Ridge

High Stile Ridge


Postby Phooooey » Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:50 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Great Borne, High Crag, High Stile, Red Pike (Buttermere), Starling Dodd

Hewitts included on this walk: Great Borne, High Crag, High Stile, Red Pike (Buttermere), Starling Dodd

Date walked: 02/02/2013

Time taken: 7.5

Distance: 20 km

Ascent: 1323m

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Buttermere Village - Buttermere Shore Path - Scarth Gap - High Crag - High Stile - Red Pike - Starling Dodd - Great Borne - Buttermere Village

High Stile Route 020213.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



2 weeks ago I went in search of snow up into the North Western Fells as we'd had a distinct shortage compared to the rest of the UK. This was immediately followed by a large downfall and long delays getting home... typical! :roll:
Last weekend was just as bad over the Friday afternoon ! This time I was down at the Gilpin Bridge outside Kendal when the snows fell and it took us over 2 hours to crawl home. This was then followed by a week of high winds which reached over 50 mph on Walney Island.

So when the forecast said the winds had dropped and the sun was going to show its face for the first time this year, Damson & I dropped other plans for the weekend and plotted a trip to Buttermere.

We parked above the church in Buttermere on a cold, bright and sunlit morning and headed down along the shoreline to the far end of Buttermere and headed up towards Scarth Gap.

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Sour Milk Ghyll from Buttermere shore
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Fleetwith Pike from Buttermere Shore
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Looking up to High Crag and start of todays ridge walk
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Starting ascent up Scarth Gap path
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Fleetwith Pike from Scarth Gap ascent

I last came up this way in summer 2011 with my wife Ellie & granddaughter Charlie when we had a wild camp at Innominate Tarn on Haystacks. It was a considerably quicker ascent this time round and in no time at all we split away from the main path and onto the stepper section heading right on a bearing for High Crag.

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Steep path up to High Crag from Scarth Gap

As we reached the first plateau, giving us a brief respite from the climbing, Pillar came into view over the horizon, looking dark and menacing with its sheer black face spattered with snow clinging to its face.

From here the path got even steeper for the last haul up onto High Crags summit. In places it felt like a scramble but the views from the top and along the ridge are well worth the hard work.

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Last steep section to High Crag
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Fleetwith Pike & Haystacks panorama from High Crag ascent. 3D link below.
http://www.dermandar.com/p/cdfEDc/grizedale-pike-haystacks-panorama-from-high-pike
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Pillar and Kirk Fell panorama from High Crag ascent. 3D link below.
http://www.dermandar.com/p/cQaZMl/pillar-and-kirk-fell-from-high-pike-ascent
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Damson on High Crag summit
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Damson showing off as she's only 25 Wainwrights to go !
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High Stile from High Crag
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Ennerdale from High Crag
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High Crag 360 Panorama. 3D link below.
http://www.dermandar.com/p/eOZNeI/high-pike-summit-360-panorama

From High Crag we made our way along the ridge heading towards todays highest point of High Stile.
The ground was quite rough and rocky underfoot with several large panels of snow and a further dusting covering the ridge. We stayed well away from the ridge edge due to the snow build up that blurred the cliff edge. We first headed for the view point to the west of the summit overlooking Crummock Water. We were on the search for our second geocache of the day having gathered the first on the way up towards Scarth Gap but this one was to elude us due to the snow covering and the rocks in the area being frozen in position.

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Damson near top of High Stile
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Crummock Water from High Stile View Point
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View up Honister Pass from High Stile View Point
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High Stile summit (left) and Red Pike (right) from View Point
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Red Pike from High Stile View Point

We then headed for the summit itself for a quick bite to eat and some more stunning scenery.

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Damson on High Stile summit
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Damson on High Stile over Ennerdale
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Crummock Water & Loweswater (behind Melbreak) from High Stile

We followed the ridge round onto the red rock of Red Pike passing the views over Bleaberry Tarn sitting at the top of Sour Milk Ghyll as shown in todays first photo. Views opened up over the Loweswater Fells giving me a good idea what was ahead of me in the coming few weeks. (All 5 are still left to do to complete the 21 remaining after todays yomp).

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Bleaberry Tarn from below High Stile summit
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Damson on Red Pike summit
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Looking back to High Stile from Red Pike
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Loweswater, Melbreak & Crummock Water (left to right) from Red Pike
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Starling Dodd (left) & Great Borne (behind) plus Loweswater Fells (middle to right) from Red Pike
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Ennerdale from Red Pike
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View back to Scafell Massif from Red Pike
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View to Whiteless Pike, Crag Hill, Sail, Causey Pike ridge from Red Pike
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Over Buttermere from Red Pike summit
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View to Keswick and Skiddaw from Red Pike

Next came the long slog to Starling Dodd. The ground was somewhat softer here but holding together and the climb up to Starling Dodd started to sap the energy from my legs.

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Damson on Starling Dodd looking back over long plod from Red Pike

Starling Dodd was surprisingly the only section of the walk that felt windy so we took a few photos and headed immediately over to Great Borne. For all geocachers, this one is a great find, especially because of its remoteness and great views.

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Great Borne from Starling Dodd
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Damson on Great Borne trig point
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Damson on Great Borne trig point

The descent off the far side off Great Borne was very steep following the fence line down to a small style.
From here the path became extremely wet and boggy as we made our way right and down towards Buttermere Village for approx 4 km through swamp and beck.

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Wet, boggy descent back to Buttermere

We passed Scale Force, a waterfall dropping down into Scale Beck that rolled away to our left and down into Crummock Water. Over this last section I was getting more and more concerned that I hadn't left enough time to complete the walk before it got dark. I knew that the sun would set sometime around 4:45 to 5:00 and so slogged on (when I really could have done with a nice sit down for 10 mins) and tried to ensure I was on the shore line path before the light had gone and the head torch was required.

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Scale Force waterfall falling into Scale Beck
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Looking back to descent path in decreasing light

We got back to the car in twilight and quickly got changed out of wringing wet footwear. As we headed back over the pass to Braithwaite, within 10 minutes, the light had disappeared completely and I was almost glad that the Fish Inn was currently closed and I hadn't been persuaded to go for a pint.

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Buttermere Ridge in twilight from above Buttermere Village. 3D link below.
http://www.dermandar.com/p/eaqIyA/buttermere-ridge-in-near-darkness

I grabbed a beer when I got home and a lovely sausage casserole to top off a great day.
Our Damson still hasn't recovered properly ... I think she is having a pyjama day today :wink: :lol:
Last edited by Phooooey on Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:30 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: High Stile Ridge

Postby simon-b » Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:31 pm

Excellent views from that ridge, Phooooey, it looks like you picked a great day to enjoy them. It makes that slog up onto High Crag worth it, doesn't it? Red Pike certainly looks red in your photo from High Stile.
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Re: High Stile Ridge

Postby SusieThePensioner » Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:51 pm

Great weather for a great walk! :D You obviously had some fantastic views, Craig :thumbup:
Well done, Damson, not many to go now :lol:
The path up to Scarth Gap is one of my favourites :D
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Re: High Stile Ridge

Postby Phooooey » Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:03 pm

I'll throw in some words later in the week.
It's SUPERBOWL tonight so I'm gonna be fit for nothing tomorrow .. :roll: :lol:
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Re: High Stile Ridge

Postby SusieThePensioner » Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:27 pm

Phooooey wrote:I'll throw in some words later in the week.
It's SUPERBOWL tonight so I'm gonna be fit for nothing tomorrow .. :roll: :lol:


As long as you're not throwing up, will look forward to some words later :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: High Stile Ridge

Postby Phooooey » Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:55 pm

Words done ! Apologies if I'm rambling !! :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: High Stile Ridge

Postby ChrisW » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:03 am

wow - that's a fair old lump for winter Phooooey, stunning photos of a beautiful part of the world. I thought for a moment we were not going to see an 'Epic Damson' shot .....then there she was on Great Borne trig point being her usual scene stealing self :lol: Glad to hear she's taking it easy for a day or two....no doubt saving herself for those last 21 :clap:
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Re: High Stile Ridge

Postby yellowbelly » Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:58 pm

Great photos there, thanks for sharing. It sure was a lovely, clear winters day. Excellent route choice - pity the last bit is always boggy.
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Re: High Stile Ridge

Postby SusieThePensioner » Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:03 pm

Craig, in the photos looking towards the coast, is it just cloud or is it the Isle of Man? :D
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Re: High Stile Ridge

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:05 pm

Great report and pics as ever Phooooey but don't you have your pikes mixed up??? :? (fleetwith not Grizdale)
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Re: High Stile Ridge

Postby Phooooey » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:26 pm

Thanks JohnKaysLeftLeg,
I'd been talking about Grizedale Pike all week with reference to another walk that I never even noticed I'd mixed them up. I did the same with High Pike and High Crag but resolved that before final submission.
I'll sort it now and then an early night may be required ... :crazy:
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Re: High Stile Ridge

Postby L-Hiking » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:34 pm

Nice report Phooey, and some nice pics, it looks like a good opportunity for me to add a few of those outlying NW Fells, in the spring.
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Re: High Stile Ridge

Postby Phooooey » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:46 pm

Hello to all. Thanks again for your messages. It is possible that the hazy lump behind the photo overlooking Ennerdale could be the Isle Of Man. Visibility was superb, especially during the morning but I didn't consciously search for the island in the background. Had a great palette of colours over the day considering the Lakes can look a little grey in mid-winter.
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Re: High Stile Ridge

Postby yellowbelly » Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:50 pm

Yep, Ennerdale from Red Pike photo definitely has the Isle of Man on the left of the horizon. Snaefell appears with twin peaks from West Cumbria.
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Re: High Stile Ridge

Postby Phooooey » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:29 pm

Thanks for the confirmation Yellowbelly :thumbup:
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