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Buttermere Fells: Fleetwith Pike to Red Pike

Buttermere Fells: Fleetwith Pike to Red Pike


Postby poppiesrara » Fri Apr 18, 2014 11:08 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Fleetwith Pike, Haystacks, High Crag, High Stile, Red Pike (Buttermere)

Hewitts included on this walk: Fleetwith Pike, High Crag, High Stile, Red Pike (Buttermere)

Date walked: 16/04/2014

Time taken: 5.5

Distance: 16.25 km

Ascent: 1405m

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Terrific sunny walk around beautiful Buttermere, albeit a pretty tough day after months away from anything as steep and rocky as this.

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It’s a pretty relentlessly steep mile up the nose of Fleetwith Pike from Buttermere lake, but a really good one on a twisting path and a few little scrambles through the rocks; tremendous views back to the valley behind and the High Stile ridge each of the many times you stop for a breath. Not a route if you get annoyed by false summits though – there are at least three, and they aren’t nearly as close to the real thing as you feel you’ve earnt…
Buttermere 004.jpg
High Stile & Mellbreak over Buttermere

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Fleetwith Pike & Haystacks

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Buttermere with Robinson right

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Buttermere & Crummock Water from Fleetwith Edge

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High Crag, High Stile, Red Pike

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The far side of the summit is quite a contrast, a wasteland of brown heather and mine-workings stretching flatly towards Great Gable, half-paths cutting down to the highway to Haystacks. The climb there from Dubs Bottom is a lovely undulating mile’s walking among tarns and rocky crops, but then everyone already knows that! - it’s very busy here even on an April Wednesday and, I imagine, perhaps excessively so on a summer weekend. Fine views all round from the summit, but nothing is more striking than the sharp mountain triangle of High Crag rising from the ridge west, dauntingly steep and stony.
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Haystacks (Pillar behind) from Dubs Quarry

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Fleetwith Pike

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Great Gable & Kirk Fell over Innominate Tarn

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Innominate Tarn, Brandreth & Green Gable

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Hazy Ennerdale from Haystacks

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High Crag from Haystacks

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Crummock Water & Buttermere, Grasmoor right

Some good work has been done on the path either side of Scarth Gap, well-graded and sympathetic stone steps laid on the climb to Seat and then much of the face of High Crag. It does degenerate into shifting scree for the final 100 yards or so, but not much more – the sight of what seems the former path alongside during the ascent shows just how nasty a climb this must once have been however. The three fells along the ridge look strikingly dramatic from Buttermere below, dizzying curved crags carved out of the north faces, and no less so close at hand, but the walk between them is actually on pretty gentle stony slopes - easy going even in a stinging salty wind.
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High Crag from Seat summit

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The former path up High Crag? Dale Head & Fleetwith Pike behind

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Great Gable over Haystacks & Seat

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High Stile from High Crag

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Robinson & Hindscarth

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Back to High Crag

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Red Pike & Bleaberry Tarn from High Stile

This was generally a great walk, but there’s no getting away from the fact that the initial descent from Red Pike is just horrible – unavoidable steep and loose red scree that constantly slides away beneath your feet. You can just about crab left onto manageable grass after a time, but it must be hard to do it without a fall or two first – I certainly couldn’t. It’s alright from Dodd downwards, where the path-repairers have been to work and built long zigzags of big rough stones down to the woods – still quite tiring high-concentration walking for much of the way, but life will be a lot better when they’ve turned their attention to working a miracle with the top slopes too. The shoreline path on the west tip of Buttermere is closed for now (until the end of June - nesting birds) – the diversion through the village and back to the darkening lakeside is perfectly pleasant and looks nothing on the map, but my ageing calves could have done without it! A wonderful Lakes day nonetheless.
Buttermere 142.jpg
Red Pike from Bleaberry Tarn

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North-Western fells above Buttermere village

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Fleetwith Pike

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High Crag from the shoreline path
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poppiesrara
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Re: Buttermere Fells: Fleetwith Pike to Red Pike

Postby stevesey » Sat Apr 19, 2014 8:33 am

Great walk - I remember high crag as being a long slog up a gravelly path about 5 years ago. Then surfing down the top section of Red Pike at the end of the day.
stevesey
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Re: Buttermere Fells: Fleetwith Pike to Red Pike

Postby Broggy1 » Thu Apr 24, 2014 11:11 am

Great report of one of the best walks in the country. A classic and that route up Fleetwith is tremendous.
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Broggy1
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Re: Buttermere Fells: Fleetwith Pike to Red Pike

Postby simon-b » Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:08 pm

An excellent route and it's great that you got the weather for it. Fleetwith Edge is a nice way to start a Haystacks - High Stile round. Magnificent views.
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simon-b
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Re: Buttermere Fells: Fleetwith Pike to Red Pike

Postby Sarah86 » Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:29 pm

Looks a good route. I love the scenery surrounding Buttermere and found Innominate Tarn a good resting point when we were up last year.
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Sarah86
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Re: Buttermere Fells: Fleetwith Pike to Red Pike

Postby simon-b » Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:34 pm

Sarah86 wrote:I...found Innominate Tarn a good resting point.


I guess A. Wainwright agrees with that.
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simon-b
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Re: Buttermere Fells: Fleetwith Pike to Red Pike

Postby ChrisW » Fri May 02, 2014 2:59 am

Where are you finding all these great weather days P, this is another fantastic hike in the very best of conditions but it's a good grunt to take on after a few months away from the 'big uns'. great effort mate, much appreciated over here as I thoroughly enjoyed the write up :clap:
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