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A walk of two halves

A walk of two halves


Postby johnkaysleftleg » Sat Jun 27, 2015 6:36 pm

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

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

Date walked: 14/06/2015

Distance: 14.5 km

Ascent: 975m

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The High Stile ridge is commonly thought of as one of the jewels in the Lakeland fells crown, certainly old AW was effusive in his praise. A lofty walkway in the sky looking down on some spectacular corries with the beautiful lakes of Buttermere and Crummock Water, nestled far below. The most obvious advice would be to wait for a clear day to enjoy the glories of the walk in full, or you could just say bugger it and hope the weather is far better than the forecast suggests. :)

My theory was that with the winds coming from the east the western fells would get the better of the conditions and we might just have a good day for it. There was certainly plenty claggy and wet weather as we made our way around to Buttermere but things did look optimistic when we parked up, suited and booted and set off.

We were alone, apart from a couple following a bit behind, up what has obviously been a popular route over the years given the very study stone stepped path. Views quickly opened up and before we knew it we arrived at a very still, quiet and spooky (with the clag hovering) Blea Tarn. We didn't linger and took advantage of the remainder of the good path to gain height.

ImageSteps up through the woods by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageRannerdale Knotts catches some sun by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageGaining Height by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageCrummock Water by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageBleaberry Tarn by Anthony Young, on Flickr

Once this runs out is where the fun :lol: starts as Red Pike is one seriously loose and crumbly fell. I did wonder while slipping and sliding and desperately scrambling upwards occasionally just how this fell hasn't eroded to nothing. By the time we reached the clag bound top, with Hughie now sporting a very fetching a set of red booties, it was time for lunch.

ImageRed Paws on Red Pike by Anthony Young, on Flickr

The following couple turned up just as we were finishing lunch and we all were granted a fleeting glimpse of Ennerdale. A consultation with navigational devices was required to get us heading in the correct direction but we were soon following the edge of the crags as the mist came and went briefly opening up views and looking like dragons breath as it flowed over the ridge. We followed an indistinct, and increasingly rocky trod to the top of High Stile which strangely this isn't the high point of the fell. This lies on the northern spur named Gray Crag on maps so we headed off along the spur visiting all the cairns, just to be sure. At the end of the spur the clag cleared a bit and gave up splendid if truncated views. This must be a superb view point when clear giving Steeple a run for it's money.

ImageA Glimpse of Ennerdale by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageLooking down to Bleaberry Tarn by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageGrace and Hughie on High Stile by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageCrummock Water from Grey Crag by Anthony Young, on Flickr

We retraced our steps along the spur as High Stile looked to be finally emerging and as if by magic the clag was gone and we had unhindered views of the remainder of the walk and back along the way we had came.

ImageHigh Stile emerging from the mist by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageFleetwith Pike and High Crag by Anthony Young, on Flickr

The remainder of the walk was clear along the increasingly defined ridge and I must admit it's a fantastic section of fell with magnificent views of lakes, crags and fells all around. Certainly up with just about anything the Lakes has to offer.

ImageGrey Crag by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageRobinson across Buttermere by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageEnnerdale from High Crag by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageGrace on High Crag by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageFleetwith Pike and Haystacks by Anthony Young, on Flickr

The descent was as promised steep but nowhere was it as lose and slippy as Red Pike, I definitely chose the correct way up and down today, before more stone pitching was found in the form of a rather odd, but well made, section of mini zig-zags.

ImageHigh Crag by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageHigh Snockrigg with Grassmoor beyond by Anthony Young, on Flickr

Following the descent of Gamlin end we traversed Seat, a nice little top, on the the way to Scarth Gap pass and the walk back along the lake side. It seamed a long way back and given our lack of hill walking of late we were all a bit tired upon our return to Buttermere Village.

ImageHaystacks and Bluebells by Anthony Young, on Flickr

This route certainly lived up to expectation even with the clag during the first half of the ridge (which was very atmospheric at times) it was a great day out in better than expected conditions. Onward we march :D


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johnkaysleftleg
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Re: A walk of two halves

Postby dav2930 » Sat Jun 27, 2015 8:08 pm

Oh, that is one of my all-time favourite areas in the whole world! :D Some lovely pictures there - I esp like the one of Haystacks with the bluebells in foreground. :thumbup: The path up Red Pike is steep and very badly eroded isn't it? If one has the time it's worth considering extending this walk over Haystacks and coming down Warnscale Bottom. Still fabulous as you did it though! :clap:
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dav2930
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Re: A walk of two halves

Postby Ibex » Sat Jun 27, 2015 8:36 pm

Beautiful pics as always Anthony. I had my first foray into that valley a few months ago and have to say that I was pretty enchanted.

Its funny looking at pictures of Grace now. I can see how she has grown up from when I first started reading your reports.
Little Hughie looks great still. Not far from the 200 and the completion now bud.
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Re: A walk of two halves

Postby trailmasher » Sat Jun 27, 2015 8:51 pm

Great report and images Anthony :clap: . The Buttermere area is one of my favourite walking grounds as the hills all around the village give great views. I've just this minute posted a report with very similar pictures to yours although not of the quality :( . Is this you completed in this area? Red Pike must be one of the most awkward scramble about the LD :roll:
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Re: A walk of two halves

Postby ChrisW » Sat Jun 27, 2015 9:26 pm

Fantastic as always JK, a really beautiful part of the country captured perfectly with real atmosphere in those early shots but that shot of High Snockrigg with Grassmoor beyond is just breathtaking...really makes me miss home :?
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Re: A walk of two halves

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Mon Jun 29, 2015 4:11 pm

dav2930 wrote:Oh, that is one of my all-time favourite areas in the whole world! :D Some lovely pictures there - I esp like the one of Haystacks with the bluebells in foreground. :thumbup: The path up Red Pike is steep and very badly eroded isn't it? If one has the time it's worth considering extending this walk over Haystacks and coming down Warnscale Bottom. Still fabulous as you did it though! :clap:


I must admit to being a great lover of Buttermere myself. It is a shame to head down with a fell as great as Haystacks just ahead but fitness levels thought otherwise!

Ibex wrote:Beautiful pics as always Anthony. I had my first foray into that valley a few months ago and have to say that I was pretty enchanted.

Its funny looking at pictures of Grace now. I can see how she has grown up from when I first started reading your reports.
Little Hughie looks great still. Not far from the 200 and the completion now bud.


Cheers Ibex, It does seem strange that we've been on with this round for more that half Grace's life. Hughie is going strong, he should complete before his sixth birthday!

trailmasher wrote:Great report and images Anthony :clap: . The Buttermere area is one of my favourite walking grounds as the hills all around the village give great views. I've just this minute posted a report with very similar pictures to yours although not of the quality :( . Is this you completed in this area? Red Pike must be one of the most awkward scramble about the LD :roll:


Buttermere is certainly a place to return to time and time again, all the surrounding fells are done with just Kirk Fell out of the western fells to go. As for Red Pike I had to descend to retrieve a dropped water bottle at one stage, so glad I didn't come down this way. If I return to Red Pike I might just consider Lingcomb Edge via Scale Force.

ChrisW wrote:Fantastic as always JK, a really beautiful part of the country captured perfectly with real atmosphere in those early shots but that shot of High Snockrigg with Grassmoor beyond is just breathtaking...really makes me miss home :?


Cheers Chris, and not a bear in sight. :wink:
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Location: County Durham

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