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.

Haystacks & Fleetwith Pike

Haystacks & Fleetwith Pike


Postby Chris Mac » Sun Aug 09, 2015 7:09 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Fleetwith Pike, Haystacks

Hewitts included on this walk: Fleetwith Pike

Date walked: 13/06/2015

Time taken: 5.5

Distance: 10.6 km

Ascent: 947m

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).


our_route.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


With a weekend break booked in Cumbria near Workington and Cockermouth we decided we'd have to tackle a couple of Wainwrights when we were down and after dealing with a 4 hour delay on the M74 to start things off, we eventually made it down on the Friday night and would be heading off early the next day for our walk.

I decided it would be best to start with Wainwright's favourite walk taking in Haystacks and Fleetwith Pike in the Buttermere Valley. We'd get to see some nice scenery at one of the nicer and quieter lakes that the Lake District is famed for but of course the star attractions are "the Fells" and it didn't take long driving to Gatesgarth Farm at the start of the walk to see why... Mellsbreak as you pass Loweswater was very intimidating and impressive looking!

It reminded me a little of a mini-Switzerland with dramatic hills and peaks strutting straight up from the edge of scenic lakes but if anyone else has been lucky enough to be blown away looking at the north face of the Eiger then it doesn't quite have that jaw-dropping wow factor x10 for scale but it's local-ish and only took us (or would have normally minus the exploded petrol tanker delay) a couple of hours to get there from Glasgow so I couldn't complain. :D

After reading up on a few guides from Walkhighlands and Walklakes we had decided on our route and parked up at Gatesgarth Farm at the foot of the impressive looking Fleetwith Pike at the end of the Buttermere valley.

From there we crossed a field to the bottom of High Crag where a path would head diagonally up to the left towards Haystacks.

Looking left along the path, up towards Fleetwith Pike on the left side with Haystacks and it's many small summits to the right:
Image

Looking right along the path towards Lake Buttermere:
Image

Heading up the path we see the first of several 'terrorist balaclava lambs' during the walk :lol: and up to the right is Haystacks in the distance:
Image

Up the path we go and it's a good one so fairly easy going to begin with as it snakes up the hill to between Haystacks and High Crag:
Image

Looking down to the left towards the impressive looking Fleetwith Pike, I really wanted to finish going down the ridge to Gatesgarth but have had to compromise for Y's lack of enthusiasm to do so and concede such a finish to the walk and so the path you can see going down on the right will be our final descent of the day:
Image

Looking ahead to the rest of the walk as we continue up the path towards Scarth Gap Pass:
Image

Haystacks soon looms into view as we reach a small plateau with a dinosaur-head-shaped rock! :D
Image

The path crosses a small burn (sorry stream, i'm in England! :wink: ) and gets a bit steeper, onwards...
Image

Fleetwith Pike looking a lot like Holy Isle on Arran but beached on land!! :lol:
Image

Looking back down the path with High Crag on the left. You can make out another path heading towards it but we decided that would be a bit of a tough extra addition to our walk during the planning stages and decided to give it a miss, glad we did!
Image

Aha, Haystacks ahoy, and it looks like a nice easy path with some easy scrambling is ahead:
Image

High Stile as we take in the view during the ascent of Haystacks:
Image
Image

Someone on the summit of Haystacks in the distance and now we're up a bit higher it looks like the scrambling is not as easy looking as before...
Image

Luckily we would meet these lovely "veteran hillwalkers" on the right on the way up and they enjoyed having a chat with us as we did the light scrambling up to the summit of Haystacks:
Image

Looking down towards Gatesgarth Farm where we started, it didn't take too long to get this high up and the views you are rewarded with are brilliant:
Image

Haystacks is a maze of summits and crags and I can see why Wainwright said it was his favourite and also why he had his ashes scattered on Inominate Tarn nearby. In the distance you can see High Crag looking impressive compared to the smaller Haystacks:
Image
Image
Image

A hop, skip and jump later and we're on the summit of Haystacks, below us to the south east is Inominate Tarn along with some more friends we made and had a good blether with:
Image

There are a few summits like this so we climbed them all just to be safe: :)
Image

Looking west from Haystacks you can see Ennerdale Water down the next valley:
Image

So Haystacks was fun and very social and we decide to continue on along to Inominate Tarn where Wainrights ashes were spread, lookout for dirt in your boots!
Image

Time to head in that direction...
Image

Looking back towards Haystacks we say goodbye to our summit companions:
Image

The path winds between large rocky outcrops with the occasional stunning view down Buttermere:
Image
Image

The path continues along the edge like this for quite a while and it's a very enjoyable and scenic walk:
Image
Image
Image

Round a few more corners and past several crags the view opens out to reveal the side of Fleetwith Pike and the old slate mine:
Image
Image

Yup, I think the Lake District is definitely up there for scenery and luckily we're at the quiet part compared to other areas, according to our older friends, although if this is a quiet mountain walk in England I can't imagine what a busy one is like after the numbers of people we've seen so far including all the fell runners at this point! Maybe i'm just used to quieter and remoter Scottish Hills...
Image

Looking back again towards Haystacks:
Image

We head towards the slate mine on the side of Fleetwith Pike to find the path up the back of it to the summit:
Image
Image

I couldn't agree more! :clap: :lol:
Image

On reaching the slate building I'm surprised to find that it's a Bothy and have a quick chat with the Maintenance guy and his friend here to shelter from some rain:
Image

We head up from the Bothy to find the path and see the path we have just came from off of Haystacks:
Image

We find the slate mine after heading up the hill for a bit:
Image

Looking back towards Great Gable, covered in cloud and with a steady stream of fell runners coming off it!
Image

The path from the slate mine isn't very clear so we follow bits and pieces of path through the hillside:
Image

We've just been there!
Image

Another very fit looking 'veteran walker' overtakes us and reaches the summit of Fleetwith Pike first: :shock:
Image

The final ascent of Fleetwith isn't the most scenic, especially surrounded by clouds of rain...
Image

...but once you make the summit the reward is simply stunning!
Image
Image
Image

Moody yet very pretty:
Image

Unfortunately we don't get to head down here to take the ridge back to Gatesgarth so we turn back and find another path down towards the slate mine:
Image
Image
Image

Almost there as we look along towards Haystacks, High Crag and High Stile:
Image

We reach the Bothy and now just have a straightforward path to follow down Warnscale Beck and the side of Fleetwith Pike:
Image

Passing a nice waterfall on the way:
Image

Spot the Bothy! Another one is hidden across the gorge on the way down:
Image

The path down is quite rocky but the view makes up for it, just be careful not to trip on the way down because of it!
Image
Image
Image
Image

Haystacks looking very different from this angle with one of it's many subsidiary peaks jutting out:
Image

Ahh, easy going for the final stretch:
Image

Haystacks looms above...
Image

Another comedy terrorist-lamb! :lol:
Image

A final look at Lake Buttermere:
Image

And at Fleetwith Pike:
Image

Done and done, Fleetwith Pike and Haystacks can be ticked off the list and our first taste of "Wainwright bagging" has been a good one so we'll definitely be back again at some point to find a few more good ones to go up. As far as first Wainwrights go I think we chose well with these two as it had a little of everything and the area was beautiful, a perfect introduction to the Lake District:
Image

From here the Fleetwith Pike ridge looks fun but i'm glad we took the safe option as Y wouldn't have enjoyed what could have been a slippery grass descent:
Image

I would recommend this walk to anyone, it can be done in an afternoon or you could combine it with many of the other surrounding peaks of which there are many. The views were ever changing and often spectacular and everyone we met was friendly, definitely a wee gem of a place and it is no wonder that the English cherish it as much as we cherish our hills. :)
Last edited by Chris Mac on Wed Oct 28, 2015 10:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Chris Mac
Scrambler
 
Posts: 642
Munros:35   Corbetts:16
Grahams:7   Donalds:8
Sub 2000:45   Hewitts:3
Wainwrights:10   
Joined: Sep 11, 2014
Location: Glasgow

Re: Haystacks & Fleetwith Pike

Postby ChrisW » Mon Aug 10, 2015 5:57 am

Great report Chris and even that damn low cloud couldn't kill those beautiful views...I'm with you, I think you chose your introduction to the lakes well :clap:

I think you may have cut some words out about half way down your report as there is a random "I couldn't agree more" in the middle there totally out of context :wink:
User avatar
ChrisW
Scrambler
 
Posts: 4940
Munros:18   Corbetts:5
Grahams:3   
Sub 2000:6   
Joined: Jan 25, 2011
Location: Cochrane- Alberta - Canada

Re: Haystacks & Fleetwith Pike

Postby Chris Mac » Mon Aug 10, 2015 10:55 am

ChrisW wrote:Great report Chris and even that damn low cloud couldn't kill those beautiful views...I'm with you, I think you chose your introduction to the lakes well :clap:

Cheers Chris, yeah it was a lovely walk and I was glad we chose that route as it was a cracker! :D

ChrisW wrote:I think you may have cut some words out about half way down your report as there is a random "I couldn't agree more" in the middle there totally out of context :wink:

Hahaha actually.... if you zoom into the slate in the middle of the photo then you'll see what i'm on about! :lol:
User avatar
Chris Mac
Scrambler
 
Posts: 642
Munros:35   Corbetts:16
Grahams:7   Donalds:8
Sub 2000:45   Hewitts:3
Wainwrights:10   
Joined: Sep 11, 2014
Location: Glasgow

Re: Haystacks & Fleetwith Pike

Postby Mal Grey » Mon Aug 10, 2015 11:12 am

A lovely walk indeed, one of the nicest bits of the Lake District.


I'm sorry to tell you that I consider the descent down the ridge from Fleetwith Pike to be one of the nicest descents in Britain! :) And there's a reasonable path all the way... :)
User avatar
Mal Grey
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 2857
Munros:110   Corbetts:20
Grahams:8   
Sub 2000:3   Hewitts:113
Wainwrights:71   Islands:5
Joined: Dec 1, 2011
Location: Surrey, probably in a canoe! www.wildernessisastateofmind.co.uk

Re: Haystacks & Fleetwith Pike

Postby Chris Mac » Mon Aug 17, 2015 8:40 pm

Mal Grey wrote:A lovely walk indeed, one of the nicest bits of the Lake District.

I'm sorry to tell you that I consider the descent down the ridge from Fleetwith Pike to be one of the nicest descents in Britain! :) And there's a reasonable path all the way... :)

I had read that too and was glad we chose it as our intro to the Lake District hills.

The Fleetwith Pike descent was probably the bit I was looking forward to the most! I'll just need to go back and do it again sometime... taking in some of the other surrounding Wainwrights while i'm at it! :D
User avatar
Chris Mac
Scrambler
 
Posts: 642
Munros:35   Corbetts:16
Grahams:7   Donalds:8
Sub 2000:45   Hewitts:3
Wainwrights:10   
Joined: Sep 11, 2014
Location: Glasgow

Re: Haystacks & Fleetwith Pike

Postby ChrisW » Tue Aug 18, 2015 5:35 pm

Chris Mac wrote:I think you may have cut some words out about half way down your report as there is a random "I couldn't agree more" in the middle there totally out of context :wink:

Hahaha actually.... if you zoom into the slate in the middle of the photo then you'll see what i'm on about! :lol:


I don't know how I missed that :roll: now it makes sense....me too :lol:
User avatar
ChrisW
Scrambler
 
Posts: 4940
Munros:18   Corbetts:5
Grahams:3   
Sub 2000:6   
Joined: Jan 25, 2011
Location: Cochrane- Alberta - Canada

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 now 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 3 guests