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.

Three days of Christmas in Ennerdale

Three days of Christmas in Ennerdale


Postby Pointless Parasite » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:41 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Blake Fell, Brandreth, Burnbank Fell, Caw Fell, Gavel Fell, Great Gable, Green Gable, Grey Knotts, Haycock, Hen Comb, Kirk Fell, Pillar, Red Pike (Wasdale), Scoat Fell

Hewitts included on this walk: Brandreth, Great Gable, Green Gable, Haycock, Iron Crag, Kirk Fell, Kirk Fell East Top, Pillar, Pillar - Black Crag, Red Pike (Wasdale), Scoat Fell

Date walked: 26/12/2017

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

Staying with the parents in West Cumbria for a week was a good opportunity to do some walking in the Ennerdale region. Despite growing up near here, I'd only climbed about half of the Wainwrights, not including most of the famous peaks such as Pillar and Great Gable.

The forecast for Boxing day was for a miserable cloudy day so I decided to work on my navigation skills on some of the smaller hills South of Loweswater. I had previously climbed Blake Fell and thought I'd also climbed Burnbank, but realised I'd missed it and climbed something else instead.

No mistake this time. Burnbank at last! :D

ImageBurnbank by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

After traversing Blake Fell, I managed to miss the turnoff to Gavel after misreading my map, but fortunately hadn't gone too far when I realised my mistake. So much for navigation practice.

Image
Gavel by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

The route between Gavel and Hen Comb was a disaster. Horrible uneven tussocky terrain at first, followed by dreadful bogs. Feet getting wet already. On a positive note, the clouds were starting to clear a little.

Image
Hen Comb summit by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

Image
Loweswater from Hen Comb by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

The best route up Hen Comb is to stick to the Eastern side of Floutern Cop (on the left of the photo), avoiding the boggy area to the West:

Image
Floutern from Hen Comb by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

Looking back towards Hen Comb after descending:

Image
Hen Comb by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

Grasmoor was now almost cloud free :( What a waste of a good day.

Image
Grasmoor from Floutern by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

By the time I was back in Ennerdale Bridge, the clouds had completely cleared. Infuriating! I could have been up there but had instead wasted the day on minor hills like Bunbank and Gavel :(

Image
Ennerdale by the pointless parasite, on Flickr


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




Thankfully, the conditions stayed clear, but bitterly cold, for another couple of days. My original plan was to walk from Honister to Kinniside, over the main summits of the South side of Ennerdale. It was likely that Honister Pass would be closed due to ice however, so I decided to start from Kinniside and go as far as I could and then turn back.

The route from Kinniside up Caw Fell and Haycock is very very long, but has the advantage of being easy and mostly dry. It's also especially easy to navigate. After reaching the end of the 'Black Pots' track, just follow the wall all the way over to Scoat Fell.

Image
Caw fell corner by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

Image
haycock from caw fell 2017 by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

Image
Seatallan and Middle Fell by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

Steeple was a little tricky. The snow on the descent from Scoat Fell was loose and flaky. One slip and I'd be flying down into Ennerdale towards Low Beck. I'd left my crampons at home and although I had some microspikes with me, they were still in my bag. I had my ice axe so decided to press on, reaching the summit of steeple after a few minutes.

Image
Steeple from Scoat Fell in Winter 2017 by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

Image
Scoat fell from Steeple by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

Image
Pillar from Steeple by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

Image
High Stile range from Steeple by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

Image
Haycock from Steeple by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

Back on Scoat and making good time (only 3 hours since starting), I decided to go for Red Pike.

Image
Sca Fell range from RP by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

Image
RP summit by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

Back once again on Scoat, I turned back for home. Seatallan looked especially grand. I've been meaning to climb this for a while but keep putting it off.

Image
Seatallan from RP by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

The long walk back. Just follow the wall:

Image
Descent from Haycock by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

Image
Crag fell and Grike by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

For the next few days, the forecast was for gale force winds of over 80 mph on the summits, so I decided to stay indoors. Frustratingly, the high winds never really materialized and the Met Office downgraded their forecast down to 40 mph or so. I felt like I'd wasted several days waiting for the weather to improve and by New Year's Day had run out of patience. By now, the ice had thawed and I went back to my original plan to walk to Kinniside from Honister. Unfortunately it was still very windy and much cloudier, with a forecast of snow or rain later in the day.

First up, Grey Knotts, then Brandreth:

Image
Grey Knotts by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

So far, so good. Both Grey Knotts and Brandreth were below the cloud base, which made navigating easy. From here onward I would be within the clouds, almost continuously.

ImageBrandreth by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

Image
Green Gable by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

After descending to Windy Gap, it seemed to take little more than 15 minutes to reach the summit of Great Gable:

Image
Great Gable by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

I needed to take a compass bearing to find my way down the North East corner of Great Gable. I've read about people missing the correct path and getting themselves into bother. I was also concerned about the rocks being slippy in the wet, but it wasn't so bad.

Next, on to the summit of Kirk Fell, via the Hewitt of Kirk Fell East:

Image
Kirk Fell summit by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

After a fun scramble down the North East corner of Kirk, the clouds started to clear:

Image
Haystacks from Kirk Fell by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

Image
Kirk Fell by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

While on the summit of Pillar, a light hale started to fall. Again, I needed to take a compass bearing to find the route off the summit. Wind Gap is a narrow col leading to the minor Hewitt of Black Crag and it's easy to miss it and end up going down into Wasdale or Ennerdale.

Image
Pillar by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

From Scoat Fell onward, it was solid driving rain all the way back to Kinniside, following the wall and then the Black Pots road, as per the previous day.


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

User avatar
Pointless Parasite
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 95
Munros:84   Corbetts:5
Grahams:4   Donalds:12
Sub 2000:7   Hewitts:115
Wainwrights:214   Islands:2
Joined: Apr 9, 2017
Location: Sunderland

2 people think 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 5 guests