Stravaiging around Wasdale Head

Wainwrights: Pillar, Red Pike (Wasdale), Scoat Fell, Yewbarrow
Hewitts: Pillar, Red Pike (Wasdale), Scoat Fell, Yewbarrow

Date walked: 16/05/2019

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 16km

Ascent: 900m

Drove in via Nether Wasdale past the attractive looking Strand Inn and and parked up at Overbeck Bridge. Headed up the obvious track which was steep going up Yewbarrow. Height gained quickly with extensive views over Wast Water. Bell Rib and the Great Door loomed above appearing to assert their presence but a straightforward track with some optional scrambling skirted the buttresses on the left. I had boned up on Wainwright the night before and found on this round that he either over or underestimated the difficulties. After a few rock problems and on a rising path I emerged onto the summit ridge. Extensive views now opened up all round particularly to the Scafells as I ambled along the defined summit ridge of Yewbarrow.
Wast Water from Yewbarrow.JPG
Wast Water from Yewbarrow
Several hundred metres ahead someone passed over the summit. It was a superb day and the temperature kept rising. When I reached the summit I noticed the walker ahead veer off the summit path to the left and take a declining rake. "Strange?" I thought since Wainwright had indicated nothing to worry about on some rock problems at the northern end on Stirrup Crag.
Great Gable.JPG
Great Gable
From here the drop to the next col and the climb up to Red Pike was a lot further than I had anticipated. It looked a real slog up that interminable slope. The climb down from Yewbarrow to Dore Head started off ok but then I ran into some serious rock steps on Stirrup Crag that Wainwright had glossed over. None of them were particularly difficult on descent but just unexpected. I could see the other walker way below on the col and understood now why he had taken the long slanting rake that avoided these crags.

Despite its tedious appearance the slope ahead was furnished with a well graded path that cut across the contours and circumvented any rock outcrops. From Yewbarrow I imagined that I'd likely be stopping for lunch halfway up this long slope, but I made such good progress that I found myself hauling out onto Red Pike's lower summit area beside a large pile of boulders. I clambered over this to discover the unusual feature of The Chair which was duly sat upon to admire the view. The map doesn't really do Red Pike justice. It's not until you're on this high level crest that you appreciate the dramatic east face and the situation of the summit ridge.
Kirk Fell from Red Pike.JPG
Kirk Fell and Great Gable from Red Pike

After a very enjoyable lunch I wandered over to Scoat Fell and clambered over the blocks onto the summit by an amazing wall and round onto the Steeple.
Scoat Fell.JPG
Scoat Fell
Retracing my steps, Pillar looked deceptively close but I knew there was a drop to Wind Gap followed by a stiff pull up. There was a stunning view from Pt828 along the length of Ennerdale and to Pillar. The descent to Wind Gap was down a tedious boulder field albeit with little loss of height followed by a reasonable pull up to the summit of Pillar (892m).
Scoat Fell from Pillar.JPG
Scoat Fell from Pillar
Scafell Pike.JPG
Scafell Pike
I lingered for a while but the cold east wind forced me to don my jacket and I began the descent towards Black Sail Pass. I had originally intended to climb over Kirk Fell but it looked rather intimidating from this side and in any case I had now been out nearly 6 hours so I decided to bail off at Black Sail. The descent was straightforward along a defined ridge but again with some tedious boulder fields. I experienced severe cramp in my left leg going over Looking Stead. To my surprise the pass was lower than I expected being lesser than Yewbarrow from which I had earlier observed that the path looked in good condition. Sure enough it had been laid out at the top with small flagstones and I made a steady descent to the Wasdale Head Inn. Suitably refreshed, another 2 miles of road bashing took me back to the car at Overbeck Bridge. An excellent round with some mild scrambling and superb situations.

Click to mark this as a great report. Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Tenerife Tribute

Attachment(s) Date walked: 21/12/2018
Comments: 1
Views: 273

South Africa Medley

Attachment(s) Date walked: 14/11/2018
Comments: 1
Views: 216

Murcia Mulligan

Attachment(s) Date walked: 30/09/2018
Distance: 40km
Ascent: 650m
Views: 151

Picos de Europa

Attachment(s) Date walked: 16/08/2018
Distance: 52km
Ascent: 1040m
Comments: 4
Views: 475

Fiacaill romp

Attachment(s) Munros: Cairn Gorm
Date walked: 26/07/2018
Distance: 8km
Ascent: 750m
Views: 246

Let's do Llech Ddu

Attachment(s) Hewitts: Carnedd Dafydd, Carnedd Llewelyn, Yr Elen
Date walked: 30/06/2018
Distance: 15km
Ascent: 1040m
Views: 271

Curved Ridge, Buachaille Etive Mor

Attachment(s) Date walked: 05/06/2018
Distance: 8km
Ascent: 840m
Comments: 5
Views: 607

Cam Crag, Langstrath, Borrowdale

Attachment(s) Date walked: 01/06/2018
Distance: 15km
Ascent: 580m
Views: 350

1, 2

Moel Siabod disappoints

Attachment(s) Hewitts: Moel Siabod
Date walked: 02/04/2017
Distance: 9km
Ascent: 895m
Comments: 15
Views: 1939


User avatar
Location: Preston
Occupation: Technical Consultant
Interests: Cosmology, malt whisky, foreign travel, philosophy, scrambling, science
Activity: Mountaineer
Pub: Cross Keys, Gainford
Mountain: Sgurr na Ciche
Place: Knoydart
Gear: My penknife.
Member: None
Camera: Canon EOS 200D
Ideal day out: Grade 1- 3 scramble or ridge like Liathach, Sharp Edge, Jacks Rake, Tryfan, Bristly Ridge, An Teallach, Sgurr Thuilm (Skye), Aonach Eagach or Crib Goch.
Ambition: To live life to the full.
Munro rounds: 1

Munros: 282
Corbetts: 60
Grahams: 12
Donalds: 10
Wainwrights: 40
Hewitts: 50
Sub 2000: 26
Long Distance routes: West Highland Way    Great Glen Way    Cape Wrath Trail    Affric Kintail Way    South Loch Ness Trail   

Filter reports



Trips: 1
Distance: 16 km
Ascent: 900m
Hewitts: 4
Wainwrights 4


Trips: 8
Distance: 138 km
Ascent: 4900m
Munros: 1
Hewitts: 3


Trips: 1
Distance: 9 km
Ascent: 895m
Hewitts: 1


Trips: 2
Distance: 15 km
Ascent: 1604m
Munros: 1
Corbetts: 1
Donalds: 1

Joined: Sep 29, 2014
Last visited: Jun 02, 2019
Total posts: 18 | Search posts