Reaching 214 on Wainwright's favourite

Wainwrights: Base Brown, Haystacks
Hewitts: Base Brown

Date walked: 19/04/2019

Time taken: 4 hours

Distance: 14.2km

This is it, my last two Wainwrights of the round. I'd decided to finish on Haystacks after I'd got about halfway through (the point when I realised I may as well go for it and finish the lot). It seemed appropriate to finish on Wainwright's favourite hill, rather than something nondescript like Shipman Knotts. The weather looked perfect over the Easter weekend, in contrast to last year when we had rain and 60 mph winds :crazy:

First, I needed to climb Base Brown. I wanted to go for the direct ascent up the north side of the mountain, rather than the easy but boring climb from the West. The Base Brown direttissima has got a bit of a reputation for route finding difficulties but it seemed OK to me. Not really a scramble but an interesting route up an underated hill.

Base brown ascent 1.JPG

Base brown ascent 2.JPG

Base brown ascent 3.JPG

Base brown summit.JPG

The route from Base Brown to Haystacks passes very close to the summit of Green Gable, so it seemed a shame to leave it out. The last time I climbed GG was on New Year's Day 2018, all alone and in poor visibility. What a difference this time around:

Green gable summit.JPG

Ennerdale 1.JPG

Then it was off to Haystacks:

Haystacks from GG descent.JPG

Haystacks ascent 1.JPG

Haystacks ascent 2.JPG

I guess lots of people have their own ways of celebrating. I'd bought a banoffee slice from Booths in Keswick, planning to save it for a treat on the summit but decided to leave alcohol for later. Really, the only thing I wanted was to be alone. As I approached the summit of Haystacks it looked deserted, but this turned out to be an illusion. The summit was littered with people, screaming children, dogs swimming with Wainwright's ashes in the tarn. A family were hogging the summit cairn and the parents were trying to take photos of their children. Again and again they couldn't get it right. Every time one of the children had her eyes closed. Again. Again. On and on it went :crazy: :crazy: I patiently waited for them but they weren't budging. Let's try one more time. You've still got your eyes closed. Again. Eventually, at long last, they gave up and left the summit :clap: I hope they enjoy looking at the dozens of identical photos of a child standing on a hill with her eyes closed. :lol:

What a misery guts I am! Honestly, it's great to see so many people enjoying the hills and considering this was Good Friday and the weather was nice, the crowds were inevitable. Plus, queuing to reach the summit is good practice for climbing Everest :lol:

Haystacks summit.JPG

High Crag from Haystacks.JPG

The traffic continued all the way down:

Haystacks descent crowds.JPG

Fleetwith from Haystacks descent.JPG

Haystacks from Buttermere.JPG

After finishing the descent I walked along Buttermere to the Bridge pub in Buttermere village. It must have been one of the best pints I've ever tasted. I can't remember what it was. Jenning's something or other probably. Beer always tastes amazing after a long thirsty day :wink:

All done then. I doubt I'll bother doing further rounds, although there are a lot of Wainwrights I have climbed several, even dozens of times. There are a few I'd like to do again 'properly' i.e. via a decent route on a good day, especially Pillar, Great Gable and Blencathra.

Here are my main memories:

Best: Scafell via West Wall Traverse, Pavey Ark via Jack's Rake
Worst: Kentmere Pike
Windiest: Bowscale Fell
Snowiest: St. Sunday Crag
Hottest: Helm Crag
Wettest: Thornthwaite Crag
All round worst weather: Broom fell. It honestly felt like the rain was blasting straight through my waterproof
Darkest: High Street (I climbed it after sundown, descending the East ridge in darkness)
Boggiest: High Tove (where else)
Most scary: Nethermost Pike via East ridge in the snow.

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Comments: 8


Attachment(s) Wainwrights: Green Crag, Hard Knott, Harter Fell (Southern Fells), Slight Side
Hewitts: Harter Fell (Southern Fells)
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Comments: 3
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Comments: 3
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Hewitts: Dale Head, High Spy, Robinson
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Pointless Parasite

User avatar
Location: Sunderland
Occupation: Medical physicist working in cancer epidemiology
Activity: Mountaineer
Mountain: Breithorn

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