Wild Ennerdale

Wainwrights: High Crag, High Stile, Pillar, Red Pike (Buttermere)
Hewitts: High Crag, High Stile, Pillar, Red Pike (Buttermere)

Date walked: 10/10/2020

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 23.07km

Ascent: 1527m

One of the remote areas in the Lake District which has always been a nagging itch I must scratch is the Ennerdale circuit.
Some names evoking awe, Great Gable, Pillar, Kirk Fell, and what an opportunity, with a weather window meaning we could get that beautiful autumnal sunlight illuminating the greens and ambers I so love of the Lakes.
Spent the first night of 9th in a great little campsite adjacent to Buttermere, Syke Farm (for some reason I continuously named it Skye (sub-conscious telling me something???) , no wonder couldn't find on the sat nav)
Heavy rain stopped play as anticipated on 10th, but only for an hour, packed up and made our way to the start at Ennerdale Water Bowness car park (free at the moment, but conversations with some locals suggest restriction maybe soon placed on overnight parking).
Walked the 4km past the Hostel to the ascent at High Gillerthwaite. Now time to work those legs for a sharp push to the top of Red Pike. Visibility was good with cloud base just above 700m and light winds as approaching the ridge line.
As we traversed the ridge from Red Pike to High Stile the cloud became broken with clear skies to the West. The walking on the ridge to High Crag was spectacular with views to the NE of the various crags and corries and our previous nights campsite in Buttermere. The undulating descent, High Crag to Scarth Gap was a mix of craggy rock and boulder scree, certainly working the thighs. It was at Scarth Gap we decided to drop down into the valley and the Black Sail hut. Due to time of day. Although the hut was group booked, the occupants made us a welcome pot of tea and we chatted while admiring the gorgeous view up the valley to Great Gable. Wild camped nearby and as the night progressed the skies cleared to reveal Mars and some of the Draconid meteor shower.
Up early, 1 of our party descended back to the car, while we re-gained the ridge line again at Black Sail pass and wow, we were not disappointed. Wisps of cloud climbed up to the pass, with diffuse sunlight showing the Lakeland fells in all of their glory. Silence and wonder and alone with our thoughts, we trekked happily up to Pillar, took a break, talked and forgot the troubles of todays world, at least for that moment. Then it was a steep descent NW to White Pike through horrible boulder scree, then rain saturated marsh grass to the crossing at High Beck, which the forest workers had kindly bridged with a fallen tree trunk. Navigating the forestry work was challenging with paths blocked with fallen tree detritus throughout Grid Square NY 15 13 with plenty of signs indicating the ongoing works, so check before planning routes through this area and add at least 30mins to your descent time.
All that remained was the leisurely walk back along Ennerdale Water, the track was very busy people for this once forgotten area of the lakes. Next time, we will look to get onto Green and Great Gable and Kirk fell, adding in some scrambling. Hope you enjoy the photos. :D

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Comments: 1

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Ascent: 1400m
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User avatar
Activity: Scrambler
Pub: Claunie Inn
Mountain: Suilven
Place: Sutherland
Gear: ML distance chart
Member: MLTB, BMC
Camera: Canon M50
Ideal day out: Scary scrambles with long days in the hills and a nice place to wild camp.
Also, introducing my daughter to the hills
Ambition: Cuillin Ridge

Munros: 15
Grahams: 2
Wainwrights: 69
Hewitts: 84
Sub 2000: 1

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Trips: 1
Distance: 23.07 km
Ascent: 1527m
Hewitts: 4
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Joined: Apr 23, 2014
Last visited: Nov 16, 2020
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