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Haystacks with Hilton and Sarah

Date & start time: Thursday 8th July 2010, 10.30 am start.

Location of Start : Gatesgarth Car Park, Buttermere, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 194 150 )

Places visited : Peggy's Bridge, Scarth Gap, Haystacks, Innominate Tarn, Green Crag Bothy, Warnscale Bottom and back to Gatesgarth.

Walk details : 5.1 mls, 1950 ft, 5hrs including lunch and tea (see below).

Highest point : Haystacks 1958 ft - 597 m.

Walked with : Sarah, Hilton, Ann and the dogs, Lucy, Cassie, Suzy, Harry and Bethan.

Weather : A warm day but the temperature was held back slightly by a cool breeze.


 Haystacks from Gatesgarth at EveryTrail


We haven't climbed Haystacks for a while, far too long in fact,

so we join with Hilton and his sister-in-law Sarah on a fine weather ascent from Gatesgarth.

Sarah and Ann starting out on the path alongside Gatesgarth farm yard.

The girls point out the route for the day.

A climb diagonally up and across the slope of High Crag, left over the top of Haystacks,

around Green Crag and back down the Warnscale valley.

The triangular woodland above Peggy's Bridge.

It was planted to avoid the erosion scar that people created using a direct path up the fell.

During the winter the weather has caused a different form of erosion on a much bigger scale.

A blocked path where the foot bridge has been demolished.

Below, the scree of fresh stones litters the grass.

The barricade blocking the path seem hardly worth it

as the damaged path is no different to those on the high fells !

Climbing up in the shelter behind the trees is warm work.
Another barricade, but this time for a much more serious problem.

A whole thirty foot section of hillside has collapsed.

Diverting around, we regain the path and our view of the lake.

If this was a November problem, perhaps it was the sudden rush of water and gravel that caused the lower bridge to collapse ?

It's not raining today, in fact it is a perfect walking day . . . cool, sunny and great visibility.

Checking the map afterwards, this area of flat ground on the way up the climb

passes between two outcrops shown as Low Wax Knott and High Wax Knott.

The rocky part of the climb up Scarth Gap

now with views across to Robinson, and the NW Fells of Grasmoor, Ard Crags, Ell Crag and Sail Fell.

The top of the pass, with the telephoto emphasising the distant fells.

At the top the land falls away on the other side of the Gap into Ennerdale Valley.

The path nowadays avoids the old gate by the way !

From here we will follow the pitched path upward, heading for the summit of Haystacks.

Hilton stops to admire the view down.
The dogs are ahead as ever . . . onward and upward.

Pillar Fell across Ennerdale as Sarah and Ann pass a small rainwater tarn.

Pillar Rock can be seen but it doesn't stand out against the similarly coloured fell side behind.

The clarity looking back down the lakes is excellent today.

At the base of Low Fell you can see a white blob which is the lovely Loweswater house of Foulsyke.

Summit Tarn on Haystacks

Quite a large mountain tarn but it really doesn't featureon the map, even on the 1:25k surprisingly.

It does feature on the dogs itinerary though . . . Cassie licking her lips at the thought of a drink and a swim.

One of several school parties out today . . . this one was a group from a St Albans School down near London.

Ace photographer Quigley steadies the camera in the strong wind for his photo of Ennerdale.

'Twas not a bad view either.

Great Gable, seen over the other un-named summit tarn.

It still has a wisp of cloud covering its summit.

The true Innominate Tarn further along the undulating ridge of Haystacks, taken here from the summit.

The classic outlines of Green Gable, Great Gable, Scafell Pike and Kirk Fell stand out over the tarn.

Ann close to the outflow.

Bethan searching for a place for lunch . . . or just wondering off in her normal way !

The sparkle on the lake turns into full sunshine again.

A wider panorama of the view from our lunch spot . . . hard work this fellwalking . . . but someone has to do it !

Zooming in on the three islands of the tarn.

Just above the main lake there's a small side pool with reflected blue skies on its surface.

Haystacks is the last resting place of Alfred Wainwright

and a favoured place for many others too, as suggested by this lowland rose drifting on the lake.

The main path heads off towards Green Crag and Dubbs

Along the way the distant view between Gable and Kirk Fell slowly changes

from the summit of Scafell Pike to the high crags of its neighbour Scafell.

Two steep and narrow gullies . . .
. . . that cascade the Black Beck waters over the edge.

The second, with the larger stream, is fed by Black Beck Tarn itself.

After Green Crag we leave others to the main path

in favour of descending to the smaller Warnscale valley path.

Our of the crags and a clear view ahead once again.

The path takes us down this side of the main Dubbs Beck and past the smaller Bothy.

Only half of the old building has a roof and is therefore habitable.

Sarah's turn to be photographer for us, the camera flash doing its work inside the small room.

This mountain bothy must have one of the best views out of any window locally.

From here you can see the whole length of the valley.
Harry and Bethan, good job they wiped their feet first.

Plenty of entries in the Visitor's Book from both overnight visitors and passing walkers.

[ Hold your cursor over the photo to open the page ]

The dismembered head of Hilton perched on the stonework.

A view of the other path . . . as we descend ours to the valley below.

The sharp turn on the Miner's track.
Waterfalls and pools on the way down.

This view just demands to be photographed today.

The footbridge in Warnscale Bottom . . . where we cross the beck and re-join the main track.

Fine crags fully surround the head of the Warnscale Valley.

Back at Gatesgarth

and the first and last house in the main Buttermere Valley.

Cake on offer but no scones or cream today,

however the tea from Willie Richardson's trailer shop was very welcome indeed.

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon 75 or my Canon G10 digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . .a refreshing brew at the end of a walk.

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