Pillar from Wasdale via the High Level Route

12 09 2013

This route is truly fantastic, and it is a real shame I don’t get to walk it more often! Pillar from Wasdale via the High Level Route takes in up to 5 amazing summits – Pillar, Scoat Fell, Steeple, Red Pike & Yewbarrow, all of which you can be sure to see few people on!

Wastwater Reflections

As we drove into the Wasdale Valley the lake was like a perfect mirror, the best I had ever seen! We had to stop for a picture! We were keen to get an early start as the forecast was for deteriorating weather to hit at some point in the afternoon. At 9.20 we started to make our way up the Mosedale Valley and it was evident my client (John) was a very fit man! I soon warmed up and was soon stripping off my needless layer.

We took the small shortcut straight to Looking Stead instead of heading to Black Sail Pass, and from this point joined the High Level Route. Some of the rock was quite greasy but we negotiated this well. The weather at this point was incredible (compared to what was forecast!) The cloud had lifted enough for us to see into Ennerdale and also across to the Buttermere Fells.

Robinson's Cairn

We made our way along the HLR to Robinson’s Cairn where Pillar Rock came into view out of the mist. We scrambled up over loose boulders and greasy slabs to behind Pillar Rock before heading up the final scramble onto the summit of Pillar itself. We stopped on the summit for a bite to eat and while we did the cloud almost lifted all together and we enjoyed fine views to Ennerdale Water and the West Coast. Pillar Rock

From Pillar we descended to Wind Gap where we saw the final 6 people of the entire 9 people we would see the whole day! From Wind Gap we caught a few glimpses of Steeple and Scoat Fell. We made good progress over Scoat Fell and then we went and bagged Steeple. After tracking back over Scoat Fell we climbed onto Red Pike.

Steeple from near Scoat Fell

When on the summit of Red Pike it felt like the weather was starting to change, the mist was no longer breaking to provide views….The bad weather was knocking at the door! A Misty Red Pike

We descended to Dore Head where we had another break before opting to climb Yewbarrow as well. We made excellent progress up the fun scramble on Stirrup Crag and then picked our way through the mist onto the summit. Now getting hit by strong winds and rain we made a hasty escape towards the southern nose of Yewbarrow – the nasty bit! We made a cuatious descent down the loose terrain, but soon enough we were back down to the roadside and all that was left was an easy bimble back to the Wasdale Head.

The Mosedale Valley




One response

20 09 2013
Scafell & Slight Side from Eskdale | Lakeland Mountain Guides Blog

[…] two days of Private Hire I was already over the moon, but when he requested that on one day we walk Pillar from Wasdale (as we did last week) and then said he wanted to climb Scafell from Eskdale, I almost jumped out of […]

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