Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Trip Report - A few days in the Western Fells - Part 2

Following a great couple of days around Ennerdale and the Loweswater Fells (see Part 1) I woke early in the Wasdale valley and made my way to Overbeck Bridge at the base of Yewbarrow close to the shores of Wast Water.

Wast Water from Yewbarrow

It was here that I'd arranged to meet a couple of contacts from Twitter, @munro277 and @atkypne, or Peter and Alex as I know them now, however due to my poor mobile signal in the Lakes (O2 network) the plan to meet up with them had only managed to get as far as a location and sometime around 9.00 to 9.30-ish. I arrived just before 9 o'clock and wandered around taking a few photographs whilst I waited, there were a few drops of rain but not many and it looked like it might clear up a little so I was hoping for another good day. 10 o'clock came and there was still no sign of them and without any signal on my phone I was unable to contact them to see if they were still on there way so I headed off by myself.

The first fell of the day was to be Yewbarrow which soon got the legs warmed up, rising steeply from the shores of Wast Water. This was my first time climbing Yewbarrow so I can't really compare to how it was beforehand however it was evident that a lot of hard work had been going on to repair/maintain the footpaths, hats off to @fixthefells (link opens fix the fells site in new page). I enjoyed the ascent of Yewbarrow, with great views back down to Wast Water as well as towards my route for the rest of the day, I equally enjoyed the steep descent to Dore Head via Stirrup Crag which was a bit of a scramble in places.

Wasdale Fell from above Stirrup Crag

After a short rest at Dore Head I continued and made my way up Red Pike (W), this was another steepish climb but not too hard and I soon found myself at the summit. This was another first from me and the summit provides some great views towards Wasdale Fell, particularly as the sun was occasionally breaking through the clouds. Foolishly I didn't visit the 'The Chair' so I'll have to revisit Red Pike when I head back to finish off the last 4 of the Western Fells. 

Pillar from Red Pike

From Red Pike it was only a short walk to Scoat Fell and Steeple, again firsts for me, the weather seemed to be clearing a little however there was still plenty of cloud around. Somewhere around Scoat Fell I lost one of the tips from my pole which was slightly annoying but I carried on using it anyway, just taking a little more care with placement.  Steeple provides some great views and looking out over the Ennerdale valley I could see the majority of the fells I'd climbed over the last couple of days. From Steeple I followed the wall down and then back up and soon reached Haycock summit.


Red Pike from Haycock with the Scafell massif in the distance

After a short pause on Haycock and a quick chat with a couple of other walkers I headed South in the direction of Seatallan, this involved a steep descent down loose scree which was quite fun, however I did have to stop at the bottom and empty my trail shoes of all the small stones that had made their way in during the descent :-)

Southwest from High Pikehow

It wasn't too long before I reached Seatallan summit. There's a substantial shelter here as well as a Trig point so I downed my pack and got myself comfortable in the shelter and had something to eat. I seemed to have a transient phone signal here, one minute I was able to call home and the next nothing. The signal came and went a few times and after a short while I received a couple of texts from @munro277, their plans had changed but they were planning to climb Seatallan at some point in the next couple of hours. The sun was shining and I was comfortable and sheltered from the wind so I decided to wait for them. I made myself a cuppa and had something to eat, took a few photo's and just sat back and enjoyed being out in the hills in the sunshine, at one point I managed to get myself so comfortable that I almost nodded off to sleep.  

Seatallan Shelter

I gave it around an hour and there was still no sign of them so I decided to continue, unfortunately my phone signal seemed to have disappeared completely so I was unable to send any messages etc to see where they were, I only had one more fell planned for the day and was keen to get there and set up camp so off I went.

Greendale Tarn from Seatallan 

After descending Seatallan and crossing the boggy section above Greendale Tarn I started the ascent of Middle Fell, which was to be the last of the day. As I started the gentle climb I spotted two figures near the summit and wondered if it might be Peter and Alex. After my extended rest on Seatallan It didn't take long to get to the top where I finally managed to meet up with Alex, Peter, and Oscar the mountain dog. After some quick hellos we found a suitable pitch for the night close to the summit. 

@munro277 & @atkypne pitch for the night

My set-up for the night

Wider view of camp

With our shelters pitched we gathered and filtered some water and then sat around chatting and getting to know each other a little. After a bit of a rest Peter and Alex wandered off to the summit to try and make some calls and I wandered close to camp taking some photo's, Oscar the mountain dog kept an eye on camp for us ;-)

Oscar guarding my Trailstar

The rest of the evening saw the best of the days weather and was spent making something to eat, chatting, and wandering around taking photo's, it was great to be wild camping with others and a first for me which I really enjoyed. It got pretty cool later on and I climbed in to bed around 10:30 ish and slept like a log. 

Wast Water and the Screes from Middle Fell

There wasn't much to be seen when I woke in the morning, it was raining and the cloud had descended during the night. We'd agreed to break camp and set off around 8am, I'm an early riser so this was a bit of a lie in for me, I had my breakfast and a cuppa laid in bed and looked through some photo's whilst I waited for 8am to come. Day 4 was to be a short walk back over Seatallan and then down to Buckbarrow before heading back to the car. We all managed to get packed up on time and we set off just after 8. I enjoyed being out walking with others, it made a nice change from being out by myself. It didn't take us  long to climb Seatallan and from here it was only a short descent to Buckbarrow where we parted ways. I headed back towards Middle Fell and then dropped down to the road that runs along the side of Wast Water and Peter and Alex made there way back to Dalegarth.

All in all it was another great four days in the Lakes, quite a few new hills for me as well as my first wild camp with other people which I thoroughly enjoyed. I'm really looking forward to many more camps and walks with them in the future. 


Day 3: 14.06km. 1402m Ascent. 920m Descent.
Day 4: 9.54km. 273m Ascent. 750m Descent.

Total over the 4 days: 

19 Wainwrights. 78.75km. 4496m Ascent.

Route Profile Day 3

Route Profile Day 4

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