Pillar, Scoat Fell, Steeple and Red Pike with Father John

Name of walk Pillar, Scoat Fell, Steeple and Red Pike with Father John
Date of walk 2015-08-11
Distance walked (miles) 10
Duration of walk 8 hours 15 minutes
Weather Low cloud, then overcast.
Peaks on walk Pillar, Scoat Fell, Steeple, Red Pike
Walked with Fr. John Inglis
Parking Overbeck and Wasdale Head.

On Tuesday John and I returned to Wasdale to do the Mosedale Horseshoe, which comprises Pillar (2927ft), Scoat Fell (2760ft), Steeple (2687ft) and Red Pike (2707ft). Some people add Kirk Fell and Yewbarrow to either end of the walk, but not us. Ten miles and four fells is quite sufficient thank you! We park my car at the Overbeck car park and drive on in John’s car to Wasdale Head, saving a two mile road walk at the end.

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Looking back to Wasdale Head from our walk into Mosedale.

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If the mist was not shrouding the tops you would see the summits of Pillar, Scoat Fell and Red Pike.

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Our route up is around Kirk Fell to the right. We take the short cut route leading off from the Black Sail Pass.

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We cross the beck and start to head up towards Looking Stead.

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These two guys are from Fix The Fells and were putting a pitched path in just after the beck; and a very good job they were making of it! We added some coins to their collection box. Last week they were on a very busy path and were getting £100-200 a day in their box!

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Yewbarrow and Dore Head screes behind John. We would be looking down from Dore Head later in our walk. I have been down it twice, without a parachute! Dore Head mud-slide would be a better description. It is an option if you need to be down in 20 minutes, but there is always a risk that you could end up making it down in less than one!

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View from Looking Stead over to Great Gable in the mist and Kirk Fell on the right.

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Looking down on Black Sail Hut in Ennerdale.

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The clouds part to give a glimpse of the Ennerdale Valley. Looking across to High Stile and High Seat.

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It is a long way up to Pillar with some scrambling sections.

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There are also some grassy tracks. The top of Pillar and Scoat Fell still in cloud.

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We meet Alan and Lee who are heading back down and pass the time of day. They are walking the fells in the Bob Graham Round. Named after Bob Graham (1889–1966), a Keswick guest-house owner, who in June 1932 broke the Lakeland Fell record by traversing 42 fells within a 24-hour period. Since then over 1900 individuals have completed the Round with the fastest time being 13hr 53m set by Billy Bland in 1982. The Lakeland 24 Hour record has also been improved with the current holder, Mark Hartell, successfully reaching 77 summits in the allotted time. MAD! We meet up with these guys again in the pub at the end of our walk. They had gone back to their tent for a nap in the afternoon.....they're not daft!

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Another view down into Ennerdale.

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View over Fleetwith Pike towards Robinson, Hindscarth and Dale Head.

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Dore Head to Yewbarrow with Burnmoor Tarn on the left.

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We approach Pillar summit cairn in mist. It has taken three hours and fifteen minutes to reach this point.

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There are no views out so we head for one of the shelters and sit and have our lunch. You can just about make out Ennerdale Water behind John. Once again John has provided the sandwiches and coffee.

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There is a momentary break in the cloud!

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We quickly head to the edge to look down on Pillar Rock below. Pillar Rock is for climbers only. Walkers just get to look!

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Here comes the cloud again!

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We pack lunch away and head back to the trig point for a photo of both us with the glorious vista behind us! Our photo is taken by a couple in one of the other shelters.

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We head down into Wind Gap. The route is steep and rocky with the occasional scramble required. I am glad of my walking stick pole which provides good support for my arthritic knee.

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John takes this one of me descending Wind Gap.

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The descent doesn't look much, until you see the two dot-sized people just above the mid section, and realise its true dimensions.

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Looking into Mosedale from Wind Gap. Great Gable on the left behind Kirk Fell. Scafell Pike and Scafell ahead.

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Climbing up to Little Scoat Fell/Black Crag.

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Little Scoat Fell/Black Crag summit. Looking towards Steeple.

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Steeple from the ascent of Scoat Fell.

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Now on Scoat Fell looking at Steeple. A quick there and back walk.

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From Steeple summit looking back to Pillar on the left and Scoat Fell on the right. Great Gable peeking out behind.

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Great Gable in close up. We took the diagonal track that runs from left to right up to the summit.

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Looking down into Ennerdale and our last walk.

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View over to Haycock and Caw. The last time I did this walk solo, I included them both and the walk ended up being 16 miles and taking over nine hours. Not today!

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John returning from Steeple.

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We cut across the side of Scoat Fell to join the path up to Red Pike. Scoat Tarn on the right.

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We keep near the edge of the route up to Red Pike summit, as it has great views down into Mosedale.

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Red Pike summit ahead.

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Well, I made it a long way into the web post before including a photo of a sheep! A cute one too!

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Sheep in the foreground don't count! Route to Sty Head on the right.

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Sitting on 'The Chair'. A stone seat with a back rest and side arms. It has a great vantage point

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The view down to Low Tarn and Wast Water.

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We climb down Red Pike, it takes about an hour until we reach Dore Head. View out up the Black Sail Pass that we took this morning.

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The 'delightful' Dore Head Screes. We chose the long way back down the Overbeck Valley.

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Looking back up to Dore Head. It is another hour and a half to get back to my car. We meet a lovely family of Orthodox Jews, a mother and seven daughters aged between four and seventeen. They get the full repertoire of John's brain teasers, and reply with some of their own. They are heading across to the path on the other side of the beck. Ten minutes later we meet the Dad carrying their two year old daughter in a back pack, with his ten year old son. Luckily they were sensible and had given up on an attempt to walk up Yewbarrow. The route up is a scramble and not suitable for small children. We let him know where his wife was planning to go. I was relieved to see them back in the car park when I passed it an hour or so later, on our way home.

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John comes face to face with a cow on the path. The cow gives way! ("...let them have dominion over the cattle." Gen 1:26.) Thanks for that Leigh! :-)

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Looking back up to Red Pike far right.

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The very steep route back down the slope of Yewbarrow, but at least it was on grass.

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View out to the Scafells with their summits back in the cloud. The promised sunshine never came at all today.

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Looking back up to Yewbarrow. John found this descent a bit painful on his thighs. Only thoughts of Chips and Stella made it bearable........Can I just point out that 'Stella' is a lager NOT a buxom woman!....Tut! We got back to my car after eight hours and fifteen minutes, a bit of an epic! We then drove back to Wasdale Head and the rewards of the pub.

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John is happy now he has his chips and pint of Stella. I have another Red Pike Ale to match the fell we climbed, this time I remember to taste it. We have another chat with Alan and Lee, the guys we met on Pillar, now refreshed after their nap and meal.

An excellent walk, just a pity that the mist was down on Pillar. Our next walk will be Place Fell and the Ullswater Lakeside Path, something a bit easier on the knees. I drive back over Birker Fell. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to go home before attending bell ringing practice at St. Mary’s, Dalton, as I am already twenty minutes late. More exercise, wonderful, just what I need! I’ll be fine as long as I don’t need to engage my brain! Thankfully I get away with it!

Jo.

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