Circuit of Wast Water via the Wasdale Screes

Name of walk Circuit of Wast Water via the Wasdale Screes
Date of walk 2013-07-18
Distance walked (miles) 11
Duration of walk 9 hours 30 minutes
Weather Very hot and sunny
Peaks on walk Illgill Head and Whin Rigg
Walked with Ged and Kas the blind dog
Parking Lakeside parking

Yesterday Ged, Kas and I drove to the side of Wast Water in order to do a circuit around the lake by climbing up Whin Rigg and Illgill Head. But also detouring down to Burnmoor Tarn for a swim. A walk of just about 11 miles…….in yet more extreme heat!


It was a hot day. We arrived about 9.10am. The usual view down the lake towards Yewbarrow, Kirk Fell, Great Gable, Lingmell and Scafell Pike. The Screes on the right.



Buckbarrow and Middle Fell


View from lake level. Not a hint of a breeze!


We set off towards the woods and the route up Greathall Gill to Whin Rigg. I remember it being very steep to come down, so it will be hard work going up. But at least this is the coolest part of the day.


Water like glass.....



Kas was panting already so he needed to have a dip to cool down.


Kas you are suppose to shake yourself when you get out! Not when you are still submerged!


We walk through the woods to the boat house, then on to Lund Bridge, and then up to here via the path beside the wall. Horse flies everywhere. It is worse if you stop. I`m not sure what is worse, being bitten when you stop or are not moving fast enough, or having to continue walking up when you are hot and out of breath!


The horse flies disappear once we are out of the bracken. A good view from Whin Rigg summit


Illgill Head. We head for the tarns so Kas can get a drink and cool off again. Then we detour to the edge.


A gorgeous blue today





The edge! It looks nothing from this angle.


But a bit more precipitous from this angle!


In this one you can see all the way down.


View down.


We have lunch by the edge. Have I mentioned how hot it was? Well, it was hot!


My one concession to advancing years, a new walking pole with a walking stick handle!


A great view up Overbeck towards Red Pike with Yewbarrow on the right.


Still a bit of a walk to Illgill Head summit shelter. The Scafells ahead.


The end of the lake, but we now detour off right.


We head down the grass towards Burnmoor Tarn. The grass is a lot steeper than it looks from the photo. There are out of sight rock sections and bracken and bog towards the bottom. I take my time, Ged steams ahead.


Burnmoor Tarn is at an altitude of 830ft and 42ft deep. Scafell behind.


Burnmoor Lodge just peeking out. Ged and Kas are already paddling when I eventually make the shore......


Total seclusion. We have the tarn all to ourselves.....apart from the cows in the shallows on the far edge.


Any excuse for a skinny-dip! Not me, I hasten to add!! (I do have permission to use this photo!)


The water was surprisingly warm for the tarn's altitude, unlike the stream up Langstrath. Even Kas has a swim about. The bottom is rocky and it is shallow for about the first 20ft, then it starts to shelve. It is good for swimming, provided you keep near the shelf edge. The tarn contains brown trout, pike and perch. There were lots of small fish in the warm shallows. I subtly remind Ged of the behaviour of those small fish in Hayeswater!!


We spend about an hour cooling off. Looking back to Burnmoor Tarn. It looks like flat grass, but it is that tufted mound grass with can be ankle breaking to walk on, plus dead heather which scratches your legs.


We head down.


Heading back down with Lingmell on the right.


We stop and chat with a family next to the car park, that are staying in Haverigg, but living in Kenya. We passed four of their children on our way down, they were heading up to Scafell via the grassy ridge, their parents were following their progress via binoculars. They wanted to wait until it was cooler until they set off. This may be cool for Kenya, but this is still bloomin' hot! We head around to the road and now thankfully there is a breeze heading down the valley. Scafell on the right.


Kas gets a drink.


The Wasdale Screes.


Yewbarrow on the left.

We make it back to the car. It has taken nearly nine and a half hours!
I have a hot can of Pepsi Max in the boot…..disgusting, the heat makes it all fizz and no liquid! All three of my water bottles have been used, so there is nothing for it, we will have to stop at a pub……bummer!

We go to The Bridge. Ged and Kas sit outside while I get the drinks. Sat on a stool next to me at the bar is Eric Robson, TV broadcaster, author and documentary maker, chairman of ‘Gardeners Question Time’, plus a friend of Alfred Wainwright. Do I say “Hi”? No, of course not! Never come between a man and his pint! Besides I’m actually far too shy to be that forward! But I do chat with a woman sat outside having a cigarette, turns out she is his sister!

It is nearly nine o’clock before I arrive home. A long day! The temperature is still 26C. Hot!