Red Pike to Haystacks & Fleetwith Pike. (A Buttermere Round)


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By Lancashire Lad on 13/08/17 at 3:18pm

Hills walked:
Fleetwith Pike (Wainwright, Birkett, Hewitt, Nuttall, HuMP, Fellranger, Synge, Sim, and Tump)
Seat (Birkett, Dodd, Dewey, Synge, and Tump)
High Crag (Buttermere) (Wainwright, Birkett, Hewitt, Nuttall, Fellranger, Synge, Sim, and Tump)
High Stile (Wainwright and Birkett)
High Stile (Birkett, Marilyn, Hewitt, Nuttall, HuMP, Fellranger, Synge, Sim, and Tump)
Red Pike (Buttermere) (Wainwright, Birkett, Hewitt, Nuttall, Fellranger, Synge, Sim, and Tump)
Haystacks (Buttermere) (Wainwright, Birkett, Dodd, Dewey, Fellranger, Synge, and Tump)
Date started:10/08/2017
Distance:19.5 km or 12.1 miles
Ascent:1393m or 4570ft
Start OSGB:NY176170
Time taken:10:43
Naismith:6:13

After a few weeks of mediocre weather, the promise of long sunny periods throughout the day saw me back in the Lake District on Thursday for another walk. This time, I'd decided on a revisit to some fells I'd done several times over the years. - The Red Pike to Haystacks ridge from Buttermere, and Fleetwith Pike on the return leg, making it into the classic Buttermere round!

GPX track of the walk: -

Walk elevation profile: -

I started the walk from the roadside parking area beside St. James Church. From which point, this was the view of the intended first part of my walk. - The Red Pike, High Stile, High Crag group: -

The Red Pike to High Crag group of fells.

From the car, it was a straightforward stroll through the hamlet of Buttermere, to the northern shoreline of the lake, heading towards Burtness Wood. A view down Buttermere lake. Fleetwith Pike to left, and Haystacks at centre, in the background: -

A view across Buttermere lake to Haystacks.

Crossing the footbridge over Buttermere Dubs, the outlet stream between Buttermere lake and Crummock Water, I entered Burtness Wood to begin the day's ascents: -

The ascent begins - The track through Burtness Wood.

Soon leaving the tree cover behind, the path continued up the fellside towards Bleaberry Tarn, giving superb views back across Buttermere towards the Grasmoor group: -

The view across Buttermere to Grasmoor etc.

As I gained height, Crummock Water and the northern outlying fells began to come into view: -

Crummock Water begins to appear.

Not far below Bleaberry Tarn, and much more of Crummock Water can be seen. At this point there was an increasing amount of cloud coming in, but the carpets of heather in bloom still made this a superb spectacle: -

Crummock Water across a carpet of heather.

Bleaberry Tarn reached, and the final ascent to Red Pike comes into view. Unfortunately, the appearance of more and more cloud cover was making things look rather dull: -

Red Pike from Bleaberry Tarn.

I took a break for a drink and a snack, to see if the cloud would blow over, but after half an hour or so, it hadn't really changed. A view looking across Bleaberry Tarn to Chapel Crags: -

Chapel Crags from Bleaberry Tarn.

Moving onwards towards Red Pike summit, and a shot looking back down to Bleaberry Tarn. Mist now descending onto the fells across Buttermere lake: -

Mist over Buttermere lake.

Red Pike summit. Still pretty overcast in the immediate vicinity, but with much brighter weather now coming in again from the west: -

Looking north from Red Pike summit.

Onwards, and the path hugs the ridgeline crest between Chapel Crags and High Stile, giving many opportunities for photos looking back across Bleaberry Tarn to the Grasmoor group: -

Grasmoor from Chapel Crags area.

A shot looking across to High Crag, from the High Stile summit plateau: -

High Crag from the High Stile ridge.

Looking back across Crummock Water and Grasmoor from the top of Grey Crags "spur" on High Stile's plateau: -

Crummock Water from Grey Crags spur.

Moving back onto the main ridgeline towards High Crag, and the northern vista across Robinson, Crag Hill, Causey Pike, Skiddaw, Blencathra, etc. etc. is framed against the dominating slope of High Stile: -

Robinson and the northern fells.

Looking back towards Ennerdale Water: -

Ennerdale Water from High Crag ridge.

Looking directly across Ennerdale Valley, unfortunately very much looking into the light, for a shot of Pillar: -

Looking across from High Crag to Pillar.

The route ahead. - Looking down to Seat, with Haystacks beyond, and Fleetwith Pike over to the left, from the top of Gamlin End: -

Seat, Haystacks, Fleetwith Pike.

Approaching Seat, with Scarth Gap in the mid-ground, Haystacks beyond, and the Gables towards top right: -

Seat, Scarth Gap, Haystacks.

Looking back towards Gamlin End, from Scarth Gap: -

Looking back to Gamlin End.

Haystacks summit reached, and it's gone decidedly overcast once again. - A shot of the Gables from the summit: -

The Gables from Haystacks summit.

The tops had been pretty quiet so far, but Haystacks, with it's Wainwright connections, was very busy. Rush hour at Inominate Tarn: -

Rush hour at Inominate Tarn. (15 people in shot).

Moving slightly up the fell, the path is hidden from view, giving a rather pleasing heather filled foreground to shots of the tarn: -

Inominate Tarn & Heather.

A close-up of the Gables, taken from just beyond Inominate Tarn: -

The Gables from Inominate Tarn area.

From Inominate Tarn, it's not very far to Green Crag. On the way, Blackbeck Tarn can be visited with very little need for a diversion: -

Blackbeck Tarn.

From Blackbeck Tarn, my walk crossed Green Crag, then skirting round the head of Warnscale towards the upper reaches of the Honister Quarries. A quarry path - (goes to "The Drumhouse", and eventually onwards all the way to Honister Youth Hostel area): -

A pathway through Honister Slate Quarries.

A shot looking over to Honister Youth Hostel (left), and the Honister Mines visitor centre and mine buildings (centre): -

Honister YH & Mines buildings.

An abandoned slate hopper and winding equipment. Relics of times gone by at Honister mines: -

A rusting slate hopper etc.

Buttermere and Crummock Water, and the High Crag to Red Pike group, as seen from Fleetwith Pike summit: -

Fleetwith Pike summit view.

More heather clad slopes on the way back down to valley level from Fleetwith Pike: -

Heather clad slopes on Fleetwith Pike.

The Fanny Mercer memorial cross, located on the lower crags of Fleetwith Pike, above Gatesgarth: -

The Fanny Mercer memorial cross.

Looking back to Fleetwith Pike, now bathed in evening sunlight, from Gatesgarth: -

Fleetwith Pike from Gatesgarth.

Onwards, to the lakeshore path, and a shot looking across the famous Buttermere Pines towards Haystacks: -

Haystacks and the Buttermere Pines.

And another shot across the Pines looking towards Warnscale Beck and Green Crag: -

Green Crag and the Buttermere Pines.

Walking along Buttermere's lakeshore path takes you through this short tunnel. Originally put there at the instruction of the then landowner, who apparently enjoyed walking along his lakeside path, but didn't like having to climb up and over the rocky outcrop at that location: -

Buttermere lakeshore tunnel.

Evening sunlight across the lake on the walk back to the car: -

Evening sunlight over Buttermere lake.

Another grand day in the Lakes!

Regards, Mike.


By Pmg on 08/09/17 at 10:42am

Wow Mike! How I wish I could do these walks ... I never had climbing legs not even 40 year ago .... the elevation profile caused me to gulp! Burtness Wood looks inviting, wonder if its got a few fungi? The shots over the heather looking back are fabulous ....it certainly looks high on High Crag and High Stile! Inominate Tarn looks beautiful ... Many years ago I managed to get up onto the moor at Fleetwith looking for Mountain Ringlet but we 'dipped out' ... we didn;t climb Fleetwith Pike though - it took me all my time to get up those steps from the mine! I never knew there was a tunnel - thats surprised me!! As you say another grand day in the Lakes - thanks for showing those Mike - its grand to see where I cannot get to - but would dearly love to go!! Pauline


By Lancashire Lad on 08/09/17 at 2:07pm

Hi Pauline, thanks again for your comments.

The elevation profile always gives a slightly false impression, as the horizontal axis is, by necessity, very much compressed with respect to the vertical axis. - However, it still feels like you are walking up a 70 degree slope many-a-time, when walking up some of these hills! :lol:

I wasn't particularly looking for them, but yes, I saw quite a few fungi in Burtness Wood, (Russulas, Mycenas, Polypores, etc. etc.). - Although I was too busy sweating up the hill to go and look at most of them!

Yes, the Inominate Tarn area is a beautiful place. For the photographer it has some idyllic views. I didn't really get good conditions there this time, but it gets so busy around Haystacks, even on dull days. - Very hard these days to get shots of the tarn that don't include other people.

Regards, Mike.


By Pmg on 20/09/17 at 11:29am

... there's always the cloning brush Mike - gets rid of all sorts of unwanted stuff - including people!!!! :o



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