|Distance:||8.3 km or 5.2 miles|
|Ascent:||550m or 1804ft|
|Descent:||550m or 1804ft|
According to the mountain weather forecast, Wednesday 29th November was to be a sunny day in the Lake District, but with strong northerly winds. The first of the winter's snow had fallen during the previous few days, but as Haystacks is not one of the highest fells, at just 1956ft high, the snow was lying mainly above the altitude level that would be achieved on this particular walk.
I'd last been up Haystacks only about three months back, as part of my Red Pike to Fleetwith Pike "Buttermere Round", (see: - viewtopic.php?f=2&t=519), but this time, was accompanied by my sister. Haystacks was chosen because it was her first fell-walk for several months, and, given the wintery conditions, wouldn't be too lengthy or strenuous for her.
As things turned out, the weather wasn't as "wall to wall" sunny as had been forecast, although there were some reasonably lengthy sunny intervals during the day, and there were no snow flurries or rain, so it could have been worse! The winds were pretty strong from the start, and particularly so on the tops. This, combined with air temperature of just above freezing, gave a wind-chill temperature well below freezing! - (Definitely a hat, gloves, wind-proof jacket, and plenty of warm layers kind of a day!).
Overall route length was just short of five and three quarter miles, with total ascents of 2106ft. Although, due to the vagaries of GPS equipment, the statistics on the recorded track varied slightly from those displayed on the device at the end of the walk.
We didn't start walking until gone 10:00am, and got back to the car just as it was going dark at about 4pm - Just over six hours in total, but according to the GPS, our actual moving time was only 3hr.19min. (We both carry head torches & spares etc., so it wouldn't have been a problem if we had had to finish the walk off in the dark).
All in all, a grand day out on the fells. - The cold crisp weather gave clear views to the very distant mountains, with no heat-haze (one of my bugbears) to spoil the photos!
GPX Track of the walk: -
We started the walk from Gatesgarth Farm's pay-and-display carpark, (currently £4.00), and made our way through the farm yard and across Peggy's Bridge, heading towards the small copse of trees to pick up the Scarth Gap Pass path.
Looking back to Gatesgarth Farm from the copse. (Warnscale Beck and Peggy's Bridge just below, and Fleetwith Pike to right hand side): -
Beginning the ascent to Scarth Gap, with the view across Buttermere Lake towards Grasmoor etc.: -
Long shadow, and the view back across Buttermere Lake: -
Looking into Warnscale, with Fleetwith Pike at left, Green Crag (right of centre), and Haystacks at right hand side: -
Looking across Warnscale to Fleetwith Pike, with the flanks of Dale Head and Hindscarth beyond: -
The view back towards Grasmoor from Scarth Gap: -
Looking towards Seat, and the Gamlin End face of High Crag, from Scarth Gap: -
Crummock Water and the hills beyond, as seen from the upper flanks of Haystacks: -
Looking across Seat and High Crag towards Ennerdale, from the upper flanks of Haystacks: -
The north-westerly vista. - High Crag, Crummock Water, Grasmoor, etc. etc. - From Haystacks summit: -
Looking south-easterly from Haystacks summit. (Innominate Tarn, Brandreth, the head of Ennerdale, Green & Great Gable, etc.): -
A close-up of the Gables from Haystacks summit: -
A close-up shot of Innominate Tarn, taken from Haystacks summit: -
Looking towards the Gables across Haystacks' summit tarns: -
A close-up of the Gables, taken from the path between Innominate Tarn and Blackbeck Tarn: -
Looking towards Green Crag from the Blackbeck Tarn path: -
Fleetwith Pike, and a glimpse down into Warnscale Bottom. - Taken on the approach to Blackbeck Tarn: -
The view down Warnscale, and across Buttermere & Crummock Water, taken on the approach to Blackbeck Tarn: -
Looking towards Buttermere from the head of Black Beck - (The outlet stream from Blackbeck Tarn): -
Looking back to Haystacks, with High Crag & High Stile behind. Mellbreak, (towards right hand side in the distance), is catching the low afternoon sunlight, with just a glimpse of Carling Knottt's summit poking out beyond. - From flanks of Green Crag at head of Black Beck: -
Blackbeck Tarn and the Gables: -
Blackbeck Tarn and the Gables. (Part of Kirk Fell on horizon at right hand side): -
One of Warnscale Beck's many waterfalls: -
Looking back across Warnscale to an almost silhouetted Haystacks as the light begins to fade: -
Looking towards Buttermere from the path down to Warnscale Bottom: -
Last shot of the day. - A close up of the snow capped summit of Grasmoor, from Warnscale Bottom: -