There can be no finer way up a mountain than one which requires you to grab hold of its rock to maintain forward, and upward, progress. Not too much mind as some people prefer walking than climbing. Causey Pike balances this on a knife edge with style.
Not many fells sport a profile akin to the Loch Ness monster. In fact it is unique, instantly recognisable, and it has to be said just a little bit intimidating once you realise the best way to tackle it is to climb it head on. If that isn't enough to have you running in the other direction, the warm up of Rowling End might just. Whilst the Pike is not visible from the start of the walk, Rowling End is and it is every bit as steep as it looks. However there are no difficulties as the rock steps encountered are easy angled and have plenty of route choices with good hand and foot holds. The last part to the Pike is a straightforward ungraded scramble. No difficult or exposed manoeuvres should present themselves. Once pointed in the right direction Jessie simply walked up. The author had no choice but to follow her!
Stoneycroft and the Newlands valley has a rich industrial history. Just below Long Crag, at the head of Long Comb, was a trial cobalt mine. Lower down near the road was a lead mine. At the bottom of Stonycroft gill was a smelter which for a while processed ore from Greenside mine in Glenridding. At the height of activity in the 16th century a lot of highly skilled German miners were employed and Derwent Island was bought to provide them with a safe community in which live.
The walk starts on the Newlands pass road, just above Uzzicar Farm. Here there is a large informal parking area handily placed at the end of the mine track.
Walk height profile
note that gradients are usually grossly exaggerated
From the parking area turn left along the road heading further into the Newlands Valley towards the top of the pass. Stay on the road, down to the road bridge over Stoneycroft Gill. Cross the bridge and as the road goes round to the left look out for the path carefully hidden behind the gorse on your right. There is a very short signpost.
Follow this narrow path as it heads for the base of Rowling End's north eastern spur. Cross the grass tracks, reaching a tee-junction of paths turn right, and then shortly after left onto another narrow path climbing a shelf above Ellas Crag. The gradient steepens and the path gets rougher.
Follow the path as it bears right onto the ridgeline, and meanders up through knee high heather. Approaching the rocky steps the path usually splits into many different options. Pick one and follow it, they all end up together above the step. Continue to the grassy respite of Rowling End.
Cross the grassy summit and continue through the heather. Whilst the path all but disappears under the heather only a few metres ahead the way is obvious. After a few little bumps and meanders of its own the path comes eventually to Sleet Hawse with the climb to the head of Causey Pike ahead.
The path now becomes loose stone in places, and more rocky steps in others. Occasionally a slight respite at a grassy patch and a cairn will be found. Onward, and upwards, until the last steep steep section presents itself.
Having watched a few people climb up, and down, there seems to be a key to each direction. On descent a gully seems preferable. Climbing up, a more direct approach is favoured as the gully is awkward to get into. So, at the first rock step climb up to the right, to a small terrace.
Climb the pinkish rock steps heading to your left. Above these follow the polished rock path to the right. The rest is easily ascended on sight.
The summit of Causey Pike is a little understated for such a fantastic climb. No cairn, or trig point graces its summit. Just a little rocky patch, and a few stones.
Continue over the Pike, and along Nessie's back. Some people count five humps, others count seven. Follow the path over the ridge, drop down to the col with Scar Crags and continue up the other side.
The first cairn is not quite the summit your are looking for. The summit of Scar Crags is a small cairn just a little further on over the grassy and surprisingly moist top.
Continue over the wide summit ridge towards the ignoble face of Sail with its winding path. Drop down to Sail Pass and at the crossroads turn sharp right to continue descending. Initially a few bits of stone pitching can be found, but mainly it is just a rough mountain path.
The path narrows, swings right and traverses a terrace above Long Comb and the old Stoneycroft cobalt mine. Just carry on following the path.
Keep right and remain on the widening path, it gradually becomes more like a track, and consequently rougher too.
Stoneycroft Gill just a stone's throw on the right is not easy to access from the track until in its lower reaches. Where it seems to be a popular ghyll scrambling venue.
Finally approaching the Newlands road the track sweeps left to return to the parking area.
If you like this walk then why not try one of our other nearby walks:
|Catbells and the Newlands valley||1.4km (0.9 miles) away|
|Catbells||1.5km (0.9 miles) away|
|Catbells, Maiden Moor, High Spy - A Half Newlands||1.5km (0.9 miles) away|
|A Shorter Coledale Round||1.8km (1.1 miles) away|
|To Force Crag Mine - a Coledale Low Round||1.9km (1.2 miles) away|
|The Coledale Horseshoe||1.9km (1.2 miles) away|
|Grisedale Pike and Hopegill Head||2.1km (1.3 miles) away|
|Force Crag Mine||2.1km (1.3 miles) away|
|Robinson, Hindscarth and Dale Head - A Half Newlands||2.3km (1.4 miles) away|
|Robinson and Hindscarth from Little Town||2.3km (1.5 miles) away|
|Whinlatter Forest - Heavy Sides Walk||2.9km (1.8 miles) away|
|Words In The Woods||2.9km (1.8 miles) away|
|Cumbria Way - Keswick to Caldbeck||3.8km (2.3 miles) away|
|The National Trust Centenary Stone from Keswick||3.8km (2.3 miles) away|
|Around Derwent Water||3.8km (2.3 miles) away|
|A short walk to Friar's Crag from the Moot Hall, Keswick||3.8km (2.3 miles) away|
|Castlehead Viewpoint from the Moot Hall, Keswick||3.8km (2.3 miles) away|
|Walla Crag and Bleaberry Fell from Great Wood||3.9km (2.4 miles) away|
|Walla Crag and the Great Wood||3.9km (2.4 miles) away|
|Whinlatter||4.0km (2.5 miles) away|
|A Short Stroll to Lodore Falls||4.1km (2.5 miles) away|
|A Short Walk From Ashness Bridge to High Seat||4.3km (2.6 miles) away|
|The Old Keswick Railway Line and Latrigg||4.3km (2.7 miles) away|
|Barf, Lord's Seat, Ullister Hill and Seat How||4.9km (3.0 miles) away|
Unless otherwise stated the text in this walk is the copyright of Hug Solutions Ltd trading as The Hug and the photographs are the copyright of Elizabeth Oldham. Hill data is derived from Database of British and Irish hills which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Maps contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2011 and paths © OpenStreetMap Contributors,CC-BY-SA, 2011