Tuesday 10 August 2010

Walk 32
Seatoller Weekend: 6th-8th August 2010
Saturday 9.5m / 3550ft ascent 4350ft descent

106. LDW-116 Fleetwith Pike 2126ft
107. LDW-131 Haystacks 1959ft
108. LDW-065 High Crag 2411ft
109. LDW-029 High Stile 2644ft
110. LDW-062 Red Pike 2477ft

G4OBK on Fleetwith Pike LDW-116
Saturday dawned wet and misty. We considered an easier alternative - a walk taking in Castle Crag, High Spy, Maiden Moor and Catbells returning by bus. However, this would take us up above 2000ft anyway, so we stuck with our original plan to tackle the ridge walk across Hay Stacks and Red Pike, supplementing it with Fleetwith Pike LDW-116 at the start to give us five WOTAs. We hoped to do Starling Dodd LDW-122 and Great Borne LDW-127 above Ennerdale Water as well, however we knew time would be tight for those two as we would need to catch the 1625z bus back from Buttermere to Honister at the end. If we missed that bus we would have a 4 mile steep walk back on top of what we had done already. Our route to Fleetwith Pike was not the best, we took the Tramway path up to Dubs quarry and found our way in the mist up to the top via Hopper Quarry. We found that there are tracks and paths all over the place which are not shown on the OS Maps - much of the fell has been taken away by the slate workings anyway. It took 50 minutes to reach the top before heading back down again to Dubs Quarry to cross Warnscale Beck at the stepping stones and start our ascent to Hay Stacks LDW-131.

Honister Slate Mine-Fleetwith Pike-Hay Stacks-High Crag-High Stile-Red Pike-Buttermere
The activation of Hay Stacks was a milestone to me - it was No. 107 - exactly half way through climbing the 214 Wainwrights. In the rain and mist we had passed Innominate Tarn, this was not the best day to do what is seen by many as the best ridge walk in the Lake District. From Scarth Gap it was difficult to discern the path up to High Crag LDW-065 and High Stile LDW-029/LD-012, however the path is there once a short section of scree is climbed, and it is a good path, stepped in places. Two younger walkers passed us here as we paused for breath, not surprising with over 300m of ascent over a distance of 1Km!

High Crag LDW-065 was activated in mist as was High Stile LDW-029, however as we came down from there to Red Pike LDW-062 we saw what we had been missing all day (above). What a fantastic place to be, the welcome sunshine drying out our clothing and giving us some far reaching views in all directions.  We made it down to The Bridge Inn at Buttermere in good time to enjoy a drink and then catch the bus back to Honister where I had parked my car. Starling Dodd and Great Borne will have to wait.
After cleaning up at the B&B in Seatoller we drove down to the Borrowdale Hotel, between Rosthwaite and Keswick for our dinner. On our way back the festivities celebrating the finish of the Fell Race were taking place at The Scafell Hotel, with a steel band performing in the marquee there.

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