28th November 2010

Scar Crags, Causey Pike and Outerside


Walk Overview
Time 10.40 to 14.40
Duration 4 hr
Distance 7.6 mile
Ascent 2300 ft
Walking with On my own
Braithwaite - Coledale - Birkthwaite Beck - Scar Crags - Causey Pike - High Moss - Outerside - Low Moss - Stile End - High Coledale - Braithwaite
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Braithwaite Village

The best option are the half dozen or so spaces outside the school. Other than that, it's a case of finding a space in the centre of the village.


Route Map

Braithwaite was lovely this morning with a covering of snow and plenty of sunshine. Despite how much I enjoy walking here though, this wasn't where I'd actually wanted to walk today. Assuming I could have got there to park up, I had looked forward to a walk on Helvellyn. Unfortunately the day had got off to a rubbish start because someone thought it a good idea to block my car in, in fact, they blocked Jennifer's in as well so I couldn't even jump in that one. We live near the bottom of a very steep and very long hill which doesn't get gritted so last night I went out of my way to make sure the car was left in the best possible place so I could reverse into the road facing down hill and carefully get to the bottom without skidding into anything.

Anyway: It was after 10 o'clock when I noticed the car had gone and by that time I was so fed up Helvellyn didn't seen like a good idea anymore.

The northern fells, seen here from the track which runs from the road on Whinlatter Pass to Force Crag Mine.

Following the track into Coledale. The fells on the skyline are (in no particular order) Stile End, Causey Pike, Scar Crags, Outerside, Sail, Crag Hill.

Much further along the track and Grisedale Pike comes into view (the pointed one on the right).

Walking up the path above Long Comb.
I wasn't exactly sliding about all over the place but it was along here that I decided to put on a pair of micro spikes. These are a great little piece of kit which I'd recommend to anyone who walks the fells at this time of year. They are by no means a substitute for full crampons, what they are however, is a simple means of allowing you to walk 'normally' when conditions are as you see here. You can get them on and off literally in seconds, and unlike crampons, you hardly feel like you've got them on.

Looking back down the path.

Finally I'm back in the sunshine. Grisedale Pike is the fell on the right.


Scar Crags summit ridge.

A view back along the ridge to Sail and its awful zigzag path.

Lakeland in winter.

And looking in more or less the same direction as the previous picture, this time from Causey Pike summit.

Still on the summit and now looking around towards the Skiddaw Fells.

Grisedale Pike and Hopegill Head, taken as I head back from Causey Pike.


Causey Pike was included as a short out and back today. I took this picture on the way back and just before I turned off towards High Moss.

Sail and Crag Hill, seen as I head onto Outerside.

For God sake you don't have meet some Richard Edwards (think about it) on the fells. Anyone who has walked with me will know how easily I manage to keep warm and consequently I can walk quite comfortably in these conditions with no jacket, hat or gloves on. Well, it was just after taking this picture that some guy decided to tell about winter walking and how ill equipped I was for the fells.
The conversation went something like this:-

me - "hello, nice day isn't it"
him - "hello, , , , are you heading back down soon"
me - "yes, I'm making my way to Braithwaite after I've been up here"
him - "I just thought I'd ask because you don't seem very well equipped to be up here on your own"
me - "hang on a second, what do you mean not very well equipped"
him - "I noticed you haven't got a jacket or a hat on and where's your map"
me (in a blunt tone) - "I don't need a map and I'm not cold. If I was cold I've got everything I'm likely to need in my bag"
him - "you know the weather can change quickly on the fells at this time of year"
me - "this isn't my first time up here you know"
him - "yes, but I come to the Lake District for two or three weekends every year so I know what I'm doing"
me - "two or three times a year, , , right, , , OK"

I was just about to turn my back on him and walk away when he asked "where do you come from"
me - "I live here, where do you live"
him - "Ah, right, I see. So you'll know this area do you."
me - "I suppose you could say that"
him - "how often do you walk on the fells then"
me (trying to prove the point) - "two, three sometimes four times every single week"
him - "so which is the best way to get to Causey Pike from here"
me - "you are joking aren't you"
him - "no, I've never walked on these fells before"
me - "so let me get this right. A couple of minutes ago you were telling me how experienced you are and how inexperienced I must be and now you're the one asking me for directions. Sorry but I can't wait to tell everyone about this"

This time, I did turn my back on him and walk away. A Richard Edward if ever there was one!!!

On top of Outerside now and looking across Derwent Water and the central fells to Clough Head, the Dodds, Helvellyn & co.


A close up of High Seat, Helvellyn Lower Man, Helvellyn and the pointed Catstye Cam.

Great Mell Fell in front of the Pennines.

Walking across Low Moss towards Stile End.

Causey Pike, taken shortly before the sun disappeared below the skyline.

Another close up, this one showing a busy Cat Bells summit in front of Seat Sandal.

Binsey (Binsa).

With the sun being so low at this time of year it's difficult (but not impossible) to do a decent length walk without spending at least some time walking in the shade, and today I seem to have spent an awful lot of time out of the sunshine. Yes, you could argue that it was my own fault for walking the route I took today, and perhaps you'd be right. To make myself feel better, I blame the person who blocked my car in. A big consolation was the walk across Scar Crags, Causey Pike and the section on Outerside which were just magical.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks