10th September 2016

Buckbarrow to Yewbarrow

Time 7:45am to 5:35pm
Duration 9 hr 50 min
Distance 11.1 mile
Ascent 5300 ft is as near as I can get the figure
Walking with Rod Hepplewhite and Paul Sharkey
Harrow Head junction - Buckbarrow - Glade How - Cat Bields - Seatallan - near Pots of Ashness - Gowder Crag - Haycock - Scoat Fell - Steeple - Wind Gap - Pillar - Wind Gap - Red Pike - Door Head - Stirrup Crag - Yewbarrow - ridge down to Overbeck Bridge car park
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre -
Roadside, Harrow Head, Wasdale
There aren't many places here I'm afraid. However, because the spaces are still some distance from the much busier parts of Wasdale, you'll generally be able to find a space here.
Route Map


Today, we set out on the final walk in Paul's project to visit all 214 fells that Wainwright lists - - - in this case all in 30 walks. Quite a challenge which required some very inventive routes such as this one where we needed to use two cars to make it practical. Paul and I met at the car park at the base of Yewbarrow and then drove back through the valley to meet Rod who was waiting for us at Harrow Head. With everything in place we set off and once above the bracken we head across to Buckbarrow; the first of today's summits we'd visit.

The light this morning left a lot to be desired but often these, err, , , dull, conditions can throw up some very nice surprises. An example of this is the blanket of cloud currently covering the Scafells over there.

The route to Seatallan.

Seatallan summit. Looking at this picture you'd think it was raining up here but thankfully that wasn't the case; there was just a lot of cloud swirling about over there.

I'm still being careful with my knee so I opted not to do the out and back to Middle Fell with Paul and Rod. It seemed like a logical bit to miss out on this route. Instead, I headed across and waited at the base of Haycock - a little bit below where the cloud was when I took this picture.

On the subject of my knee, I got to the end of the walk today without feeling much at all and the day after it was as good as new. So, I reckon what ever was wrong is now behind me. I think I must have twisted it or something without realising it and as a result I had a month or so if niggling pain which was enough to make me think about how far I was walking on the fells.


After a somewhat soggy walk from there to here, I sat watching the world go by for a while. But, as there was very little in the way of human activity to keep me amused, I took a picture of Seatallan instead. All the while I was keeping a look out for my companions, and once spotted, keeping track of their progress. Very peaceful sitting here with only my thoughts for company.

After stories from our time of separation had been exchanged we begin our steep ascent of Haycock. On route commenting on the amount of water running out of Scoat Tarn and down the fellside over there. Hardly a surprise to anyone who was in this area yesterday - I finished work at dinner time, went home and never left the house again. If we'd still had a cat, I'd have talked it out of venturing outside to look for mice.

At the top of Haycock and looking across to Scoat Fell and Steeple. Steeple is the pointed bit.

Haycock seen over the down and up we'd just undertaken - - that's posh for 'done' and nothing at all to do with the recently deceased.

Steeple is a great place to visit route up and down it are quite limited so it's often visited as a simple out and back from the main ridge at Scoat Fell. It's a bit like Catstycam over in the east although that's much easier to get to.

Looking across to Pillar. I was going to miss Pillar out as well but as the knee was at this point completely niggleless I decided to venture across there as well. Pleased I did because it's always a great place to be and it's been a little while since I was there.

Ennerdale seen from teh top of Steeple.

Lunch with an intermittent view of Pillar Rock.

The top of Pillar. At this point we thought we'd had it as far as getting any sunshine went, but as if by magic, it began to clear up and turned into the perfect afternoon to be knocking about up here.

Blue sky over towards the coast was quickly heading our way - - - actually it was the clouds that were moving away but you know what I'm getting at.


Looking back across to Pillar which was now enjoying plenty of sunshine. It's a lovely route between Pillar and Red Pike on a clear day like this. Very mountainous views all the way.

A Red Pike summit view of Kirk Fell and Great Gable - plus lots of others.

We leave Red Pike more than pleased at the way the day has turned out and the views, well, you can see for your selves how good it was.

Kirk Fell and Great gable.

Our final fell of the day is Yewbarrow which gives you a steep way up from every (footpathed) approach. This is the Stirrup Crag end of the fell and probably the rockiest of the 'proper' ways up. Not a route I particularly enjoy walking down because the rock steps are just a bit too long for (MY) comfort.

Don't step back.

Heading up Stirrup Crag. This is the easy bit then it gets really steep.


Looking back along the ridge. That's Red pike on the left and Pillar behind.

Now I look to the right and get a view of Kirk Fell and Great Gable plus, Great and and Lingmell.

Kirk Fell summit with the top of the cairn between Kirk Fell and Great Gable.

Tired legs now begin the steep walk down the Wast Water side of the fell.


Here's a final picture showing Lingmell and the Scafells.

Well what a fantastic day on the fells and what a fantastic way to bring Paul's 2016 walking project to a conclusion. If you want to end a project on an impressive fell you can't do much better than Yewbarrow for drama and excitement.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks