This is an unusual route to approach the high fells. Walk along the shores of Ennerdale before striking steeply up the direct ridge of graceful Steeple and on to Haycock.
Ennerdale is the only valley in the Lake District without a public road so any walk in to the mountains within its depths is always longer and more of an effort than the other valleys. It reminds me more of Scotland than the Lakes although to be fair the forest road offers reasonably quick access. To the north the High Stile ridge is unappealing and much better done from Buttermere but to the south there are some intriguing ridges leading down in to the forests. None more so than Steeple (2,687′) which, along with Pillar, are Ennerdale’s mountains.
The ridge is as good to walk on as it is to look at (no difficulties) and heads like a beeline to the small summit area whilst providing a consistently excellent, and ever changing view of Pillar’s dramatic north face. From the summit a small inter connecting ridge leads to the broad plateau of Scoat Fell (2,760′), the highest point on the walk, and an easy walk over to the craggy heights of Haycock (2,618′). The descent over Tewitt Fell shoulder to the crags of Lingmell is the best line and there are some excellent views down Ennerdale completing what is a wonderful, and unusual, day on the high fells.
Try adding the southern shore path on Ennerdale, it will probably take at least 1/2 an hour more but, if time permits, is worth the effort.
At the east end of Ennerdale, grid reference 132138, head in to the woods on a path that will soon emerge on the open fell side. There are two paths in the trees. One follows the river, the other is a little to the east. It matters not which you take. They join on the slopes of Tewit How.
On the summit ridge at 158113 turn north on a good path to the fantastic Steeple mountain. The easy scramble leads to the exposed summit. The path down continues on its north side.
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