Fleetwith Pike

  • Superb views down Buttermere
  • Interesting slate quarries
  • A wonderfully perched summit

2126′. Climbing Fleetwith Pike asks a lot of questions of the walker. From Gatesgarth there is an unremitting climb of nearly 2,000 foot with no rest or flatter bits. It is steep and although from a distance Fleetwith Pike is one of the most graceful mountains in the Lakes being faced with the climb is not an appealing prospect. Decisions, decisions on Fleetwith Pike; should the steep face be climbed or descended and the easier and longer route up Warnscale Bottom and out to the slate quarries behind the summit  used as an easy ascent or relaxing decent. Maybe it is an age thing but I still prefer descending steep than climbing steep but the couple I met at Gatesgarth last Thursday disagreed strongly and the chap thought his knees would never recover. It is certainly knee jangling but I stopped regularly and soaked in the quite fabulous views over Buttermere and Crummock Water. I still say this is the best way round but many would disagree!

The slate quarries behind the summit area do add to the enjoyment of the walk by adding something unique and interesting to the fell; it is wonderful country and Fleetwith Pike should be climbed (by whichever route!) sooner rather than later.

Recommend: The head of Buttermere is often walked from Haystacks to Fleetwith Pike – do it it is one of the best walks in Lakeland.

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Fleetwith Pike map


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OS Map: O/S 1.25,000. OL4 The English Lakes North West. Buy Map
Start Point: NY 195149. Gatesgarth farm. My preference is aiming for the valley of Warnscale first but most set foot straight on the ridge.
Height to Climb: 529ms (1,735 feet)
Terrain: Careful on the ridge as the steep track has a lot of loose stones and earth on it. No doubt it will be 'repaired' soon.
Eating & Drinking: There are 2 pubs and 2 cafe's at Buttermere, one mile down the road from Gatesgarth. Personally I favour the walkers bar in the Bridge Hotel but it is a toss up.
Similar Walks Nearby: Haystacks from Buttermere
Exploring Upper Borrowdale
Mellbreak & Crummock Water
Places to Stay: