Miles
8

High Stile over Buttermere

L054
  • Rough and popular ridge
  • Views down both Buttermere & Ennerdale
  • Pleasant lakeside finish

The long imposing ridge of Red Pike, High Stile and High Crag, which divides Buttermere and the less popular Ennerdale, looks almost impossible to penetrate for the walker. A direct assault from Buttermere offers a mix of scree and heather which during the shorter hours of autumn an winter cast a deep shadow over the valley. Myself Paul, Pete and Wayne tackled the direct route up Red Pike on a ‘typical’ English summer’s day passing the classical glaciated corrie of Bleaberry Tarn on route.

The climb is almost unremittingly steep  for 2150′, however the Fix the Fells team have been hard at work and created an easier and more pleasant route at least on to the tarn and the Saddle but the final few hundred feet can be torturous. The ridge itself is typical of the west fells, being rough and largely pathless. In the mist it is possible to become a little confused near the summits, heading down the easier but incorrect grassy slopes and ending up with surprising views of the Ennerdale Forest (he says from bitter experience). The correct descent is steep all the way to the col (Scarth Gap) with Haystacks. This lovely mountain is seen to great effect but the path on descent is rough and it is only the final walk along the lake where you can afford to walk without full concentration on where to put your feet!

Recommend: There is no better example of the work done by ‘Fix the Fells’ than the steep slopes of High Stile. More information here.

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Buttermere Round map

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OS Map: O/S 1.25,000. OL4 The English Lakes North West. Buy Map
Start Point: NY 178170. Buttermere. Most people park on the steep road leading to Keswick via Newlands.
Height to Climb: 752ms (2,467 feet)
Terrain: The path can be indistinct on the rough ridge, however the tracks up and down are very clear if badly eroded
Eating & Drinking: Buttermere has two old inns, the Fish Inn & the Bridge Hotel and a tea shop.They may not like dogs but aside from this they are very good.
Similar Walks Nearby: Mellbreak & the shores of Crummock Water
Haystacks – Wainwright’s favourite
The Newlands Round
Places to Stay: Scale Hill Cottages, Buttermere