Yewbarrow, Red Pike & Pillar - Wednesday 20 May 2015
Overbeck Bridge - Bell Rib - Great Door - Yewbarrow - Stirrup Crag - Dore Head - Red Pike - Little Scoat Fell - Wind Gap - Pillar - Looking Stead - Black Sail Pass - Gatherstone Head - Mosedale - Wasdale Head - Overbeck Bridge
Overbeck Bridge (Donation) - Grid Ref NY168069
Very good mountain paths throughout although care needs to be taken on the ascent of Bell Rib on Yewbarrow and descending Stirrup Crag to Dore Head. Both ascent and descent require careful but not difficult negotiation.
Overcast in the valleys with intermittent reduced visibility above 400m. The weather improved once we were back down in Mosedale
OL4 - The English Lakes (North Western Area)
OL6 - The English Lakes (South Western Area)
It is always lovely to be in and around Wasdale. We were staying near Santon Bridge therefore only down the road and with the weather not looking too bad we decided today was the day we would tackle Yewbarrow via Bell Rib and descend the same via Stirrup Crag - add in Red Pike & Pillar and it looked to be a promising day out on The Mosedale Horseshoe. The weather however had other ideas for the majority of the walk today.
The walk started from the Car Park at Overbeck Bridge and we were there nice and early as this fills up pretty quickly. The path up to our first summit, Yewbarrow left from the back of the Car Park and almost immediately we were climbing steeply in order to reach the ladder stile at the foot of Dropping Crag. The path now started to zig zag up the side of Bell Rib, gradual ascent at first and finding the path as it changed direction was easy enough. The steepness increased as the path straightened out and it was then time to go hands on and enjoy a strenuous but enjoyable scramble up the gully to the vast rock portal that is Great Door. The view over to the Scafells from here is fantastic although we were not seeing that at its best today unfortunately.
From Great Door there was still work to do before reaching Yewbarrow's south summit and we transited steeply up to Bull Crag before the path levelled out and the summit cairn came into view. The transit from South Top to the North Top was pretty level going and we were soon making the descent off the fell to Dore Head via Stirrup Crag. Much is made about the descent of Stirrup - it is tricky but it is simply a question of taking ones time and watching where you put your feet. We have been both up and down Stirrup Crag now and it is a joyful scramble both ways.
The weather was starting to go against us and the mist came in as we reached Dore Head. There was now a steady ascent up on to Red Pike and we made a slight diversion off the path to find the chair cairn before heading back on route to the summit of Red Pike. The cairn sits right on the edge of the Mosedale Crags and in good weather there is a superb view from here - but not today. Leaving Red Pike there is a gradual descent before the path turns right to head over Black Crag and the steep descent to Wind Gap. For a longer walk, Scoat Fell, Steeple & Haycock can be added in from this point. At Wind Gap there is a steep, but not overly difficult climb up on to Pillar's summit plateau and soon enough the stone shelter and trig point come into view.
Pillar is a fantastic mountain and the last time we were up on the summit (link here) we were blessed with ideal weather but despite trying its hardest the cloud was not shifting therefore we abandoned all hope of having a wander around the summit and instead carried on towards Looking Stead although the mist did clear for a view back to Ennerdale & Pillar Rock and also down to Black Sail. This was a lovely stretch along to Looking Stead and on to the Black Sail Pass junction. At the junction we made a decision to head straight back to Wasdale as originally we were going to go up on to Kirk Fell and then to Great Gable but we had done enough today therefore left those summits for another time.
The path through Mosedale back to Wasdale via Gatherstone Head is a delight and yes it is a right old trudge but the views over to the Dore Head Screes and also to Lingmell and The Scafells more than make up for it. Eventually Wasdale Head is reached and passing behind Row Head we reached the old packhorse bridge and The Wasdale Head Inn. We were tempted to nip in for a drink but it was a bit too busy therefore we headed on along the road back to the start at Overbeck Bridge. True to form the weather improved markedly on the transit along the road and we were treated to amazing views over to The Scafells, Lingmell and Yewbarrow - typical.
Another great day on the fells in this beautiful and very special part of the Lake District.
The walk starts from the Car Park at Overbeck Bridge
Bell Rib on Yewbarrow
Ascending Bell Rib - it looks impossible to climb up from here but there is a path which is to the left then slants right
On the path to Bell Rib - the path zig zags left roughly where Angie is
Middle Fell with Seatallan in cloud
Paws for thought on the ascent of Bell Rib
Easy scrambling on the way to the summit of Bell Rib & Great Door
Looking back down the gully scramble
The path becomes a bit looser near the top but is still fairly easy to negotiate
This suddenly appears as if by magic - Great Door with The Scafells & Mickledore in cloud
Looking over Great Door to Bell Rib and Wastwater. The gully scramble leads to the bottom right of the photograph (Great Door) and you then have a choice to carry on to the summit of Yewbarrow or have a nice little scramble (as Dave did) on to Bell Rib
Close up on Lingmell, The Scafells & Mickledore
From just a bit further up on the ridge to Yewbarrow - Illgill Head & Whin Rigg sitting above Wastwater
The summit of Yewbarrow
Heading to the North Top of Yewbarrow above Stirrup Crag - ominously Pillar is now in cloud
Heading down the steep scrambly descent of Stirrup Crag with Mosedale below and Pillar ahead
Stirrup Crag from below
The descent of Stirrup Crag is not overly difficult - you just have to take your time - even Fudge did! Dore Head waits below.
Dore Head with the path to Red Pike stretching away up the fell - it wasn't looking too good up there!
Did we just come down that? Looking back up Stirrup Crag
Kirk Fell, Great Gable & Sty Head
Looking back down the path to Dore Head and Yewbarrow
Yewbarrow in the sun - sort of! Was the weather about to get better?
A slight detour from the path to Red Pike takes you to The Chair Cairn
Low Tarn, Middle Fell & Seatallan
The viz from the summit cairn on Red Pike was - pants!
Wind Gap leading to Pillar
The path from Little Scoat Fell descends steeply to Wind Gap before a short, sharp pull up to Pillar's plateau summit
Looking back up to Black Crag from our descent from Little Scoat Fell
The viz was starting to improve now in part and we therefore enjoyed this lovely view down Ennerdale
The deserted summit of Pillar
The Ennerdale Fence - easy enough to follow in mist down to the Black Sail Pass via Looking Stead
This view was about as good as we were going to get although it was trying to improve
Heading down off Pillar to Looking Stead - Yewbarrow & Wasdale Head come into view
Looking Stead ahead
Fells everywhere. Seat & Haystacks are the fells in the foreground
The path continues to Looking Stead with Kirk Fell and Great Gable keeping us company. The Scafells are to the right.
Close up on Green and Great Gable
Black Sail Youth Hostel sits below us in the Ennerdale valley
The summit of Looking Stead
Kirk Fell - our original plan was to go up over here then on to Great Gable, returning via Sty Head - no chance!
Yewbarrow and the Dore Head Screes from below Gatherstone Head in Mosedale
Kirk Fell - the hard way!! (link here)
Great Gable from Wasdale Head
Did not visit today but we were sorely tempted
Scafell across the slopes of Lingmell
Heading back down the road to Overbeck with Illgill Head in full view
Further along the road Scafell Pike, Mickledore & Scafell are in full view
Illgill Head across Wastwater
Finished the walk and true to form the weather gets better!! Looking down Wastwater to Lingmell & The Scafells
What a difference a few hours makes - Bell Rib on Yewbarrow
Fudge in Wastwater with Illgill Head as a lovely backdrop
Cameras Out!!! "The View" down Wastwater - Yewbarrow, Great Gable and Lingmell
The Wasdale Screes
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