19th February 2008

Taking advantage of the last forecasted day of good weather - Steeple to Caw Fell from Ennerdale


Walk Overview
Time 09.30 to 15.45
Duration 6 hr 15 min
Distance 11 mile
Ascent 3100 ft
Walking with Anderw Leaney
Bowness Knott - Ennerdale Water - Irish Bridge - Lingmell - Steeple - Scoat Fell - Haycock - Caw Fell - Ennerdale Water - Bowness Knott
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, Bowness Knott, Ennerdale Water

Difficult to reach, well perhaps it is a little, but Bowness Knott is in effect the gateway to the wonderfully remote Ennerdale Valley and therefore well worth the effort required to get here. The valley beyond the car park stretches for over six fantastic traffic free miles.

Parking is free and the car park always has plenty of empty spaces available.


Route Map

Reflections of Crag Fell on Ennerdale Water.

A very dry looking River Liza seen from Irish Bridge. Although I've always known it as Irish Bridge I've never known exactly why; until now. Thanks to an email from Gerry Jackson in Cockermouth for the following information:-
An Irish Bridge is a generic name for any river or stream crossing that allows traffic to pass dry footed in times of low water, in times of flood however the water flows over the bridge and makes crossing much riskier. They are usually made of concrete over culverts.

We'd gained a bit of height now on Lingmell (not the well known one at Wasdale) and the view back down to Ennerdale was fantastic. On the left hand side of the lake you can see Crag Fell & Anglers Crag and on the right the tree topped fell is Bowness Knott.
The metal gate was not easy to get over, was it Andrew? You're never geared up to start videoing when you need to be!!

Great Borne, Blake Fell (just) and Starling Dodd, taken from the bottom section of the north ridge up to Steeple.

And from further up the ridge. Notice the bank of haze in the distance.

Pillar, Black Crag and the distinctive shape of Great Gable on the right of the picture.

The pointed top of the aptly named Steeple. This picture doesn't show it very well, but you can just and so see the tops of some of the Scottish mountains sticking out above the haze. Looking a bit further to the left we could also see the Isle of Man above the haze.

Three hours or so after setting out and it was time for something to eat and what a view we got.

Great Gable seen from the wall on Scoat Fell.

Looking back along the ridge wall, which goes on for mile after mile.

And again. This time taken between Haycock (the high point on the right) and Caw Fell.

Caw Fell with Haycock directly above the cairn and Scafell on the right (above the wall).

Time to start heading back into the valley. The route we followed took us down the grassy ridge coming into the picture from the right hand side of the photo. It felt much longer and steeper then it looks from here.

As we were walking down the ridge we caught sight of a fire in the distance; on the side of Knock Murton.

You hear on the news just how fast this type of fire can spread and although this one wasn't really that big we were still noticing the area getting bigger almost by the minute.

And a little closer.

Further down the ridge now and Ennerdale Water begins to come into view, but still a long way off.

The timing on the camera showed that this photo was taken only twenty minutes after the first one showing the fire.

Back down to valley level now and I have to say this is much easier on the legs.

A couple of minutes later I took this photo looking in the same direction as the previous one; towards Pillar.

And a wider view, taken from the track next to Ennerdale Water and showing Pillar, Steeple, Scoat Fell and Haycock on the skyline.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks