26th September 2008

Kirk Fell direct, Beck Head and Gavel Neese


Walk Overview
Time 14.10 to 18.45
Duration 4 hr 35 min
Distance 4.3 mile
Ascent 2400 ft
Walking with Derek Roberts
Wasdale Head - Kirk Fell (direct route) - Rib End - Beck Head - Gavel Neese - Moses Trod - Wasdale Head
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, Wasdale Head

Wasdale can boast possession of the highest mountain, the deepest lake and the smallest church. What I'd like to do is add the busiest car park onto this list. During the summer months this is an incredibly popular place, particularly in June when the three peak walkers are out in force.

Unbelievable I know, but parking is actually free. This tiny hamlet also has a hotel / pub, a shop, a camp site and all the facilities you expect to find with it.


Route Map

The easily recognisable skyline of Great Gable seen from Wasdale Head.

Looking a little further to the left is Wasdale Head itself and rising behind is Kirk Fell. The path we took can be seen running straight up the front of the fell, and I have to admit it doesn't appear to be too steep from here, but the reality is somewhat different.

As we walked between the buildings at Wasdale Head is was a lovely warm afternoon, and at the time I thought we were in for a blue sky and sunshine walk from start to finish. We were hardly as far as the bottom of Kirk Fell however, and the cloud was already starting to build up. I suppose the plus side of this was a slightly cooler ascent of Kirk Fell. Although given the choice, I'd rather have had the sun on our backs for the whole route up.

To rub salt into the wound, so to speak, it did brighten up again towards the end of the walk. It was of little benefit to us on this occasion though. By the time we got back down to valley level the sun had gone behind Yewbarrow.

The packhorse bridge over Mosedale Beck.

Starting our ascent now and getting a view across to Great Gable, Sty Head, Great End and Lingmell.

I told you it was steep.


I'm not sure why this fellow would still have his pyjamas at this time of day, but he does look nice.

The view back down to Wasdale Head.

We're not far off the scree now; and although there are what look like a couple of decent paths through the scree, the best bet is to avoid the paths and try to stick to the grass for as long as possible.

It's a long way down.

Great Gable and Great End.

What a shame, but it was so hazy now, as this picture of the Scafell fells shows.

Kirk Fell summit with the top of Great Gable visible.

And looking in the same direction from the opposite side of the summit shelter.

A close up of what is in my opinion, Great Gable's best looking side.

Despite the wet summer we've had, it's only taken a couple of dry(ish) weeks for Beck Head Tarns to dry out.


To look at this picture you'd think this was a pretty stupid place to walk across, and with one false move you'd go sliding down the fell side in a avalanche of stones. If you look carefully though, you can see the line of a path which is actually quite a decent route through the scree.

Great End was still in sunshine when I took this picture, but as you can see, the shadow of Lingmell was slowly creeping across the side of the fell, blacking out everything in its path.

The last of the cloud disappearing from Great Gable.

Back down to Wasdale Head just as the day was drawing to its close.

Looking back along the track to Burnthwaite with Wasdale Head Church in the trees and Great Gable dominating the skyline.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks