24th June 2009

A Mosedale round - Pillar to Red Pike


Walk Overview
Time 13.00 to 18.00
Duration 5 hr
Distance 9.6 mile
Ascent 3700 ft
Walking with On my own
Wasdale Head - Mosedale - Black Sail Pass - Looking Stead - Pillar - Wind Gap - Scoat Fell - Red Pike - Dore Head - Overbeck - Yewbarrow south descent - Road back to 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

As the current spell of summery weather continued well into the week, I took advantage and had an afternoon walk on the fells above Mosedale. Setting out from Wasdale Head was scorching hot and I did wonder at the wisdom of beginning such a demanding walk at the hottest time of day. At this point however, I had a plan "B" in mind which was to get to the top of Black Sail Pass, and if it did turn out to be too hot I'd walk over Kirk Fell instead.
Once I got over the 1000ft mark though, a strong breeze picked up and the higher sections of the route were completed in superbly cooling conditions. All in all the perfect summers day.

I took this picture looking up to Great Gable about five minutes walk outside from the main part of Wasdale Head and already the crowds had gone. Thinking back, I only saw about a dozen other people for the remainder of the walk.

The extremely steep direct route to Kirk Fell. Not today though; my route continued alongside the wall on the left of the picture, taking me into Mosedale.

And there it is. Not the longest of Lakeland valleys by any means, but more often than not totally deserted.

Looking across to the top of Black Sail Pass.

The view over Ennerdale to the High Stile ridge.

A host of Lake District fells, including:-
Haystacks, Robinson, Hindscarth, Dale Head, Fleetwith Pike, Clough Head, Great Dodd and Skiddaw.

Looking back down the ridge. The highest point on the skyline is the dome like summit of Great Gable.

Passing by one of the rocky sections on the ridge to Pillar.

And another.

Pillar summit, with no people, plenty of blue sky, sunshine and a nice cooling breeze.

A close up of Ennerdale.
I'm not sure what the plume of smoke / dust is, but there must have been a few people running outside to bring the washing in.

From the summit I headed down to the aptly named Wind Gap.

And the view back across from the other side.

Time to refuel, and if you like to eat your food with a dramatic view, then this is the spot for you.

Pillar on the left of the picture and Scoat Fell on the right hand side.

Heading across to Red Pike with Broad Crag, Lingmell, Scafell Pike and Scafell supplying the background for the picture.

Red Pike summit.

Dore Head, Stirrup Crag and shadows moving across Kirk Fell, the Wasdale side of Styhead Pass and Lingmell.

Stirrup Crag seen behind the little un-named tarn at Dore Head.

By the time I reached the Wast Water end of Overbeck it was getting hotter and hotter. As seen as though I was now heading down to the valley I wasn't complaining at all.

Standing on top of the stile on the ridge below Yewbarrow to get this view down the length of Wast Water.

And looking up the ridge from the same spot.

Back on the path now for a picture of Scafell Pike, Scafell and Slight Side.

All that remained now was the walk back to Wasdale Head.
I know I must be in a minority here, but I actually enjoy the walk back along the road. I hear people moaning about it and trying to decide whether to do the road section at the end of the walk or at the beginning or even using two cars so they don't need to do it at all. With views like this, I don't understand why anyone would try to avoid a gentle stroll along here.

And finally, a picture of the Wasdale Head end of Wast Water.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks