28th April 2012

A Mosedale Horseshoe


Walk Overview
Time 08.30 to 15.15
Duration 6 hr 45 min
Distance 10.5 mile
Ascent 4200 ft
Walking with Andrew Leaney
Wasdale Head - Down in the Dale Bridge - Yewbarrow - Dore Head - Red Pike - Steeple - Scoat Fell - Wind Gap - Pillar - Looking Stead - Black Sail Pass - Gatherstone Head - Mosedale - 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

Today we headed out to do a slight variation of the Mosedale Horseshoe, or at least the ascent of Yewbarrow was a bit out of the ordinary. Rather than ascend the southern ridge from Overbeck Bridge, Andrew suggested following the more direct route generally used by people undertaking the Bob Graham round. Needless to say our ascent wasn't quick enough to break any records.

Steeply does it on our somewhat unorthodox route up Yewbarrow.

Looking across Wast Water to Illgill Head.

Here's an unusual view of the head of Wasdale, Great Gable, Lingmell and Scafell Pike.

Yewbarrow summit.
On the left of the cairn is Whin Rigg and the broadsided fell on the right is Middle Fell.

Turning around and the view now shows Red Pike (in the sun) and Pillar (the high point on the right.

We seemed to be just and so on the good side of the weather front. This picture shows the line of cloud stretching across the area to the north east of us.


From Yewbarrow we took the diagonal path down the west side of the fell to reach Dore Head. The main reason for this was to avoid the strong gusting wind. The route down Stirrup Crag isn't somewhere you want to get caught out by the wind.

Scoat Fell in front of Haycock.

Now we're at Red Pike summit. Notice the prominent shape of Great Gable's top section.

Seatallan on the left and Haycock on the right. Between the two fells you can make out the Sellafield site.

Before leaving the summit I took this picture looking across to Pillar, , , , it doesn't look far from here.

The next fell on the route was Steeple, and after the wind on Yewbarrow and Red Pike, we expected this to be a bit of a battle. As it turned out, there was hardly enough of a breeze to blow out a candle.

Standing on Steeple's summit. Again, notice Great Gable. From here, it looks like a fell on top of a fell.

A view down to Ennerdale.

It's the end of April and there's still bits and pieces of snow on the fells. This snow didn't fall during a prolonged period of harsh winter weather, it actually fell after what was almost the hottest March on record. For it still to be here now just shows how cold it's been this month.

Scoat Fell summit.

A view across to Steeple; aptly named when seen from this angle.

Pillar, seen across Wind Gap. To give an idea of scale, the black dot just below the highest point is another walker heading down.

Pillar summit.

Just across from the summit you get this view looking down to Pillar Rock and Ennerdale.

You get a similar view of Ennerdale from here to the one seen earlier from Steeple. You can also see Loweswater on the right hand side of the picture.

Leaving Pillar now and it's almost all down hill from here.



Looking down to Mosedale and Wasdale Head.

Down past the rocky bit and looking across to Brandreth, Grey Knotts and in the far distance the eastern fells. The lighter area in the centre of the picture is Dubs Quarry.

The top of Black Sail Pass.

Almost all the height had been lost by now and all that remained was the walk through Mosedale. Another valley which in my opinion should be much longer.

Looking back into Mosedale.

Not far from Wasdale Head now. That's Illgill Head over there in the distance.

Kirk Fell direct. It's been a couple of years since I was up that route so I might try to do this before too much longer.

Wasdale Head packhorse bridge in front of Pillar.

After a couple of minutes waiting for a cloud to move from in front of the sun I gave up, took this picture and walked the last few yards back to the cars.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks