Sunday, 22 April 2018

Wainwright's Buttermere Area - Red Pike (755m), High Stile (806m) and High Crag (744m)

I have walked the ridge between Red Pike and High Stile several times, but we weren't sure if Moira had, so we headed over on what was to be the hottest day of the year so far.

An early start from home saw us wandering along the shore of Buttermere just before 8.00am.  Despite the blue skies it was still cool and the fields around the lake were white with frost. 

By the time we reached the end of the lake and the path leading up to Red Pike the sun had cleared Fleetwith Pike at the head of the valley and the ground gently steamed in the heat. 

It was a steep pull up through the wood and onto the fell proper making it hot work.  

Buttermere with the mountains of Whiteless Pike of Grasmoor beyond

We had a short break to cool off next to Blaeberry Tarn before heading up onto the Dodd (641m) just to the north east of Red Pike.  

Bleaberry Tarn with Red Pike ahead.

While not a Wainwright its situation provided good views along the valley over Crummock Water and out to the coast.  It was also perfect for a quiet break, as everyone else seemed to be heading directly up to Red Pike.

Crummock Water from Dodd.  From here we could clearly see the Solway Firth and the hills of Dumfries and Galloway on the horizon

Eventually we dragged ourselves away and made our way onto Red Pike.  It's quite a steep pull onto the summit, but on the way we met up with a young couple from Germany and Holland and spent so much time chatting we hardly noticed the steepness. 

The view from Red Pike over Crummock Water 

A fairly gentle wander over close cropped turf and then up a rocky path onto High Stile was next.  Below we could see out route of Ascent via Bleaberry Tarn.

Bleaberry Tarn and Buttermere village below.
The view back towards Red Pike from the start of the ascent onto High Stile

Here we had another break and spent a pleasant 15 minutes or so chatting to another couple, this time from Argentina.  The arrival of another group with eastern European accents gave the walk something of an international flavour. 

Great views from near the top of High Stile

By the time we reached High Crag we were really feeling the heat.  Hardly surprising given the fact the temperature was in the 20's C I suppose.  

High Crag Summit

This was the busiest summit of the walk with people sitting on rocks, eating, chatting, photographing and generally enjoying sun.   Wandering around looking for good photo viewpoints I even spotted one couple laid out fast a sleep.  I prefer my summits a lot quieter than this, but as such great weather days are fairly rare, we made the best of it and had another leisurely break ourselves.  In some ways it was a bad idea because we felt really tired and stiff once we set off again.  The sun had also given me a headache.

The thought of an ice cream down at Gatesgarth Farm, however spurred us on. 

The track down and the anticipation of an ice cream from the farm below

So that's 3 more Wainwright's completed, taking out total up to 108.
Distance 13.5 K

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