Day 7 …. May 14 …. A Buttermere Walk On High …. 12 miles

Rain moved in overnight and stayed wet off and on in the morning, so I put my Duck’s Back cover on my pack and planned to leave it there. Jeremy and Kelly served a wonderful breakfast, two of everything, an overwhelming amount of food; I guess I just don’t eat as much as some folks. My plan for the day was to go up the Scarth Gap path to Haystacks, then see if I wanted to go higher to High Stile and Red Pike. I talked to three men who came from Braithwaite yesterday. Today they are going to the Eskdale YHA near Boots by first climbing over the pass at Scarth Gap.

They left before me, but I caught up to them at the east end of Buttermere Water. We walked together awhile, then I left them behind as we started climbing. There was a light rain and the clouds got heavier as I approached Scarth Gap. I turned left (east) to begin the climb up Haystacks.

7th Day - Climbing Up From Buttermere Water To Haystacks Approaching Scarth Pass And Haystacks 

I met a couple bringing yellow daffodils to throw where A. Wainwright’s wife scattered his ashes in 1992. They do this every year and seem to know the exact spot of the scattering (on Imnominate Tarn) which has supposedly been kept secret.

NOTE! A. Wainwright is the most famous fell walker in England and has written numerous books on the subject. The couple led me up the steep rock face with lots of scrambling. This was not a hard climb, but the rain and slippery rocks makes one very cautious.

Haystacks In The Clouds And Rain Rainy And Slippery On Haystacks Summit 

Several people were on the summit of Haystacks taking photos of the iron pike marking the spot at 1900 ft. An exquisite small tarn was just below. The couple with the daffodils moved on, continuing their spiritual journey. With the cloudy, rainy weather, it was hard to see much, but glimpses through the mist had an ethereal quality.

I started back down and looked to the west across Scarth Gap, toward my potential climb for the afternoon. At a higher altitude, the mountain was blanketed in dark clouds so I said “enough is enough” and decided to go back to Buttermere for a half rest day and a pint at the Fish. At Scarth Gap, I met a couple who wanted to know if where I came from was the way to Borrowdale. I assured them it was and wished them good luck. Then I scampered as fast as I could back to Buttermere with no regrets.

Along Buttermere Water Near Buttermere Village 

I stopped at the Fish Hotel for a snack and a pint of Thirst of May, a dark, porter-like ale known as “mild”, from Keswick Brewery. It hit the spot on this rainy, gloomy day. On the way back to the B&B, I passed through Wilkensyke Farm where their ice cream van is located. The van was open, selling farm made ice cream from their own cows. It was superb.

Half day to rest with a treat 

I collected my clean laundry from Dalegarth’s drying room, took a shower and then had a cup of coffee while reading; basically, goofing off and relaxing. As I walked back to the village, the weather was clearing and sun was out with only passing clouds.

For dinner, I tried the Bridge Hotel for their roasted Lakeland trout matched with Buttermere Bitters from Hawkshead. I was told the trout actually came from Buttermere. It is uniquely different from American trout, having a pink cast to the meat and tasting somewhat like salmon but lighter. Back at Dalegarth, I talked with a London couple in the lounge who are drinking a bottle of California Shiraz. Oddly enough, he works for Oracle, a California IT company.

Oh, I found out what Snek Lifter means; part of an old fashion door latch that lifts the catch. Now I can sleep at night.

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