Day 2 .... April 28 .... Wastwater to Buttermere .... 16 miles

After a fine breakfast with croissants, I walked into a glorious day for photos. There was almost five miles of road walking to Wasdale Head but the views are so spectacular I don’t mind the tarmac. The play of morning sunlight on the hills illuminates and magnifies the colors. The rising sun changes the shading of the landscape continuously. I am mesmerized at nature’s display. I have a constant view of Wastwater, one of the most magnificent scenes in the Lake District.

Edge of Wastwater At The Hostel

Morning View Of Wastwater From Near Hostel

Bowderdale B&B Nestled Beside Yewbarrow

I passed Bowderdale B&B next to Yewbarrow, not at its foot or in its shadow, but nestled comfortably beside the hill on a saddle high above the road, sharing the majesty of its neighbor. Someday I would like to take Cathryn there.

At Wasdale Inn, I rejected the guidebook’s directions that say stay left of the beck, but crossed the bridge and started the climb to Black Sail Pass around the foot of Kirk Fell. A large group went straight up the steep slope of Kirk Fell, struggling. I overlooked Mosedale Beck and saw where my guidebook path fords the beck and climbs to meet my path. Further along, a path follows the beck as it turns west towards Pillar. My path turned northeast, crossed a rocky stream with falls and rose toward the pass. I passed a couple of seniors and we chat. They are planning to go up Great Gable and Kirk Fell. I was concerned and wonder how they will do - it seems like a hard day for them as one was already struggling.

Bridge Over Mosedale Beck At Wasdale Inn

Looking Back To Wasdale Head From Path

Path Crossing A Rocky Stream

Approaching Black Sail Pass

North of the pass, I looked out over Ennerdale, Black Sail Hut (YHA), the C2C route up Loft Beck and my route today, up to Scarth Gap and over High Stile and Red Pike above Buttermere. This is a view that gave me a whole new perspective on the coast to coast route and it's relation to the surrounding mountains.

Overlooking Ennerdale, Scarth Gap And Black Sail Hut

View Of C2C Path And Loft Beck Rising Toward The Brandreth Fence

Lonely Black Sail Hut

At Black Sail Hut I talked to several C2C’ers, fixed two cups of tea, and ate an apple and energy bar. I needed to prepare for what I expected to be a very hard climb up and over the High Stile ridge. Fortunately, it was a surprisingly easy walk up to Scarth Gap. Here I met all the day walkers from Buttermere doing Haystacks and High Stile. Looking up at my route, I realized that I would need all my energy for the steep, rocky climb up Seat and for the even steeper climb up High Crag. There was treacherously loose gravel on the path that made me pause and question my sanity. People were having a dangerously hard time with it. I even thought of taking the easy path down to Buttermere Water.

Path To Seat Looking Down On Scarth Gap

Looking East Across Scarth Gap To Haystacks

However, I perservered and the views were well worth it; east to Haystacks, south to Pillar and Great Gable, northeast to the long ridge from Dale Head to Hindscarth and Robinson, and north to my ridge walk tomorrow, Whiteless Pike, Crag Hill, Sail and Causey Pike. How lucky I have been with such fine weather, just a little haze to interrupt the clarity of photos. The feeling of being up here on the ridge was fantastic.

Steep, Rocky Path Up High Crag - All the Way To The Peak

Ridge Between High Crag And High Stile Looking West

The climb over to the summit of High Stile was almost anti-climatic, but the constant views both north and south kept my eyes whirling. There were dramatic drops off the north crags to the lake below testing my vertigo. At High Stile summit, a fellow walker and I took each others photos at the cairn.

Gregg At High Stile Cairn Looking North

Looking West From High Stile To Red Pike

Over to Red Pike I followed a man trying to keep up with his four teenage girl charges. The girls were charging all over the ridge having a great time, but seemed completely worn out after reaching Red Pike. He was as well. On Red Pike, I had a choice of going down the screes on the north face or off the west side on a long loop to Buttermere. I took the more direct north side. It was a horrible descent down the steep screes past Bleaberry Tarn. I would definitely recommend going the longer way to Buttermere by way of Scale Beck. Apparently, the condition of the screes has been getting worse each year.

Buttermere, Whiteless Pike And My Ridge Route Tomorrow

One Of Two Buttermere Pubs - Across From Tomorrow's Trail Head

I reached Buttermere by 1700, one hour longer than expected, due to the long and taxing walk across the ridge after Scarth Gap. Staying at the hostel, my dorm room was filled with rowdy bank holidayers with far too much luggage so I could hardly make it to my bunk. Pub food at the Fish Hotel with a pint of Sneck Lifter put me straight again. My feckless dorm mates came in late and snored all night. I slept anyway - there are advantages to being worn out.

<<< Previous                              Next >>>