Mosedale Round, Via The High Level Route

26th June 2010

This weekend had been planned for a good while, so much so I think if I’m correct the World Cup hadn’t been drawn never mind any fixtures, so we decided to go ahead with the walk as planned, once we knew England where playing arch rivals Germany it basically put day two of the weekends walking into jeopardy, both me & Tim are big fans so rather than cramp day two’s walking into a mad rush (Whin Rigg & Illgill Head & then back along the screes) it was decided we would put it off for another day, if we only knew then what we know now packing up to watch our nation’s finest against zee Germans, making the sacrifice of not bagging two more Wainwrights just wants me to punch Ashley Cole even more, ok he had  a decent game but I still think he’s the most over rated left back in the Premiership & to add insult to injury he cheated on one of the most beautiful girls on the planet, it doesn’t matter what the lines man saw or in this case didn’t, we was out classed & out played by a better team.

Ok rant over, sorry, I had to get that of my chest.

Driving for over two & a half hours certainly isn’t the best way to start a walk as strenuous as The Mosedale Round, as you’ll know your legs stiffen up your back is moulded into the shape of the drivers seat & coupled with a 5am start well, you see where I’m going here..In the car we were discussing a possible route called the High Ascent Route which will indeed take you as close to Pillar Rock with out guide ropes as humanly possible, just the sheer size of Pillar Rock is immensely awe inspiring”I’m here & that is Pillar Rock”was the feeling I got, just to be in its presence is a personal achievement of mine , In no way shape or form am I complaining  but yes I will admit this route is a difficult one, lots of ascent & a lot more descent to coincide with breath taking views as I’ve had it does almost certainly take the pain away from the calf’s & thighs, that pint of cool refreshing lager at the end of the day couldn’t of come soon enough, did I say pint? (I meant 6)


Wainwright Guidebook

The Western Fells



Ascent: 1,554 Mtrs 5,100 Ft
Wainwrights: 6, Kirk Fell, Pillar, Scoat Fell, Steeple, Red Pike & Yewbarrow
Weather: Lows of 18 Degrees With Patchy cloud,Very Hazy am, Turning Clearer pm, Light To Mid Winds On Topps, Highs Of 18Degrees
Parking: Wasdale Head Camp Site
Area: Western
Miles: 10.5
Walking With: Tim Oxburgh
Ordnance Survey: OL4 - OL6
Time Taken:  

Map and Photo Gallery


A birds eye view of Mosedale.


Kirk Fell taken from the path behind Wasdale Head Inn.


The steep grassy slopes of Kirk Fell, calf’s certainly feeling the pain right about now!


The Scafells & Lingmell from the start of the scree path.


Young man!! there’s no need to feel down, I said young man pick yourself of the ground ..Tim the 7th member of the Village People, In all seriousness I don’t know what Tim is pointing at here as I was quite a way from him.


Looking back on ground covered.


Shafts of light on Lingmell & the Scafells breaking through the haze.


And why am I here again!


Pictures curtsey of Tim Oxburgh, we were quite far apart weren’t we pal!


Great Gable from inside the summit shelter on Kirk Fell.


Kirk Fell summit shelter.


Our route ahead RtoL, Pillar,Little Scoat Fell,  Scoat Fell, Steeple & Red Pike.


Looking Stead from Pile of Stones.


One of many descents on today’s walk, here from Kirk Fell Crags & heading for Black Sail Pass. the horizontal path leading from Ennerdale into Mosedale, our route however is straight ahead.


Looking Stead again together with Pillar from the infamous gate at the top of Black Sail Pass.


From here we divert of the main path & head onto the path seen here on the upper right The High Level Route, it was an excellent decision & in good clear weather this route comes highly recommended.


Across the ridge looking into Ennerdale Valley flanked by High Crag, High Stile & Red Pike (Buttermere)


The High Level Route is challenging in some parts, the odd scramble here & there which just adds to the excitement of traversing one of Lakelands giants.



The High Level Route.


A tree less Ennerdale Valley.


With Robinson Cairn just ahead we stop to admire the views.

Picture courtesy of Nev Ian


And a little further on Robinson Cairn.


Together with the Plaque found just below the cairn.


On approach to Pillar Rock.


Picture courtesy  of Nev Ian


This section of the Pillar Rock is called Low Man, standing proud in front of its bigger brother High Man, but let me tell you there’s nothing low about it, just ask these Rock Climbers.


The little Cairn found on the summit of Low Man, & I guess where the Rock Climbers are heading for.


The last section of the High Route is the Shamrock Traverse, a zig zag path that will lead you straight to Pillar’s summit, sections of this path reminded me of Swirrell Edge on Helvellyn.


Pillar’s summit shelter & Trig Point, the summit plateau  is almost the size of a football field & nearly as flat! It did seem we’d been walking for quite a while so it was out with the refreshments & sandwiches.


Our next target’s in sight Scoat Fell & Steeple, but before that a little more descent & ascent into Wind Gap.


Mosedale & Mosedale Beck with Kirk Fell to the left & our final fell of the day Yewbarrow on the far right, its not very often your privileged enough to have Kirk Fell, Great Gable & the Scafells all in one view.


Red Pike seen from Little Scoat Fell.


And Steeple from Little Scoat Fell.


Scoat Fell summit & shelter, now making our way to just the fourth summit of the day Steeple.


Picture courtesy  of Nev Ian


Steeple summit cairn with Wind Gap in the background, from here on in I’d realised I’ve made the mistake of not bringing enough fluids with me, my hydration pack only had half a litre left & I’d two more summits to peak so its small sips Paul.


Illgill Head, Wast Water & Low Tarn from our march up towards Red Pike.


Yewbarrow, our final summit of the day & I quote Alfred Wainwright: Many mountains have been described as having the shape of the inverted hull of a boat, but none of them more fittingly than Yebarrow.


Red Pike summit cairn.


Stirrup Crags & Yewbarrow from Dore Head.


A particular nasty section of Stirrup Crags at this point, we did take a while to find the correct route up to the left of the picture which leads you wide open to a knee knocking drop to the back of you, best not to look down which is just what I did!


After we’d found our way up the crag’s both of us using different routes, me using the jaw dropping don’t look behind you route!


That’s more like it, our final fell of the day with a great ridge like plateau towards the summit, right about now I remember Tim’s mobile loosing its service provider, just like you do when you get of the plane & it then asked you to connect to the local network,.Tim’s mobile was picking Isle Of Man’s local network!


Yewbarrow Summit Cairn.


Burnmoor Tarn, Illgill Head & Whin Rigg from Yewbarrow summit.


Bowderdale, home  of the great Fell Running legend that is Joss Naylor, notice the 6ft wide stone wall, probably something Joss managed before breakfast!


Illgill Head, Whin Rigg & Wast Water.


The Scafells & Lingmell lit up by early evening sun.

Now all we had to do was make it back to the campsite, carrying  all the symptoms of dehydration, sore throat that gooey skin that forms on your lips & even a little light headedness, I for one was kicking myself into falling into the trap of only carrying 2ltrs of hydration, so what we did next was a stand up bath almost in Wast Water, much to the delight of the family having a picnic on the shore line, we must of looked like two cave men setting first sight on Water! Of course we couldn’t drink the water but to swill your head down & get the sweat out of your pores gave us enough momentum for the two miles back to the campsite.


I’d seen some great views today but this had to up there with the best of em!


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