The Harry Griffin 2,000 footers walk 7 -The Buttermere Skyline

18th April 2015

Having missed a weekend off the fells due to work and the bad weather last weekend the week leading up to todays walk had me raring to go which is one of the reasons I chose this rather arduous route on what H.Griffin beautifully captures as the 'Buttermere Skyline'

The Buttermere Skyline takes in eleven 2,000 ft summits three of which are found on Fleetwith Pike before making the delightful ascent on Hay Stacks which falls short of a 2,000 ft summit by just 42 ft. Then we could continue to take on the full High Stile Ridge where we would then collect the unfamiliar summit of Chapel Crags perched high above Bleaberry Tarn as the sixth two thousander of the day then on to Red Pike before a vicious descent on Dodd which falls in the two thousander category by just over 85 ft followed by an equally vicious sting in the tail on the re-acsent on Red Pike. The scenery would then change from Red Pike as we would continue to collect Starling Dodd followed by two more two thousaders on Great Borne & Great Borne's north top before the carpeted descent through White Oak Moss and Mosedale under glorious afternoon sun.

The Buttermere Skyline is a walk that commands both mental & physical respect more so with the little switch backs which sap at much needed energy levels, however despite these switch backs and re-ascents I only categorised this walk into two sections to help the mind overcome what lay ahead, our main goal besides collecting the eleven summits into todays series was by means of gaining High Crag, by the formidably steep Gamlin End.

To erradicate the four mile walk back to the top of the Honister Pass as H.Griffin had planned the walk using two cars, one of which was left by the Fish Inn Buttermere, the other, at the top of the Honister Pass, his companion that day was Ted Stacy of Levens.

My companion today is Shaun Church of Kensington, London, here's how we got on.


Freeman of the Hills

'The Buttermere Skyline'

Although failing by about 100 feet to reach the 2,000 feet contour this rugged little fell has more crags, rock outcrops and tarns than many much higher mountains, and where the rock doesn't show through, the fellsides are delightfully carpeted with heather and bilberry.

- Haystacks.

Harry Griffin

Ascent: 4,000 Feet - 1,219 Metres
Summits Over 2,000 Ft: Honister Crag - Fleetwith Pike South West Top - Fleetwith Pike - High Crag - High Stile - Chapel Crags - Red Pike (Buttermere) - Dodd - Starling Dodd - Great Borne - Great Borne North Top
Weather: Clear and Sunny, light winds across the summits, Highs of 15°C Lows of 5°C
Parking: Using x2 cars. The top of Honister Pass - Roadside Parking, Buttermere
Area: Western
Miles: 14.5
Walking With: Shaun Church
Ordnance Survey: OL4
Time Taken: 9 Hours 30 Minutes
Route: Top of Honister Pass - Bell Crags - Honister Crag - Fleetwith Pike South West Top - Fleetwuth Pike - Dubs Bottom - Blackbeck Tarn - Innominate Tarn - Hay Stacks - Top of Scarth Gap Pass - Seat - Gamlin End - High Crag - High Stile - Chapel Crags - Red Pike (Buttermere) - Dodd - Little Dodd - Starling Dodd - Great Borne - Great Borne North Top - Floutern Tarn - Whiteoak Moss - Scales Force - Buttermere Dubbs - The Fish Hotel, Buttermere

Map and Photo Gallery

Today's walk saw us leave one car close to the top of Honister Pass.

And the other car, in Buttermere.

Honister Crag from the track above Honister Mine 07:52am 5°C

Shaun and I had arranged to meet close to the Church in Buttermere for 07.30am from where we would leave one car before continuing up the Honister Pass where we would then leave my car, seeing as we knew we would be out for the best part of the day we decided to leave my car at the parking spaces situated less than half a mile from the top of the Pass before a quick scoot back up which gave our legs a much needed warm up for what lay ahead.

I met Shaun back in Buttermere where he had already parked up around 07:20am where judging by the looks of things Shaun had just managed to get the last (available) parking spot, It was there I realised had we arranged to meet any later this whole walk might have lay in tatters due to the popularity of the fells on this glorious morning.

Shaun's gear was thrown into the back of my car as we headed over towards the top of the Honister Pass where we didn't pass a single car the whole journey, parking spaces on the other side were plentiful as we kited up in chat under the dazzling morning sun which left a bit of a nip in the air.

We were greeted by the familiar grind of the generators as we passed through the mine car park where a tractor had been left on the top of a pile of old slate ready for use after the weekend no doubt. Both car parks at the mine were deserted but I guess we had caught the early worm. We had only travelled less than half a mile before the heat from the morning sun caused us both to utter the immortal words, I wish we'd put our shorts on, never mind at least we had the sun glasses.

I managed to zip down both vents in my Walking trousers which at least let some air get to the legs, rolling up the sleeves on our base layers we pressed on towards possibly the easiest three two thousand foot summits of the whole campaign.

Approaching the spoil heaps before taking a right towards Honister Crag.

We followed the dusty zig zags drumming up a sweat along the way, ahead lay the present spoil heaps as Honister Mine continues (on a much smaller scale than that of late) to quarry slate from Fleetwith Pike.

We pass the large upright stone before picking up a faint grassy path towards Honister Crag.

With Brandreth on our left.

Fleetwith Pike from Honister Crag summit (NY 213 141)
We continued along the path gaining gradual height along the way until we could see the rocky outcrop of Honister Crag, to my left I scour the summit for the south west subsidiary summit and spot it easily, seen in the centre of the photo close to the pool of water, from here the main summit lies just ahead.

Great Gable, Kirk Fell, Looking Stead and Pillar.
On route to possibly the easiest two thousander of the day the clarity remains as we gaze over towards the Mosedale Fells, seen here over clear skies through excellent visibility.

Hay Stacks and Pillar seen from Fleetwith Pike subsiduary summit (NY 211 141)

I made my way up the outcrop of rock before giving it a tap with my walking pole, despite the glorious run of dry weather for April across the summit plateu here we had to negotiate ourselves around the boggier sections of the summit top.

Next, the main summit itself, Fleetwith Pike.

High Crag and High Stile with a glimpse of Red Pike, further down the valley Melbreak and the Loweswater Fells.

We soon found ourselves at the summit top, our third two thousander in less than an hour made a good morale boost, which I think we will need before we hit the main ridge sometime later. Shaun gave the summit cairn a solitary tap from his walking pole and claims Fleetwith Pike as a new summit leaving him with twenty five Wainwrights left to visit.

We spend time gazing down on Buttermere and indeed Crummock Water with not a soul in sight, not even the sound of an engine struggling up the pass, it was just us, and the fells for those few moments.

Hay Stacks, Pillar and Kirk Fell seen from Fleetwith Pike summit.

As much as we would have liked to hang around precious time was ticking away as we turned heel before heading south west for Dubs Bottom.

Descending towards Dubs Bottom with views of the Gables and Kirk Fell.

Spirits were kept high intentionally as we both knew that subconsciously we had a hard grafts walking ahead of us. We would often joke about the gruelling ascents more so on the out and back that I had to perform in gaining Dodd from Red Pike where I think Shaun enjoyed the subject much more than I did as he knew that he didn't have to join me.

We descended the fell side in good stead following the grassy path that at times was swollen with bog water, and others stone dry. Our path lead directly above Dubs Hut with fantastic views of Hay Stacks and its impressive north facing crags which H.Griffin refers to as some of the best climbing territory in Lakeland.

Hay Stacks and Pillar seen over Warnscale Head.
We would soon pick up the path seen in the left of the photo which would steer us towards Blackbeck Tarn.

Crossing Warnscale Beck.
After passing Dubs Hut we hooked a left and took in the slight descent over Warnscale Beck where crystal clear views over Hay Stacks captured the eye which were impossible to ignore.

Long distance views over Warnscale Bottom towards Buttermere, Crummock Water and the Loweswater Fells.

Despite the fabulous weather a cool wind had whipped up causing me to roll down the sleeves on my base layer, it was here we encountered two chaps who had spent the night wild camping close to Blackbeck Tarn. Unfamiliar with the Lakeland fells they had made a direct ascent on the Tarn from the Ennerdale Valley which they described as crippling steep, they joked about being overweight (close to twenty stone each they stated) but big in stature (much like the wrestlers of late) These two didn't help as they pointed down at a Chocolate Lab and a Terrier, they're not used to the fells and kept their progress further back.

Sometimes you meet people on the fells and it pays to listen and share a joke, yes these guys weren't fell fit, fell ready nor their dogs, but it looked like they knew how to have a good time which I guess in the end, is all that counts, sharing a joke with upmost honesty is some that I commend which is why we spent the best part of ten minutes chatting and laughing.

The Gables from Blackbeck Tarn.

Pillar reflections over Innominate Tarn.

The sun had been on our backs since leaving Honister this morning which worked well with our views. We soon reached Innominate Tarn not before I lost my footing and tumbled over at what can only be described as a school boy error moment as I placed my right foot over a perfectly rounded stone causing me to leap forwards arms aloft.

This was forgotten by the time we reached Innominate Tarn, we were lucky that we had the whole place to ourselves for a few moments, as we jabbed our walking poles into the ground if only to take in the still atmosphere.

We were soon met by a solo walker who held back a little, Shaun and I wrapped straps over wrist before heading on towards the summit of Hay Stacks where we spotted movement in the form of two more walkers, our solitary time was over.

We stopped for adjustments and to replenish a plaster on a rather nasty blister on Shaun's thumb, by which time the solo walker passed us with a 'morning' wearing a bright red pair of Rab walking trousers, which despite them sticking out like a sore thumb (no pun intended Shaun) it wasn't the first or last time we would cross paths.

We press on towards Hay Stacks summit.

A view over Grasmoor, Crag Hill, Sail and Whiteless Pike from Hay Stacks summit.

We soon arrived at the summit of Hay Stacks where we met the fellow in the bright red walking trousers again, a young fellow with boy band good looks from East Yorkshire, he was somewhat troubled by another solo walker who by the time we arrived was asking him to take photos of him at the summit, I shall refer to this walker as the 'hat on, hat off guy'

It was comical to say the least at the young Yorkshire lad was now being told, stand there, wait, let me take my hat off, ok take a photo, ok let me but my hat back on, ok you can take the photo again. As it turns out the 'hat on, hat off' guy had just completed his Wainwrights and of course wanted his moment, we all complimented him and shook his hand as the Yorkshire lad asked him how long had it taken him to complete his Wainwrights, his answer was straight, true and just followed by the two words, ten years. Now I'm off back to Buttermere to get pissed.

Sadly for him I think, he'll remember nothing of his last Wainwright!

The un-named Tarn found below Hay Stacks summit.

After summating Hay Stacks we followed the popular track back down to Scarth Gap Pass noting the little scrambles along the way which, always seem uneasier in descent rather than the other way around. We had left the young Yorkshire lad talking on his mobile phone at the summit but he would soon catch us up again as we cross the top of the Pass.

From the direction of Gatescarth hoardes of walkers some in large groups were all peaking out at the top of the Pass while no doubt Shaun's and I attention was on Gamlin End ascent which wasn't spoken about as first, we had to gain Seat.

We soon reached the top of Scarth Gap Pass as families rested and dogs played before their final ascent on Hay Stacks, the young Yorkshire lad had told us earlier he was following a similar route to ours depending on how he felt later on. As he passed us he told us he was to flank Seat and go around to the scree run found at the base of Gamlin End, I'm sure he would have known what he was doing but we had to question why to ourselves as Seat, although steep, offered the better alternative route.

Looking back over Scarth Gap Pass towards Hay Stacks from our ascent on Seat.
Our ascent on Seat follows a narrow staircase which binded and zig zagged over 360 ft of steep ascent, we both agreed under that late morning sun that once the grassy hollow was reached between Seat and Gamlin End we were to take an early lunch.

Views over Gamlin End and High Crag from our lunch spot.
From our lunch spot we timed a group of walkers who made the ascent in just over twenty minutes which I thought was a good target to aim for. Back when H.Griffin climbed Gamlin End on the same route there wasn't a path here - just a steep loose scree run all the way to the top, Harry, and Ted Stacy covered the ground in just fifteen minutes.

Views back over Seat and Hay Stacks from our Gamlin End ascent.
Like Harry and Ted we hit the ascent with walking poles blazing but of course, pace soon slowed down to a steady grind taking in the steep zig zags in bursts followed by short stops in only to catch a breath or take in the grand views.

A close up of Pillar and Pillar Rock from our ascent.

Looking back over towards Fleetwith Pike and Warnscale Bottom, with Dale Head behind.
We made the ascent alike our fellow walkers on the twenty minute mark which we were pleased with. Despite not even being half way through the walk much of the hard work was now behind us as we could now concentrate on what is commonly thought of, as the best ridge walk in Lakeland.

Brandreth Green Gable, Great Gable, The Scafells and Kirk Fell from High Crag summit cairn.
Ahead of the summit solo and groups of walkers are either heading to or from High Crag summit but for now at least, we have the summit to ourselves.

High Stile from High Crag summit.

Pillar, Pillar Cove, Pillar Rock, Steeple and a distant Caw Fell seen from High Crag summit.
It is here I scour routes for forth coming walks within my H.Griffin project.

Paragliders about to take the leap from High Crag summit.

Shortly after leaving the summit we caught a glimpse of a group of Paragliders who were about to take off from the summit, good conditions I asked? It could be a little windier they laughed, rather them than me...

We press on along the ridge gaining height gradually towards High Stile summit.

High Stile over Burtness Combe with distant views of Ennerdale and Crag Fell.

From High Crag our ridge walk began first over Burtness Combe where I pointed out a previous route on Sheepbone Rake which sadly this morning, was totaly engulfed by the shadow of Sheepbone Buttress, even I struggled to pin point the exact location within the mark by which time, time and distant had passed.

More walkers were passed all of whom shared their good mornings or good afternoons as midday came and went.

Here, looking back along the ridge towards High Crag and Fleetwith Pike with the Gables seen far right.

Our ridge walk was over far too quickly as we started to take on the slight ascent on High Stile. A white stripe had formed over the tops of both hands where the sunburn couldnt get through which although a little comical had to be dealt with or I'll be the laughing stock in work on Monday, the only thing I could do was either un-strap or simply carry my poles when I didn't need them...

I was too late.

Before I took this photo we were passed by a walker who in the back of my mind I recognised but wasn't sure so I didn't say anything, looking back seconds later the lady in question must have felt the same as she spoke out my name, Paul?

I instantly knew my suspisions were correct, it was only...

Maggie Allen.

Maggie and I have been friends on Facebook for some years now often sharing routes or complementing each others walks on a daily basis, I think my smile says it all in just how pleased I was to have met Maggie here today.

Maggie went on to say that she had gained High Stile by the north ridge and was on her way to High Crag herself before we bumped into each other, we spoke about our routes and of course the fabulous weather before wishing each other a grand day as we went our separate ways.

What a lovely humble person Maggie Allen is, it was such a pleasure to have met you.

High Stile summit.

We blazed our trail over rough ground towards High Stile summit passing more walkers along the way but yet again, found that we had the summit area to ourselves for the duration of time spent there. For me the inevitable was creeping up on me as I knew that just around the corner I had that devilish switchback from Red Pike to Dodd - and back again to contend with, I figured that I had mentally and physically prepared for this along the ridge which was why I probably went silent for a while, despite this I felt more than ready and was on the starters block.

Before all that, we had another two thousander summit to collect in Chapel Crags situated high above Bleaberry Tarn and of course, on route to Red Pike.

Chapel Crags (foreground) Red Pike and Dodd.

Chapel Crags is seen along the ridge as a bold outcrop of rock marking my sixth two thousander of the day, followed by Red Pike and Dodd seen below Red Pike's north east ridge. Named Red Pike because of the Syenite found in its rich subsoil which produces the red soil from which the Pike takes its name.

It is here I joke to Shaun that if he was any real friend he would join me on the descent on Dodd and then back onto the summit, I get a 'nope' which well and truly put me in my place! well, I guess you have the job of minding my pack then.

In this photo Ennerdale, the Cumbrian coast and Great Borne comes into view.

Mono Gables, The Scafells, Kirk Fell and Pillar.

Chapel Crags, Red Pike and Dodd.
I make the easy ascent on Chapel Crags and take my sixth two thousander of the day, only five to go now.

Seventh and eighth from Chapel Crags 2,344 ft summit (NY 164 150)
Reading the route in a book and even calculating the switchback of both summits is never the same as taking a field test. I'm feeling good and raring to go even as I watch fellow walkers struggle up the red scree I cannot let them deter me or let it pick away at the mental battle going on in my head causing my stomach to burst out in a fit of butterflies.

Here, looking back on High Stile seen from the Red Pike summit shoulder.

Red Pike (Buttermere) summit.

With Red Pike soon reached I offer Shaun my pack, there's a cool wind blowing across the summit as I ask Shaun does he want to drop down out of the breeze as waiting around even in conditions like todays can soon get cold, I'm fine Shaun replies I'll watch you from the summit as he takes a busy perch nestled over views of Dodd, and indeed my descent.

I hand Shaun my pack leaving my camera strapped around my neck before twisted around my back and tell him, see you in twenty minutes or so.

Red Pike descent on Dodd.

I deliberatly choose to trott down off path if only to give myself a steady run in descent which worked fantastically well, time spent to reach the col between both summits was just four minutes.

Two elderly walkers were eating lunch close to the crossroad in the path such my determination to reach Dodd I pass them without thought, however my eagerness halted half way up towards Dodd when my legs had a 'moment' commanding a rest as I gave it a few seconds before powering on jamming my poles in the ground at a steady pace again.

Red Pike from Dodd's 2,086 ft summit (NY 165 158)

Now to get myself back up on Red Pike.

This time I shared a brief joke with the couple seen in the foreground before propelling myself back into the steep climb only stopping twice on the re-ascent making my total time from summit to summit at twenty one minutes.

During my ascent I again give the approach path a wide berth passing walkers on their own ascents, to this day I'll never forget seeing a woman crying during her ascent, her husband consoling her as best he could by wrapping his arms around her telling her your nearly there. It was another moment I could only reflect upon once back at the summit as all my mind and legs wanted to do was reach from A to B.

Back at the summit as I lay breathless with my head on my pack the woman appeared as though nothing had ever happened, it was sad to see her earlier but I'm glad she hadn't given up.

Shaun had bated on lunch while I was missing and I couldn't blame him, it was a little cold he remarked when I arrived back at the summit, me in my state of dust and sweat I just laughed, I'm sure there was a hint of sarcasm in there matey.

After five minutes or so we shouldered packs for the second leg of the ridge walk, now, long gone was the rock ridge in favour of the smooth carpeted ridge walk towards Great Borne, not before collecting my last three two thousanders mind.

Starling Dodd seen with Great Borne.
We rattled our way down Red Pike's west ridge where a sea of cushioned grass would mark the second leg of the High Stile ridge, this is close to three miles of great walking country and a fantastic way to bring our ridge walk to a climax. Walkers are still heading up towards Red Pike, some sunbathe like the two girls seen sat down in the foreground of the photo, others make for the summit. Behind us a large group of walkers appear from no-where as they stream down in a controlled fashion, I count up to eight walkers but there could have been more. Instead of keeping with the path we blaze a pathless trail straight for Little Dodd summit as I peer once more over my right shoulder to see the large group heading down Lincomb Edge, that was it, we had our ridge.

Looking back on Red Pike summit on route to Little Dodd.

Little Dodd is seen just off to the left while Starling Dodd and Great Borne appear further along the ridge.

Starling Dodd from Little Dodd.
We soon left the ridge path and took in the slight ascent needed to reach Little Dodd summit, it wasn't a summit that we needed to visit as Little Dodd falls short of a two thousander by 83 ft but as Mr Griffin would say, we went there anyway.

Red Pike, High Stile, the Gables and Pillar seen over Ennerdale from Starling Dodd summit.

After leaving Little Dodd we returned to the ridge path before taking on our ninth two thousanader of the day in Starling Dodd, behind us a woman who I had noticed on Red Pike was catching us up quickly, she was a little older than myself and in great shape, we shared a tippet of conversation of which I can't recall as I waited until she was out of earshot before joking to Shaun 'there's no shame in being taken over by a older woman'

The woman rattled past us wearing just shorts and a base layer with a water bottle strapped around her waist she soon disappeared over the summit followed a few minutes later by myself and Shaun.

I never managed a summit photo as the woman was sitting almost on top of the cairn trying not to laugh at a column of men all sat aside as if they were waiting for something to start.

Watching Great Borne.

We shared a giggle, I guess non of us expected to see such a large group all sat side by side facing the same way, there was nothing in it just a group of blokes eating lunch, but I have to admit, it did look a little comical from the back.

Shaun and I decided to take a rest as I still hadn't finished my lunch so out popped the remains of two Tuna sandwiches washed down by two Satsumas ate almost in whole each.

We waited a while before packing our lunch back into our packs as I guess the pair of us were starting to think 'Great Borne isn't going to climb itself, with this we shouldered packs for the second time in less than an hour and headed down the summit towards our last two thousander's.

With views of Ennerdale and Crag Fell.

Here, looking back on Red Pike, High Stile, The Gables, Pillar and Scoat fell.

The afternoon felt much later than it actually was as distant summits such as Fleetwith Pike and Hay Stacks were by now starting to feel like a distant memory. I lead for much of the ascent on Great Borne spurring Shaun on with light hearted conversation or even trying to throw a joke into the round, I guess this was my way of telling Shaun that although we were close to our last summits, I was starting to feel the pull much the same as he was.

Just paces behind me Shaun was pulling up trees, between conversation however the air would fall silent, this is common on long walks at times in our cases, you just have to dig deep, if that means conversation is dropped for a while it's never nothing to worry about.

Great Borne summit shelter and Trig Point.

From Starling Dodd we had noticed two walkers both making their own ascent on Great Borne but never really paid them any attention until we crested the summit to find them both enjoying a sit down lower down from the summit itself, I tried to catch their eyes if only to say hello as neither of them noticed us.

We took on the last few metres towards the rock outcrop hoping over boulder to reach the Trig from where I gave it the solitary tap with my left hand, scratching my wedding ring intentionally as if to leave a permanent reminder in years to come.

Red Pike and High Stile seen from Great Borne summit.
Just north of the main summit lies Great Borne's second two thousander which will require a short hop over a wire fence, once again I pass the couple sitting down and glance over for a smile or a quick word, but once again I get nothing back, I guess they just didn't want to be disturbed.

Red Pike, the Gables, Pillar, Scoat Fell and Steeple from Great Borne's subsiduary 2,007 ft summit (NY 125 165)

After a short hop over a tightly sprung fence I arrive at the last summit of the walk, a little less grand than that of the main summit itself yet I am still treated to the grand views before me.

There isn't any time for celebration just the comforting thought that I have almost completed another walk within my two thousand foot Lakeland summits. I retreat back to where Shaun is waiting for me close to the wire fence which we follow by means of a worn grassy path both full in the knowledge that despite todays rather long walk we still had a steep descent to contend with as we descend to Floutern Tarn and Mosedale.

We soon arrive at the top of the steep descent, here the fence falls away like a roller coaster ride and then before reappearing and falling away once again. By now feet hurt and legs ache but nothing is said other than 'well at least it should be quick' aye I said, if we rolled down on our arses!

We zig-zag our way down which takes the punishment out of our descent well, below a herd of sheep graze in the afternoon sun, they don't appear to be getting any nearer though.

Red Pike over Floutern Tarn.

We took in our steep descent in our stride, after all there was no use fighting it, at the bottom of the fell side sheep scatter as we kick the life back into our feet using our boot heels over soft ground. Floutern Tarn is just over our right shoulder as I tell Shaun I would like a closer look as I leave my walking poles I venture over wild grass before being beaten back by ankle deep bog.

For the first time in nearly eight hours, my boots have taken a soaking.

I shall miss that dust.

Sheep and steep lines.
I guess we were glad to have this descent over our shoulders.

Whiteoak Moss and Mosedale with the Grasmoor Fells commanding our views ahead.

Although our ridge walk was almost over Buttermere marks the end of the walk which lies over three and a half miles away two of which will have to be negotiated over marshland and bog.

Despite this we are in good spirits as the first chapter of Whiteoak Moss was dry and pleasant to walk through, however this would change as we entered the head of Mosedale where the path crossed several streams which then tramped us through worn reeds and bog, this wasn't working as we found ourselves although still following the course of a well worn path, like Honey Bee's we were drawn in via 'the shorter' of the paths I guess.

To both our flanks we spot two worn paths, the path on the right seemed the nearest and also on route so we took it, but not before another ankle deep grind before we rose out our leather boots covered in green moss and reed which just goes to show, even the more seasoned of fell walkers can fall short for the 'short cut'

Low Fell and Dalrling Fell seen over Mosedale with Hen Comb and Mellbreak domineering the valley flanks.

We soon pass the head of Mosedale with views of the Loweswater Fells and of course the Mosedale Holly Tree. The Grasmoor Fells now dominate the skyline as does the deep blue of Crummock Water far below. We follow the course of our path which in turn leaves the marsh behind in favour of solid ground as we take in the slightest of ascents before reaching Scale Force.

We hadn't seen anyone in Mosedale and touched on this on subject where although feet hurt and limbs ached, there amongst the remainder of the afternoon hours we seemed to have the whole valley to ourselves, these last remaining hours must be the best time to see Lakeland's loneliest valleys, why couldn't anyone else see it.

Scale Force.

Scale Force was reached under scorching afternoon sun. We arrived at the same time as a couple of walkers who were leaving which gave me a few moments to take a couple of up close photos of the falls.

Shaun waited for me further back as I noticed a solo woman was sun bathing close to the wooden bridge that crosses Scale Beck, we could have been on any Spanish beach but we weren't, we were at Scales Force on a scorching Saturday afternoon.

Views over Crummock Water seen with Grasmoor and a distant Whiteside.

St James Church, Buttermere.

The afternoon heat was at its highest as we arrived back in Buttermere to the sound of lambs bleating and children eating ice cream. It is here our walk ends as we pass the Fish Inn who's beer garden is packed with trendy folk wearing the latest fashion and designer sunglasses. It was probably best we keep a wide berth as close to ten hours walking won't bode well after walking in wall to wall sunshine all day.

With a little sad reflection I take myself back to 77 when Harry completed his Buttermere Skyline, there I pass the Fish Inn where his and Ted Staceys wife's awaited their return, I mutter a small laugh as I remember Harry's words in that the Fish Inn didn't serve real ale in mugs anymore which is why they drove back over to a Newlands Inn to drink real ale over looking the Derwent Fells.

Well, I don't have any real ale, I don't even have ale of sort, just a warm bottle of Diet Coke waiting for me on the other side of the Honister Pass, and after a hearty handshake that's where this walk ends.


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