Wasdale Section

This page pulls together the main information for the Wasdale section. Click on the appropriate tab to show that particular data.

Route Map

The map below shows the usual line in red with known variations in either blue or green. Those points on this page marked up as GeoLocations are marked on the map: summits - red marker; water sources - blue; other waypoints - yellow.

Route Notes

Sections are marked by either light (semi-darkness) or dark (night) grey bars on the right-hand side according to your schedule. If a peak name has magnifying glass icon to its side then hovering over the name will show a popup with schedule details.

You may edit the description by clicking on the text. Once in edit mode you can save your edits or restore the default description.

Go out to the valley road, turn left along and after about 100m there is a gate marked “Private” to the right. Go through this into the field and bear leftwards up to where the wall is replaced by a wire fence. There is a stile over the fence. Keeping the beck to the left go straight (or as straight as possible) up the fellside until beneath the final screes. Bear right towards a square boulder and gain a path through the screes and continue rightwards until a small cairn is reached. Now go directly up to the summit of Yewbarrow.

Continue northwards along the summit ridge but do not climb onto the north summit, but bear left at a cairn on the broad col and descend a faint path to contour round to pass beneath the end crags of Yewbarrow and so to Dore Head. (GR174095)

Take the well worn path rising on the other side of the col to gain the summit of Red Pike. Continue along the ridge towards Scoat Fell. Do not head towards the summit but keep to the left. This takes you directly to the end of the connecting ridge for Steeple. Go out and back along this ridge. Now follow the old stone wall (leftwards) along the ridge past the top of Scoat Fell.

Continue along the ridge, at first on the Ennerdale side, then after the first col take the right-hand path which leads to a small cairn, move to the Wasdale side and follow grassy rakes with some scree to gain Wind Gap. The climb up from here is very rocky until it broadens and rises to the summit of Pillar. The going now gets easier on the long descent to Black Sail Pass (GR191114)

Climb steeply up the rocky shoulder above the pass following a line of old fence posts to gain easier ground on the summit plateau of KirkFell. The summit is around 1/3 of a mile (MB-155), though it is as easy to continue to follow the old fence posts. From the summit head towards KirkFell tarn (MB-050) and pass it on the right to rejoin the main path. Now drop down to Beck Head via Rib End. Keep on a bearing of (MB-085) to take the path up Great Gable's NW ridge. This is all very stoney but it is the last big climb of the round.

From the summit of Great Gable descend the steep rocky path to Windy Gap and the short pull up to Green Gable. The going now becomes much easier.

From Green Gable follow the wide stoney track that leads down into Gillercombe, but after about 100m bear slightly left on another wide track. This becomes rocky as it drops to the tarns filling the col before Brandreth. The main path swings to the left but continue in a direct line for the summit of Brandreth. This way is grassier and easier going than the path.

Continue in a northerly direction, to cross a new fence at a stile. Follow the fence to Grey Knotts. The summit ridge is a rocky whale-back on the Borrowdale side of the fence, it is easiest to run along it than come in from the side. Back across the fence but do not follow it but go straight on before bearing left down a grassy trod. The ground steepens and goes down a spur. At the foot of this spur, head right along a path until a further spur drops down to the quarry road. Go through the buildings to the car park.

Either at the NT carpark (fee) at Brackenclose or the NT carpark at Honister Youth Hostel (fee). A third option is to park in Rosthwaite, again a fee, and add the section between there and Honister to the run.
Getting Back
Moses Trod is the best alternative here. If parking at Rosthwaite then heading back over via Sty Head is the way to go.

Water Sources

Black Sail Pass. There is a good spring on the Wasdale side a short distance down from the col.

Summit Descriptions

No. Name of Top Height (m) Summit description
31 Yewbarrow 628 A simple summit with a small cairn atop a rocky ridge.
32 Red Pike 816 The summit area is a sloping plateau with a steep drop to the North overlooking Mosedale. The summit is marked by a large cairn on the very edge of this drop.
33 Steeple 802 The summit is atop a well defined pyramid lying to the north of the main Ennerdale escarpment.
34 Pillar 892 The summit area is a small stony plateau with the highest point marked by an OS trig point and small stone shelter.
35 Kirkfell 802 The top of Kirkfell is a very large plateau with two prominent tops separated by small tarns. That to the South is the highest and the summit is marked by a large cairn.
36 Great Gable 899 One of the rockiest tops in the district. The summit overlooks Wasdale and is marked by a cairn and a memorial plaque.
37 Green Gable 801 The summit area is a mixture of rock and grass sloping to the north with a rough cliff facing South. The top is marked by a large cairn.
38 Brandreth 715 An indistinct top with several points being contenders for the highest point. The most likely is the central cairn.
39 Grey Knotts 697 A fine little summit with a small cairn sitting atop a large rocky ridge.

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