Fell Wandering

I remember as a child looking down from Cumbria’s Lakeland peaks and being amazed at how different everything looked from up high. If I hadn’t enjoyed numerous trips up to the Lake District in my formative years then it’s doubtful I ‘d have ended up living the lifestyle I do today. It was astonishing to discover how profoundly a couple of hours walking up hill can change our perspective on the world. I’m forever grateful to my parents for taking me up into those mountains and giving me such a pure lesson in the power of potential. Those early experiences cemented the English Lake District’s special place in my heart.


Clambering up Kirkfell Crags

Some friends and I had been trying to organise a bit of Cumbrian fellwandering for a while.  Recently we managed to make it happen and planned a week of Lakeland strolling and bouldering. The day after I finished my little hike from Hebden Bridge to the Lake District, my friends Chris, Alex and Katie rolled into camp in 1987 Ford Escort and stage two of my early summer break began.


The routes we hiked. For further information and links to GPX tracks see the end of this post

We had a week to explore and relax, time we divided between a couple of day hikes from Buttermere, a couple of days bouldering at Langdale boulders and Chapel Stile boulders, and a three day circular hike from Chapel Stile via Wasdale and Borrowdale. With the weather in our favor there was nothing to stop us falling in love with the Lake District again. If you’ve never hiked in the Cumbrian fells then I hope this may go someway to wetting your appetite for a visit…


Having recently been battered by flooding the main road up to keswick from Ambleside was still closed so by the time we made it around to Buttermere there was only time for a quick hike up Haystacks. Here descending to Innominate Tarn, where Alfred Wainwrights ashes are scattered


On our second day we hiked up Grasmoor (852m) from Buttermere…


… then looped back via Crag Hill (838m) and Sail (773m)


After driving back around to Chapel Stile in Langdale Valley…


… we got to work on Langdale Boulders


For our three day hike we connected up some of my favorite Lakeland routes. It began with a hike up Langdale Valley from Chapel Stile after which we followed Hell Gill up towards the summit of Bow Fell (902m)


From Bow Fell we made our way over Esk Pike (885m)…


… before descending towards the start of…


… the climb up Scafell Pike…


… at 979 m, the highest summit in England


The long descent from Scafell Pike…


… delivered us down to Wasdale Head…


… where we pitched up in the grounds of the famous Wasdale Head Inn


The next day then started gently with a stroll up Mosedale Beck…


… that got progressively harder…


… until we were scrambling up to Wind Gap and on to the summit of Pillar (892m)


Heading off the top of Pillar our route spread out invitingly before us…


… and we were soon climbing up to the summit of our second peak, Kirk Fell (802m)


On the descent from Kirk Fell, Great Gable showed its most attractive side…


… but the wind was up and the climb to its peak proved a little more challenging


From the summit off Great Gable (899m)…


… we ducked over to Green Gable (801m) which provided the opportunity to look back along the ridgeline we’d been hiking


After enjoying the amazing views down towards Ennerdale from Green Gable…


… we headed casually down…


… to camp at Seathwaite Farm in Seathwaite, Borrowdale


Not a bad place to start…


… the hike up to Glaramara (783m)…


… and home to Chapel Stile via Lincomb Tarns…


… and Allen Crags


After arriving back in Chapel Stile we find just enough time for an assault on Chapel Stile boulders…


… before packing up and heading home.

Route Tips

Click on the names to visit interactive map and download GPX tracks


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