Around Buttermere

One of the classic walks in Lakeland, and a delight in every respect.  The weather was however not great, with a little rain afflicting us on the highest tops, but the sun conquered the clouds in the end, to give a delightful end to the day.  Unlike most of this month, it was not particularly hot, which was a blessing! 

The clouds spoiled some of the views, so here are some pictures from a sunny day.

And here are some pictures from this walk
(click on any picture for a larger version)
:


This picture, taken from the other side of the lake a few days beforehand, shows the main Buttermere ridge, which we climbed initially up from the village via Bleaberry Tarn, just above the vertical gash in Red Pike on the right.  The top of Red Pike is just out of sight on the right, High Stile fills the centre of the picture, High Crag is on the left.  We continued to the left over Haystacks and Fleetwith Pike, to return along the side of the lake from Gatesgarth.


Fleetwith Pike across Buttermere, at 10am (which I have always found a great time to photograph lakes.  Photographers will probably say that daybreak is even better, but I sadly cannot comment...)
Fleetwith again, from up Red Pike above the wooded area around this side of the lake.  This is a steep path and, some 20+ years ago, Joanna and I found it a struggle.  But in those distant days it was entirely "natural", with plenty of erosion even then.  Now almost all the path, except the last 300 yards at the top, is a beautifully graded path to best National Park standards.  You can tell from the top section, which is a real mess underfoot and very steep, what it used to be like...


The view north-west towards Grasmoor, which is on the left.
Told you it was steep...


Crummock Water and little Rannerdale Knotts, below Grasmoor.
This is the bowl below the top of Red Pike, which is on the right.  Bleaberry Tarn lies lies just over the brow ahead, and you can see the path up to the summit on the right.


Looking down on Bleaberry Tarn.  About 20 years ago I met a man on the top of Red Pike, with his young son.  He carried a fishing rod - which, I think you will agree, is not that usual for a fell-walker.  "Ah," he said when I asked, "we're going down to Bleaberry for a couple of hours, to catch our evening meal".  And off they went.  I still don't know if they caught anything, or indeed whether there were fish in the Tarn.
Crummock (and Scotland) from the top of Red Pike


You can see the top of Red Pike from the Newlands Valley, and this is why.  Blencathra and Derwentwater are in the distance beyond Newlands.
That's where we're going - High Stile.  It was here that I lost my blue LDNP cap: I took it off going up Red Pike, since it was not sunny, and hooked it around my rucksack webbing.  At the top of Red Pike, I got something from my rucksack, said to myself "Don't forget the cap lying there on the ground", put my rucksack back on - and walked off without the cap...
I realised what had happened when I was nearly on the top of High Stile, and went back, but no cap. Judging by the wind direction, it is probably down by Bleaberry Tarn now, so please look out for it - I've had it for only two months, having of course lost the previous one! 


Grasmoor from the top of High Stile
Ennerdale from High Stile.  Ennerdale is a valley which really needs sun, I have concluded, since all day today the splendours of Pillar, etc were almost invisible in the relative gloom.  So, no pictures...


Red Pike, Mellbreak and Crummock Water
Robinson, on the right, plus the Ard Crags ridge in front of the higher ridge from Causey Pike to Eel Crags.


Crummock again (no apologies!)
Where we're going: Fleetwith Pike, in front of Dale Head (where we're not going).


Bleaberry Tarn and Red Pike.
On the way to High Crag (not down here), you see glimpses of Buttermere and Gatesgarth.


Haystacks comes into view down below us.
Nearly the opposite view from the previous picture: High Crag from the lower slopes of Haystacks.


Doggie pic...

Looking north-east from Haystacks.


Not sure if this was the top of Haystacks, but it certainly was the cairn with the best view.
Two more cairns on the journey....


Obligatory picture of Innominate Tarn, where AW exhorts walkers to be careful not to tread on his ashes, which are scattered here.  Now not Innominate but Wainwright Tarn.

Can you think of anyone in this country who has given, and continues to give, more pleasure to people of all ages than Alfred Wainwright?
Striddle Crag, on the way to Fleetwith Pike.  It's heather time..


Couldn't resist it...
Looking down over Buttermere.  The reverse picture, towards Fleetwith Pike form Buttermere, is a classic photograph, but it has suffered from the great storm of January 2005, which took out some of the trees you can see on the lakeside.  See the picture below.


Still, not bad, is it...?
The miners' hut at Dubs Quarry, on the flank of Fleetwith Pike.  The people are from Carlisle Ramblers, who had chartered a coach for the day to bring 54 (!) walkers to Buttermere.  Fortunately, they were not all on this walk...


Honister quarry is still very much in operation.
This JCB, plus some of his mates, was building a new road, so expansion is obviously planned.
By now the clouds had lifted just enough for us to see Gable, on the left, and Scafell in the distance.


The classic pose: dogs in front of summit cairn, this time on Fleetwith Pike
Three lakes in a row...


And the sun was coming out...
Where we had come from.


Down again at lake level: Gatesgarth.
High Crag and High Stile.


High Crag between the trees.
Buttermere sparkling in the sun.




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