Yewbarrow and Red Pike   16 comments

Like everyone we’ve had trips, holidays and weekends away affected by the dreaded “C”. Our annual trip with friends to Wasdale at May Day was the one that was most affected and we had to cancel it for two years running so this was a long time coming. Last year was especially disappointing as we’d have been there on my Birthday.


The usual long drive and late evening set up had us hoping for a good day on the Friday while everyone else travelled up. We weren’t disappointed.


The day dawned with crystal clear blue skies and sunshine. We couldn’t wait to get going so left all the washing up and final unpacking until later and set off.


We picked the small and shapely peak of Yewbarrow for our main event as I’ve not been up for many years.



It’s a steep climb from the car park at the bottom of Over Beck. Yewbarrow looks quite a challenge, somewhat impregnable.


Luckily the views were magnificent to help pull us to the top, here looking out over the Wast Water Screes, Ill Gill Head and Wast Water.


Seatallan and Middle Fell.


Its an excellent path with a little mild scrambling that delivers you to the broad summit ridge.


Stupendous views over the Scafell range.


But its Great Gable that really holds the gaze, here partnered with Kirk Fell.


Summit ridge with Red Pike behind.


Summit selfie.


The easy stroll along the summit ridge was a joy.


All the while on the look out for an early lunch stop.


Looking back to the summit from the top of Stirrup Crag.


That was where we decided was best placed for a spectacular stop overlooking a mountain panorama.


We did what we do best and stopped for a very long lunch break.


Red Pike and Pillar.


Time to finish up and move on.


Classic Great Gable.


And the patchwork of fields down in Wasdale, looked over by the Scafell range.


The descent of Stirrup Crag is tricky and awkward without ever being truly difficult. Just takes a bit of time and care.


Be a nasty fall if you did make a mistake though.


Looking back up at Stirrup Crag from Dore Head.


From there it’s a long climb to the top of Red Pike but its never steep and with a good path and the superb views continuing to pull us along we were soon on its summit.


It’s a spectacular perch above Mosedale and it seemed appropriate that we stopped for another cuppa and a long rest.


There were quite a few people up here now but I was surprised how many were just following the path that skirts the top and misses out these wonderful, airy views and perches on the edge.


From here, Great Gable takes on its distinctive square-topped shape.


Not a bad lunch place!


Time to move on. I’d had an idea we could tag on some more tops but we’d been enjoying a leisurely pace and decided on a easy plod back to the car via Scoat Tarn.


I have fond memories of this place as I’ve wild camped here a couple of times. One of the best tarns in Lakeland if you ask me.


Our route back to the car took us down a long ridge with numerous small outcrops and over Blackbeck Knotts and Knot Ends.




Low Tarn, Yewbarrow and Scafell range behind, now better picked out by the afternoon sun.


We threaded together a number of sheep tracks and while I suspect the ridge is soggy and boggy in wet weather, after a dry spell it proved an excellent descent route.


Side on view of Yewbarrow.


And Red Pike to complete our peak views.

A wonderful start to the weekend finished off by a great meal in the pub with a whole gang of friends. It was good to be back.

16 responses to “Yewbarrow and Red Pike

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  1. The route you took back is one I’ve been wanting to go up on sometime – especially to see Low and Scoat Tarns. It looks actually better as a descent due to that cracker of a side view of Yewbarrow – you don’t often see the ridge like that!

    I’d find poles awkward and scary on Stirrup Crag – I always like both hands free for scrambling.

    Kirky Nose (as I call it) is what is most arresting in those views to me – I find such a steep ridge fascinating and keep meaning to do it but haven’t yet!


    • I need the poles to protect my ever deteriorating knees but I really should have stowed them on my pack for that short down-climb as they do get in the way (and expensive things to drop/break!). Talking of knees, in my youth I once legged it down that Kirk Fell slope at breakneck speed in about 15 minutes to reach the pub for a beer that little bit quicker. No wonder they are broken knees!
      Scoat Tarn is a fb little stretch of water and that ride we came down, quiet and unspoilt well worth the effort.


  2. Looks like a great walk with amazing views. I have not done Yewbarrow yet.


  3. I had a look at that descent route of yours on my walk at Easter, it looked a good route and with the bridge crossing the beck near the bottom it looked a fine route down from either of the tarns. Have to be honest I wasn’t expecting to like Yewbarrow but its a little cracker, and I think I sat in the same spot as you for a brew near Red Pike overlooking Mosedale, not sure why anyone wouldn’t want to head over for a look down


    • Surprised you didn’t expect to like Yewbarrow – its looks superb from the Wast Water approach and as you found out – a cracking little ridge with great views. Red Pike is a real favourite with a tremendous view down into Mosedale and our route down was a really good choice as well. Cracking day.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think it was more the negativity about the scramble up Yewbarrow to start with, Which in fairness isn’t warranted as it was fairly straight forward. I expect that stirrup crag would be similar as well, but I’d already taken the path from the saddle by then


  4. Classic stuff. I’ve never done that descent route – always looking for new off-piste places to try and that looks terrific on the map. I need to get back to Wasdale ASAP.


    • All the comments here seem to indicate its an obvious route but its completely pathless, save for a few thin sheep tracks so clearly not well walked. I guess people just follow the path along Nether Beck. You were sadly missed at Wasdale although the Friday was the best day of weather (as the next post will show)


      • The Friday is always the best day of weather – just to p***-off those of us that can’t get there then!


        • Well I have had some wet and miserable Friday’s – I think this is the first time its been glorious


          • No – I’m not having that, I’m convinced, every Scotland weekend and every Wasdale trip you always get the best weather before the rest of us turn up and I’m not going to let the facts get in the way of a good mard.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, wow, wow!
    On day 2 of our Wainright Walk, we unknowingly found ourselves on Red Pile. I just wanted to sit and soak up these views. Alas, we were lost and stressed and had to keep plodding each rocky steep ascent descent. It was still the best day of the walk for me.
    Just wonderful to read this post about your marvellous day!


    • Red Pike is a top summit and normally quiet as its not one of the very well known peaks. We were glad we took the extra day off and be rewarded with a really special day


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