Route: Buttermere to Wasdale 

Area: Western Lake District 

Date of walk: 25th May 2017

Walkers: Andrew 

Distance: 7.8 miles

Ascent: 2,200 feet

Weather: Sunny and very hot 

Some may think that a half day walk from Buttermere to Wasdale is out of the question, given that it takes nearly an hour to drive from one to the other. A way does exist however, and it takes advantage of two of Lakeland’s iconic mountain passes – Scarth Gap and Black Sail. This being a linear walk it’s necessary to arrange transport back and to solve this issue Gilly and I came up with a plan. 

We parked in the National Trust car park just outside Buttermere village. We then followed the delightful lakeshore path and on reaching the head of the lake I turned off to take the path to Scarth Gap, while Gilly and Bonnie carried on to complete a circuit of Buttermere. If all went to plan Gilly would drive over to Wasdale Head and pick me up later on.

I’ve walked the path to Scarth Gap many times on the way to Haystacks, but today I ignored the turn off to Haystacks and continued down the pass into lonely Ennerdale, passing by the famous Black Sail Hut. Shortly after this I started the second climb of the day up to Black Sail Pass. By now it was midday and swelteringly hot (approaching 30c as I discovered later), with not a breath of wind and, although it’s a straightforward climb, there was a lot of huffing and puffing on my part

It was a relief to finally make it to the top of the pass and to start the long descent into Wasdale. After what seemed like an age I finally arrived at my destination, the famous Wasdale Head Inn, birthplace of climbing. I’d just started rehydrating with a refreshing pint when Gilly arrived – perfect timing. It had been a superb walk, though quite a tough one on account of the intense heat

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