Fleetwith Pike

Fleetwith Pike

Route: Fleetwith Pike

Area: Western Lake District

Date of walk: 3rd January 2020

Walkers: Andrew 

Distance: 4.2 miles

Ascent: 1,800 feet

Weather: Mixed sunshine and cloud, very cold and strong wind where exposed

There’s only one place to start the ascent of Fleetwith Pike – from Gatesgarth at the foot of the fell. Accordingly I parked in the car park at Gatesgarth Farm (the fee is currently £4). I walked beside the Honister Pass road for a few yards before turning off to start the climb up Fleetwith Pike. It’s a relentlesss climb up Low Raven Crag, along Fleetwith Edge and thence to the summit. The ridge looks alarming seen from below, and while there are several steep sections where hands are needed, there’s nothing to frighten the horses – it’s a delightful climb. The enjoyment of the ascent is enhanced by the wonderful retrospective views over Buttermere and Crummock Water

From the summit I made my way along the knobbly hinterland of the fell in the direction of Dubs Quarry. This is remote and featureless terrain, and if mist were to descend here good navigation skills would be needed

When I reached the old slate mining works I joined the rocky path beside Warnscale Beck which took me down to Warnscale Bottom. There were more glorious views over Buttermere as I made the descent, which is at an easy gradient throughout. Having reached valley level, it was a stroll back along the path to Gatesgarth to complete a short but superb fell walk

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