Western Lake District

Route: Haystacks

Area: Western Lake District

Date of walk: 23rd March 2017

Walkers: Andrew

Distance: 5.6 miles

Weather: cloudy, brightened up near the end

Today’s plan was for a short morning fellwalk, though as things turned out it wasn’t a short walk at all and took about 5 hours instead of the usual 2 or 3. I parked at Gatesgarth and after crossing Peggy’s Bridge I started the climb up to Scarth Gap. This was easy going, but the going got tougher shortly when I reached the snowline. The climb up to Haystacks is quite steep beyond the gap and was made harder today by slushy and slippery snow, so that great care had to be exercised in order to avoid a slip and trip

The views from the summit were rather disappointing – the light was murky and the long distance views were hazy so I didn’t linger on the top and set out on the complicated crossing above Green Crag. Navigation on Haystacks is never a straightforward affair, and as Wainwright puts it ‘the only advice that can be given to a novice lost on Haystacks in mist is that he should kneel down and pray for safe deliverance’

There was no mist today but the paths were mostly hidden under snow, and where visible had turned into streams. Even though this was my 15th time up here I had to keep checking my course

Eventually I arrived at Warnscale Beck and made a very slow descent down the slippery path to Warnscale Bottom. By now the skies had cleared and sunshine accompanied me back to the start of this classic round

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