Route: Haystacks

Area: Western Lake District

Date of walk: 26th February 2019

Walkers: Andrew 

Distance: 5.2 miles

Ascent: 1,800 feet

Weather: Sunshine and blue skies, very warm

Haystacks was the favourite fell of Alfred Wainwright and it’s one of mine too – it’s a fascinating place and there’s always something new to see. Today would make it my 17th time up here, and I could never tire of it. As usual I parked in the car park at Gatesgarth Farm. I walked through the farm and crossed Peggy’s Bridge at the head of Buttermere. The climbing starts at a small triangular shaped copse, and from here I followed the easy path up to Scarth Gap

The weather was unseasonably warm, and it was strange to see butterflies flitting around and frogs spawning in various places along the way

Beyond Scarth Gap the going gets much steeper and rockier, and there are are five or six scrambly sections where hands are needed. There are no dangers though, and it’s an enjoyable clamber. A final steep section brought me to the summit area, which is full of interest. I wandered around here for a while, taking in the views, which were as wonderful as ever

A direct descent from the summit is impossible and it’s necessary to walk across some complicated knobbly terrain before arriving at one of the two possible descent paths to Warnscale Bottom. I normally take the first one, but on such a sunny day as this I was in no hurry, so I carried on to join the alternative path on the far side of Warnscale Beck. This provides an easy way down, with wonderful views ahead along Warnscale Bottom and Buttermere for most of the way

Click here or on the Map Page icon for the route map

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