Haystacks

Haystacks

Route: Haystacks

Area: Western Lake District

Date of walk: 21st July 2020

Walkers: Andrew

Distance: 5.2 miles

Ascent: 1,800 feet

Weather: Cloudy with sunny intervals

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 19th time up here, and I could never tire of it. I made an early start and parked in the car park at Gatesgarth Farm just after 8am (note the parking fee is currently £4, cash only). I walked through the farm and crossed Peggy’s Bridge at the head of Buttermere. The climbing starts below a small triangular shaped copse, and from here I followed the easy path up to Scarth Gap

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. The light had been good to this point, but at the summit grey skies rolled in and it was was rather dull. I’d normally have wandered around here as it’s a fascinating place full of bumps and hollows, with different views from each. In view of the weather I carried on without ado

A direct descent from the summit is impossible and it’s necessary to walk across some complicated knobbly terrain – Haystacks is a bad place to be if lost in mist. I soon arrived at the contradiction in terms which is Innominate Tarn but the light was still dull so I continued to follow the path in the direction of Dubs Quarry. Eventually I arrived at one of the two possible descent paths to Warnscale Bottom. I normally take the first one, but was in no hurry, so 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

It was another wonderful visit to this special place

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