Route: Haystacks

Area: Western Lake District

Date of walk: 4th August 2021

Walkers: Andrew

Distance: 5.6 miles

Ascent: 1,900 feet

Weather: Sunny

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 20th 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 7am (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. I wandered around here for a while and visited a couple of unnamed tarns which were shown in good light. It’s a fascinating place full of bumps and hollows, with different views from each

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 and continued to follow the path in the direction of Dubs Quarry. Eventually I arrived at the first of the two possible descent paths to Warnscale Bottom, and chose this for the descent. The alternative path is a little further on and follows the far side of Warnscale Beck. Both paths meet up at valley level, and both provide 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 and thanks to my early start I didn’t pass another walker until almost back to the start

Previous time here

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